After days, weeks, months or longer of interviewing, you have received a job offer that meets your needs and have decided to give notice to your employer and resign your current job.
1. Get your job offer in writing. Having the offer in writing is both your legal protection against an employer should they make an attempt to deceive you with the terms of the offer AND your protection against you having made a mistake in hearing the offer. The letter should include both your new salary and position title within it. Some will provide a benefits summary; most large firms will not provide that until employee orientation during your initial phase of employment with their firm.
2. Meet with your boss for a few minutes and tell them personally and provide a written letter of resignation. “May I get a minute with you uttered on a Friday,” has started more discussions about resignation and sent many employers into unhappy weekends and managers into anxiety attacks about how to replace someone than almost any other question.
3. Give two weeks notice. Sometimes three weeks is the right thing to do, but remember, your new job is waiting for you and if you’ve told them you’ll be there in two weeks, do not adjust your start date to accommodate the job you’re leaving. After all, if you died tomorrow, they would still survive without you.
4. Your letter of resignation should be simple.
I have decided to resign my position with Mega Company effective today. My last day of employment will be _____________.
Thank you for the opportunity to have worked with you and to have learned from you. (OPTIONAL SENTENCE TO FOLLOW). Please respect me and my decision by not attempting to make a counter offer.
5. If you are asked for reason you are leaving, do not be hypercritical and answer simply. “I believe that this opportunity will further my career goals,” is acceptable. If you want to go into details, do not discuss any slights that you received. Focus on objective things, rather than on your (emotional) reactions to decisions. You do not need to disclose the name of the firm you are going to work for although there is nothing wrong about doing so.
6. For most people, do not consider accepting a counteroffer. How did you “suddenly” become worth more money? Because your departure inconveniences your employer. As a result, they will have to delay plans or have work assigned to others less capable and will be adversely impacted. For most people, a counteroffer only addresses and corrects the financial failings of their job and does nothing to improve their job.
Resigning well will allow you to complete your final week(s) of employment well and head to your new job with confidence and certainty.
© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC 2005