WHEN leaving an employer, it is best to make a graceful exit, no matter how much you dislike your supervisor, peers or the company. Doing so is best for your reputation in the long term and you never know who you might cross paths with in the future.

Here are a few tips on how to resign properly:

Talk to your supervisor

Before you submit a formal resignation letter, have a talk with your supervisor(s). Explain your reasons for leaving the job and assure them that you will make the transition as smooth as possible.

Also agree on how much notice you should provide. In most cases, your supervisor will wish you luck and offer you any help you might need. He might even provide some useful company-specific information on how to resign.

Keep your cool

In some instances, your supervisor or others in your company might react badly to your resignation. They might behave rudely and display other behaviour that is not appropriate.

Sometimes they might try to make you feel guilty about leaving. Remember that you are not doing anything wrong by leaving the company and there is no reason to feel guilty.

Also keep in mind that such a reaction is not good practice. Try to maintain your composure and be professional, even if your employer is not.

Sort out the formalities

Check your employment contract and company policy, to have a clear idea of what formalities need to be taken care of.

You should be clear on your expected entitlements, such as expense claims, unused vacation/sick leave and other benefits you should receive. For many of these you will typically receive monetary compensation on a pro-rata basis.

Get in touch with your Human Resources department and give them a formal resignation letter. Make sure to mention your last day of work and to ask them to confirm all formalities you need to go through and your entitlements/dues.

Keep up the good work

Try to spend your last days in the company as though you were not leaving. In other words, keep your standard of work at the same level and complete all outstanding assignments (as far as possible)

Avoid burning any bridges and maintain good relations with people at work. Get the contact details of people you want to stay in touch with and maintain as part of your network.

Consider counter-offers

Your employer might say that they do not want to lose you and are willing to provide sweeteners (such as a better salary or a change of role/job scope).

In this case, accept the offer only if you think it is very lucrative/attractive. Studies have shown that employees who accept counter-offers typically leave within a year (or might be asked to leave, as well).

This is because, although you might stay back, you have made it clear to your employer that you are not committed to the organisation.

Use these pointers to resign gracefully and leave your colleagues with the impression that you were professional to the very end of your tenure with the company.

Article by Amit Puri, managing consultant with Sandbox Advisors, a firm that helps people with careers, job search and training in Singapore. For more information, visit www.sandboxadvisors.com