Leaving a job is often a difficult step. Sure, there is the
exciting opportunity to do something different, but if have been
with an employer for over a year this can become an emotional
People leave jobs for various reasons. The old job might
just plain and simple suck. The pay is lousy and the boss is
behaving like a dictator of a 3rd world country. Or the job
might be target of outsourcing and the employee is pro-active by
looking for his/her own way out. Or the job is a dead end. No
opportunity and the daily routine is boring. It could also be
that the immediate co-workers and managers are just not as nice
and that there is no great work relationship that makes the
employee to love to go to work. A not so exciting job can still
be a great place to work if you have great co-workers and
managers around. Work is about money, but the socializing part
is important, too.
We're not trying to get into the
reasons for leaving a job here for the matter of this article.
However - we want to concentrate on the actual part of resigning
from a job. And again - there are several different ways of
leaving a job. If you absolutely do not care about your old job
you could just leave but this step can have severe impact on
your career down the road. Keep in mind that employers like to
check the places you worked at before they want to hire you.
These sins of the past might come back and hurt your reputation.
"Oh, he left that job without any notice. What if he does the
same thing to me?" - This could be just one thought a new
employer might have. Depending on the job a one week or two week
notice should be given. In some cases 3-4 weeks can be
appropriate. As higher you get up in the ranks this might be the
way to go. An executive leaving a company without taking care of
a proper transition might hurt himself if the company gets into
problems afterwards and this becomes public knowledge. Treat the
employer fair and do not burn any bridges. In the long run this
will be the best decision an employee can make.
resigning you should be prepared to avoid unnecessary stress. In
most cases resigning is a stressful event. A well prepared
employee can take some stress out of this big step with proper
planning. Write a 2 or 3 line letter of resignation. Nothing
fancy. Try not to explain why you leave. Just state that you are
resigning from your position and let the company know what your
last day at work will be. Sign the letter and hand it to the
manager you are resigning to.
Do not just turn over the letter
and walk away. Say that you are resigning and then hand over the
letter of resignation. Be prepared to answer questions why you
are leaving. Do not make up things. Prepare a quick list of pain
points if needed. You might even help your co-workers by giving
constructive feedback about certain situations and problems. I
personally recommend never to mention the word money as the main
reason of leaving. If things come down to money if often gets
Eventually be prepared for an immediate
counter-offer during your resignation. Some companies try to fix
the problem of an employee leaving by throwing more money at
him/her. Or they want to buy time and pretend giving you more
money. They give you more money but work on your replacement at
the same time. Things might also work out Ok for a while but
when the going gets tough and it comes to layoffs the guy who
took the counter-offer might be one of the first ones to be let
go because of the cost factor. I see only one situation when it
can be good or Ok to accept a counter-offer.
Say you are leaving
because of the work environment and you are able to point out
problems and issues. Some employers are blind about these things
and just don't realize how employees feel about certain things.
Suddenly a good employees leaves and the issue comes to the
surface. Some employers are willing to fix the issue and these
are rare situations a counter-offer can be accepted. Still - the
employee has to carefully evaluate the situation. It is
important to know who you are dealing with from a personal side.
Can you trust the employer?
Sometimes a counter-offer can
come up during the last few days at a company or shortly after
the last day. We have seen cases when counter-offers were made
within 60-70 days after the employee left. These situations are
not good. I highly recommend not to accept such a counter-offer
no matter how tempting the offer is. The employee has to keep in
mind that he/she already left. This mark will always stick. One
day the employer might be in a different situation and has to
decide who to let go first. Will it be the loyal employee who is
with the company for 8 years or is it the "Gung-Ho" who left
just to be lured back by money and who eventually leaves again
if the next employer is willing to hand out even more cash? Make
a bet ....
These are just a few things to keep in mind
when thinking about resigning from a position. Be prepared. Be
strong. Change can be very good for your career.
About the Author:
Christoph Puetz is a successful entrepreneur and international
book author. Websites of Christoph Puetz can be found at