They say that timing is everything, and that's true for when it comes to telling your employer that you're moving on. You've made the decision to move, had all the interviews, found your next job and now it's time to "do the deed". Saying goodbye is never easy and you will want to leave things on an amicable and positive note. Below are a few tips to make the business of resigning as painless as possible, and without burning any bridges:
1 – Be prepared. Have the letter of resignation ready and take it into the meeting with you. Keep the letter short, sweet and impersonal, perhaps something along the lines of: “I hereby confirm my notice that I will be leaving. I have enjoyed my time with the company, but the time has come to move on as I have found a new opportunity I wish to pursue.”
2 - Choose your moment. It is better to resign towards the end of the day as this gives your employer time to get over the surprise overnight and avoids any awkwardness in the office after the meeting. You are likely to have a further meeting to discuss departure dates and handovers, so allowing the dust to settle will enable a more business-like and amicable meeting.
3 - Get to the point. Ask your manager for a brief meeting and state at the start that the time has come to move on. Then hand over the letter.
4 – It’s strictly business; don’t make it personal. Avoid using the resignation to voice any criticisms or grievances you might have about your employer; it’s not worth it. Keep your head high and keep it polite and amicable.
5 – Beware of counter-offers. The news that you are leaving will be inconvenient to your employer. After expressions of shock and sorrow they might try reconciliation or even a counter-offer. It is easy to be flattered by this, but remember a counter-offer is just a business decision as it is always cheaper for them to keep you than to replace you. If you do find yourself being persuaded to stay for any reason, it is worth bearing in mind that any uplift gained from improved remuneration will soon fade away and the original reasons for moving will start to bite again.
6 – Agree a sensible leaving date. Your loyalty now lies with your next employer but don’t try to leave in a rush. One month is usually enough. By law, an employer can’t keep you longer than you are prepared to stay, and definitely not if it jeopardises your next job. If your old employer is insisting on an unreasonable notice period for your circumstances, simply say ‘No’ (and politely) and offer a departure date that works for you and that is reasonable; they will have to accept it.
We hope these tips help make the business of leaving as easy as possible