How to resign
Resignations are a fact of life. But, because most people don't resign very frequently, often they are unsure about the right approach to take.
The following steps may assist you through the resignation process:
- Always do your best to leave professionally, and on good terms. Don't be tempted to make disparaging comments about the organisation (or the people in the organisation) you are leaving. You may need a reference in the future.
- Once you have accepted a written offer of employment from your new employer, you are in a position to provide notice of your intention to resign to your existing employer.
- You will already know how long your notice period is, because you'll already have agreed a starting date with your new employer. (Usually this information is detailed in your employment contract or employee handbook. If not, checking with the human resources department is advisable.) Never assume that your existing employer will agree to a shortened notice period.
- Book a meeting with your direct manager so that you are able to personally advise them of your resignation. Plan what you are going to say in advance.
- Draft a letter of resignation to take to the meeting with your direct manager. The letter should be professional and succinct. The letter should:
- Be addressed to your direct manager
- Refer to the date of the meeting you have booked with your direct manager
- Confirm your intention to leave
- Confirm the day you intend to finish work
- Include your signature.
- At the meeting with your direct manager, remain calm and professional. They may be shocked by your intention to leave and become defensive. You may or may not decide to tell your direct manager what your future plans are. Confirm with them whether they are comfortable for you to advise others of your intention to leave. In many cases, your direct manager will ask you to keep your decision to leave confidential for some part of your notice period.
- Be prepared for a counter offer from your existing employer. Ask yourself, will the additional salary and benefits really make a difference? Review the situation carefully. If you stay, will you still be trusted? Market surveys consistently find that around 80% of people who accept a counter offer will leave (or have their employment terminated) within the next six months. Are you merely delaying the inevitable? Further, if you have accepted another offer of employment, withdrawing from it may damage your reputation in the market.
- Finally, many employers now conduct exit interviews to solicit feedback from departing employees. Ensure that any feedback you elect to provide is constructive.
- If you are nervous or uncertain about the resignation process we encourage you to speak with your SHK consultant. We assist m any people through this process and sometimes it helps to talk through your approach.