Resources - Resignation/Counteroffer
RESIGNATION & COUNTEROFFER
Judging the right time to make a career change involves a variety of considerations. To begin with, look at your drivers and whatís motivating you to find a new opportunity. Why do you think you want to leave? Is it money, opportunity, the scope of your job, a missed promotion, location, or something more personal? Discuss your situation and feelings with friends and family, or anyone in a professional role that you can trust. Most of all, listen to your own feelings.
Now that you have accepted the offer, what do you do? How do you go about resigning? Should you tell your employer where you are going?
The Resignation Process
When youíve made your mind up, take a look through your contract and company handbook to see what specific procedures your employer has in place. Make sure youíre aware of the length of the notice period you are required to work. If you donít have a formal period of notice in your contract, you should allow at least two weeks for the handover period as a sign of good will.
So, once, you are ready to announce your resignation, how can you make as smooth a transition from your current employer to your new one? You'll again want to act professionally and follow company guidelines. Specifically, you need to consider:
- Timing. Give enough notice. The standard notice has traditionally been two to four weeks, but you should consult your employee handbook in case your employer expects more (or less) advance warning.
- Negotiating the Details. Be sure to get a fair settlement for any outstanding salary, vacation (and sick and personal) days, and commission payments or other compensation due to you.
- Hiring Replacement. Offer to help your current employer find your replacement.
- Training. Volunteer to train or work with your replacement to show him or her "the ropes."
- Wrapping up at Work. Don't disappear during the last weeks on the job. Stay an active member of the team. Avoid taking a short-timer's attitude or aligning yourself with any discontented co-workers.
- Complete Your Assignments. Be sure to do your best to complete all open assignments and leave detailed progress reports for your supervisor and co-workers.
- Departure. Before walking out the door for the last time, be sure you have contact information for key supervisors and co-workers that you want to keep part of your network of contacts and be sure to thank them again for their support.
Preparing your Resignation letter
Your resignation will most likely include two parts, an oral and written resignation to be presented in conjunction with one another. Have your written resignation letter prepared when you give your oral resignation.
1) Oral Resignation - Resigning orally may place you in the compromising position of having to explain your decision on the spot. Words are very powerful. Choose your words with care. Your boss may want to probe for factors which led to your decision. You may be asked who or what is the reason for your leaving, or may be invited to offer suggestions to help make the organization more effective. Refer and go back to your resignation letter.
2) Written Resignation - A written resignation gives you the time to effectively prepare what you wish to communicate, and gives you greater control over your delivery of the message. A written resignation also reinforces the fact that you are really leaving and are not simply threatening in order to re-negotiate your position. Keep your resignation letter short, simple and positive.
What exactly should you say in your letter of resignation? Here's a basic outline:
1) First Paragraph: State your intention of quitting your job and leaving the company. Give a specific last day of work.
2) Second paragraph: If you feel comfortable, give a reason why you are leaving -- relocating, better job, career change, graduate school, etc. Or, reinforce your value by mentioning your key accomplishments with the employer.
3) Third Paragraph: Thank both your supervisor and the company for the opportunities you had working for them. Be sure to end the letter on a positive note.
Have you ever been counter-offered? Accepted a counter-offer? Your employer may make you a counteroffer to entice you to stay. Be very wary of counteroffers.
Statistics show four to six months later, 90% of those candidates who accept a counteroffer are back on the street looking - either by choice, because promises weren't kept, or because they have been replaced or let go. Whether the employer admits it or not, your dedication will be questioned, and once that happens, you might be viewed differently. The counter might not address all the drivers for you wanting to make the change. It's better to tactfully decline the offer and focus on your new job with your new employer.
Be prepared, your employer may ask you the following questions and you want to be prepared in your response:
Why are you leaving? You do not want to go into detail about your current job situation. By not discussing why you are leaving, it will take the pressure off debating your reasons for leaving.
Where are you going? You do not need to tell anyone where you are going. By telling your current employer where you are going you are giving them ammunition to use against you and to help talk you into staying
How much money are they giving you? A good response is, "My future employer has asked that I keep that confidential?Ē
How did you find the job? The easiest response is "I found it through research and using my network." Itís best not to refer to recruiters, because it just opens the issue for debate and negative feedback about your search methodology.
Resigning might seem daunting at first. Take time to prepare mentally, write your resignation letter, and be confident that you are making the right move for yourself and your career. When you do make the move, you can stay in touch with those you have worked with before. You wonít have to leave those relationships behind; you will be adding to your network.