The Resignation Process

Dissatisfaction with your job

“I wouldn’t stay with your company for a million pounds. A position of junior goat herder in Mongolia would be a more positive career step than staying here.”

While you may be thinking it, an explosive statement like this is never going to be the best way to kick off a smooth resignation process. It could make working your notice uncomfortable to say the least! There are many things to consider when leaving your job including weighing counter offers, taking gardening leave, holiday entitlement, and whether or not you have a bonus due. Leaving your first job can be especially tough; perhaps you have made some good friends and are used to the daily routine. But keep in mind why you’re leaving and what’s driving you forward. All in all, leaving your job can be a very stressful time and is a common source of emotional strain. I wouldn’t recommend starting the resignation process until you have a written contract and offer letter from your new employee. Once you’ve got these in your hand you are in a good position to resign from your job.
Before writing your resignation letter, read over your contract with your current employer. Check how much notice you have to give and if are there any clauses which limit your working for a competitor.  Once you’ve understood your notice you can think about writing your letter of resignation.  If you haven’t done one of these before, I would recommend checking out which has a number of templates you can follow.

Telling your boss you want to resign

Now for the part you’ve been dreading; the meeting with your boss to let them know that you’re off! Having personally been in this place a few times it can be alot harder than you think. I’ve have had various reactions and you simply never know what’s going to happen.  I can only liken it to splitting up with your girlfriend/boyfriend; they might be really pleased but on the other hand you might get a drink over you!

To hand your notice in you will need to set up a meeting with your line manager. If you don’t think they’re going to take it very well, I would suggest getting HR in too.  At this point it will go one of three ways; they could show you the door and put you on gardening leave, ask you to work your notice, or counter offer you.  So what do all of these mean for you?

Gardening leave

If you’re going to work for a competitor, your current employer will probably want you to leave the office as soon as possible as any information you learn there could be passed on to the competitor’s advantage. With that in mind, they will ask you to serve your notice outside of the company (garden leave).  It’s a bit like a paid holiday as you are technically still employed by the first company and can’t start your new position until you’ve worked your notice.  My advice? Make the most of it!  Go on holiday – you might not get the chance to take 1-3 months off again for a while.  If you need ideas on where to go look here 101 holiday ideas

Working your notice

It’s very likely that they will ask you to work your notice.  They will probably ask you to handover all your work and document where you are up to.  While working notice I would expect to be assigned very basic tasks, from stuffing envelopes to cleaning the stationary cupboard.  This is usually about as complicated as it gets!

Counter offer

Congratulations, you’re doing a good job if you get one of these!  A counter offer can be a hard situation, as is likely to be more money and an offer of more responsibility.  Before jumping at anything, think about the reasons you wanted to leave in the first place and write them down. Do a pros and cons list if it helps.  Being offered more money is great, but will it offer you the job satisfaction you’re looking for?  Keep in mind that for your current employer it will be expensive to get someone new in; there’s a recruitment fee and then the 3-6 months it will take to get the person up to speed.  In total this cost can easily run well over £10k+.  So taking that into consideration, how generous does a £5k pay rise sound?  Also being promised more responsibility is flattering but will it actually happen?  If it’s more responsibility you want, ask you current employer to document how and when it’s going to happen if you do stay.

Other things to consider

Once you managed to get through all of this then I’ll assume that you’re on your way to your new position.  However you still might have holiday due (or owed) and there might be a bonus in the equation too.

Firstly holiday pay.  If you haven’t taken all your entitlement you will be paid the extra days you’re owed.  However if you taken more than you’re due, your previous employer will deduct the amount of extra days you’ve taken from your final pay.

As for bonus or commission this is normally at the company’s discretion. Leave on good terms and you’re more likely to get it.  But be warned they’re not contractually obliged to give it to you.

I hope that this makes what can be a tricky process easier for you.  And best of luck in your new job!