Resignation Letters: Dont Let Yours Backfire On You...
It turns out that "tips and templates on how to writeresignation letters" is the third most sought-afterinformation at my Writing Help Central Web site.
So, when I looked into the subject more closely, I wassurprised to find that there is not a lot of guidanceavailable in guide book form on how to write a proper andappropriate resignation letter. In fact, a recent visit tothe world's largest bookstore www.amazon.com revealed thatthere are no "how to" books available there that deal withthe art of writing resignation letters.
Surprising, but true.
This is interesting, because when you really look into it,you realize that whether you leave a job gracefully andappropriately will almost certainly have career and personalimplications, and can be almost as important as writinga resume/cv or a cover letter.
THE EMOTIONS BEHIND RESIGNATION LETTERS
A resignation letter will be one of the most emotionally-charged business letters that you will ever write. Thesentiments behind it are invariably volatile because ofwhat it represents. In fact, studies have found thatleaving a job can be almost as stressful as the breakup ofa marriage.
Nevertheless, it is highly advisable that not too many ofthose emotions, especially any negative feelings, gettransferred to the written page. As much as possible, aresignation letter should be treated as a business letter,just like any other business letter.
There are a number of reasons why resignation letters havemore emotional implications than most other personal orbusiness letters. Here are the obvious ones:
- They are highly personal because they normally mark the
severance of both professional and personal relationships,
sometimes of a long-term nature.
- They typically signify the end of a period in a person's
professional and/or personal life.
- They represent the beginning of a new period or phase in
someone's personal and professional life, conjuring up
the fears that often arise with an uncertain future.
KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF RESIGNATION LETTERS
Following are a number of primary characteristics thatare unique to resignation letters.
Not Just Job-Related
Mention "resignation letter" and 99 of 100 people will thinkexclusively about job-related situations. In reality, thereare a number of areas and circumstances for whichrecommendation letters can be required. For example, inaddition to leaving jobs, resignation letters can berequired for such situations as: stepping down from acommittee, opting out of a course at school, leaving a clubor fellowship, and others.
Sensitive and Delicate
When you submit your resignation letter it will haveimplications for you, the organization you are leaving,and the colleagues and friends you are leaving behind. Youmust realize that regardless of the real reasons behind yourdeparture, the message received by many will be that you'releaving because the organization and/or people just don'tmeasure up any more. This is a natural human reaction formany people and can't be entirely avoided. Just besensitive to it and don't say, do, or write anything thatunnecessarily aggravates such feelings of abandonment.
Simple Formality or Big Surprise
A resignation letter can simply be the formalization of a conversation that already took place with your boss, or anannouncement you made in a meeting. On the other hand, a resignation letter can be tendered completely unannounced,as a total surprise. In fact, this is often the case in thereal world. If this latter case applies in your situation,you will have to be prepared to deal with any one of anumber of possible reactions from the organization andyour colleagues, ranging from total acceptance, to anger,bargaining, and resentment.
Positive Beats Negative
The way in which you resign from an organization can havesignificant implications, both career-wise, and personally.Regardless of the circumstances and/or atmosphere surrounding your departure, you will be well-advised totake whatever measures you can to neutralize any negativefactors that may be in play. The approach and wording usedin the resignation letter can go a long way towardsachieving this aim.
Always A Balancing Act
Writing a letter of resignation can be a bit of a balancingact. You want to be honest, clear, and firm regarding yourintentions to leave, while at the same time you don't wantto alienate the employer you are leaving. It would be nicefor that door to remain open, or at least ajar, just incase you want to enter it in the future. After all, younever know what may happen down the road. For all you know,your current employer could end up buying the company youare moving to. So be careful about limiting your futureoptions.
Backlash Can Be Swift
Negative impacts from a poorly written or inappropriatelyworded resignation letter can be almost immediate. For
example, if you are hoping to get a good recommendationor reference from the employer you're leaving, a negativeresignation letter can only hurt your letter ofrecommendation/reference. Also, even if you don't requesta recommendation letter there is nothing to stop futurepotential employers from checking back with organizationsyou have worked for.
So here's a word to to the wise. Before you blindly jump into writing a resignation letter, you might want to spendsome time thinking about it and finding out how to writeone that is proper and appropriate, so that it won't comeback to haunt you.
To see a fully-formatted "real-life template" of a simple letter of resignation, check out the following link:
© 2005 by Shaun Fawcett
Shaun Fawcett, is webmaster of the popular writing help siteWritingHelp-Central.com. He is also the author of severalbest selling "writing toolkit" eBooks. All of his eBooks andhis internationally acclaimed f-r-e-e course, "Tips and TricksFor Writing Success" are available at his writing tools site:http://www.writinghelptools.com
Have You Plotted Your Story Before Writing It?
Creative Writing Tips -The writer, who doesn't have the time to plot, always finds the time to rewrite.Sound familiar?I've been guilty of this too, back in the early days of my writing apprenticeship.
Five Minute Miracles
FIVE MINUTES ..
3 Tips to Achieve Your Writing Goals
1. Make your goals achievable.
To Tell If You Are A Literary Snob
"I don't know if I should put 'writer' on my business card," I murmured."Then don't," my wife said in her infinite wisdom.
How To Write for the Web
The Scanning ReaderWriting for the Web is different than writing for print. The differences are slight but significant.
Make Your Readers Cry
You know, I really hate it when someone catches me crying over a book.I surreptitiously dab at the corners of my eyes with a finger.
Taking the Free Out of Freelance Writing
When you run an online agency for freelance writers, editors and proofreaders you'd think the biggest problem would be attracting employers who are willing to pay a decent hourly rate for freelance writing. You'd be wrong.
Freelance Feast or Famine?
Sometimes a freelance writing career can feel very much like "feast or famine".At the very beginning, it's almost all famine.
What Is The Single Worst Writing Mistake?
The following answer sounds simplistic?but think about it. The single worst writing mistake is "not starting.
Six Tips for Submitting Fiction - if you want it to get published
You can learn a lot about what it takes to place a story in an ezine by starting up one of your own.Last month I started work on a new ezine for writers, which I intended to use to publish high-quality, contemporary fiction, from writers all over the world.
Keeping a Love Journal
Do you love someone very deeply? A spouse, son, daughter,or maybe a group of people. February 14 is Valentine‚??s Day.
Starting a Freelance Writing Career (or How I Sifted Through the Muck and Found My Way)
So, the decision is final. I am a writer.
7 Essential Letter Writing Strategies
Based on the feedback that I have been getting from visitorsto my writinghelp-central.com Web site, letter writing isdefinitely the area where most people are looking for helpor guidance when it comes to day-to-day writing.
How To Write Thank You Letters With Class
When I first started tracking the information preferencesof people visiting my Writing Help Central Web site I wassurprised to find how many folks were seeking informationon how to write thank you letters. In fact, "thank youletter" information and sample templates are the third ranked destinations at that Web site.
Writing Made Them Rich #4: Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho was born on August 24th 1947 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.At age 17 he announced his intention to be a writer.
5 Ways to Break the Story Spell
You sink back into your favourite chair with a new book in your hand. With a barely perceptible sigh of anticipation, you turn to the first page.
Top Seven Essential Hot-Selling Points To Implement Before Writing Chapter One
Every part of your book can be a sales tool. When you include the below tips, you will have a roadmap to follow to keep your writing organized and compelling, and you'll sell more books than you ever dreamed of! 1.
Starting a Freelance Writing Career (or Thoughts About Taking the Plunge)
Nike's ad has taken on new meaning for me of late; "Just do it!" runs through my mind like a mantra. Although my dreams have nothing to do with athletic shoes and little to do with athletics (unless you count the long list of ideas I have developed which revolve around my sons and their activities), I have spent a long time avoiding the one thing I've always wanted to do - write.
Business Letter Etiquette
Business etiquette is fundamentally concerned with building relationships founded upon courtesy and politeness between business personnel. Etiquette, and especially business etiquette, is a means of maximising your potential by presenting yourself positively.
Call Yourself a Writer? Where Are Your Notes?
Writers are notorious collectors of slips of paper. They tear articles from magazines in the doctor's waiting room; they rip corners off newspapers in friend's houses because they need to write down something witty; and they stuff their bags and pockets with serviettes, cigarette packs, and discarded train tickets just because note making's second nature to them.