Congratulations! You have secured a new job and are eager to start, however, you’re now faced with the difficult task of giving your resignation. So, what are the best steps to take when making your announcement? When resigning from a position it is important to remember that courtesy, etiquette, and professionalism go a long way. As much as you might like to tell your boss and co-workers how you really feel, remember that burning bridges can hinder your career in the future. You never know when or where you will run into an old manager or coworker. Consider the following guidelines we have outlined to help you make a smooth transition from your current employer to your next.

Timing: While there is never a good time to give your resignation, you should approach your manager when you feel the timing is appropriate. Consider the time of day, day of the week, and how busy your manager appears to be. Approaching them on their lunch break, in between meetings, or while they are working on a deadline may not be the best choice. If possible, it is best to wait until Friday afternoon to give your resignation. It will allow both you and your employer to regroup over the weekend before entering your last two weeks of work.

Give enough notice: The traditional rule of thumb is to give a two week notice. Giving your employer a standard notice reflects well upon your character and gives them plenty of time to prepare for your departure allowing for a smooth transition.

Hiring a replacement: Volunteer to help your current employer find and train your replacement. A good way to assist with training is to have your job duties and procedures organized and documented in detail. This will give the new employee and your current employer a reference to utilize if they have any questions after you have left.

Tie up loose ends: Try to complete as much outstanding work as you can during your notice period. If you have urgent projects and tasks that need to be delegated to other employees or your replacement, make a detailed list and give it to your manager. Inform your contacts and clients that you are leaving and introduce them to whomever will be their new contact.

Your last day. Continue to be a contributing member of the team until your leave on your last day. Slacking off and disappearing during the day is not professional and will leave a poor last impression. Leave no doubt in your employer’s mind that you are an exceptional employee. Before walking out the door for the last time, thank your employer and co-workers. Be sure to keep contact information for managers and co-workers that you want to keep as part of your network.

The impression you leave behind after giving your resignation can strongly influence the kind of reference you receive. Ensure that you will maintain your reputation as a trustworthy and considerate professional by resigning with class. Remember, you never know who you may run into in the future.