How to Resign
This is rarely easy, and the prospect of a sad or angry reaction from your manager is an unappealing prospect. But you need to bear in mind that to the employer you are a member of a team whose knowledge and skill has helped to deliver projects and your resignation leaves a hole for them to fill and the possible difference between deadlines being achieved or not. Below are a few tips to help you through the process.
Handing in your notice in person
If you decide you want to let your line manager or human resources manager know in person that you are resigning, it is best to prepare what you are going to say in advance. Think about the reasons you are leaving and make a note of them, stick to your guns and avoid being drawn into any negotiations. Express gratitude and comment on the positive aspects of your time with the company as much as possible. Remain calm and professional; approaching the meeting in a confrontational or emotional way could negatively influence the reaction you get from the person you are speaking to. Assure your manager that you will do your best to ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities.
Handing in written notice
If you choose to hand in your notice in writing, give yourself time to prepare it, and ensure all the relevant information is included – for example, name, date and length of notice given. If you are leaving the company under positive circumstances, you may want to emphasise this by stating how much you have enjoyed your time with the firm and thanking them for their support. If unhappiness with the company, role or your manager is the cause of your departure, you might prefer to avoid reference to it in your letter. You don’t want to make your notice period more painful than it needs to be.
You may be asked to participate in an exit interview before you leave. This is a chance for the company to understand and assess reasons for staff turnover. While it is tempting to view this as an opportunity to voice every irritation you have had during your time with the company, try and keep it professional and avoid being drawn into commenting on a particular individual.
Handling a possible counter offer
What if your current employer makes you an alternative offer? If your manager attempts to keep you at the company by offering you a promotion or an increased benefits package, you should be flattered, but you should also ask yourself the following questions:
If they think I am worth that now, why didn’t they offer me that before? Any good firm should recognise talent and promote and reward it accordingly. What will you have to do next time to get some recognition?
Has anything really changed? If you were happy in your role, you would not have been searching for another position. Does more money or a new title change the things that you were unhappy with?
Can things go back to the way they were? By handing in your notice, you have in effect admitted that you are not 100 per cent committed to the company. If you accept a counter offer and stay, you may find that your prospects are limited.