Four Resignation Fails to Avoid at all Costs

Okay, we’ve all been there. Fallen out of love with a role for whatever reason, and then simply couldn’t wait to get out of the place.

But you never know what’s around the corner so it’s wise to handle your part in the equation with grace and poise.  

Just this month I heard two stories of women who had resigned to move onto other roles and at the last minute the new role was pulled.  Yes, the opportunity dried up right before it eventuated.

Stressful indeed.  

Fortunately for one, she was able to go back to her old company and they welcomed her back with open arms.

Which begs the questions -

"what if either of them had behaved in a less than gracious way?"  

So here are four resignation fails that you want to avoid at all costs - because you never really truly know what's just around the corner.

Fail #1: The Farewell Speech Roast - where the entire team gathers together to farewell you as you head onto shinier shores and all you do is make fun of or roast your former boss and colleagues in the process.  

The result?  That sacred bond of trust is burned.  Even if nothing bad happens such as the role being pulled, you never know if you may run across them again in a new situation or perhaps need them to act as referee.  Definitely pull your punches. This is not the time and place for frank and fearless honesty.

Fail #2: The Lazy Last Month on the Job - you take long lunches, let deadlines slide, you’re playing least in sight 50% of the time and when you are around it looks like all you do is lounge around corridors and go for coffee.

Do behave professionally and at the very least, give the impression of remaining engaged.  If you’re lucky enough to be walked (and yes you do need to prepare for that) then this simply won't matter. But if you give your notice period, or longer, then you need to act in a professional manner the entire time. Elvis may have left the building but people are still judging your last weeks in the role.  And you simply never know.

Fail #3: The Resignation Letter Lambast -This is not the time to lambast the company in writing about all the things you think they did wrong.

Handle with care.   Keep it short, sweet and to the facts. If there is an issue that needs dealing with, get professional advice from Fair Work Australia or a legal professional.  After all, the person who cares most about your career is you. So look after it.

Fail #4: And finally - The Social Media Spray.   Going out in blaze of glory on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn with messages in your final days such as “Farewell B*tches - can’t wait to get out of here!” may seem funny at the time, but is simply NOT appropriate.  DO NOT EVER be tempted.

I’ve heard of one instance where the perpetrator’s old colleagues were her friends on Facebook and they were really offended with the negative inferences about them in three or four unprofessional posts and shares. Unfortunately for her, the new role was pulled and she then needed the support of her offended colleagues. Worse, a friend thought the "farewell B's" share was funny so reshared the original post, and the post went far further than originally imagined!

Keep a lid on it. While these posts might seem funny at the time, in an industry or profession that’s small, you just never know when you are going to come across your old boss/peers again.

So how do you handle your resignation?

Professionally. With grace, poise and .... even more professionalism. 

Celebrate your (and the team's) achievements while you were in the role.

Give credit where credit is due.

And wish everyone all the best with their future endeavours.

If you must continue the resignation via social media - take a leaf out of the following public resignation notes on LinkedIn - Kylie Goodwin and Raechelle McLean.

Raechelle McLean Resignation Email 2 Screenshot 2017-10-08 16.11.09.png
Raechelle McLean LinkedIn resignation email Screenshot 2017-10-08 16.25.55.png

Raechelle's tips?

  • Never bag the company.
  • If you cannot say something nice then say nothing - don't become an unnecessary target.
  • Australia is SMALL...someone always knows someone, so remain professional.
  • And finally be ALWAYS learn something in a role, even in a role that wasn't your ideal

Kylie Goodwin's  highly professional resignation - I love the way she was able to weave in some wins and achievements with demonstrable measurable outcomes as well.

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

6 Signs That you need to Take your Personal LinkedIn Strategy Far More Seriously

Be aware of what your LinkedIn profile says about you without you even knowing

Did you know that women dominate every social media platform except one? Guess which one. Yes you are right - LinkedIn.


Did you also know that some organisations are making decisions about whether or not to interview you based solely on your LinkedIn profile?   I heard this interesting (and rather scary) fact as I met with clients from a major corporate in the Melbourne CBD.  And while I was a little taken aback at the supposed “unfairness” i.e. you didn’t even know you were in the running for the role and you were passed over without being able to stun them with your amazing new CV or wow them with your polished interview techniques, I’m actually not surprised.  

So if recruiters and others are able to make assessments about your suitability for a role based solely on your LinkedIn profile - perhaps it's time that you got your house in order and your profile into professional gear.  Here are the big 6 signs that you need to do some work.

1.     No photo 

This says straight up front that you are uncomfortable in a modern social media environment and don't really want to be recognised.   Gone are the days when not having a photo was simply a holdover from not wanting to be identified on RSVP (that "old" dating site - is it still around?).  Basically, if you don’t have a professional photo on your profile it looks like you are timid or trying to hide something.  

There is the exception to the rule – social media stalkers are real. For those in roles where protecting your identity is an issue then please disregard my suggestion re a photo.  However, if its purely because you are shy or nervous around social media – then its probably time to take a teaspoon full of cement and get with the program.

2.     Photo looks like a laptop selfie or that you’d rather be anywhere else but at work

With a few exceptions such as creative types, outdoor types and entertainers (where a creative photo actually sells "brand you") then remember that the following types of images are better suited to Facebook:

  • the home job selfie,
  • the pic of you holding a fish you just caught on holidays, or maybe
  • the glamour shot you had taken for your hubby last year.

  Think of this as your professional CV summary. Your photo should represent you - professionally.

3.     Too few contacts


Many sources say that the magic number for contacts on LinkedIn is 500+. I suspect this is purely for mechanical reasons (LinkedIn doesn’t publish the specific number once you bypass 500) and it means you are perceived as "well connected"

For those selling services and utilising LinkedIn as a leverage point commercially I’ve heard that the “magic number” is 3000+

Whatever the actual sweet spot is,  if you’re in a regular role that’s not about sales, my best guess is it needs to be more than 400 but less than 2000 – especially if you have been in business for 10 years or so.  

Contacts correlates with your ability to network in a social online environment. In this modern era with information and connection as valued currencies, then your number of contacts says a lot about you.   But unless you are selling stuff to people then you don’t want it to look like you spend all day on LinkedIn either.  It's actually pretty easy to load your email contacts these days. Just be sure to personalise your contact note (unless you know someone really well) and you'll be fine.

4.     Too few endorsements

If you want to connect with me and send me an invitation - imagine for a moment that I can’t remember exactly when I met you so I open your profile to check you out and jog my memory. Your credibility drops to zilch if you have no endorsements.  How do you grow endorsements? Networking of course. And making sure that your settings allow endorsements. If you are connected with someone on LinkedIn and you know they do good work around Stakeholder Management –why not endorse them?  And it's highly likely they’ll return the favour and endorse you for something you've got listed in your endorsement settings.

5.      No current recommendations  

Now this might be because you are busy, but when you remember that your profile is in someway the modern shop-front, public version of your resume, then keep it up to date. As soon as you finish a big project or significant piece of work, ask for a recommendation. Don’t wait til you are changing roles when you want to update your CV. Get it done while the quality of your work is front of mind.  That way when you do get to update your CV you are on the front foot with remembering what it was that was a significant achievement in the past year.  By the way – quarterly or half yearly updates of your CV are highly recommended in any case.

6.     Not active

Remember, social networking is social. It's just on a different platform.  You need to be active to be ranked by LinkedIn and "float" to the top of search criteria. LinkedIn even provide rankings for you to see how you are doing in terms of activity.  

Share, like, comment, connect and email away  - and here is a basic plan to get you started.

  • Work out what it is you stand for professionally - great customer service, strategy, leadership, wellness and/or success,
  • Like what others in your network share - as a way of connecting socially or as a way to enhance what you stand for,
  • Share links to articles  that inspire you professionally (with your own summary for time poor colleagues) once or twice a week,
  • Get involved in a discussion once a week - so comment and acknowledge you value wha't others have shared, add your insights,
  • Build your network - once a week get online and actively look for others in your network to connect with, 
  •  Don’t be shy. You won’t break the internet if you make a mistake.  Go on! You know you want to.

There are many more things you can do but this LinkedIn top tidy will stand you in good stead and keep you on the front foot.    LinkedIn is simply a tool in your professional tool kit that you will want to keep up to date. Given it dovetails really nicely in with your CV development and professional connection keeping, it won’t be a waste of time, especially when you do change roles.

One proviso – cat photos or videos or pics of friends and family are not really suited for this forum just yet. I’m sure the lines will be blurred one day, but right now, LinkedIn represents a platform you can professionally leverage and position yourself.  Don’t mix the personal and professional too much, too soon.

But most importantly, have fun. I call it the LinkedIn game. What about you?

Vive la révolution! 

  • I am the creator of The Ambition Revolution – the science and  art of amping smart and savvy. 

  • I mentor ambitious professionals to ensure they remain strategic, agile and focused on the bigger game. 

  • I also work with organisations who are trying to increase the profile of women in leadership, but struggling to do so.


Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months