When you receive and accept an offer of employment from a new company it is an exciting time but be sure to end the relationship with your previous employer on a positive note and with professionalism. It is not advisable to “burn bridges” as you don’t know how that could affect you in the future. Here are some key steps to maintain a professional demeanor throughout the process.
Write a Letter of Resignation
A proper letter of resignation is an important first step. This can be somewhat emotional, but it is important for closure for both you and your employer. If you are struggling with what to say or how to say it, you can always find a template to assist you. Be brief but to the point and ensure that you don’t leave any room for questions. You don’t need to apologize for taking a new position, but you also shouldn’t be bitter. If possible, hand the letter to your supervisor when you book a time to meet.
Ensure You Tell Your Supervisor First
Your supervisor should be the first one to know of your decision to leave. Telling a co-worker who you are close to might be tempting but this action can result in damaging repercussions. It is considered unprofessional to resign via email or voice mail. The conversation should take place face to face and preferably behind closed doors. If you work in a remote environment, then booking a video meeting would be ideal way to handle this situation.
How Much Notice is Enough?
Double check your employment contract to ensure you know how much notice you are required to give but keep in mind that your employer may need to hire someone to replace you and there will be the need for the transfer of knowledge between you and your replacement. Do your best to let your employer know as soon as you plan to resign rather than waiting until the last minute. Creating a transition plan for any outstanding items will make your leaving more positive.
Dealing With a Counteroffer
In today’s market it is likely that you will be given a counteroffer in terms of a promotion, a higher salary or more vacation. You need to remember the reasons that you are leaving and stick to your decision. It is doubtful that your decision to accept a new job had anything to do with salary or vacation. Accepting a counteroffer is an emotional rather than an intellectual decision. Once you resign your loyalty will always be called into question and you may be overlooked for future promotions or raises. If you are worth the extra money, why did it take you announcing you were leaving for it to be put on the table?
Keep A Positive Attitude and a Good Work Ethic
As you work out your notice period it is important that you maintain a positive attitude by not saying negative things about the company, your supervisor, or your teammates. Continue to work diligently at your job as when you were first hired. Your professionalism in these matters will be noticed and will go a long way in strengthening your network.
Remember Your Manners
Say thank you to your supervisor and your teammates. Let them know that you appreciated them.