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Finally! You got the call and now you’re ready to say hello to that dream administration job? Lots to do, lots to look forward to as you prepare for that rapidly approaching Monday morning start date. Oh…but there’s also that resignation letter and that moment when you must sit down with your current boss and tell him you’re submitting your resignation. The sooner you get that awkward moment out of the way, the sooner you can fully relish in your new future. A. Harrison Barnes, career coach and founder of says it’s not only the responsible thing to do, but burning bridges is never classy. Part ways with grace. Odds are, it’s going to be a bit awkward, but if you value the relationship you’ve built over time with your current employer, you can resign with no hard feelings. Besides, you never know when you’ll cross paths again. Do you really want that boss who afforded you his time and knowledge to avoid you in a restaurant? Even if you didn’t have the best of relationships with your direct report, you do have an obligation to the company as a whole.

So…what’s the first thing you should do? A. Harrison Barnes says compiling your resignation letter is important. In fact, it will have a lot in common with the resume you submitted when you hired in. Reiterate your accomplishments while in the company’s employ, the appreciation for the opportunity to have worked with the company and also, highlight those experiences that served you well not only while employed with the company, but those that made you better in your career.

If possible, and sometimes it’s even in an employment contract you signed, you will need to provide thirty days notice. Barnes says many of the employers on recognize the importance of working out a notice and in fact will see that as strength. After all, if you care enough about those you’re leaving behind, you’ll extend the same courtesy should the day come you ever leave your new job. Whether or not it’s in your contract, you should try to allow a month if possible. At the least, two weeks notice should be given.

In the resignation letter, be sure your final day is included and briefly explain your reasons for leaving. A simple, “I have been offered another position that I have chosen to take” should suffice. It’s a fine line, though. Be careful not to say you’ve been offered a better position. It won’t bode well with your current employer. Surely he knows you wouldn’t be leaving for a worse position, right? You can even add something along the lines of, “It was an incredibly difficult decision”. You will have the opportunity to discuss this, should you choose, when you deliver the letter.

Once you’re face to face with your current boss, the last thing you want to do is put him on the defense. Now is simply not the time to remind him that the raise that was promised and never came through might have kept you onboard. Instead, be gracious and respectful. If he asks if it’s about the raise that never came through or any other issues that he’s wondering about, a simple, “That might have been a small deciding factor, but it was a combination of reasons”.

Finally, be sure to express your intent on providing any assistance to the one who’s taking your place before your last day. If possible and if for no other reason of it being good karma, offer your replacement your email address should questions come up over the next few weeks as he’s learning to fill your shoes.

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