Whether you have moved jobs before or if this is your first time, resigning from a role can be a daunting task. Ideally, you want to leave your employer on the best of terms. Summarised below are the key points on the resignation process enabling you to manage this in the best possible way.
There is no need to write a descriptive resignation letter, but it still must be formal, as this will be kept on your employment record. My suggestion is to keep this brief and positive. State your decision to leave and when your last day of employment will be – ensure you have read your contract prior so that you are confident on what your notice period is. It is a good idea to be complimentary of your employer and thank them for the opportunity you have had of working in their organisation. Here is an example:
Dear [Line Manager’s name],
Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from the position of [Job Title] with [Company name]. As per my notice period of [No. of weeks], my last working day will be [date]. I would like to thank you and [Company] for the opportunities I have had in working here.
I recommend doing this as early in the day as possible – 5pm on a Friday is not ideal! During the meeting, do not deviate from the purpose and inform your line manager of your resignation then hand over your resignation letter. Tell them about your new role and thank them for their support in your career. It is likely you will be asked why you are leaving; be honest but avoid saying anything negative about your current role. Remember that you want to leave on a positive footing.
However, if there are issues that you think are important to raise, arrange a meeting with HR or mention them in your exit interview so that this can be anonymous. Your resignation may come as a shock to your line manager. Their response, hopefully, will be positive, however, if not keep a level head, take a deep breath and be empathetic. For the most part, your resignation will not be the first your line manager has dealt with. They will get over it!
Over the last 12 months we have seen an increased number of counter offers, as explained in an article written by my colleague Kerry McLaughlin. A counter offer could be in the form of a promotion, pay rise or both and it can make a familiar environment feel more secure.
However, if you receive one, do not accept it straight away and take some time to consider your options. Your first thought should be why it took you handing in your notice to instigate this change by your company.
It is very important to not base your decision on money alone, as this can mask the reasons why you looked for a new role in the first instance: career progression; larger team/smaller team; to work with new people; location; quality of work; new industry – to name but a few. “More than 60% of UK-based employees who accept a counter offer end up leaving the organisation in question within six months” *…so resist and pursue your new opportunity.
The team and wider firm will inevitably learn of your departure and so people will naturally ask you questions. Remain positive about the firm you are leaving but also positive regarding where you are moving to, particularly to any new employees and your replacement. Compile and deliver a good handover for your team as this is a professional way to leave an employer.
There will be admin around you leaving in terms of company benefits you had such as pension and insurances, and your office pass to had in on your last day. There are also the social aspects such as claiming untaken holiday and arranging the all-important leaving drinks.
Changing jobs can be stressful but by managing it well you can make the transition smooth. By making this change you are not only pushing your career forwards but also you as a person. After three months in your new role, you will hopefully be fully integrated into your new team and company and you will wonder what all the fuss was about! Good luck.