Ten Rules to Make Your Resignation a Resounding Success

Dawn Pascale

You have just received that long-awaited phone call of congratulations, making your new job offer official.

Your work is about to be more fulfilling; your new boss will appreciate your extra effort, and you will have a parking spot with your name on it. In the meantime, it may be hard to focus on the drudgery of your “old job,” but making a smart, professional exit will pay dividends. Here are ten tips to make that happen:

1. Give Fair Notice – Before officially resigning make sure you fully plan for the amount of time required to give notice. Check your contract for all obligations and for any bonus that may be due to you.

2. Resign Gracefully – Be professional and set a formal meeting with your boss. It is best to focus on the positives and show your appreciation for the time you’ve spent at your job and the investment the organization has made in your career development. Thanking your boss adds an even more graceful flair.

3. Don’t Flirt with Counteroffers – Pursuing that conversation if you have no intention of staying is a waste of your supervisor’s time…and yours.

4. Continue Being Professional – Once you resign, let your boss take the lead in communicating your departure. The perks awaiting you at the next job may create a new sense of exhilaration, but use caution when participating in any casual conversations regarding your departure. These casual discussions can be misinterpreted by others and can be detrimental.

5. Make Your Transition Flawless – It’s not only the right thing to do for your company, but also for the patients you’re dedicated to serving. Brief your successor and finish tasks, or at least hand off adequate information so they can be completed. Pass along all pertinent information, such as computer passwords, fellow employees to consult for specific tasks, and even tips you’ve learned from your experience.  Providing sufficient lead time enables your current firm to train a replacement and thoroughly plan for your exit, and the additional effort will be much appreciated.

6. Stay Focused – Successful athletes are always remembered for how they handled themselves during their last moments on the field. In the same respect, medical practitioners are always remembered for how they departed. By carrying out your commitment to the patients you serve, you will be remembered by the people who matter the most.

7. Provide Constructive Feedback  – When asked for an exit interview, always accept the opportunity. This encounter is a chance to offer constructive ideas on how the healthcare facility can improve their operation. Do not take this time to vent, deliver a sermon, or criticize.

8. Give Thanks – Even the worst jobs have someone who helped you along the way. Find the folks who provided assistance or acted as mentors, from your favorite charge nurse or that helpful unit secretary who always made your day.

9. Say Goodbye – While a blanket “farewell” email may be okay if you work in a unit of 50 medical practitioners, a personal goodbye to your core teammates is a very personal gesture that will be appreciated and remembered. Also, save contact information just in case you need to connect with someone in the future.

10. Keep it Classy Long After You’re Gone – Most people follow the nine rules above when departing their jobs, but you’d be surprised to learn how many of them turn to bad-mouthing their former companies, colleagues, or bosses as time goes on. Resist the temptation to make derogatory comments as it may reflect badly on you in the future.

These ten simple rules are often overlooked and are more important than you think. Making a professional exit is the right thing to do because you wouldn’t want that affecting the upward trajectory of your career. Finally, you may find that the grass at the new job isn’t as green as you thought, and you couldn’t consider returning to your former medical facility if you left on poor terms. Consider these strategies in order to leave a good final impression. Positive job karma is a good thing.