If you are like most people who have forged a career based on loyalty, commitment and emotional engagement the idea of handing in your resignation to a leader that you genuinely like is one of life’s more daunting experiences. Human beings don’t like to disappoint people they respect or directly cause issues but unfortunately the management of your career will inevitably lead to resigning at least 2 or 3 times in your life.
Unsurprisingly preparation is important; as is clear, concise communication and confidence in the decision you are making.
Here are a few tips that might help you prepare and execute your resignation:
1. Get the meeting booked in your leader’s diary (or utilize a regular catch up meeting if one is coming up). This means that you are committed to the action and can’t “chicken out” at the last minute.
2. Write a resignation letter that is very clear and unambiguous. The conversation you have in the meeting will add the emotional context to your resignation but writing down that “This is very hard for me” or “I would love to stay employed by XXXX” is irrelevant to the person you are talking to.
3. Even if you are considering a counteroffer (which is very rarely a positive move…….I will write another blog on that one!!) make sure that you never leave with your dated resignation letter in your pocket. It NEEDS to remain with the person you have resigned to.
4. The person you are resigning to has – at some stage – resigned themselves. Their initial reaction will be about how this affects them. How will they be viewed? Will it involve more work? Where are they going to find your replacement etc? They will be disappointed to lose you, sure, but they will be more gutted about what it means to them.
5. Finally, do it with some class. Now is not the time to unload baggage or fire a few missiles. There will be time to provide some (constructive!) criticism in your exit interview but …… stay classy in this moment guys.