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Resignations and Counter Offer Advice

You’ve accepted the job offer, you’ve negotiated the salary and now you have to resign resign from your current job. Here’s how to do it:

Tell the boss

The first thing you’ll need to do is prepare a letter. Then you should ask to meet with your boss, tell them of your intention to resign and hand over the letter.

Prepare what you’re going to say beforehand and try and anticipate your boss’s reaction

  • Be positive about your time at work and be grateful for the opportunities you’ve been given and support from your boss
  • Remain calm, professional and polite and, no matter how tempting it is, resist the urge to get personal

Once you’ve let your boss know verbally, you should hand over a typed letter of resignation:

  • At the very least, your letter should include the position you are resigning from and the date you intend to leave
  • Your letter should include the phrase " this is my final decision and I am looking for the earliest possible exit"
  • Whilst constructive criticism is acceptable, don’t get personal or you’ll risk your reference and your reputation, you may also be given the opportunity for constructive criticism in an exit interview, but again keep it professional.


The counter offer

If you've been doing a good job and are valued by your current company it is likely they will not want you to leave. The most likely way an employer will try and make you stay is by offering you a pay rise either equal to or above what you’ve been offered in your new job.

You may also find you are encouraged to stay with sudden promises of promotion and increased responsibility. Think very carefully about why this wasn't discussed previously and don’t forget that you’ll be working in the same organisation, with the same people and probably under the same boss.

Your notice period

Whatever the length of your notice period, you’re legally obliged to work it, unless your employer is willing to waive it. You should be able to find details of your notice in your contract of employment.

It’s easy to imagine your last few weeks as a time to relax and stop making an effort, but this is seldom the case. You’ll probably have plenty to keep you busy, finalising any outstanding work and ensuring you properly handover your responsibilities.

What’s more, being seen to make the effort right up until your last day will ensure your reputation as a professional and reliable employee remains intact. And you never know when you might deal with your employer again: one day they may be your client.

Finally, make sure you allow time to say goodbye to everyone and swap contact details with as many colleagues as you can. Moving jobs is a great way to extend your network and you may find you see some of your colleagues again sooner than you think.

Look forward

Last of all, don’t feel guilty about resigning. Feel good. Working is a business arrangement and moving jobs is part of that arrangement.

Whilst others may think you’re resigning from a perfectly good job, you’re the one in control of your career and only you can decide which direction it should take. If resigning from your job will bring you closer to meeting your goals, then it’s a legitimate step on your career path. Just remember to tread carefully, and act professionally at all times