Should I leave my current job on site

The 1 × 1 of termination: how do I terminate correctly?

There can be many different reasons for a termination. In many cases, it can be associated with negative feelings and people know that the near future is likely to bring some changes. In this article, we'll show you what to look out for when you've actually decided to cancel. We also clarify legal aspects relating to termination and deadlines.

8 tips for a professional termination

With your decision to terminate it is clear that you have to talk to your manager and communicate your decision - there is no getting around it. So that nothing goes wrong with your important project, we will show you how to say goodbye to your old job with greatness and decency and what you should rather avoid. Here are helpful tips on how to terminate properly and professionally.

1. Prepare yourself well

The decision to terminate must be carefully considered and taken calmly. Once you are sure that you have made the right decision, you need to prepare comprehensively for it. It is advisable to read the employment contract again carefully and to find out about all framework conditions such as notice periods, desired notice of termination or other formal rules.

"It was very difficult for me to hand over my resignation to my superiors." - Employer evaluation at MTH Retail Group (Austria)

2. Choose the right time

The time of the conversation in which you communicate your decision should be chosen well. Because this should not happen spontaneously, between the door and the hinge, and shortly after the annual planning meeting is probably not the right time for it. Think about which time might be the best and ask your manager to actually take time for you and your important concern. It's best to have the conversation undisturbed and in a relaxed atmosphere - that's the best way to get this message across.

"The implementation of a higher salary was only addressed in the course of the termination." - Employer evaluation at iSi Automotive Austria GmbH

3. Leave the anger behind you

We advise against terminating the employment relationship with allegations and annoyance. That won't help you either personally or professionally. Anyone who quits with affect or even with great anger leaves negative associations. Therefore our tip: keep calm and leave the anger behind. You can't change anything that happened anyway. Prepare appropriate formulations beforehand and explain the reasons for your termination without sliding into allegations. Even if you won't be working in this place any longer, it's important to make a good impression.

"Oh yes, and unfortunately my resignation did not go smoothly either." - employer evaluation at pluss Personalmanagement GmbH

4. Initiate your colleagues

When the ways part, it's time to say goodbye properly. As far as possible, you shouldn't turn your back on your company or your colleagues in anger - just in your own interest. Because one thing is certain: you always see yourself twice in life. Perhaps you will meet your current colleague in your next job as a cooperation partner. Do not let the radio do the talking for you, but let your colleagues know as soon as possible. How you convey the message - whether over lunch or in the form of a circular email - is entirely up to you.

"If I were to leave the company, I would miss my colleagues very much." - Employer rating from beivoestalpine AG

5. Leave your workplace responsible

Going on good terms is the motto. Help prepare the field for your successor as well as possible: Filing important documents properly or writing helpful checklists. So nothing stands in the way of a smooth handover. You will be remembered well with a confident finish. Your positive work attitude will certainly also be reflected in your job reference.

"My environment congratulated me when I finally quit." - Employer rating at DATEV eG

6. Practice your dismissal interview

As mentioned earlier, good preparation is very important. The termination interview should be well thought out in advance so that you appear confident and competent. A tip: do a thorough study of what you want to say and go over it a few times in front of the mirror at home.

It is also important that you come up with the most compelling reason and communicate it openly and honestly. It is important here to never lose the appreciative tone. If your counterpart wants to negotiate and go into more detail about the reasons for your decision, it is perfectly okay to ask to postpone this to another point in time. After all, you've just announced your resignation and it's okay if you want to let it take effect first.

"For me, the long way to work was the reason for my resignation." - employer evaluation at Projekt Spielberg GmbH & Co KG

7. Submit your cancellation in writing

After you have finished the conversation, you should also submit a written notice of termination, which you must provide with your signature. Only then is the termination effective. It is also important to know that an email alone is not enough. Create a document in which you communicate your decision. If you decide to cancel by post, you should take into account the time it takes for the letter to reach the recipient. To be on the safe side, you can send your cancellation by registered mail. The notice period only begins when the notice of termination has been received by the employer.

In summary, your letter of resignation should contain the following:

  • Name and address of you as the sender in the header
  • Company name and full address of your employer
  • The current date
  • A subject line with the word "termination"
  • A suitable paragraph to formulate the termination
  • Your signature

You can find a sample letter of termination here.

8. Insist on your job reference

In the letter of resignation mentioned above, you can also insist on a job reference. Your employer is obliged to only use formulations that are also conducive to the job. It's a good idea to stay engaged until your last day at work. You will see your efforts will be reflected in your testimony.

These notice periods apply

Throwing everything up overnight, of course, is not possible. This is where the topic of notice periods comes into play, which you should definitely consider. Errors in termination can cost a lot of money in an emergency. What exactly is it like? Which deadlines do you have to keep exactly? We'll tell you what is important when you say goodbye to your employer and when you should hand in your resignation.

Notice periods in Germany

In Germany, employees can terminate on the 15th or the last day of the month with a notice period of four weeks, unless the contract provides for other regulations. Shorter deadlines are only permitted for temporary workers (max. Three months' employment) and for companies with a maximum of 20 employees. If you cancel during the probationary period, different notice periods apply. After the trial period has expired, a notice period of four weeks applies, unless otherwise agreed in the service contract.[1] 

Notice periods in Austria

As an employee, you can only terminate a permanent employment contract. If you have a fixed-term employment relationship, you can only terminate the contract if you have agreed this with your employer. The respective deadlines and dates for salaried employees are based on the Salaried Employees Act (AngG).

The notice period for you as an employee is usually one month. Exceptions apply if your service contract or collective agreement provides for a different regulation. It is common, for example, that executives have to comply with a notice period of three or six months. Your period of notice as an employee may be extended by the employer to a maximum of six months - however, the period to be observed by the employee may not be shorter than the notice period agreed with him.[2] During an agreed trial period (duration: a maximum of one month, three months for apprentices) you can terminate your employment relationship at any time without notice.[3]

When you quit as a worker

The notice period for you as a worker (if you are subject to the trade regulations) is usually 14 days.[4] That means you have two weeks to think about your decision. But be careful: the 14-day notice period can be changed to your disadvantage in the collective agreement, in a works agreement or in an individual contract. The important thing is: the notice period for you as an employee must be the same as for the employer. So don't be fooled.

Notice periods in Switzerland

The statutory notice period is one month in the first year, two months up to the ninth year of employment and three months thereafter. As always: Exceptions apply if the notice periods in the collective employment contract (GAV) have been regulated differently. Other regulations also apply to termination during the probationary period. During this period, seven days' notice must be observed.[5] You can cancel at the end of each month, unless otherwise contractually agreed. Provided that all other eligibility requirements are met, an employee in Switzerland (unlike in Austria or Germany, for example) is then entitled to unemployment benefit without a blocking period if he voluntarily resigns.[6] Only reductions in daily allowance are possible in the event of self-inflicted unemployment.

More information on notice periods

Negative consequences if the notice periods are not observed

Why is compliance with the notice period so important? Failure to adhere to the set deadlines and turn your back on the company early on can have negative consequences. For example, you can lose your entitlement to special payments or holiday compensation for the current year. Therefore, make sure that your termination takes place in accordance with.

More about termination

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[6] Observer work