THERE has been a societal shift in the way we view employment. Some fifty years ago, an individual started working with a company or business, and worked his or her way slowly up the ranks and eventually retired from that same company. These days, employees move around every few years or even months in search of their own version of utopia, only to find out that the next job has its own benefits and challenges. If you have decided to resign from your current job, there is a right and a wrong way to do it. Here are a few tips to resign in the right way.
1. Don’t burn bridges: You have decided to leave your current job but it is really important not to do so abruptly. Leaving acrimoniously, to what may have been a good working relationship with your colleagues and employer may feel good in the moment but is likely to result in misgivings later. In the event that you need a strong reference, or even an informal reference, it is strongly advisable to leave on good terms. It is even possible that you may have to work with one or more of the individuals again.
2. Write a kind resignation letter: You should write a letter indicating that you are leaving. This is not the time to slight your employer, complain about pay or your working conditions. This is an occasion to be gracious and thank your employer for the opportunity of working in his or her establishment. Keep the letter very short and to the point. Three or four paragraphs will do.) There is no need for finger pointing or belittling your co-workers either. Simply express your appreciation and write something diplomatic like either another career opportunity has been extended to you that you simply cannot turn down; or you need to re-locate for personal and family commitments.
3. Give sufficient notice: The Labour Code No.37/2006 (and amendments) section 153 (2) clearly indicates the number of days’ notice required depending on how long you have been working at the establishment. For example, if you have been working for less than five years of continuous employment ( and more than twelve weeks)- you are only required to give one week’s notice; two weeks’ notice for more than five years of service. Consider whether this is sufficient time for your employer to get someone else to take over your duties. Usually one week is very short notice and an unrealistic amount of time, so it is considerate to offer to work at least two weeks to a month’s notice to effect a smooth transition, if possible.
4. Get the timing right: If you know that leaving at a certain time in the year would be the most detrimental to the business because it is the busiest period in the year; or when you usually have the most deadlines or tasks to complete, avoid handing in your resignation letter at this juncture. Time your leaving when it will have the least impact on the bottom line for your employer’s business.
5. What’s next? : Don’t just leave your current job because you are bored or feel unchallenged, unless you have another job lined up. Working will not always be as exciting as you envisaged. However, you do have certain personal commitments to take care of, and being employed will assist you to do so. Make a strategic plan before you hand in your resignation letter in terms of what is next on your agenda. If you don’t have a job to go to after you leave, will you be able to meet your financial commitments? Will you be pursuing further education or travelling? Whatever your plan, make sure you have one before you say goodbye to a regular pay cheque. Unemployment is on the rise and every year there are more young people leaving school in search of employment so be ready to face the job market with your skill set and work experience, remember that there is more competition for jobs.
(Ms. Trudy O. Glasgow is a practising attorney at the law firm Trudy O. Glasgow & Associates, a court-appointed mediator and author in Saint Lucia (and has also taught law at University level in the UK)* Ms. Glasgow is also the current Vice President of the Bar Association of Saint Lucia.
This column is for general use only, for advice specifically for your case, please see your lawyer.
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