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Resignation advice

Once you have formally received and accepted your new job offer, it's time to officially hand in your resignation to your current employer without delay. It’s best to put this in writing but it's also courteous to communicate it to your line manager in person.

The resignation meeting

Request a private meeting with your line manager or director as appropriate and communicate your resignation to them face to face, calmly and firmly. Try not to get bogged down in detail or be negative about your current role or company. Focus on the career development, benefits and responsibilities of your current role and state how your new role improves on these. Remember that you’re not obliged to give away details of your new role if you aren’t comfortable doing so. Consider that it might be your company’s policy to escort employees joining a competitor off the premises, so be prepared to make a swift exit if necessary.

After the resignation meeting

Your current employer might ask you to keep your departure confidential and not to tell other members of your team, or indeed, anyone else within the business. Equally it might be announced to the company and you could be asked to assist with the selection process for your vacant job role. This all depends on your company’s policy so, if unsure, it’s best to ask. Whether your notice period is a couple of weeks or several months, try to wind up projects you’re working on. If these aren’t likely to be completed before you leave, pass them onto a colleague or notify your line manager. You may also be asked to prepare a handover document for your replacement to work from when they arrive.

If you’re asked to complete an exit interview, try to be constructive rather than negative in your comments. If there is a particular policy or process you genuinely feel is counter-productive feel free to say so but don’t be rude about your colleagues, manager or the company in general. Remember you will need a good reference from this company in the future!

Counter offers

A counter offer may occur at any point of the resignation process: your employer might make you a counter offer the minute you resign or they may do it during the final days of your notice period.

From an employer’s perspective, making you a counter offer negates the need to recruit and train a new member of staff. Although staying with the company may be the easier thing to do, you need to consider a counter offer very carefully and never lose sight of the reasons you looked for another job in the first place.

Your manager will employ various tactics to encourage you to reject the new job offer. It’s important you’re aware of these tactics and are able to spot and ignore them. The tactics could include: offering you a higher salary, promising you a promotion in the future, a heightened interest in your views, promises to address any issues you have and expressing doubts about your new employer.

If you do decide to stay in your current role, there are certain considerations such as a potential lack of trust in you from your manager. They know you have been actively looking for a new job, have been interviewing and expressed a wish to leave. In the eyes of your new employer, backing out of an offer means you’re unlikely to ever be offered a role within that company again.

Finally, ask yourself: if your current employer values you so much why didn’t they promote you, pay you more and listen to your feedback before you told them you were leaving!

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