It’s never fun to leave a role, but doing it remotely adds new layers of complexity. Below are three tips for making the process as seamless and pleasant as possible, both for you and for the team you’re leaving behind.
1. Prepare Your Reasons Why
For starters, most managers will ask why when you tell them you’re resigning, so it’s good to have a canned answer. Being truthful is the best policy, particularly if there’s anything they can do to make you stay or come back in the future.
For some people, leaving a job can be a time to air all their past grievances, but this is usually not too helpful and leaves a sour taste in the manager’s throat, not ideal if you may need them for a reference one day.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity for helpful feedback that’s easier to give on the way out, which you should be prepared to provide close to your leaving date, so it doesn’t color your last days if some of it is hard to hear. Like all good feedback, it should be specific, actionable, and delivered kindly.
2. Face-to-Face if You Can
This isn’t the time for asynchronous communication. Set up a 1:1 and lead with the resignation; there’s no point beating around the bush.
It’s great if you have a plan for how you’ll close out your duties, but if your manager is really taken aback or if you’re close, they may need time to process before diving into the practicalities.
3. Get Your Goodbyes In
You don’t want people you only communicated with via work email to lose your contact details!
While closing out your two weeks (or in advance if you think your job will end immediately upon resignation), plan who you’d like to stay in touch with and start preparing your individual goodbye emails, as well as how you’d like to stay in touch in the future, e.g. personal email, LinkedIn, text.
About the Author
McKenna Sweazey is a remote and hybrid management author and a VP of marketing at Silicon Valley data start up. Having spent years working in global organizations, managing remote teams around the world, she’s spent years refining her management skills to be as effective in person as from 6,000 miles away.