Monday 3 October 2011

Resigning: An Exit Strategy

Threatening to leave, or saying you are looking for another job, isn't the same as formally resigning. Saying 'I quit!' in the heat of an argument with your employer may be taken as a proper resignation so be cautious in what you say.

If you do resign in the heat of the moment but didn't mean it, tell your employer quickly.

Before handing in your resignation, think carefully about why you are doing it and whether it's the right thing to do.

If you hand in your resignation, either verbally or in writing, is a clear statement by you to your employer that you are going to leave your job. Remember that:
  • your resignation can't be taken back, unless your contract allows it, or your employer agrees
  • you will get your final pay on your normal pay day unless your contract says differently - you don't have the right to ask for it any earlier
  • as long as you have given notice in accordance with the terms of your contract, your employer must accept your resignation
A resignation letter needs to contain ONLY 6 things:
  1. Your name
  2. Date
  3. Addressee
  4. Notice of termination of employment (how much notice you are giving)
  5. When this is effective from (what your last day will be)
  6. Your signature
Give your employer the right amount of notice. By law, you must give one week's notice if you have worked for your employer for a month or more. Your contract may demand longer.

Thanking your employer is optional, complaining is not.

If you are leaving because of problems at work or a disagreement with your boss, could these problems be sorted out through your company's grievance procedure? Think about how you will manage without your wages, and how easy it will be to find another job.

You should remain civil and professional throughout the resignation process. You can arrange a meeting with your manager and tell them you’re resigning. It’s quite dramatic but they’ll ask you to put it in writing. Avoid this thunder-stealing moment by taking a letter of resignation with you.

If your employer makes a counter offer, think carefully: will a pay rise or promotion make you happy? Will you feel comfortable with colleagues that know you wanted to leave?

They offered you shares and a company car but you stood firm. Make sure your boss knows how proactive you’ve been in completing your handover – they may be less ferocious when it comes to settling any outstanding salary, holiday entitlement or commission owed to you.

Before you draft your letter of resignation:
  • Are you being paid enough?
  • Do you get on well with your colleagues?
  • Is the culture supportive?
  • Is the training effective?
  • Could you develop your role/be promoted?
If you answered yes to three or more of the above, you might want to reconsider your decision.

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