Keeping Connections: Respectfully Resigning

If there is one thing I can say I have heard from many different people regarding “adult life” and the “real world”it would be this:

“It is not what you know that matters, but who you know.”

Most even add on to that and say that even more important is who knows you.

As a business major, these words were repeated to me over and over again. Colleagues, club officers, and guest speakers continuously emphasized the importance of making connections. It was always about selling yourself in a matter of minutes (ever heard of the elevator speech?) at networking events. In my belief though the connections that are the ones you have the opportunity to foster and really fall back on for recommendations and further connections are those you make over time. These consist of your colleagues, co-workers, managers. They are the ones you spent more than five minutes with and can advocate for your good character.

This is what I kept in my mind when I began feeling burnout from my part-time job. A position as a cashier in a restaurant I had never planned to maintain for a long period of time. I had gotten this job in my final year of university, hoping and needing to make money to avoid a deficit in my bank account as I paid for commuting expenses. Not to mention graduation was near and I would no longer be able to fall back on any more financial aid checks.

Almost everyone starts out in the part-time retail or restaurant gig. Initially, most people find enjoyment in their new employment. Especially if you really need a job, the gratitude causes you to feel super lucky and happy with your position. This was true in my case too. After awhile though you find yourself feeling stuck and wanting out. Either way, even if you dislike your co-workers or managers and can’t wait to leave. My advice to you is to continue to  smile and be a good employee until your very last day.

Over time I had became quite irritable at work with the ever changing policies and procedures, argumentative and demanding customers, and sometimes slow paced environment. I realized that my position as a cashier was not entirely beneficial to my area of study or desired career path. Still I kept smiling on, engaging with customers, and finishing all expected tasks. The reason? I decided to stay to gain longevity working for the same company, something else hiring managers look for. Plus I absolutely loved my managers attitude and flexibility. I did my best from the start. I was awarded employee of the month only two months after being on the job, achieved 100% more than once for our mystery shoppers, and in the end my managers were sad to see me go (one of the best, I was told).

Recently I decided it was time to say goodbye to my night time position, and begin my search for a full-time day job. I do have another part-time day job I’m keeping until I find something full-time. (Many people couldn’t understand why I was quitting if I  hadn’t found my full-time place yet, but remember the burnout I mentioned? Sometimes the logical choice isn’t worth the headache.)

Below are some tips I would suggest for you when your time comes to say farewell to your job.

Tips for a Respectful Resignation

Be professional and courteous.

Approach  your main manger first with a well-written letter of resignation in hand, personally I typed mine.

Make sure to address the letter properly.

Include the reason why you are leaving (try to avoid any negativity). “Because I don’t want to work here anymore.” is not a good approach. Instead try something more like, “Unfortunately after being on the job for so and so time, I feel as though my current skills or desired ambitions do not suit this position.”

Include your intended last date, usually two weeks after notice although some places have longer required notice lengths.

Thank management for the opportunity they have given you and mention any valuable skills you are thankful to have gained from the position.

Offer any further assistance in making the transition smooth for management. Examples include, helping to train new personnel.

Try to avoid telling other co-workers of your intention to leave until you talk to your manager first.

On the last day you should show your manager respect by approaching them to say goodbye. Don’t forget to thank them again and shake their hand (or hug if you are close enough) Even if your manager is intimidating and you were never close you still want to leave with a good impression. After all your next employer may reach out to your previous during background checks. Leaving on a positive note will ensure good feedback. If you feel comfortable enough ask them for their contact information and inquire if you may use them as a future reference. I also suggest you keep in touch afterwards, maybe visit the store or just send e-mails around holidays so that your managers do not forget you and remember you when they are contacted for as references.

Any and all connections are vital in the business and corporate world! Even when your skills from one job to the next are not entirely transferable. Character can not be taught like skills. So stay optimistic, respectful, and ambitious in all pursuits!

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