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How Can I Resign Without Too Much Fuss? (VIDEO)

“After being headhunted two months ago, I now have an offer on the table I can’t refuse. I’ve not moved jobs for seven years now. How can I resign without too much fuss?”


Here's the question I received: "After being headhunted two months ago, I now have an offer on the table I can’t refuse. I’ve not changed jobs for seven years now. How can I resign without too much fuss?"

There are 2 parts to this; the 1st part relates to your boss. All you have to do is request 15 minutes with them. Most people resign on a Friday . However, if for some reason you have to start sooner than would be allowed by giving 2 weeks notice, resign now.

"Can I have a few minutes with you?"

You will have already wordprocessed the letter of resignation and will say something like, "This is to confirm what I have told you orally. (Fill in the name of the firm), effective immediately. I'm providing 2 weeks notice. My last day of employment is such and such. Thank you so much for the opportunity I have had here for the last 7 years. I really appreciate it. However, I have a great new offer that I am looking forward to."

"Best of luck to you and if there is anything else I can do within these 2 weeks to assist with the transition, please let me know."

Hand this letter to your boss as you sit down, then, orally say much the same thing to he or she. What you are doing now is handing in a confirmation note.

You can't guarantee their response. After all, this is the other side of the equation. Earlier I said there were 2 sides to this and I initially dealt with your side which is what to do. Given that you have been there for 7 years and in general may not have changed jobs often, you may have some degree of a churning stomach before hand. This is very common.

On their side, your boss may hear your words and your eyes may become very big and say something like, "But why? We love you! You're so important to us. Please stay. We need you. What's it going to take? What's it going to take?" You can't control their side of it.

On your boss' side, for 7 years you have been the reliable loyal individual and now you are leaving. As a result, they may try to persuade you to stay by paying you more. If money were the only reason why you decided to leave, pay attention. However, you need to remember the other reasons why you want to look for a job, too.

Usually, firms make promises to parting employees to persuade them to stay. But remember this – –(1) in 2 weeks, they will forget what those promises were. (2) if your boss leaves, who knows what these promises were, right? Let me give you an example from some years ago. This person who is doing 80% travel and want to stay close to home, was willing to do 25% travel, decided to stay with his firm promised him that. When his boss quit and was replaced, he went back up to 80% again. As a result, you have to get that part in writing which they will never do.

In terms of minimizing "fuss," they will probably take a few runs asked you to try to persuade you to stay. Your boss' boss may take a run at you. HR may reach you for an exit interview. This is not the time to go out with guns blazing, shooting in every direction, criticizing everyone and everything. It's ridiculous because they are not going to change anything. That's the reality; they are not going to change anything and you are going to feel and look ridiculous and goofy by being critical of the boss who is still going to be there or critical of your coworkers who are still going to be there.

Just simply say, "I am happy to do the exit interview." If they asked about why you are leaving, you can simply say, as you said in your note, "I was headhunted and it is very different than what I am doing here. It is a great opportunity. I've decided to go forward."

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio” and “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” both available through iTunes and Stitcher.

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