The secret scuttling and paper shuffling involved before tendering a resignation has become part of the norm in corporate circles of late.
With professionals angling to get the best deal possible in the market, resigning from a job has become a gut-wrenching, sweat-inducing process of dread; when quite honestly it needs not be.
My vantage point in the East African realm of recruitment has allowed me to view resignations in a 3-dimensional way – as a candidate, an employer and a recruiter.
Allow me to share my simple pearls of wisdom on the ideal way to tender a resignation in the hope of easing the overall process by ensuring you make sensible decisions before you resign and act with decorum after you resign:
Soul search – There is no point in considering a new job without fully understanding your intrinsic motivation and desired career trajectory. Be crystal clear on what you want before you begin your search to attract precisely what you desire.
Take stock – Analysing your current situation at work and searching for wiggle-room should be your starting point. Can you grow from within? Have you applied for internal vacancies? Have you had an open discussion with your Line Manager or HR about how you would like to grow? If there are things that dissatisfy you, what have you done to address them? How many years have you dedicated to the organization and what have you gained from working there? Do a thorough situation analysis – leaving should be a last resort.
Explore your options (carefully) – Job-hunting is always a risky venture; in a limited labour market where everyone knows everyone the odds of your employer getting wind of your quest are high. Not all employers take this lightly – some may even lose trust in you seeing it as a form of betrayal – this is absolute nonsense in my view; moving on is a fundamental right. If there is one key takeaway let it be that your exploration should be done carefully to avoid embarrassment and to show your employer the utmost respect.
Make a firm decision – When you have completed countless interviews and eventually land an offer that you can’t refuse, do not sign the offer until you are unequivocally sure that it is the right decision to make.
Confidently communicate – Resign in person (where possible), and ensure you have your resignation letter in front of you. Be transparent about the reason you have chosen to leave and share where you are moving to, when asked.
No games allowed – Lead with the ‘why’, your decision to leave should be sacrosanct – you should be ‘unswayable’ by even the most convincing of employers. Do not be tempted to sign a counteroffer as the repercussions may haunt you. No one likes a player; if you go back on your decision you come across as spineless and indecisive – be steadfast in your decision.
Integrity & decorum – once your resignation has been accepted serve your notice period with consistency and ensure you deliver right up to your last day at work. Truth be told, the way you act in your final 30 days will leave a lasting impression on your colleagues and employer.
Take stock (again) – Reflect on your personal growth over the course of your time with your soon-to-be-ex-employer. Maintain a positive relationship with the people you have connected with at work, and show gratitude for the opportunity you have had the fortune to experience.
Never burn a bridge; you will undoubtedly meet again.
Power into your next adventure – Own your next adventure with enthusiasm; don’t look back.
I wish you well as you go forth and spin your own pearls.