Resignation & Counter Offers

The Resignation

Be very sure of your decision before giving notice. Wavering and mind changing at this point wastes everyone’s time and makes you look unprofessional. Nobody enjoys this part of the process and it can be emotionally draining for many people. Try to focus on how you’ll feel when you start your new exciting role.

Always write your resignation letter beforehand as verbally outlining your reasons for leaving can leave you tongue tied and embarrassed. The letter should be succinct, polite and give thanks their help and support while you were employed by them. It should NOT be bitter, angry or make accusations.

This will help if you ever need a reference in the future and shows you’re a professional operator. Some industries are very small and poor behaviour can spoil your future opportunities.

Counter Offer

Your current employer will not wish to lose you, it’s much harder (and more expensive) to recruit and re-train new personnel. Counter offers are extremely common and your current employer may entice you to stay with more money or a new position. They may even say this pay increase or new role was already on the cards. This makes them look good and could make you second guess your decision.

At this stage you must ask yourself three questions:

  • Why has it taken to get to this stage for them to offer you this increase in remuneration?
  • Why did they not previously mention this change in role?
  • Above all, remember your reasons for looking for a move in the first place!

Evidence shows that most people who accept a counter offer and stay at an organisation leave within 12 months. The underlying corporate culture is unlikely to change and your reasons for the initial move won’t magically go away.

Agree a provisional departure date at the time of resignation. This can be flexible but it’s best to set up a framework within which everyone can plan for the future. If you hope to leave before your official notice period ends, suggest targets to work towards that would allow for an early release from your contract.

In the very unlikely event of the meeting turning sour, retain your professionalism and close the meeting at the earliest opportunity. Your manager may well need time to reflect on your news. A negative response will certainly strengthen your resolve that you’re doing the right thing.

If a complication arises in the event of a counter offer, always speak to your recruitment consultant before making any decisions. Discussion with an independent professional can be extremely useful.