Congratulations! You have just been offered a fantastic new job, but there is just one problem; you need to resign from your current position. Maybe you liked your job, and you will miss working there. But, on the other hand, perhaps you hate it and are counting the days till you can leave for good.

The exit interview is a business formality that should not be treated as a therapy session. When Human Resource professionals ask why you are leaving, give upbeat answers

My clients often tell me they are nervous about telling their boss they want to quit since they worry
the boss will be angry at them.
In addition, they feel guilty about leaving the work they have done behind or that someone else may have to take over while they are gone. Nevertheless, when asked if they think how they resign from a company might influence their careers in the future, they act surprised when I tell them a simple resignation notice could affect their career in the future. It is essential to get it right.

10 Tips to Resign with Grace, Style & Dignity

1. Follow your company’s written policy regarding notice. Every so often, my clients feel sorry for their former colleagues. So, they stick around an extra week (or even an extra month). Inevitably, they begin to feel like a fifth wheel. Nearly everyone says, “Next time, I’m leaving right away!”

2. After you leave, do not accept any job-related calls from your company unless you have a written consulting contract. It’s essential to give the notice the company requests. If your boss miscalculates your notice period and asks for extra time to ensure a smooth transition to your successor, it’s their responsibility to pay for that extra time. Your boss made a business decision requiring “x” weeks’ notice. If the amount of time needed for a smooth transition is underestimated, it is up to them to pay for the extra time.

3. Study your current and future employer’s policies regarding disclosure of information and non-compete agreements. Some companies are highly protective of their process and employees. For example, you may have to leave the office immediately once you resign. Additionally, your new company may ask you not to work for your former employer, even on a part-time basis.

4. It is always best to resign in person. A telephone conversation is second best. Regardless, you must keep your resignation confidential until the deed is done! Although challenging, resist the temptation of sharing your thoughts even with your closest companions.

5. Expect your boss to act professionally. My clients often voice concern about what their boss will say or do, but bosses rarely are caught by surprise. Good bosses are happy when their employees advance in their careers. Thank your boss for the opportunity to learn more for encouraging you to make a great career move.

6. Even if you hate your boss and coworkers and are looking forward to leaving, be sure to thank them. You may look back on the experience with fondness, or you may meet them at conferences or networking groups. You will almost certainly need strong references from them.

7. If you get a counteroffer, turn it down!. A common statistic shared across industries is that 70% of those who accept the counteroffer leave in six months. If you decide to stay, get a written job contract. Why is this statistic so high? Once the psychological contract is broken with your employer, it is hard to repair. I describe the Psychological contract that we hold with work as a bone china vase. Once broken, it is hard to repair and never looks as good as it once did when it is fixed. Some of my current career consulting clients have previously accepted counteroffers but have quickly been reminded of why they initially sought to leave.

8. The exit interview is a business formality that should not be treated as a therapy session. When Human Resource professionals ask why you are leaving, give upbeat answers: “for a better opportunity.” Mention how much you loved the company and your job. If your comments get mangled or misinterpreted in any way, you never know where they will turn up. My best advice is to take the time to think through what you are going to say.

9. As tempting as it may be, don’t tell anyone about the details of your new job during your notice period. Many of my clients have said that they have been encouraged to share the details of their future positions whilst working notice at their current firms. Over the years, I have heard many reasons and excuses for this behaviour? Nevertheless, it is wise to keep your new employment details confidential, even from your closest colleagues at work.

10. Focus on your new opportunity – not your past experience. Once you have left, you’re history. The very same folks who love to meet you for lunch will hardly remember your name a week later. If you haven’t changed jobs in a while, you may be in for a shock when starting your new role. Be prepared! Your first day on the job can be a real eye-opener, hopefully in a good way.