How to write a resignation letter

Are you thinking of quitting your job and going out in search of greener pastures? If so, you will want to carefully craft a resignation letter to let your boss know that you will be leaving.

Sure, you could just want into their office and announce your plans but that is really not the best way to handle things for two reasons.

  1. You don’t want to burn bridges.
  2. You want to make sure there is written record of you putting in your notice in case they tell you to pack your things on the spot. With written notice of a time period until your departure they will still have to pay you for the time you specified if they fire you on the spot.

You may think that they would never fire you – but people can get spiteful when you turn in a resignation letter. Once I was quitting a job and I put in a resignation letter saying that I was giving my two weeks notice. The next day I got called into the office and was told that they were aware that I had put in my notice for two weeks but that I could leave effective immediately but would still be paid for the two weeks in accordance with the law. What law – I don’t really know but I like it. I was not expecting to get asked to leave early. And I did get paid for those two weeks.

When you quit your job and give notice, the standard notice time (at least here in the US) is two weeks. You may or may not want to give them longer time. If you do not want to burn bridges, the longer notice you can give then the better that looks. And a lot of times when employers do reference checks at your old job they will ask how much notice you gave before you left.

Remember to keep your resignation letter professional. Do not tell them about all of the things that the company does wrong. Do not tell them how you do not like them or your co-workers or anything else. Think of it like when you are ending a romantic relationship – the whole “it’s not you, it’s me” excuse works wonders for leaving jobs.

When writing the resignation letter you do not need to make it a long letter. It needs to be simple. The important thing is that it says that you are leaving the company and when that will happen. But if you are feeling punchy about your new job, you can give them some additional info. Just remember that less is more in this case.

Here is an example of a short and to the point resignation letter:

Dear (insert name of your boss here),

Please accept this letter as my resignation from my position as (insert job title here).

My last day will be on (insert date), two weeks from today(or however long it is).

Regards,

(your name)

Now, you could also do something a little longer too. I like to think of this one as the “please give me a good reference” letter:

Dear (insert name of your boss here),

Please accept this letter as my resignation from (company name) effective Thursday, November 15th, 2007 (or the correct date).

Working for (insert company name) has been a wonderful experience. I could not ask for a better group of colleagues. I have grown in many ways here and will always treasure the opportunities provided for me by (insert company name).

I will be accepting a position as (position) with (company name). While I will miss my friends here at (company name), I feel that it is time for a new challenge and experience.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Best Wishes,

(your name)

There are also many other examples of resignation letters online. So, if you are not sure what to write, just do a search for some examples.

What type of undergrad degree should you have before getting an MBA?

It was not really all that long ago that I completed my studies for my MBA. I remember being pretty excited at the accomplishment and thinking that it meant great and wonderful things for my career.

At the time, I was working as a cost accountant at a Fortune 500 company. How did I land that job? Good question because my undergrad is not in Accounting. Or Finance. Or even Business. It is in English and Journalism, with a minor in PoliSci.

I thought that by getting an MBA I would actually be more qualified for jobs like the one that I had as well as opening up a field of opportunities that were a bit more, well, increasing in responsibility. I was hoping to snag an Financial Analyst job somewhere, but would take an accountant job.

Along the way, I have learned something that I wish someone had told me before I got my MBA.

It doesn’t matter. Employers want to see some type of business related undergrad degree, regardless of the MBA. I have had countless interviews where I have been told “If you only had a bachelor’s in accounting…”

The kicker here is that clearly I had to go back and take all of those undergrad accounting classes as prereqs for the MBA. And even if I didn’t, wouldn’t you as an employer want someone with no accounting background that could pass graduate level accounting classes?

Now sure, there are people who can get around this because they are networking to get a job. And honestly, networking is not so much about your job qualifications as it is about your social skills.

If I had to do it all over, I would have gotten a second bachelor’s in accounting, finance or business instead of the MBA.  So, if you are thinking of getting an MBA and don’t have a business background, you may want to think over your decision carefully.

In retrospect, I see that it is a good idea to really evaluate your motivations for getting the MBA. For me, it was mostly about increasing my salary. Not the best reason to get an MBA. And I knew that accounting and finance were not my passion, yet I went ahead and got the MBA anyways.

I learned a lot of valuable things though in my MBA studies. So, am I glad I got it? In a sense, yes. I just wish it had not been so costly because everything I learned I could have gotten from a $30 paperback from Barnes & Noble.

Tips on special gifts for mothers this Christmas

Only a few days before Christmas is no time to be trying to think up something to buy Mom. She didn’t wait until the weekend before a holiday to buy your gifts, and then just grab a gift card on the way over. If you care enough to give the very best, these four tips are sure to help bring a smile to Mom’s face every time.

Tip #1 – Put your time into it.

Don’t have two hours to spare for Mom? Well, then don’t bother, but you are missing out on an inexpensive way to greatly increase the value of your gift. One year, my girlfriend and I bought my mom a breadbox. It was white and simple, nothing exciting. Then, we took it out of the box, got out some paints and stencils, and went to work all over it in purples and blues. My Mom was genuinely delighted. She has done some moving and reducing since then, throwing away things that she didn’t need. Through all of her moves, this several-year-old breadbox has survived each downsizing.

More than anything else, mothers notice the time you put into something. Maybe it is because time is what they gave to you all throughout your childhood.

You don’t have to have any great skill. Make her a CD of songs you think she’ll like, paint her an already made pottery piece, make a book of coupons to do things like cleaning her garage or painting the porch, and when she calls to cash them in, show up!

Tip #2 – Put your talents into it. 

It’s possible that your mother has fifteen children. She might forget your birth order, and call you by the wrong name when you frustrate her to the point of confusion, but more than likely she can instantly call your face to mind when she picks up a picture you drew for her back in the third grade. There is just something about the old talent-infused gift that really gets mom’s attention.

Tip #3 – Think small. 

Bigger isn’t necessarily better. This isn’t her last holiday. It’s also no time for buying something that she needs, like a new pan or pillowcases. It’s one of those special holidays, meant to remind your mom that you love her, and why you love her. It doesn’t hurt to show her you were paying attention either. Does your mom overbuy your daughter Barbie accessories, because she always wanted a Barbie and never got one as a child? It’s not too late. She doesn’t need it, but who cares? It means you were listening.

Tip #4 – Don’t give her something you would buy your boss.

Moms like flowers. That’s what you wanted to hear, so there it is. And, honestly, most probably do, but here is something that they also like, to know they are special. We all do, and most of us realize that the easiest thing to give someone is flowers. Everyone likes flowers. So unless your Mom loves her garden more than anything else in this world, and you are buying them because you know there is nothing she loves more, don’t send her the most common gift known to the human race. It ranks up there right below gift cards as the most thoughtless gift you could possibly give her.

Remember, chances are you only have one Mother, so get her something this year that lets her know how unique and special she is to you.

Creating a price book

Something that is mentioned in what seems like every ‘getting your finances together’ type of book or blog that I read is creating a price book so that you can really take hold of the reigns when it comes to grocery shopping. Since I have read this so many times, I have decided that I should do this as well. But I am a procrastinator. Then I happened to go to Target right before going to the grocery store a couple of months ago. I went back to the food section to get a Ritter Sport chocolate bar since they are so hard to find and saw some other things that were on my grocery list. I didn’t get them though because I was going grocery shopping upon leaving Target. So, I get to the grocery store and guess what? Every item that was at Target was cheaper there than at the grocery store!  😯  That is what really got me to thinking I needed to get me a price book.

According to The Dollar Stretcher there  three steps to creating a price book.

  1. Start saving up your receipts.
  2. Go through all the store ads and copy down prices of items you regularly buy.
  3. Start taking your book with you to the store and adding to it as necessary.

For me, the problem is what am I going to put this in? Clearly a small little notebook would be the easiest in terms of size and portability. But it would be hard to update. That brings me to creating an excel document. Easy to update but not exactly small like I wanted. This decision is what has kept me from making a price book!

I have decided that excel is the way to go and I can print it out in any way that I want to make it small and compact. Plus I can just write on the print out any updates. Then when I get home I can update it and re-print for the next store shopping.

So, I have been saving my receipts for a couple of months now. I am pulling them all out to create this price book and I am wishing I had not been such a procrastinator. The descriptions on the receipts do not make it easy to tell what everything is!

So, now that I have a basic idea of what I want my price book to look like I will take my gathered up receipts and start plugging the info into excel. And I suspect it will go through a lot of updating over the next couple of months before I get everything in it that I want to have in it.

Stop self-defeating thoughts and realize your self-worth

It is easy to fall into a negative and depressing thought pattern when you are going through something particularly stressful. The problem is when this pattern becomes the norm because it slowly works on eroding our self-worth. An example of such a thought would be for me to think that my recent job loss is my fault be cause I’m a terrible person. I don’t think that, but it is a perfect example of a self-defeating thought.

If I were to think like that I would likely spiral down into a deep depression and consider myself worthless. See how these self-defeating thoughts are bad news? Cognitive therapy deals with the idea of all of this – that certain thought patterns lead to depression and worthlessness by attacking the self-esteem.

It is important to be able to recognize defeating thoughts as they surface. Most times we do not even realize we are having self-defeating thoughts as they appear so quickly. There are some typical types of self-defeating thoughts out there, so recognizing these and then replacing them with more positive and realistic thoughts is the key.

1. The “I should have…” or “I should”

I am guilty of this one myself. I wrote on here that I should have gone about asking for a salary increase differently. A more healthy way would have been to have said “Next time I want to go about it differently.” A Common example of this thought pattern is “I should have known better.” You’re just beating your self up when you say this! Instead say, “Next time I will know better.”

2. Overgeneralizing things

This is something that I think is fairly easy to pick up on. Granted I am quicker to notice it in others than in myself. Overgeneralizing in this instance means that you define your life on negative experiences. Examples are “I always ruin everything” “Everyone hates me” “I can never get it right” and so on. Sure, you may ruin some things and some people may dislike you and you may have a hard time with things sometimes. I seriously doubt it is always or all of the time. The key here is to realize that it is not ‘everything’ and just ’somethings’ that may be bad at the current time.

3. Assuming the worst

Just because someone around you is angry does not mean that they are angry at you. People that assume the worst see an angry friend and just assume “He’s mad at me.” The newsflash here is that it’s not about you. People get angry for a lot of reasons and the only time you should assume it is your fault is if you know you did something really bad to get someone angry. And we’re talking about beyond the shadow of a doubt you did something to make them mad. Otherwise just think that they must be upset. In my experience, if it is your fault you will certainly know it!

4. Dwelling on the negative

I used to be the victim of this a lot. I used to think of it as ‘looking for a reason to be upset.’ It is quite ridiculous when I think about it now, but I would do something like get a bad grade in a class and spend the rest of the day obsessing over it. The rest of my day would be tainted by me dwelling on something negative and I would totally miss all of the positives that were going on. I think this is a fairly common thought pattern though. We spend so much time thinking and brooding about the bad that we have no time to see the good. What did I learn? As hokey as it sounds, don’t sweat it because in the grand scheme of things it’s probably not that important. So maybe I got distracted and let the roast burn and we can’t eat it for dinner, that doesn’t mean we can’t go out for ice cream and to a movie and still have a good time. See?

5. Blaming someone else

Ever blamed someone else for your crappy lot in life? Yup, that’s the blaming thought pattern. Yes, your husband cheated on you and then walked out on you and the two kids. That sucks, it really does, but he is not responsible for the rest of your life. I am a firm believer in the saying ‘You create your own destiny’ and that means if your life sucks then you need to take ownership of that because its probably your fault. For instance, I am in a lot of debt and I say it is because my parents did not teach me about money but I was the one charging the credit cards up like there is no tomorrow. I did it and now I have to fix it.

6. Creating your own catastrophes

I have a good friend that emails me regularly with this phrase: “Why does this always happen to me?” The most recent email with this phrase was followed by the catastrophe of a 15 year old freezer dying and needing replaced. My friend has convinced herself that everything that happens in her life is a major catastrophe. As you can see, it is really not that serious. That is what you should remind your self if you start falling into this thought pattern.

7. I feel it, so I must be it

Saying that you feel like a worthless schmuck does not make you one. Feeling ashamed about something does not make you bad. Feeling inadequate at your job does not make you inadequate. Remember that the way that you feel is not the way things are. It sucks that you feel like a loser, but you need to remember that these are just negative thoughts trying to take hold of you and not reality.

Those are some of the more common self-defeating thought patterns. You may be able to recognize some of these in your self as well as some that I have not listed. I have found that journaling is a great way for me to become aware of these negative thought patterns and to tackle them head on. Whatever method you use, you are sure to being seeing things in a different light once you can rid your self of self-defeating thoughts.

Is your resume working for you? Mine wasn’t.

Since being newly unemployed I have had the time to tinker with my resume to make sure that it is working its magic for me when I send it out to a prospective employer. I have a Bachelor’s in Journalism so I thought my resume was pretty darn spiffy to begin with, but I thought a little sprucing up couldn’t hurt it. After a little research I discovered something. My spiffy resume was not so spiffy. Talk about a blow to the ego! No matter, because now I am armed with info and can spruce it up to make sure I can land an awesome job. Well, at least the interview that is!

When I was getting ready to tweak my resume I did a search for keywords that I should make sure are on there. With so many computers scanning resumes for keywords these days it is easy to get left out regardless of your qualifications.

One of the first valuable bits of information I came to were the top keywords that actually weaken your resume.  And don’t you know that I had some of them on my resume!

  • Vague wording is something that weakens your resume. Examples include: assist, support and contribute. The problem  is that these are not descriptive enough.
  • Saying you “effectively” or “successfully” did something as opposed to stating exactly what that success was. Sometimes you may even have it spelled out but add in the “successfully” part which can be both redundant and confusing.
  • Listing out things that you are “responsible for.” Again this is a telling and not showing your successes. Instead of saying “responsible for phone coverage” it would look much better to say “answered 15 line phone” or something similar.
  • Confusing the reader with fancy words or buzzwords. A lot of times you can get a HR person that has no idea what your resume is talking about. I have actually had this happen before. What a nightmare!

On the flipside of keywords and resumes I also found an article about keywords that strengthen your resume. I am ashamed to say that previously I only had one of these on my resume.

  • Teamwork. People love to hear that you can play well with others. And it also means to employers that you can be counted on to pick up the slack if someone else on the “team” is falling behind.
  •  Flexibility. They want to know that you are willing to wear many hats. It’s like multi-tasking, only with more hats.
  • Detail-oriented. Employers like it when you are anal and super organized. It means you can be counted on to get things done without someone having to stand over your shoulder.
  • Self-motivated. Employers want to see that you will take the initiative and seek out work without waiting for it to be handed to you. I think this goes with flexibility as this kind of person will wear many hats.

 

25 Ways to Not Get That Job Offer

I recently got an “interview packet” from a recruiter at a staffing agency. The packet contained a lot of common sense stuff, like dress professional when you go to a job interview and don’t be late for your interview and so on. While most of the stuff in the packet was common sense, I did pull out this nugget of info from the packets. Basically, these are surefire ways to NOT get a job. So, if you find yourself doing any of these things in a job interview, you might want to not do them…

25 WAYS CANDIDATES STRIKE OUT WHEN INTERVIEWING

A recent survey of 153 companies, who were questioned as to why they did not hire a qualified applicant, resulted in the following answers:

  1. Poor personal appearance
  2. Lack of interest and enthusiasm
  3. Over-emphasis on money
  4. Criticism of past employers
  5. Failure to have good eye contact with interviewer
  6. Limp, “dead fish” handshake
  7. Late for the interview
  8. Failure to express appreciation for interviewer’s time
  9. Does not ask enough detailed questions about position
  10. Lacks sufficient detail when responding to questions asked by the interviewer
  11. Overbearing, over-aggressive, conceited “know-it-all” complex
  12. Inability to express oneself clearly
  13. Lack of planning for career; no purpose or goals
  14. Lack of confidence, ill at ease
  15. Lack of factual information
  16. Lack of manners, courtesy
  17. Lack of maturity
  18. Lack of vitality
  19. Indecisive
  20. Merely shopping around
  21. Cynical
  22. Lacks a strong work ethic
  23. Intolerant
  24. Inability to take criticism/not open to being mentored
  25. High pressure type

And that is the complete list from the packet. There is no source listed in my packet, so I am not exactly sure when this study was done, who did it and so on. Hopefully I am not breaking any copyright infringement laws posting it without a credit.

In my experience, employers won’t hire you if they see that you have moved around too much for their liking as well.

Got any tips to add?