Navigating Your Successful Resignation

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The last impression you make at a job is important. Maintaining flexibility and emotionally adjusting as you transition between roles is essential.

How you leave a job says a lot about you. The way you strengthen relationships at the company you are leaving and begin networking within your new organization impacts your career.

Keep in mind there may be a time when you work with the same professionals again. Therefore, ending on a positive note sets you up for future success.

Follow these steps to navigate a successful resignation and transition to your new job.

Steps for a Successful Resignation

  1. Use this link to assist with creating your resignation letter.
  2. Wait until the end of the day to resign in person.
  3. Get to the point rather than making awkward small talk.
  4. Provide your letter of resignation as you let your employer know you would like to resign.
  5. Quietly wait as your employer reads your letter and absorbs the fact that you are resigning.
  6. Professionally let your employer know you enjoyed your time with the company and that it is time to move on.
  7. Avoid providing feedback on what could be improved or changed.
  8. If your employer becomes upset, acknowledge that you understand the difficulty of the situation and that they need time to absorb the information.
  9. Offer to discuss your transition the following day.
  10. Provide your employer time to inform stakeholders about your transition before you share the news with others.

Rejecting a Counteroffer

After tendering your resignation, your employer may provide you with a counteroffer to stay. A counteroffer might include:

  • More money
  • Additional benefits
  • Increased responsibility
  • Changes in the reporting structure
  • Promises for upcoming salary reviews
  • Promises of future promotions
  • Remarks about your new employer
  • Emotional pressure to reconsider your decision to leave
  • Anger-based tactics to get you to stay

A counteroffer often includes either flattery or guilt:

  • We need you because you’re so valuable to the team.
  • You can’t desert the team.
  • We were about to give you a raise.
  • We were about to promote you.
  • Why would you want to work for another employer?
  • Why didn’t you tell me you were unhappy?
  • How can you throw away what we’ve built here?
  • You won’t find another company like ours.
  • The president wants to meet with you before you make your final decision.

Most employees who accept counteroffers leave the company within a year. The top reasons why include:

  • Salary typically was not the prime motivation to resign.
  • More money did not change the company’s culture.
  • Things returned to how they were before the resignation.

Consider your employer’s reaction to your resignation and presentation of a counteroffer:

  • Why would your employer make you feel guilty about leaving?
  • Why would your employer make promises to get you to stay?
  • Why didn’t your employer offer you more money or a promotion before?
  • Why won’t your employer accept your decision to leave and wish you well?

Hold firm to your decision to move forward in your career. Focus on your end goal of positive change and new challenges.

Steps for a Successful Transition

  1. Express appreciation for your time with the company.
  2. Share your desire to stay connected.
  3. Maintain a positive attitude.
  4. Remain engaged and productive during your remaining time.
  5. Hand off projects and tasks to a colleague to ensure continuity.
  6. Leave your office neat and organized.
  7. Turn off your job alerts.
  8. Update your LinkedIn profile.
  9. Begin engaging with your new employer and team.
  10. Prepare for your new chapter.
  11. Get excited about your transition!

For additional resources on counteroffers:

Questions to ask yourself when you get a counter offer

Should I accept that counter offer to stay at a company? No no no

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