August 10, 2020

What To Do When You’re Ready to Quit Public Accounting

What to do, what to do.

As summer promo’s and raises (or lack thereof) loom on the horizon, you may or may not be on the hunt for a new job. If you are, great, keep reading. If you’re not that’s swell too but I encourage you to use this as a reference when the time comes. What I do want to talk about is how to resign from a job. Because if I’ve seen anything on my side of the HR table, it’s that you accountants can be rough around the edges come Hugh Grant time.


Listen, I don’t know what your recruiters tell you, but here’s what you need to know:

Respect your colleagues and boss – So you get the call you’ve been working towards – XYZ Company wants to hire you. Offer is for better money, hours, and potential. You’re on board. Great – now what?

When you’re done with your victory dance in the parking lot, the people you should break the news to is your engagement team. After all, they are the ones that will be forced to immediately absorb your departure. You shared long hours and an infinite number of other unfortunate circumstances and the whole “in the trenches” camaraderie is flushed away with your decision to leave. The best way to explain this situation to them is to be honest – you’re moving on to a better situation and you’re sorry that this puts more work on their plate but it’s not personal.

Spread the word to your mentor and mentees. It is vital to protect these professionally personal relationships. Chances are your mentors know why you’re leaving; hell, they might have even encouraged you to look outside the firm. Include them on your final “farewell” email, but be sure to contact them on a personal level as well. Thank them for their help in shaping your career.

Your resignation letter should be short and sweet. Keep the feelings, personal jabs, and wisecracks out of the email. Here’s an example:

Dear Caleb Newquist,

As of today, (May 12, 2010) I am officially notifying you of my resignation. I am prepared to work for two weeks from this date, ending on (May 26, 2010). I will do whatever it takes from today until that date to make my departure as smooth as possible.

I sincerely hope to continue the professional, and more importantly personal, relationships I have developed in my time at ABC. I hope that this parting can be accomplished without hurting said relationships.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Sincerely,

Daniel Braddock

Short and sweet. Should you have the need to express personal messages to TPTB, do so in a separate email. Your resignation letter is nothing more than a means to an end.

Whatever you do, don’t burn the bridges – The accounting world is smaller than you might think. Chances are when you leave your current firm you will consider a number of your former colleagues to be current friends. Keep your farewell email short and genuine, but also professional. Whatever you do, don’t burn bridges now. You have no idea when the next happy hour will turn into a professional opportunity.

What to do, what to do. As summer promo’s and raises (or lack thereof) loom on the horizon, you may or may not be on the hunt for a new job. If you are, great, keep reading. If you’re not that’s swell too but I encourage you to use this as a reference when the time comes. What I do want to talk about is how to resign from a job. Because if I’ve seen anything on my side of the HR table, it's that you accountants can be rough around the edges come Hugh Grant time. Listen, I don’t know what your recruiters tell you, but here’s what you need to know: Respect your colleagues and boss – So you get the call you’ve been working towards – XYZ Company wants to hire you. Offer is for better money, hours, and potential. You’re on board. Great – now what? When you’re done with your victory dance in the parking lot, the people you should break the news to is your engagement team. After all, they are the ones that will be forced to immediately absorb your departure. You shared long hours and an infinite number of other unfortunate circumstances and the whole “in the trenches” camaraderie is flushed away with your decision to leave. The best way to explain this situation to them is to be honest – you’re moving on to a better situation and you’re sorry that this puts more work on their plate but it’s not personal. Spread the word to your mentor and mentees. It is vital to protect these professionally personal relationships. Chances are your mentors know why you’re leaving; hell, they might have even encouraged you to look outside the firm. Include them on your final “farewell” email, but be sure to contact them on a personal level as well. Thank them for their help in shaping your career. Your resignation letter should be short and sweet. Keep the feelings, personal jabs, and wisecracks out of the email. Here’s an example:

Dear Caleb Newquist, As of today, (May 12, 2010) I am officially notifying you of my resignation. I am prepared to work for two weeks from this date, ending on (May 26, 2010). I will do whatever it takes from today until that date to make my departure as smooth as possible. I sincerely hope to continue the professional, and more importantly personal, relationships I have developed in my time at ABC. I hope that this parting can be accomplished without hurting said relationships. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Sincerely, Daniel Braddock

Short and sweet. Should you have the need to express personal messages to TPTB, do so in a separate email. Your resignation letter is nothing more than a means to an end. Whatever you do, don’t burn the bridges – The accounting world is smaller than you might think. Chances are when you leave your current firm you will consider a number of your former colleagues to be current friends. Keep your farewell email short and genuine, but also professional. Whatever you do, don’t burn bridges now. You have no idea when the next happy hour will turn into a professional opportunity.

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