Resigning & Counter Offers

Never resign or tell anyone ‘informally’ until you have a formal job offer in writing in your hand. No offer is legally binding until you have a signed written copy.
Check the offer matches all your expectations, particularly in the following areas:

  • Salary
  • Car/ Car allowance
  • Any bonuses
  • Job title
  • Start date
  • Package benefits (holidays, private health, pension etc.)

Resignation Process:

Now it’s time to resign. This is a very nervous moment for most people but try to remember everybody resigns at some point in their career – including your boss! Don’t feel guilty for leaving even if they try to make you feel like that. It is your career/ life that you need to look after – not the company you work for.

There is a protocol to resigning in order to ensure you leave on good terms with your employer. After all, you want a good reference and you never know where your career may take you after this new job!

  • Tell your manager face to face that you are resigning. You should have a resignation letter prepared but give this to them discretely after this meeting.
  • Be positive about your time in the business even if you would like to get some things off your chest – you aren’t going to gain anything by airing your negative views.
  • Let your manager announce your resignation to the workforce. He/ she will appreciate being able to manage this process as they see fit.
  • Be clear and consistent with your reasons for leaving. Much of the discussion with your manager will be about these so ensure you have prepared realistic and reasonable reasons.

Resignation letter:

  • Keep this short, formal, polite and in keeping with your professional nature.
  • Ensure it has:

i.       Your name and address
ii.      Your manager’s name and address
iii.     Your intended leave date and/ or your notice period date
iv.      State the position you are resigning from
v.       Optional – writing a sentence or two on your gratitude to the business and people you have worked with is a nice touch that leaves a positive last impression.

Counter-Offers:

Beware the counter offer!

Over 80% of employees who accept a counter offer when resigning are back on the job market within 6 months.

There is one main reason for this: the reasons you had for leaving don’t change – even if various promises are made to you. Things may improve in the short-term as the company doesn’t want the hassle of having to replace you unexpectedly. They will make exceptions to ensure you are happier but a company can’t change its culture/ processes for one person long-term.

It costs an employer the equivalent of your annual salary to replace, train and ensure your replacement is up to speed. This is without taking into account the problems and costs incurred when they have no one in situ after you go. Hence it is significantly easier, and cheaper, for them to promise you the world and keep you happy for a few months while they build a succession plan in preparation for your departure in the near future.

Also, having handed in your notice, you will have lost your place for any future prospects or career progression as they question your loyalty.

Most companies will counter-offer so don’t be flattered by it. Your salary will be increased slightly but this will only result in no pay rises for the foreseeable future afterwards– not very inspiring!

However, weigh up every counter-offer on its merits. Get any promises in writing so they are binding – treat it like an external offer. If they won’t write it down, you know it probably isn’t going to happen.

You have been warned!

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