Q : I'm a software developer who's lucky enough to get a new job. I've never resigned from a position before, so I'm not completely sure how to leave a job. What's the best way to quit?
A : Unsurprisingly, there are good ways and bad ways to go through a resignation. Leaving your job in a professional manner is important. You never know when you may cross paths with your current colleagues or company again.
Order of Resignation
If you're moving into a new job, ensure you have received official paperwork from your new employer. Carefully check the detail of your new contract and clarify any ambiguities or areas of concern. Only when you have officially accepted your new position (in writing or via email) are you in a position to resign. Calculate your last day of work, taking into consideration holidays taken or due and your notice period (as per your existing contract of employment). Then, write, print and sign your resignation letter before you actually meet with your manager to resign.
Over the years, we have found some candidates are eager to hand their notice in, while others find it a very traumatic experience. Either feeling can put you in a weak position. If you do not prepare yourself for the possible reaction of your manager / company / boss, this could leave you vulnerable to unexpected and awkward reactions.
Mental preparation for handing in your notice
When most employees resign, it is typical to be faced with one of two scenarios:
- A. Disappointment from your manager, but wishing you well as they realise what you are going to do is good for your career.
- B. Your current company only considers their own situation.
Scenario ‘B’ oftens result in stalling tactics and outpourings of promises. Be very wary of a company that only reacts when faced with a resignation. They may bring enormous pressure to bear.This pressure can take the form of one or a combination of the following:
- Counter offer (salary increase)
- New title (Senior Developer)
- Promotion (Team Leader)
- Peer pressure (one of the ‘team’)
- Expressions of love and respect
- Promises of a new and exciting project (soon…)
So, you must prepare for this kind of pressure, however unlikely you consider it to be.
Next week: How to deal with the counter-offer