Winning at Resignation

You got the job! Now, go get your resignation.

Your Resignation Process


Now comes a tricky and potentially emotional step, your resignation. Resigning from a current job is never easy, but there are steps you can take to make the process efficient and less emotional while maintaining good relations with your current employer.

A.      Plan ahead to resign early in the morning. The day before, try to calendar a specific time early the next morning to meet with your supervisor, so you know this event will happen as planned.

B.      Always have a printed, signed letter to hand deliver. The time they take to read your short letter when you hand it across their desk breaks the ice for the conversation ahead. A letter also provides documentation for HR. Short and simple! There is no need to elaborate on reasons for leaving. There is also no valid reason to reveal your compensation, or the specific duties, in your new role.

The purpose of this letter is to inform you of my resignation, effective immediately, with my planned last day of employment to be
[SPECIFIC DATE]. I have accepted a position that more closely aligns with my personal and professional goals. My tenure with [CURRENT COMPANY] has been highly rewarding, and I appreciate the opportunity to have worked with you. I wish both you and [CURRENT COMPANY] continued success and I will do my best to help you during my transition period.

Best Regards,
[SIGNED, you]

C.      Be prepared for any of the three common ways companies and managers react to resignations:

1.       Sometimes there is anger along with an outpouring of personal disappointment. This can possibly include personal verbal attacks and prolonged questioning of your motives for leaving.

2.       After the meeting, they may appear to go completely dark, even disappearing for hours or days, leaving you to wonder, while they strategize on how to talk you out of it, or create a counteroffer.

3.       Many employers will act professionally, and while expressing mild disappointment, or regret, and surprise, they will also quickly congratulate you and wish you well in your new position.

D.      Be mentally prepared to deal with a potential counteroffer during the meeting and in its aftermath. To avoid prolonged emotional engagement, be resolute in your resignation. If a counteroffer comes up, use statements like, “Thank you, I appreciate that, but I have already made a commitment to my new employer. I don’t want to use up any more of your time. Thank you for everything. I’m excited.”

Anticipate, but do NOT accept a tempting counteroffer to stay. Industry experience reveals that more than 80% of employees who accept a counteroffer leave – or are terminated – within six to twelve months. By resigning, you have made your employer aware that you are ready to go. From this day forward, your commitment will be in question. In most cases, accepting a counteroffer foreshadows your departure as the conditions leading to your initial decision do not change. The firm knows that you are willing to go, and you cost them something to stay. Your joy on the path to new opportunities can get sabotaged by emotions, including guilt, at this crucial juncture. Preparation leads to an optimal exit.


With thanks To Thomas Cox of Iowa Career Connection – 

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