How to Resign From Your Job
Found your ideal job? Then you'll need to read our handy guide to handing in your notice.
1. Make up your mind first
- The job hunt can be long and stressful, often involving days off work and a good dose of secrecy in the work place. So, make sure your mind is 100% made up before you embark on the interview process.
- Ask yourself how determined are you to leave?
- Would you stay put if offered more money or a better position?
- Talk to your family to see what they think
2. Verbal Resignation
- Work out your strategy and what you are going to say and DO NOT allow yourself to be drawn away from this onto other subjects.
- Try to highlight positives, such as what you have liked during your time there. This will demonstrate you have thought about things in a balanced frame of mind.
- Keep your composure. If your Boss becomes annoyed, do not change your tone or deviate from your initial strategy.
- Expect to be "bought back" (see The Counter Offer below)
3. Written Resignation
- A written resignation gives you time to prepare what you going to say.
- Keep it simple. Include your name, date of resignation and the person it's addressed to. You can add information such as appreciation for your time there, but don't use it as a vehicle to voice any opinions you may have or bad mouth the company.
- Remember you may require a reference, so do not leave on a bad note.
4. The Counter Offer
- Always consider a counter offer seriously. This could come in the form of a pay increase, a change in job role, a promotion.
- HOWEVER, always remember why you are here in the first place. Consider the following before your ego is flattered too much:
- How difficult will it be to replace you? Is the prospect of having to find the next ‘you' the reason they would rather just throw money at you?
- How much money will it cost to replace you? On average it costs £7000 to replace a vital member of staff - recruitment fees, time taken out of other people's days to recruit & cover your work, etc. Therefore it's often an easy option to pay you a touch more to keep you.
- If you have been offered an immediate pay rise, when can you expect another one? It's unlikely that having paid you more than they would like in order to keep you, you will also get a good increase next time around. The chances are, this is simply a pay rise that has been moved forward in order to paper over a crack.
- Will it rock the boat? Studies show that when someone leaves a company, they often take someone else with them (someone who has been thinking about leaving will be buoyed by you resigning and do the same). Does your Boss want the team morale slumping or would it be better if you stayed?
- Where has this fantastic position being offered to you suddenly sprung from? Don't be fooled by the prospect of new titles and roles. If you didn't think those prospects were there in the first place, the chances are they are still not. Once again it's a technique to keep you, in the short term, to give the company chance to create a contingency plan.
- Now that you have resigned (or threatened to) how secure is your job really? Will you be first out the door if things become tough for the business, because of your lack of loyalty?
- Will things very quickly go back to how they were? Studies have shown that people who take up a counter offer are often back looking again within 6 months as they realise improvements were simply lip service.
So, don't be flattered to the point of staying put. Remember what made you look for a new role in the first place. For this reason, it is vital that you give careful consideration to a move at the very start.
If you are able to establish whether an improved position and/or pay rise is possible prior to resigning then you maybe saving yourself, the companies you interview with and any agencies you use, a great deal of time and effort.