I resigned not too long ago before setting up my own agency and so its pretty fresh in my mind how difficult it can be - scary, wrenching etc. After witnessing one of my consultants get a bit "frustrated" with a candidate about this it made me think, as recruiters, we can sometimes get a bit blasé about the subject, so I recently wrote a blog post on resigning for our Talent community which I thought might be good to share with y'all.
Resigning – why you shouldn’t feel nervous
Let’s face it – most people feel a bit nervous about resigning, even if they’re excited about their new job, but unless there are exceptional circumstances, it doesn’t have to be done Greg Smith style leaving bridges burned in your wake! As recruiters we go through this moment in peoples’ careers with them often, and whilst this an make us forget others don't, there’s some excellent pooled knowledge to pass on from those many experiences we’ve shared with candidates over the years.
It’s not personal!
Firstly, remember that your boss has resigned from roles in the past and so has nearly everyone else in the office. It’s part and parcel of work life not a direct attack or reflection on anyone, and if handled correctly, you can always leave the door open for future opportunities.
One of the first things you want to clarify before you resign are your push and pull factors.
If your resignation is all about pull factors – something new has come up and you simply can’t say no – then there’s nothing to say you can’t consider the company you’re leaving as an employer again in the future. In this case, write a (truthful – don’t be insincere by going overboard!) resignation letter which mentions how much you’ve enjoyed your role, how much you’ve learnt and that you’d love to stay in touch, and reiterate all of that in your resignation meeting. If they value you as much as you hope they do, they’ll love the positive feedback and will be pleased to return the compliment.
If your resignation is all about push factors – not being happy in your current role – then you need to ask yourself how candid you want to be in your exit interview. Is it best to be diplomatic or bluntly air your grievances to influence change for the better? Consider the elements of your role that have made you unhappy, pick the most tangible aspects to feedback and deliver it in person during your exit interview. Keep your resignation note more factual and formal and state the dates for the purpose of fulfilling your notice period.
Stick to your guns!
Either way, get your reasons for moving on in order, stick to your guns and don’t fall into the classic trap of being flattered by a counter offer (more on that here). If the pull factors were strong enough to make you resign, remember that feeling of excitement and opportunity and leave the door open to return in the future. If the push factors were bad enough to make you resign…well, enough said.
We hope these words have been of some comfort to those of you dreading your resignation meeting whether it be for good, or bad reasons. It really is common to feel that way, just not necessary.
Good luck with the resignation meeting and most importantly, good luck with your new job!