Accepting a new job at a different company is an exciting time. However, the thrill of the new adventure can be diminished when you realize you have to leave your current company.
Executives should resign gracefully from the current company, and this can be a tricky process that often unnerves even the most experienced executive. Yet it’s crucial for making a smooth transition and protecting your reputation.
While there is no definitive guide to resigning with grace, there are steps that can be implemented to ensure that executives leave on a good note and retain the relationships they have carefully established.
One of the most important tips is to keep quiet about a departure until you have submitted a formal resignation in writing. “Every departure from any company requires careful thought and planning. Follow the chain of command when you plan to resign,” writes Entrepreneur’s Neil Patel. “Pre-departure whispering campaigns can destroy your relationships and ruin an otherwise great resignation.”
The second tip is equally important for those wanting to maintain positive relationships post- employment. This tip is to refer to your company handbook or guidelines and adhere to all length of notice requirements. The standard duration of notice can range from anywhere between 2 to 6 weeks, so assuring you have left yourself enough time to transition effectively between each job is paramount. In some rare cases, employers terminate employment upon resignation – this is something that is normally stipulated in an employee handbook or manual.
Career experts also advise that when an executive is preparing to leave their company, the level, quality and speed of their current work should remain unaffected. “Don’t disappear during the last weeks on the job. Stay an active member of the team,” advises Quint Careers writer, Randell Hansen.
Executives that aid in the transition of fellow employees or newcomers during the resignation period are viewed more favourably by management and higher-ups than those who disengage and do the bare minimum, according to recruiters and employment experts. “Offer to train your successor, or the person who will fill in until your successor is chosen when you resign,” recommends Human Resources expert, Susan Heathfield. “Write manuals and operating procedures that describe the steps that you followed in key components of your job, if you do not have these developed already.”
While a resignation requires tact and grace, so does declining a counter offer that may be made by the current company. “Data shows that while counter offers are flattering, they do not lead to meaningful permanent positions,” comments Sheldon Resnick, a Toronto-based executive recruiter and founder of Sheldon Resnick Associates Inc. “That is why most recruiters advise clients to politely decline counter offers.”
As Resnick points out, counteroffers, while tempting, usually end with employment termination within the next 12 months. “Experts speculate that the initial resignation creates an environment where the employer begins to question the loyalty and commitment of the employee,” Toronto’s Sheldon Resnick goes on to explain.
Making the most of the final days at a job can set a positive tone for future interactions, not only with the previous employer, but also with coworkers. Industries are small and experts remind everyone that you never know when you will run into a familiar face later down the road. All to say, make sure you keep the bridges you have created and not burn them in one fell swoop.