Resignation process

Congratulations on your new opportunity. Changing position and company is a big but exiting step that allows you to grow personally and professionally. This section will share with you some preparations, suggestions and thoughts to help make this a seamless transition but also leave a good impression with your current company. You never know how path may across down the road, so you want to prepare you to keep those paths intact.

First, remember there are two types of resignations – the written resignation and the verbal resignation. As a recruiter we can certainly provide some sample resignation letters or a quick internet search will pull up plenty of options. Quite simply a resignation letter should contain a basic straight forward information. Your name, the date, the person to whom you are resigning, a brief notice of termination of employment, the date when this is effective from and finally your signature.

If you are leaving in good circumstances and feel you want to say a little bit more make sure you only emphasise the positive. Perhaps thank your boss or the company for the opportunities given to you but there should never be negative information or parting complains or constructive criticism. You simply asking your leader to value the decision you have reached and not try to disguise you for not taking next step.

The written resignation is relatively straight forward so let’s move on to the in person resignation meeting. There are two pieces to this in person resignation. The emotional piece and the tactical piece and it’s important to be prepared for both. No matter how ready you are to leave your current company, over time you build relationship with your current colleagues and it’s important to be prepared for how it’s going to feel when you move on to a better opportunity. Think through who you are going to hand the resignation letter to and how you think they are going to respond. Think through how your team is going to respond to your choice of leaving and if there is anyone in your department that is going to have a particularly hard time with your decision. Talk with your recruiter about how you can best prepared for that reaction, those conversations and those feelings.

Let’s move on to the tactical part and start with what you should expect during your resignation conversation. First, expect that you will be asked to share more information. This could be information about the company you are going to work for, what position they offered you, what you will be working on, how much they offered you, when do you start with them, why did you choose that company, who you going to report to and so on and so on. Think about what you want to share in this meeting, work out what you are going to say and then stick to it. If you are pressed to provide more information know how you are going to politely tell them that you would prefer not to share any of the specifics or discuss this further because your decision has been made and you would like to ask that they honoured that decision. Don’t be rude, don’t be evasive but simply have a prepared response to deliver if you are pushed for more and more details about your future opportunity and organisation. Let them know that you simply want to wrap up the activities as directed and start at the new company as soon as possible.

Second, expect that you will get a reaction. Your employer will of course have a reactions of some sort and unless your boss is truly your best friend and who always want what best for you, know that about 10 seconds after he/she processes what you are telling him, the check list of all of the things that he will have to do to back fill your positions will start to rattle through his brain. The reaction you see is likely to be a blend of a lot of different emotions in one.

Third, expect that it can be a nervous and emotional moment. It’s a tough process to go through and its ok to feel the fear of the unknown and the fear of change and its a normal human instinct to find the safe circle where we know what our days look like and what are routine is going to look like, but that’s safe circle is a circle lacking in opportunity and growth which is why you were open to alternative opportunities in the first place.

Fourth, expect to receive a counteroffer. There are many things to think through with counter offers and while the decision is always yours as how to handle the extension of the counter offer, it needs to be an educated decision. The first type of counter offer that exists is the financial counteroffer. While you are resigning and talking about how much you hope they respect your decision, your boss is thinking about the personal consequences; how will I back fill this position, will others follow, how much time and money will it cost to find a replacement, how will this reflect upon me as a leader? The quickest and easiest way to salvage the situation, i.e. to make you stay, is money, and the question that will be asked is how much are they paying you? If you share this information with your boss it’s almost a guarantee that he will match or exceeded the offer. If you don’t want to stay in the company we would suggest not sharing the offer. If your current employer exceeds the offer and you still turn it down it will create irritation. Quite simply it will be less uncomfortable for you if you don’t disclose your offer.

The emotional counter offer can be even more difficult than the financial. With this will sounds like this; I am so surprised, I thought you are happy here, how could you leave your team right now they are relying on you, I just had you and your husband over dinner recently, I would never thought you do this, the project you were working on is going to crumbled and so on. Here is why this is so tough, you build relationship with these individual. On the other hand if they are true friends with you outside the walls of your company they would want what is best for you no matter the situation. 

The president of your organization is running a business and I am sure he has to let people go and lay people off in the past and hated doing that but he had to because it was the best interest of the company. No different in your career, if you hold on to where you are because of not wanting to feel bad, your career will dive just like the company would if they became bankrupt because they never want to lay people off and feel bad about it. There is never ever going to good time to leave, if there was and you are sitting around doing nothing you probably will be let go anyways. That being said you seen other people resigning in past and I am sure surprisingly how quickly someone else has taken on that position. 

Your boss is paid to solve problems and hiring your replacement is part what he is paid for and it doesn’t mean that emotional connection you made with people aren’t important, it just means they shouldn’t govern the direction of your career. If you like to this explore further we encourage you to do internet search on the subject of counter offers. Again this decisions ultimately is yours to make but make sure it’s an educated one. You find that there is some very common reasons that is well known and valid as it relates to downside of accepting the counteroffer.

Finally, lets discuss quickly what to avoid during the resignation. These are just as important as what to do.

1.) Avoid venting or discussing what should have been or could have been or threating to take others with you or compete against the firm. No matter how horrible your previous situation was, you are leaving for a better opportunity and that’s what is important.

2. Avoid reacting to an overreaction. Keep your interaction professional even if your counterpart chooses not to. You never know when you cross paths with your former employers so keep your emotions in check even if it’s difficult.

3. Avoid deleting your entire computer. Remove personal files, delete unnecessary emails but don’t destroy work that will help others on a team pickup where you left off. Take with you what you need and leave what they will need .

4. Avoid slacking off during your final days. How you continue to conduct your self will be how you are remembered. Do you want to be remembered for bringing down the moral of the team or talking down to rest of the peers. Work hard through your last day. These are just few suggestions to help make this a seamless transitions but your recruiter will share with you much more information to help you navigate through this process. Again, congratulations to this new chapter in your professional development.