Resigning the right way

October 20, 2014 in Best of Both, leadership, management, work by MyBestofBothWorlds

Welcome back to Management Mondays.  Today’s topic is resigning the right way.  A few weeks ago, I got a message on my cell phone from one of the supervisors in my department, to inform me that an Ultrasound technologist resigned effective immediately and the supervisor was scrambling to secure coverage due to the abrupt holes in the schedule.

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Talk about leaving everyone lurch.  What an unprofessional way to leave a position.

Back in December 2005, when I made a major career decision and subsequent move, I made sure that my reputation would remain stellar by appropriately resigning .  Understanding the best way to leave a position may help you achieve your career goals.  This is definitely an important subject as your reputation will certainly precede you in the “small world” that we have today.  All that you are is your reputation!

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After you have weighed all the pros and cons, consulted with your family and have come to the decision to make a change, I implore you to do the “right thing” by your current employer, as well as yourself.  Conducting yourself appropriately, speaks volumes about your work ethic, character and integrity.

The first step consists of giving the proper notice in writing, which is a minimum of two weeks.  Check your employee handbook-many organizations require the amount of notice to be given equal to that of your vacation time, hence in my departments the technologists would be required to provide four weeks.   As a manager, you need to be sensitive to special projects and timelines.  In certain cases, you may need to give a longer period of notice perhaps six to eight weeks depending on the circumstances involved.  The new employer you are going to begin working for should expect you to provide proper notice, if they pressure you to start sooner—you need to ask yourself—if this is acceptable what other practices can be imposed upon you once you join the organization.

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When you submit your resignation, you may be asked why you have made this choice.  Choose your answer carefully when responding.  You may consider this your golden opportunity to really tell the boss what’s on your mind, but why burn the bridge so to speak.  Remember this person could potentially be a job reference in your future.  Resist the temptation, it’s better to leave a positive impression.  Additionally, this person will most likely be completing your Human Resources paperwork regarding your change in work status.  Most HR forms, have an area for the manager to check which asks:  would you re-hire this employee?   It’s best to have a box that is checked off as a yes.

If your organization requires an HR exit interview, give forethought to your responses.  When having this dialogue, if possible be constructive in nature about potential short comings of the facility, rather than demonstrating a negative or bitter attitude.

A true test of character of the individual that resigns is how professionally they conduct themselves during the period from the time they gave notice until their last day.  Simple expectations are as follows:  Show up on time, be productive, continue to contribute to the mission, strive to attain existing goals and remain part of the team with enthusiasm.  Remember: they are still paying you to work there.  A half hearted effort or short timer attitude is transparent and unwelcome.

As a manager, ensuring a smooth transition is essential to leaving the work relationship.  This is where sharing information is vital.  During my transition of a position as an assistant director after almost seventeen years in the department, I had acquired a wealth of information, data and contacts.  Much of this was stored on my computer.  I made sure to provide my boss and colleagues a cheat sheet of where to find specific information and a list of all my files.

During my tenure at this position, I was responsible for generating a quarterly departmental quality report that depicted the various performance improvement measures and QC benchmarks that were monitored, such as report turnaround time, technologist productivity, contrast reactions, MRI contraindications, etc.  This report was labor intensive and required many sources of data to complete.

Transition preparation is expected in a management role.  In training the designated person to take over this role, I printed the latest version of the report and marked it as a key-then attached the instructions on how to run computer generated reports to extrapolate the data available from the Radiology Information System.  Notations were made regarding which areas contributed to the reporting as well as their contact information.  Thus, when the report was due next quarter, there would be a clearly defined reference for the person to utilize to when creating the next report.

I have personally rehired technologists as well as a chief technologist back into a facility after their circumstances changed.  If they hadn’t made a graceful and professional exit-they would have never been re-considered for hire.

Nine years after I left resigning the right way, I am greeted and welcomed when I visit my old co-workers and boss. And I’ve called through-out the years and we’ve been able to share information and resources.  This certainly would never have been possible if I had left under different circumstances.  And as for that Ultrasound tech who left us high and dry, I’m sure you can imagine which box will be checked off on the question of re-hire.

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Interested to hear your thoughts and comments on the topic.