Career Tips - Handling Your Resignation

31 January 2019


Career Tips - Handling Your Resignation

Handing in your resignation can be tough for anyone. On the one hand, the company you're moving to compliments your experience and ambitions, you're excited to have been chosen for a pool of exceptional talent and now you're ready to move on.

However, there's still the awkward, tricky and sometimes emotional hurdle of sitting down with your current boss to say you're moving on.

Here are a few tips to handle the conversation with professionalism:
  1. Always sit down and have the conversation before you put anything in writing. It's important you go to your direct manager initially, regardless of your relationship with the CEO, etc., which could reflect badly on you. Telling friends and colleagues in the business first is always a bad idea - loose lips are a common cause of a bad exit. Remember this is the final memory your current employer will have of you, so be professional and polite.

  2. Be committed - the worst mindset going into this conversation is to be on the fence about your new opportunity. At this stage, you should have explored every reason as to why you should take or decline the offer. A simple pros and cons list can actually help you here. Once you have decided you're making the move, commit to it and your reasoning. Any sign of uncertainty can lead to a messy departure.

  3. Counter offers - don't entertain them. Did you know that over 60% of people who accept a counter offer end up leaving within 12 months anyway? Rarely do the promises made by companies at this point come to fruition. This is always a temporary fix and shows how much they undervalued you prior to your counter offer. Also, remember that you've essentially broken their trust as you have pursued another opportunity (potentially with a competitor), which can be difficult to shake off.

  4. Be sure to let your manager/employer know that you appreciate all that they have done for you and all you have learned in your time there. Be clear that your reason for moving is to do with your own personal and professional growth. Finally, let them know that you will do everything in your power to make it a smooth transition and handover.

  5. Unfortunately, resignations can take an emotional turn from time to time. Leave the emotion aside, please! This can be one of the hardest things to do if you've committed your all to your employer for a number of years. It's natural to have some sort of an emotional attachment to the business, the culture and the friends you've made. Likewise, if your manager becomes angry or upset, then you should always remain professional or suggest a break in the conversation until they have calmed down.

Taking the above into account, you should be able to minimise any negativity, and leave your current employer with appreciation and grace.

Share this article