You are now the proud recipient of a shiny new job offer- congratulations. The job hunting process can be lengthy and often arduous, so take a moment to appreciate your own hard work.
The final hurdle before you start your new role is the dreaded resignation. It’s certainly never going to be a cherished memory, but there are steps you can take to make sure you handle the process with the necessary grace to ensure you leave on good terms.
Wait! Make sure you time things correctly
It’s understandable that you want to give you notice as soon as possible, but ALWAYS be sure to wait until you have signed the contract for your new role before you break the news. This protects you should the worst happen and the offer falls through- it’s unlikely, but be sure to dot the i’s and cross the t’s before you make an announcement.
Get up close and personal
It can be hard to tie a manager down, so it’s best to schedule in specific time to have this conversation, rather than try to squeeze it into a spare moment. You need their full attention, when they’re not in the middle of something; a private spot set away from your work space is the best bet. Resist any urge you have to deliver the news via call, email, letter or text; do yourself justice. maintain your integrity and meet them in person.
Be succinct, professional and firm
Whilst there may be a lot of contributing factors that culminated in your decision to leave the business, don’t be tempted to use this meeting as a soapbox to air your grievances. Instead, consider this meeting’s sole purpose as simply delivering the news that you are leaving. Be graceful and polite in your delivery, thanking them for the time in the company. Finally, confirm your notice period and last working day in this meeting, as it's easy for things to move quickly afterwards, and agreement on the details to get delayed. It should go something like this:
‘Firstly, I just want to express my thanks for the time and opportunities I’ve been given here at [company]. However, I feel the moment has come for me to move on, and I have been made another job offer which I have accepted. I wanted to meet you today to officially hand in my notice. I've checked my contract and my role requires 2 weeks notice, which would make my last working day [date]’
Know your stance on counter-offers
It’s almost certain that your resignation will come as a surprise to your manager, and there’s a chance that they may try and prompt you for the minute details of why, or even try and coerce you into staying.
This persuasion could take the form of promises of changes to your role, or an inflation in your salary. You need to decide ahead of time if these changes could impact your decision to leave. If they would, then it might be worth reconsidering handing in your resignation in the first place. It could be better to have a serious meeting with your superior to flag your issues and try and make the necessary changes that would allow your job to work for you again.
If nothing will change your mind at this stage, politely hear your manager out. Thank them for their offer, and their attempt to try and make changes to accommodate you, but confirm that you believe your decision to leave is still the best course of action for everyone involved.
Have the letter in hand
You will need to provide a written resignation letter, for administrative purposes. This letter serves as formal, written proof of your intention to leave the business. Similar to the meeting with your manager, this letter should be short and succinct. We recommend handing this in when giving your notice verbally, to avoid any delays to the ‘official’ start of your notice period. The letter should include your full title, the date you are handing the letter in, how long your notice period is, and when your last day of work will be.
Finish as you intend to start
It can be a huge relief to have everything out in the open, and with your mind on your new job, it could be tempting to coast out your notice period. However, continuing to deliver high quality work and offering co-operation regarding your departure will work in your favour. These few weeks will be the final impression you give your current employer and colleagues, and maintaining professional integrity will be a testament to you (not least when it comes time to ask them to act as a reference). Furthermore, maintaining momentum and strong work ethic will mean you’ve in the right zone to hit the ground running on day 1 of your new job.
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