Handing in your notice is rarely a joyous experience. Even if you’re really excited about what lays ahead, any resignation process will deliver uncomfortable pangs of guilt, loyalty, sadness – not to mention loads of other really unpleasant emotions that always erupt when you ‘end’ any sort of relationship, professional or personal.
There is definitely a ‘done’ way, and definitely a not to be done way. Follow these top tips to ensure you do it in the right way.
Remember, honesty isn’t always the best policy.
Rule number one in ensuring you leave your job with your own credibility intact is that you don’t offend others when you hand in your notice. Your reason for leaving should be authentic, but make it more about the opportunity you’re going to, rather than why you’re leaving. Be cautious and considerate to others in your explanations; even if you feel very smug about leaving for your new role, and do have genuine reasons that have ‘pushed’ you towards your new role, keep that for your home-life, don’t let it define your exit. Likewise, if you’re dying to tell your boss what you think of them, don’t! Make it about the future, not the past.
Expect and resist those counter offers.
You’re good at your job, so it should never be a surprise when a company tries to keep you. Don’t be bought by emotional pleas, or caught by in the pangs of loyalty, because it’s likely that in 6 months, things won’t have changed and you’ll be looking for a job again. The biggest mistake you can make is take a counter-offer as genuine intent to keep you. Think about it like this, it’s easier for them to keep you than find someone to replace you. If they really valued you, you wouldn’t have been looking for a new role in the first place. Be flexible, be kind, and be considerate, but don’t be tempted to stay.
Be amenable and always leave on good terms.
It’s vital you work your notice period. In fact, if you can offer to extend it, even by a week or two, do. Not only will you keep things on a good level, you will demonstrate that, even though you are moving on, your loyalty to your boss and your willingness to help them do their job, is still very much intact. Not to mention the status points it may earn you in terms of a reference.
Finally, an obvious but commonly overlooked point. Don’t be the person that spends the day talking about how wonderful their soon-to-be employer is, or how they’ve invited you to their amazingly cool end of year party in a 5-star hotel. Likewise, show consideration and gratitude to those who have invested time in you, such as mentors, bosses and other superiors. By acting in this manner not only will you leave on the best of terms, but also it will make it possible to reconnect more easily in the future.