There is so much to look forward to when starting a new healthcare role. However, before getting too ahead of yourself, it’s crucial to execute a professional resignation. As stated by a Harvard Business Review writer, “The trouble is that people tend to spend a lot of time preparing for and strategizing about their first impressions, and rarely give much thought to their last ones.” Formal resignations can be tricky to navigate, as you want to ensure a smooth and unoffending transition for everyone.
If you have been thinking about handing in your resignation, you’re not alone. The on-going Great Resignation has been a reflection of people’s desire to find a better opportunity for themselves. Having a good reason to leave does not always make the difficult conversation of resignation any easier, but we can help guide you through it!
Resigning is really a 3 step process: preparation, resignation, and follow through. It can be easy to dismiss this as oversimplification, but we will take you step-by-step so you can understand why resigning should be a simple process.
So how does one prepare for a resignation? Preparing for a resignation is oddly similar to preparing for a job interview. You want to be dressed acceptably, have any necessary paperwork prepared in advance, and if possible, you want to meet with your superiors when it is least busy for both of you. The formula truly is that simple, so follow the preparation guide below before moving on to the resignation itself.
- Dressed Acceptably: In an interview, this might mean a suit or a business outfit, but, in this case, it usually means professionally acceptable non-work clothes. Think of clothing that you might wear to a family/work event where you are not formal beyond the means of the company.
- If you wear a uniform to work that you know will need to be returned, wash it and bring it with you to the interview. On the chance that they do not want to accept a 2 week notice and instead dismiss you right then, it becomes more comfortable and convenient for all to hand over necessary items immediately.
- Paperwork: When resigning, it is considered polite to bring a written notice of resignation. In it, you want to state the day you will be giving notice, how long the notice is for, and if you are willing to negotiate that timeline. It should have your name typed and hand-written as a signature. If your employer asks for it to be emailed, scan the document, do not type it up and send it.
To whom it may concern,
This letter serves as my official notice of resignation. I plan for my last day to be [2 weeks from resignation date]. I will not be able to extend employment beyond this date.
Thank you for your time,
Your Name Signed
Your Name Typed
- Timing: Plan your timing ahead of time, if you can. You know the least busy times for your company, or the least invasive times, if it is always busy. Aiming for the end of the work day is a great time to chat with superiors because no one is looking to stay late if they do not have to, so you are less likely to be drawn into a long or difficult discussion about your choices. That being said, every workplace is different, so try to find a 20-30 minute period that you know would be open for discussion with your superiors.
At this point, you are prepared to resign. You are dressed professionally casual, a resignation letter in hand, and you know what time you are going to speak with your boss. So, now what?
Now is the hardest part: actually resigning. Everyone has read or heard some tale about dramatic workplace exits, but experience has shown that actions like that are surefire ways to lose a possible future reference. While entertaining and, in many situations, likely cathartic, a rude, disruptive, or showy resignation will follow you longer than you might think, and usually not in a good way.
This should be a relatively straightforward step, if you let it be. When meeting with your boss, you simply need to state your intentions, relay the information from your letter, ask about next steps, and thank them for their time. The order of these steps can change, depending on your relationship:
- “While these last [time spent with company] have been great, and I have genuinely appreciated the opportunities in front of me, I have decided to move forward with other offers at this time. I am putting in my [time of notice] effective as of today. Is there any other paperwork or exit interviews that you would like me to fill out beyond this resignation letter?”
- “I have accepted an offer that is a great step for me and my career, so I am submitting my [resignation notice]as of now. I really appreciate all that I have learned here, so I am able to extend my notice until [last possible date of work] if necessary. Outside of that, is there any additional paperwork for me to sign to officially resign?”
Expect these conversations to be followed with questions, counteroffers, and more, especially if your role is specialized or your company is understaffed. It is entirely up to you to decide how much information you want to give away moving forward, especially if they want to know about your next job. If you are uncomfortable giving them that information, simply let them know that you have offers out but have not signed anywhere.
You have prepared, resigned, and walked out still alive, but now you need to survive the next two weeks. Your coworkers who saw you meet with your superior might be curious, you might be excited about moving forward, or the topic of conversation could simply come up. Before you say anything, go through these tips about following through with your resignation.
- Do Not Discuss Quitting if Your Superiors Asked You Not to: Simple as that. If your superiors have asked you not to discuss your meeting or the outcomes with your coworkers, then do not do it. There is no need to stir up extra drama if you do not have to.
- Determine Your ‘Story’: There may be a variety of reasons why you’ve decided to move on to a new position. However, this does not mean that you’re required to disclose each reason to your former employer. At the same time, whatever you decide to share should remain consistent among everybody who hears it. Your official line should be to the tune of “it’s nothing personal” – even if it is.
- Prepare for a Counter Offer: They sound great, but counteroffers are traps not worth falling for. Read ‘Countering the Counter Offer’ to learn more!
- Help Out Up Until the Last Minute: After you have resigned, you have one final responsibility: “to engender an orderly and positive transition”. Do anything you can to make sure you are remembered as a reliable employee. Even with one foot out the door, try to remain dedicated up until the very last hour.
- Stay Positive, Even After Leaving: refrain from saying anything negative about your past employer online, or anywhere that could make its way back to them. According to Forbes, “off-the-cuff remarks or jabs made on social media are sometimes all it takes to burn a potentially important bridge.”
Resigning can be incredibly stressful to everyone involved, but it is important to take care of yourself and your career. If you are resigning, following these steps wherever you can will certainly make the process much easier.
If you want a new opportunity but are not sure where to start, check out our job board here! If you are looking for something different than what you see, then submit an updated resume here and we will get you connected to one of our dedicated recruiters as soon as possible.