Resignation Advice for Transitioning Jobs
Avoid leaving an employer in the wrong way, as it can create bad feelings, recriminations and even a bad reference. No matter how you feel at the time, resign professionally using correct etiquette, as this will help secure continued success in both your personal and career development.
Plan what you are going to say during the meeting and stick to it. Your manager will often try to probe for additional information or details that you may not want to give. Avoid being obstructive but make it clear that you are submitting a verbal resignation.
Focus on the positive experiences you encountered during your employment, as you never know when you may cross paths in the future. Don’t dwell on the negative aspects of your time at the firm.
Expect a reaction; unless your manager is expecting you to resign, your decision may come as a surprise. In some cases, your manager may get emotional or even confrontational, in which case, stick to your prepared comments.
Always maintain your composure. Your manager may no longer see you as a team player and may feel betrayed. Stick to your prepared comments and speak in measured tones and regulate your breathing.
Always leave the meeting on a good note and be as cooperative as possible. Confirm you are committed to giving a comprehensive handover of any uncompleted work to the best of your ability. People remember both the first and last impression you make on them.
A written letter of resignation gives you more time to prepare what you want to say and increase the control you have of the message you want to give.
A basic resignation letter need only include your name, date, the name of the person you are resigning to, notice of termination of employment (the length of your notice period and date of the final working day) and finally, your signature.
If you are leaving under positive circumstances and want to say a little more, focus on the positive. Thank your manager for the opportunities you received, as you never know when you may need your ex-employer to vouch for you or give you a reference.
If you are leaving in difficult or adverse circumstances, resist the temptation to vent your frustration and avoid getting personal. Just because you are now leaving, a written letter of resignation is not an excuse to tell your manager what you thought of them.
It is never polite to make negative remarks in a resignation letter. If you have differences of opinion with your manager, turn off your emotions and save them for a private time and place. Never commit negative thoughts to paper or email, as your comments will remain in your personnel file and may come back to haunt you.
Prepare to Deal with a Counteroffer
Nobody likes to lose a good employee to another company. Chances are that your manager will make a counteroffer in the hope of retaining you. Counteroffers come in the form of money, promotion, or guilt for leaving the team at ‘a difficult time’. Just remember that companies only make a counteroffer because it is in their own best interest, not yours.
Accepting a counteroffer rarely ends well, as promises are not kept and once you tender a resignation your commitment will always be questioned. Statistically, people who accept a counteroffer are more likely to change jobs within the next six months, so think how accepting a counteroffer might affect your professional reputation with potential employers. You never know when you may cross paths with them again.
Leave on Good Terms
Make sure that you give sufficient notice to the firm of your intention to leave. Your notice period is usually stated in your contract of employment. During your notice period, ensure you have completed all outstanding tasks and provided a smooth handover of any unfinished work. Ensure that your manager knows that you have been active in the process and that you have been as cooperative as possible.
Take the time to speak with colleagues and associates and give positive comments about their contribution to your time at the firm. Try to remain in touch because, again, you never know when they'll be useful to your personal and career development in the future.
Negotiate a fair settlement for any outstanding salary, holiday entitlement and commission payments that are due to you.