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 part amicably and below are a few tips to make the business of resigning as painless as possible:
1 - Choose your moment. It is better to resign towards the end of the day as people will be less busy and it will allow your employer to get over the surprise overnight. You are likely to have a further discussion to agree your departure date and handover, so allowing the dust to settle will enable a business-like and amicable follow-up meeting.
2 – Be prepared. Have the letter of resignation ready and take it into the meeting with you. Keep the letter short, sweet and impersonal, stating that you have enjoyed your time at the company and that it is time to move on.
3 - Get to the point. State at the start of the meeting that the time has come to move on and that you have found a new opportunity. 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; it’s not worth it. Keep your head high and keep the conversation polite and amicable.
5 – Beware of counter-offers. The news that you are leaving will be inconvenient to your employer. After their expressions of shock and sorrow that you are leaving, they are likely to 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 cheaper to keep you than to replace you. If you do find yourself being persuaded to stay, bear in mind that any uplift gained from improved remuneration will soon fade away and the original reasons for moving will start to gnaw again.
6 – Agree a sensible leaving date. Your loyalty now lies with your next employer but there's no need to leave in a rush. One month is usually enough notice. 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, simply say ‘No’ (and politely) and offer a departure date that works for you and that is reasonable; they will have to accept it.