Dear Evil Skippy:
Happy 2020. I resolved to quit my awful job. I want to put it in writing because a mere conversation won’t be enough. Please give me pointers about what should be included in a resignation letter? “I quit” seems insufficient.
— Resigning Soon
You obviously have revenge on your mind (as opposed to mere communication), so my No. 1 Pointer is to include some itching powder and a bunch of glitter with the letter – the kind that resists brooms and vacuums.
— Evil Skippy
Greta Thunberg would not approve of that glitter, but she is miles away. Maybe leave out the itching powder unless your goal is to also create an anthrax scare and get arrested for domestic terrorism. But hey. I don’t know you. Make your choices.
At a minimum, a resignation letter should provide adequate notice about your plans (your professional plans) so your employer can make a decision about when and how to fill your position (and cover your work load until they find a replacement). The “standard” notice is two weeks, but more (or less) notice may be appropriate in your particular situation. Leaving gracefully shows you are professional and increases the likelihood that your ex-boss will speak positively about you (or at least neutrally) in the future. It’s also good karma.
A resignation letter is not the time to vent. If you have a complaint, write about it in a separate letter or talk to someone as part of your exit process (whether or not your company conducts formal exit interviews). On the other hand, if you have had a positive experience working with this employer, a resignation letter is a fine time to include a brief expression of appreciation.
Here’s an example:
It has been a privilege to work for Evil Skippy Productions for the past two years. This letter is my two-week notice. My last working day will be January 31, 2014. I am grateful for the valuable experience that I gained while working here.
Now that you know how to resign, enjoy ES’s first official Top Ten of 2020 — what not to do or say when you resign (yes, these are real):
- Don’t write, “So long suckers” on the conference room white board during a meeting right before you vanish with no other explanation.
- Do not super-glue your resignation letter to your manager’s desk.
- Don’t rant about how much you hate being a flight attendant and then exit via the plane’s emergency chute.
- Do not paint your message on your manager’s car.
- Do not write your message in Klingon.
- Do not emergency stop the elevator between floors in order to have a private audience with your boss.
- Do not close the message with an invitation to dinner and a movie “since the fraternization rules will no longer apply” and “you both know” that it is just a “matter of time” until you “act on the obvious mutual attraction”.
- Do not use crayon.
- Do not compare your current employment to your experiences living under the Nazi regime in occupied Poland.
- Do not suggest that your boss “watch his back.”
Readers – what are some memorable resignations that you’ve witnessed or heard about?
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