TAG | resigning
If you are reading this then I can probably assume you have secured yourself a new role, so for that I congratulate you! You may have thought that getting the role was the tough bit and for most part that would be correct, however there is that one last dreaded hurdle which is the resignation.
Now for some this may be the easy bit as they have not enjoyed themselves within their role and can not wait to get out the front door, however for the majority this is a significant step as the current employer may have been particularly good and you have developed an emotional attachment to the company and people.
The aim of what I am about to tell you is to get you mentally prepared for clearing the final hurdle and making it across the finish line.
- Prepare your resignation: Make sure you have a good idea or plan in your mind of how you will resign. It is essential that you bring with you your signed and printed resignation letter which is fairly concise and to the point. My advice on resignation letters is give only the essential information as you can explain the rest face to face with your employer.
- Think carefully about your motives: With your resignation letter done, think about your reasons why you are leaving the company. This is going to be questioned without a doubt so think long and carefully about your motives. When actually discussing these it’s worth remembering that you should be tactful when explaining the reasons as you do not want to burn any bridges when leaving the company.
- Prepare for a counter offer: The next thought you should be prepared for is the potential of the counter offer. There is lots of advice on counter offers out there for you to look into, however what I can say is that if you have gotten this far, a few extra dollars will not cover over the reasons for wanting to leave.
- Leaving on a positive note: When finishing the conversation, remember to thank your soon to be ex-boss (even if they are the reason you’re leaving) and agree to a smooth hand over as that way you can walk out with your head held high and know that you conducted yourself in a professional manner.
Remember that this can be nerve wracking but if you practise it through in your head and prepare well it should go relatively smoothly.
In December I had a call from a distressed individual that I had been expecting:
“Damian, you were right after all.”
‘What do you mean?’ I replied, knowing full well what the situation would be.
“Two months ago you told me that if I accepted my boss’s counter offer I would regret it within six months. I regret it now.”
“I’ve been told I won’t be eligible for a pay review this year because I had my pay increase back in October. I have also come to realise that the board of directors is no longer involving me in their key decisions, it is as if I have been sidelined.”
I listened sympathetically.
“Damian, how did you know that this was going to happen? I was convinced that things were going to be different. My boss sat down and told me how important I was to this organisation and that he was going to increase my salary to match my new offer. It seemed as though it would be disloyal to leave him at that stage.”
I have seen this happen again and again. People make disastrous decisions after they have resigned because of flattery, vague promises and sudden pay rises.
The fact is: smart people are counter-offered when they resign from a role. They take this as a confirmation of their value but politely and firmly reject it.
If you are in this situation, ask yourself the following ten questions:
- What do you think the real reasons are for your company to retain you for the time being?
- It took your resignation for your boss to pay you what you are worth. Were you being underpaid before? How about now?
- Was money the only reason why you resigned or are there other underlying issues?
- What do you think might happen when your annual pay review comes up?
- Once you resign, might your boss be buying time while he recruits someone else?
- If you resign but later change your mind, what does this say about your loyalty or ability to make decisions?
- Your loyalty will be questioned and you may no longer be trusted – how will this impact your influence within the organisation?
- When it is time to make promotions, would those seen as less loyal be passed by?
- If an economic downturn or a fall in revenue necessitates staff cuts, who might be the first in the firing line?
- I have seen the majority of people who accept counter-offers leave their jobs within six months. Will you be different?
Think carefully before resigning but when you do, have the courage of your convictions – otherwise your recruiter will be waiting in a month or two for the inevitable call.