Making the decision to hand in your notice and leave your place of work can be a daunting prospect. Whether you’ve loved or loathed your time at the business, it’s important to handle this situation with professionalism and care.
You’ll most likely need your current employer as a future reference so resist the urge to telling them EVERYTHING you’ve ever thought of them… and who knows, they may even become a future customer or supplier.
Within your career you should be consistently maintaining and growing your network, to make you more open to opportunities in the future with the lasting relationships you have formed.
What can often be a nerve-wracking time can be turned in your favour by following JAM’s simple tips for how to hand in your notice.
Speak to your manager and let them know of your decision
Before you formally hand in your notice to your boss, refrain from telling any of your co-workers. The last thing you want is to create an awkward, negative environment in the office if they find out from someone else, which can easily happen.
Tell your manager face to face – not by leaving a letter on their desk or sending them a short email, which could make you come across as rude and dismissive.
Organise a meeting with your manager and once in the meeting, remain calm and don’t let your emotions take control. Make sure you leave the meeting on a good note whilst ensuring you can rely upon them to provide a positive reference for future employment opportunities.
Write your resignation letter
Do not hand your resignation letter in without speaking to your boss/manager first!
What to include:
- State what position you are leaving, how much notice you are giving (whenever your contract specifies) and when your last day will be.
- Thank your employer for the opportunities and learning experiences they have offered to you (even if you’re not even remotely grateful).
- Wish the company good luck in the future and state that you’d like to keep in touch (you will need them for references) …
Do not make this letter too personal, keep it formal and only outline your reason for leaving if necessary.
Prepare for the worst-case scenario
In most cases, leaving a business and all it entails can go swimmingly, it will end on great terms and you will be free to move on.
However, there are exceptions and if this is the case, maybe because you are going to work with a competitor, then make sure your things are easy to get together if you need to make a swift departure. Also, if it is an emotional goodbye, don’t let anyone make you feel bad for leaving, everyone has the right to move on. Keep your cool.
Be prepared for a counteroffer
If an employer really doesn’t want you to leave, they may offer you a higher salary, extra benefits, or a fresh, new opportunity to get you to stick around.
However, it is important to remember, a counteroffer is generally made to suit the needs of the employer, not the employee.
The promise of exciting new opportunities may turn out to be a fantasy. The company very promises promotions, new projects or a different role. But they usually turn out to be hollow promises. It’s all part of a desperate attempt to keep a person in a post. But once it has succeeded, the stark reality for your manager is that they are dealing with someone who has already said they want to leave and is at risk of doing so again.
The best advice for anyone considering a counteroffer is to weigh up all the pros and cons, and keep the bigger picture of your career in mind. If you decide to take the counteroffer, make sure you get all the terms of the deal in writing. But remember, if the only reason for staying put is extra money, it will almost certainly turn out to be a bad move in the long run.
Look to the future
When the time comes to hand in your notice, it can be a scary and difficult situation – that’s why it’s important you are prepared. If you can handle everything in a professional and gracious manner, then you really shouldn’t come across any issues.
And remember, your notice period will fly by! So even if it may be a little awkward, just look forward to the near future.
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