Sign before you resign

There is no right time for your employer to receive the news that you have decided to leave the company. Although resigning may feel like an uncomfortable experience, handing in your notice with a well-thought out and professional approach will ultimately enhance your next career move.

There are a handful of common blunders we have seen, where candidates have prematurely and erratically announced their departure and / or accepted a counteroffer before having their new contract in hand. Our professional guidance is to only resign once you have signed your new contract.

The main thing you can do to ensure you leave the meeting with your manager on a positive note is to prepare. Preparing yourself is key and will leave you less susceptible to emotional influence and discouragement from your new career plan.

Before pursuing a new career, you should consider three steps to action in your existing position to ensure a smooth departure:

  • Clarify your reasons for leaving

Being certain in your decision before having input from other parties is crucial. Issues, concerns and reasons you feel ready to move are normally progressive and not any one particular moment, make a note of these things.

If you are contemplating leaving your company but you are not 100% sure, tee up an honest discussion with your manager and HR department. Address your concerns and look to gain a resolution that works for both parties. If your mind is already made up about departing, plan ahead for this meeting so you can remain confident. In turn, this will leave you less likely to be swayed by potential discouragement.

  • Set up a meeting with your manager

While it may be hard to keep quiet when you receive an exciting job offer, prematurely sharing this news in an informal setting, especially with anyone but your manager, is not the right time to do so. Whilst it may be hard to resist succumbing to emotion, candidates shouldn’t overlook the fact that this news could be negatively received.

Unprepared for the outcome of this could result in several unpleasant experiences – rumours of your exit, a new contract not agreeable, a new offer not approved and unnecessary attention are all a risk. Even with the best intentions, we have seen candidates leave their company on a sour note due to the rumour mill, which also poses a risk of a bad referral for future employment ventures.

  • Don’t slow down

Your job hasn’t ended after you resign, so don’t tarnish a good reputation by taking your foot off the pedal. Uphold your work responsibilities and be mindful of the impact your resignation may have. Regardless of your feelings, keeping a professional attitude is key in the impression you’ll leave behind.

Planning your exit is of the utmost importance to a strategic and career enhancing move. Time your resignation right and don’t reveal your final card before you’ve truly thought it through.

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