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How to resign

So you've done it.  You've found a new job, just one small step left to go, handing in your resignation. For many this small act is perhaps the hardest one.  Ending a relationship, whether corporate or personal is always a daunting prospect.  While there might be the temptation for a dramatic gesture, it could come back to haunt you further on in your career. So, keep it professional! Here is our guide on how to resign professionally.

  1. Be prepared - there is never a good time, but try to, officially, give your notice soon as possible after you've received a formal offer letter and contract from your new employers.  It is the norm to give notice in person to your direct line manager, but some organisations may prefer more senior managers or HR to handle resignations.  Make sure you know who you need to speak to and then book a time to speak in private. Have your formal letter of resignation ready, complete with your proposed leaving date etc..  Don't forget to date and sign it.
  2. Counter offer - no one wants to lose their most talented or key members of staff, and counter-offering resigning employees has been on the increase. Think about this in advance would you be willing to stay if you were given an increased salary or promotion. What, if anything, would make you want to stay? While it can be tempting to stay for a pay rise, often the reasons for leaving go beyond money and six months down the line the issues that prompted your job search will still be there.
  3. Be professional - once you know you're leaving it's easy to move down a gear and lose motivation, but whether you have a four week or a six-month notice period maintain an interest in your role and don't start slacking. Also remember, whatever your reason for leaving now isn't the time to start bad-mouthing your boss/senior management/colleagues. Keep it professional and try not to become a disruptive influence in the office as this won't win you any friends.
  4. Be honest - most companies will ask why you're leaving.  Be as honest as possible, if organisations don't know their faults, they can't work towards correcting them.  But, don't turn it into a witch hunt. If it is clash of personalities then feel free to say so, but try not to stab everyone in the back as you walk out the door. Remember point three and stay professional.
  5. Leave on good terms - the world is getting smaller. You never know when you may come into contact with your previous employer or colleagues again in the future.  This might not be direct contact, with networks such as LinkedIn so wide spread it's easy enough for any recruiting manager to ask mutual connections their opinion of you. So leave with a smile and thank them for the role they've played in your career. A few kind words can go a long way.

Now you know how to resign there is nothing standing in your way!  However, if you're not quite ready to resign yet and are still looking for your next role then check out our latest vacancies and read our other job seeking tips from CV writing to interview prep and how to survive a Skype call.

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