Resigning with Dignity – How to Leave Without Damaging Your Career

There’s no denying that the Life Science industry is constantly evolving with new discoveries and foci to work on. This speed of change means that you may find the job you were initially hired to do has changed into something you no longer want and so resigning is the only way forward. Sadly, many people use poor judgement when resigning and air gripes and complaints in their resignation, only to regret it later when they find themselves working with the same colleagues in a new role. Rather than being that person, use our advice and resign with dignity so that your career can flourish with no skeletons in the closet.

Think About Whether It’s the Right Time to Resign

Before you ditch your job, take a moment to work out whether it really is the right time to resign or not. You may be feeling frustrated or overlooked, but are there any steps you can take in work to remedy this? Interestingly, 80% of employees say that they now regret quitting during The Great Resignation and wish they had stayed where they were. If this is a possibility, it may be time to work on your current role and reevaluate in a specified timeframe so that you don’t experience regret by moving too fast.

Be Honest but Remain Professional

Many people see their resignation letter as a method to share everything that made them unhappy, including personal details about things that have happened during their employment.  This is not what a resignation letter is for.  Here is an example of a professional resignation letter:


{Your  Supervisor},

This letter is to inform you that I am tendering my resignation to {YOUR COMPANY} effective today. 

In accordance with the level of professionalism that you and {YOUR COMPANY} deserve, I commit to continue my employment for a period of two weeks, based entirely on your needs. 

I appreciate the work we have been able to accomplish together at {YOUR COMPANY} but I have now made a commitment to another organization and plan to begin with them in two weeks.

Know that it is my intention to work diligently with you to assist in any transition planning, knowledge sharing or other activities where you feel I can add value.

I look forward to your thoughts on my transition as I am eager to leave on the most positive note possible.

Best regards,

{Your Name}

{Your  Signature}

While it can be helpful to provide a verbal explanation for your resignation if asked or during a formal exit interview, it is unwise to be rude or excessive. Instead, share things that you have raised with your managers that haven’t changed for you if appropriate, the merits your exit will have on your career and always maintain a professional and courteous tone. It’s also wise to share your gratitude for the opportunities you were given as this provides the most balanced overview for HR to act on.

Provide a Quality Handover

Once your resignation is in, you may find yourself wishing the days away, but don’t let it stop you from doing your job. Take time to tie up all the loose ends and provide your boss and team with a quality handover so that your departure doesn’t stop the business from functioning. There is nothing worse than being badly thought of when you leave one employment, so putting in the effort now will help you to maintain a positive reputation long after you have left.

Show Respect to Your Colleagues and Managers

Sadly, some people choose to spend their notice period dealing with old arguments and bad feelings and telling everyone exactly what they think of them. We strongly urge you to avoid this at all costs, even if you have been unhappy in your role. Employers and colleagues will be providing references about you and being able to call on them in the future will be important when you continue to progress in your career. Remain pleasant, polite, and gracious right until the very end of your employment!

Leave So That You Can Come Back

Our final snippet of advice is that you should always leave an employer in such a way that you can return to them in the future. The life science industry is relatively small and the only reputation that you want to precede you is one that is positive. This means taking positive steps towards your new job and remembering not to share any negative comments among colleagues or via your social media accounts, no matter how strongly you feel.

Let GeneCoda® Support Your Next Steps

If you are a seasoned executive and keen to find new employment in the life science industry but don’t know where to start, get in touch with the GeneCoda® team today! We will work with you to help locate an employment situation that works for your needs so that you can look forward to going to work every day!