Resigning from your current job can be an anxious moment. Whether you’re leaving because of dissatisfaction with your role or you’re moving for a better opportunity, resigning in a professional manner is always recommended in order to maintain your reputation. Resigning in an unprofessional manner will be remembered and you never know how that may impact you with future employers.
On face value resigning sounds simple, you hand your notice to your manager and HR takes care of the rest. However, it’s not always that straightforward in practice. Here’s our guidance on how you can resign in a professional manner.
1. Check your employment contract and follow the rules
Understand your notice period, restrictive covenants rules and any procedures you may need to follow before leaving. Despite moving on, you are still contracted to your current employer so be sure not to break the rules and face any potential disciplinary action (like sending out any client information to personal email accounts!). If moving to a competitor be prepared that you may be asked instantly to leave the physical premises (if on site) or hand you laptop back within a short time frame.
2. Ensure face-to-face resignation
Resigning in person has always been a respectful way to proceed and we’d suggest this too. However, if that is not a possibility, then a video call is your next best option. Resigning by email or text can be perceived as disrespectful and could end your tenure on a slightly sour note. Once you resign, follow the conversation with a formal notification of your notice (usually an email).
3. Be positive during your notice period
During the resignation process, be sure to thank your manager/organisation for the experience and the opportunity that your currently employer has given you. Don’t use this opportunity to complain about what your employer hasn’t done for your or about co-workers. Once you’ve resigned, it is highly recommended that you do not post negative comments about your employer on social media or be overenthusiastic about how ‘happy’ you are to leave. Should you want to leave a review on Glassdoor or Google, ensure that you make it fair and balanced. If you are asked by colleagues why you are leaving then refrain from being negative and simply say something like “for a better opportunity”. You don’t need to go into detail. In the future you may need something such as a reference from your current employer, so it is important to not leave on bad terms causing issues internally for them.
4. Maintain a high standard of working until you leave
The excitement of going to a new job can sometimes lure people into the mentality that “it’ll be someone else’s problem when I’m gone”. Refrain from this. During your notice period, it’s highly recommended to maintain a high standard of working to ensure that your team and your replacement (should there be one), understands the current workload and any outstanding projects. Put yourselves in their position – would you want your colleagues to leave you with extra, unorganised work if they were to leave the organisation. Leaving your team with a clear plan will do wonders for your reputation and is also as sign of your professionalism.
5. Expect a counter offer
We find that in over 40% of cases, employers offer some sort of counter offer to entice an employee to stay. We always advise that if this does happen you ask for a couple of days to consider. Consider the reasons why you started a job search, or why you are attracted to the new role you accepted. Then balance this against what your current employer is offering. Does the counter offer of increased money or a slight modification in job role change the reasons why you accepted your new role? If it does, then the counter offer is something to seriously consider. If it doesn’t then don’t be drawn into making an emotional short-term decision to please your current manager, which in the long term doesn’t give you the same career prospects as the new employer. Remember that over 75% of those that accept a counter offer still leave that organisation within two years, as it didn’t address the long-term reasons for the resigning.