Resigning - How to do it the right way?

When you're about to resign from your current position, it’s normal to have a lot of mixed emotions depending on your situation. If you have been in the company for a period of time, you can feel excited about your new company and position, but at the same time feel a range of emotions related to your current employer. When you're resigning, it's vital to consider the following key points:

1. Preparation is key

You must be prepared before you resign. Make sure you have reviewed and signed your new contract. You need to think about how you're going to communicate the news to your current boss and the various situations that might occur. Such situations may include:

  • Offered more money,
  • Better title or
  • Different role.

Before you resign, it's good to recall the reasons why you want to leave your current company and remember the reasons why you have accepted your new offer.

2. Prepare your resignation letter

Your resignation letter should cover the following:

  • State that you're resigning from your current position and provide the effective date of the resignation.
  • Outline that you would like to ensure there is an effective and professional handover completed during your notice period.
  • Thank the company for the opportunity to work with them.
  • Ensure you signed and date the letter.

3. The meeting - What do you say?

Before the meeting, it’s normal to feel very nervous. Below are some recommendations to ensure that your resignation is professional:

  • Make sure you resign to your immediate boss.
  • Keep the communication short, professional and simple.
  • At the start of the meeting, state you're resigning from your position and you have accepted and signed the contract.
  • The reason provided should be that the new opportunity is the right decision for your future career.
  • Under no circumstance should you disclose the name of the new company. Employers want to know this so they can raise doubts in your mind about your decision to retain you.
  • Thank your boss for his / her support and the opportunity to work for the business and that you would like to focus on ensuring a professional handover is completed during your notice period.

4. The counter offer - Don’t complicate your resignation

Finding talent in the market is tough and many companies will counter offer an employee when they resign. Such counter offers could include more money, promotion, new position or promise that certain things will change in your role.

It’s vital that you don't enter into a counter offer discussion when you're resigning. If you do, this could impact your relationship with the current employer and will result in additional stress and emotions. You need to remind yourself why you started to look for a new opportunity and why you made the decision to sign the new contract. Some important points to consider and questions to ask yourself if a counter offer occurs:

  • When your manager starts to counter offer you - STOP them. Say that you have signed a contract and reiterate that the new opportunity is the right step for your career.
  • Explain to your manager that you don’t want them to spend valuable time coming up with a counter offer when the decision is final.
  • If the company counter offers you, think about these questions:

    1. Why did it take a resignation for them to offer you something better?
    2. Is this the type of company you should work for or one that rewards you at an appropriate time?

  • When you resign, it's normal for your manager to fill a degree of rejection. If you consider a counter offer only to reject it, then this is a double form of rejection, and it will have a significant impact on the relationship with the manager and company.
  • If you accept a counter offer, you run the risk that the company will work on finding a replacement over the next 6 months. It may also impact your career progression because you're no longer part of the “inner circle” of the company.
  • A majority of people that accept a counter offer end up leaving the business approximately 6 months later.
  • Accepting a counter offer means you need to inform the company you signed the contract with. Doing this is unprofessional, unethical and will impact your reputation with the future employer.

Finally, while receiving a counter offer is flattering, it's very important that you end the conversation quickly.

5. Notice Period

In some industries and roles, you will be required to work your notice period. Make sure you do a detailed handover and leave your employer on a professional note and maintain your reputation.

Some companies may require you to complete your notice offsite. This is often referred to as “gardening leave”. During this period, make sure you do what your employer asks and follow your contract and legal obligations.

If you would like further information or advice on resigning, please contact us at Bowen Partners.

< Back