You may have resigned from jobs in the past and realized later that there were things you said, wrote or insinuated that came back to haunt you. Therefore it is important to know what not to say in your resignation email or letter. Even if your feelings are genuine, that is, you were actually poorly treated by your boss or the management; do not yield to that yearning feeling to vent. It never turns out well in the long run.
Resigning via email is as effective as writing a letter of resignation. This is especially true if your company communicates with you frequently via email. How you communicate is very important. There is a way to quit a job gracefully, and a huge aspect of it is avoiding the wrong language in your resignation email.
Reasons Why People Resign
Inasmuch as it is not always something to look forward to, there are times we just have to make that decision to move on. People quit their jobs for various reasons. The reasons vary from relocation, going back to school, to a career change. However, if the main reason why you are leaving is that you hate your job, boss, or even your colleagues, ensure you do not write (or say) it. There is no good reason to let your last words be full of negativity that will likely affect you in the future.
How the Wrong Words Haunt
Using negative hurtful words in your resignation email may damage your career. Future employers could do a formal background check on you from where you left with disdain. Information in your resignation email which is part of your official documents may be presented to them. This will not speak well of you at all. In fact, you may lose a very lucrative job just for this reason.
The other way a negative resignation email can haunt you is if for any reason (including as a part of graduate admission requirements) you need to get a reference from your previous employer. This is the time you would realize you had shot yourself in the foot when you sent that resignation email.
The Ideal Way to Quit
The tone of your resignation email should be positive all through. From opening salutation to closing, the email should be beaming with positivity. No matter how difficult it feels, maintain this attitude and you will later be glad you did. Whether you will need a reference or a positive feedback to a new employer from the place you are quitting is not the main thing. The fact that you are leaving the company with your head held high should be enough! The satisfaction you would feel from venting your anger is a passing one. See the relevant article for more details on resigning via email.
Things You Must Not Write in Your Resignation Email
“I Never Liked My Boss”
Whether in your resignation email or when talking to your colleagues or anyone else, this must not be heard from you. Your email should not even insinuate it, especially as your reason for quitting the job. No matter how evil your boss had been during your employment, never let those words out. When he or she gets to read or find out about your statement, there is a high chance he or she will give a damning report when writing a reference or giving background information to potential employers.
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“My Manager Was Not Competent”
This could be true, but, bear in mind that your errors will be pinned to your file and not your manager’s. You may feel that if he or she had done his or her part, your lot would have been better in your company. It is this same manager that would be called to appraise you when you are leaving. Your manager is more likely to give you a negative appraisal when he or she becomes aware of your utterance whether in your resignation email or from your co-workers. This becomes more serious when you give this as the reason for your resignation.
“My Team Members Were Jerks!”
Saying that you are resigning because you believe that your teammates frustrated your work due to their poor performance or attitude will do no good as well. If you were working as a manager or head of a team, it is completely understandable that you may have had setbacks because of your teammates. Notwithstanding, this must not be reflected in your resignation email or conversations. In your email or conversation, do not mention setbacks you had faced working with your teammates, instead, show appreciation. If you remain negative, it can move your boss to blame you as the manager or team leader. This, in turn, will reflect in your file, hence, increasing your chance of getting negative references as well as unpalatable background check reports.
“I am Leaving Because of the Low-Pay”
Insinuating this in any way will make the management believe that you a disgruntled worker. When you are perceived this way, you can be sure that your boss will portray you this way to anyone doing a background check on you.
“This Organization is in Shambles”
If the company you are leaving is struggling to stand, your resignation email or conversations must not convey this. The management is already aware that the company has challenges. Therefore, there is no need to convey the message that you are moving to a better company whereas they are stuck at where you are leaving.
“The Services or Products Here are Below Par”
Employees that imply this are considered to be disloyal. No boss appreciates a disloyal employee. Potential employers that get to know that this is the opinion you have of your former company will feel you would say the same about them. Also, remember that your boss perceives your shortcomings to be a result of your own ineptitude and not due to the inferiority of the company’s products or services.
“I Need to Leave Immediately”
It is unprofessional to quit your job without notice. Of course, there are cases that this is unavoidable. However, it is best to give notice as stipulated in the company’s policy. You may be perceived as an unprofessional or undedicated employee if you resign without notice. This may also indicate to your boss that you are unwilling to help prepare your replacement. This attitude is considered unprofessional. Offering to train your replacement is the polite thing to do, though the company may turn it down, it, however, projects you in a positive image.
Deciding the right phrase to handle different situations can be very tasking. As a correspondent, you are directly involved in critical day-to-day interactions via email. This makes your ability to craft good email messages, using the perfect phrases and clauses, tangential to your business success.
There is a book by Meryl Runion that will help you to a great extent:
Perfect Phrases for Office Professionals: Hundreds of ready-to-use phrases for getting respect, recognition, and results in today’s workplace
Overall, this book will greatly improve your communication skills. It will also help you easily clarify assignments with your manager or projects with your clients as well as guide you in handling the inevitable complaints that sometimes follow sales of products or services.