Resigning: Tips for Giving Your Notice

You have a fantastic offer in hand, it meets your criteria and you’re excited about the new opportunity. Now the moment of truth — the one everyone dreads — you need to break the news to your boss. The following tips and pointers will guide you through the resignation process.

Remember all the reasons why you’re leaving:

  • You’ve reached the end of the road and there’s no further development/ progression possible?
  • You are over burdened by heavy workloads, with no sign of respite
  • Your values not aligned with management values
  • The cultural fit in question
  • Your salary is not commensurate with your experience and effort
  • Too much travel time is required
  • Your commute to work is just too long

Expect the Unexpected

When you go in to resign, our best piece of advice is to expect the unexpected. In 50 percent of cases, what you think will happen when you resign, probably will happen and what you least expect will also happen. Recognize the dynamics — your boss may be in a real jam when he/she hears you’re leaving and this may result in some knee jerk reactions on his/her part

Be Professional

Be prepared and go about your resignation in an ultra professional manner. Even if you feel bitterly aggrieved about things that may have happened, the resignation arena is not the correct time or place to vent. Think through your reasons and express them clearly and professionally at your exit interview. Always, thank your employer for giving you the opportunity to work with them.

Ironclad Reasoning

You do not have to give a reason for leaving and some people prefer not to share. However, if you have good relationships where you work, it might appear inconsistent if you don’t share why you are leaving. If you do decide that you must say something, keep it short, simple, logical and compelling. If you’re looking to avoid a counter offer, or an uncomfortable scene ;close the gaps and make your reasons for leaving defensible and ironclad.

Presenting your Letter

Present your employer with a resignation letter. The letter should state that you are giving notice and the effective date. To accompany the letter, consider developing a list of any outstanding project items and delivery dates, including items that will not be completed and may have to be passed to others.

Overcoming the Counteroffer

Now, if all goes well and your boss is genuinely pleased for you, that’s the best possible outcome. If your boss is unpleasant, there’s really is not a lot you can do. Stay positive and professional and focus on your new and great opportunity.

If you find yourself starting to waiver because your boss is devastated, is desperate for you to stay and has started heavy negotiations with you, remember the following important points:

  • Of 100% of people who accept a counter offer, 80% have quit again/lost their job in the following 6 months
  • Offering you an increase in salary is either an admission you have been underpaid or it’s coming from your next increase
  • Your underlying reason for change will undoubtedly not change. You will be in exactly the same spot 6-12 months from now
  • You have broken trust. A boss may do anything to keep you now, but should there be change of circumstances at work, you could be the first to go. Who are you more likely to promote? A loyal employee who did not resign or an employee who had to be persuaded to stay?
  • Consider the co-worker dynamics. If they knew you were leaving, how are they going to feel when you stay? Will they be happy you stayed or resentful of your special treatment?

Follow your Heart

We are all susceptible to flattery and to that human need to feel important and indispensable. On occasion, it may be right to stay and you must always do what feels right in your heart. Avoid responding to the emotion of the moment. Give yourself time and space to consider your options and really think about the points above. Remember it’s a fact, 80% of people who accept counteroffers are eventually gone from the company within 6 months of tendering their initial resignation.