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Resignation, How Hard Can It Be?

MCS Group Nov 14, 2014

We have all been there or no doubt in the future will be.  Resignations are a weekly occurrence in businesses now with the average span for an employee in a business said to be in the region of 3-5 years.  There is no longer this job for life. 

You and I dictate our own career paths; we no longer wait for the organisation to offer a promotion or advancement. If they don’t offer either of these to you when you feel they should have, well no doubt you will start looking for something that may offer that.

Let us jump a few weeks and move to that point where you have accepted another role and are due to hand in your notice.

Some pointers…

  • Among everything else you will feel nervous and most likely guilty (that you are letting colleagues/bosses down). First step … DON’T!
  • This is your career, your career move which you are responsible for so take responsibility.

How to resign

The most important thing is to ensure you have the correct paperwork from the organisation who is offering employment.  Do not resign unless you have written confirmation of employment with a proposed/agreed start date!

Compose a formal letter which contains your current position, organisation and that you are resigning (on date) with your agreed notice period (from contract of employment) which will mean your last day of employment will be (date).  Thank the organisation and line manager for their time and help but this is your decision and you can’t be swayed.

Depending on your role within the organisation there is a high probability that you will be invited to a meeting to discuss your resignation.  My advice is to decline this politely (you can do this don’t worry).  Explain to whoever invites you to this meeting that ‘your mind is made up and you don’t want to waste anyone’s time by attending a meeting.’  By doing this you will prevent the awkward conversations and the organisation trying to buy you back, some people do accept what we call a ‘counter’ as the organisation will promise you the world and throw some extra cash at you, it all sounds great.  They will change structures, reporting lines, projects you’re working on etc. but why have they never done this before?  Now a statistic that may shock you… 80% of people who have accepted one of these ‘counters’ end up contacting me within 6 months saying they have made a mistake.

Next stage is working out your notice.  I would always recommend trying to close off all loose ends/projects as competently and professionally as possible so that when you leave, you do so on good terms.  My main thoughts on this is that in 3-5 years when you have gained that extra experience somewhere else you may want to return to your previous organisation or even be invited to return.  If you ‘burn bridges’ this won’t be possible.

Starting your new job…

  • Like all of us you will be nervous and unsure, it’s natural so don’t worry.  We generally say it takes 6-8 weeks to settle in and 12-16 weeks to have built up friendships internally.
  • Moving forward, enjoy your new job, take everything you can from it, learn as much as you can and thank that recruiter for helping you through this!