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Employment Advice Column: Resigning with Grace

EMPLOYMENT ADVICE COLUMN: Topic: Resigning from your job with grace

Dear Joanna

After 11 years at my organization, I have been offered and accepted a fantastic career opportunity. I would like to resign from my current employer in the most diplomatic way. I am having a hard time because I am leaving a job and work friends that I love. Please can you help me with this challenge.

Signed: Saying Goodbye is Hard

Dear Saying

The best advice for resigning with dignity and diplomatically is presented in Randall Hansen’s He recommends the following strategies for a “graceful departure”

  1. Leave on good terms. Never burn your bridges. Don’t brag to your coworkers about your great new opportunity (oh well – too late for that). Job-hunting is a funny process, and you never know when you’ll run into your former supervisor, a former co-worker, or a former employer in another situation.
  2. Giving notice. Legally you need to give a minimum of 2 weeks. Consult your employer’s policies and/or the collective agreement if you are in a union environment. If you can, I tend to lean on giving extra notice as a special favor to your team and employer. This timing would also depend on the start date with your new employer. All of this should be discussed when you get the job offer.
  3. Make sure you are paid for any outstanding salary, vacation, sick, and personal days, and commission payments or other compensation due to you.
  4. Offer to help your current employer find your replacement.
  5. Training: Offer to train or work with your replacement to show him or her the ropes.
  6. Be an active employee. Don’t disappear. During your last weeks on the job, stay an active member of the team. Avoid taking a short-timer’s attitude or aligning yourself with any discontented coworkers. Complete all open assignments and leave detailed progress reports for your supervisor and coworkers.
  7. Keep networking. Keep in touch with your colleagues and supervisors, soon to be former, that you want to keep part of your network contacts. Make sure you are connected on Linkedin, Twitter and any other social media venues.

Good luck!

Signed: Joanna

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Joanna-Elizabeth-SamuelsJoanna Samuels, MEd, CMF, CTDS, RRP is a job developer, job coach, and facilitator at JVS Toronto. Her expertise is providing customized employment support services and skills training to unemployed and underemployed clients from diverse communities. She also helps employers with recruitment, selection, and diversity. Joanna is a certified Life Skills Coach, certified Personality Dimensions Facilitator, and part-time instructor at George Brown College.




About Joanna Samuels 6 Articles
Joanna Samuels, M.Ed., CMF, RRP is a certified Life Skills Coach, and certified Personality Dimensions Facilitator. With over 11 years’ of experience working as a job coach/job developer and facilitator at JVS Toronto, Joanna’s expertise is providing customized employment and career coaching as well as job placement and training services to individuals and groups from diverse communities, industries and professions. In addition, Joanna helps employers with recruitment, and selection, as well as meeting their diversity and inclusion needs. Joanna is a featured employment advice columnist, published author and blogger as well as a part time instructor of employment counselling at George Brown College, Joanna is a frequent guest speaker at different community events and webinars on topics related to employment and careers.

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