Managing Resignations

By on January 27, 2017 in

Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes

Recruiter’s see this happen all the time. A candidate accepts a counter offer and only to be back on the job market in three to six months. The working relationship deteriorates as the employer resents having to make a counter offer and the trust is never quite regained. The employee is left out of key meetings and colleagues get upset about the company’s effort to keep the employee. Often, it ends up in the employee having to change to an inferior job and a career pothole results. All because of the counter offer. So make your decision either way firm and no matter what the circumstances, stay or resign on your terms but with respect and dignity.

Sharing your Decision

Before you resign, get your job offer confirmed in writing and review your contract for notice period. Seek a meeting with your manager and resign in person. Make sure colleagues do not find out until this is done. Hand your notice in, in writing at the meeting confirming the date of your exit in accordance with your contract. Give a courteous and professional set of reasons for your move. It is appropriate to confirm this in the written notice, as well as to thank your manager for all you have learned while at the company. Your manager and colleagues should remain part of your ever growing professional network.

Work your Notice

Offer to work with your manager to ensure all loose ends are tidied up and they are not left with too difficult a transition. Aside from this being good professional practice, it will also influence the tone of any future reference. Put in a productive notice period and co-operate with the training of your successor. Make sure there are written guidelines to any complex or unique processes for which you had responsibilities. Offer to take calls if your replacement needs a little guidance in the future.


Managers can react unpredictably when you resign. Some take the matter very personally, others will recognise the opportunity you face and will simply wish you well. Either way, it is critical not to burn any bridges when you resign or undo the good you created during your time with your employer. You never know when your paths might cross again, so make a firm decision, respect the process and leave with grace and professionalism.

Changing employers is a reasonably stressful process, therefore many people find the resignation meeting the toughest part of the journey. It is really important to separate the emotion from what is simply a personal business decision. There is never a good time for resignation, as you will always be involved in something important in your organisation. You simply have to make the right decision for you and stick to it.

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