Advice on Resigning

Every week, we at Kerry Consulting interview literally dozens of people who have an interest in developing their careers with a different employer.

For many, their search will bear fruit and they will find themselves accepting a new position with a new organization.

For some the absolutely inevitable resignation process can pose difficulties. As ever following some basic steps can make resigning very much easier. Preparation is the key.

Prior to the resignation meeting, you need to remind yourself:

1. Of why you were looking around for a role in the first place.

Factors vary widely but can include:

  • Inadequate career scope (technical, managerial or geographical)

  • Cultural misalignment

  • Compensation issues

Whatever your actual reasons for looking around, it is perfectly normal to be hit by a wave of nostalgia when one is actually about to exit. A whole raft of 'irrational' emotions can be triggered.

It is worth reminding oneself that the safest way through a stressful emotional period is to rely on your own original decisions and not get caught up 'in the moment'.

2. Of what your medium and long term career objectives are.

3. Of how your new role and organization will help you to achieve your career goals.

4. That you and you alone are responsible for your career choices.

You owe it to yourself and your family to make the most of your opportunities. Your current organization will not in fact collapse when you leave! Beware of emotional blackmail at this point.

5. To recognize that you can never be 100% certain about any career decision.

You must do a rigorous analysis, make a balanced decision and then stick to it. Often the cost of doing nothing or sticking to the 'same old route' can be very high in terms of development opportunities forgone.

Losing a year or two in your career development may result in you not achieving all that you could (and should) over the course of your entire career.

Once you have worked through the above points you will be in good shape to actually resign. You should write a brief resignation note and present it to the appropriate person in your organization. You need to be firm at this point and recognize that as a valued staff member you will probably come under considerable pressure to alter your decision.

The best approach is to keep the meeting brief and focused. State your intention to pursue your career elsewhere, thank your employer for the opportunity of working in their organization but state clearly that your decision is irrevocable and that you would appreciate it if you could be granted the courtesy of not discussing the matter further.

Once one involves oneself in lengthy discussions, the likelihood of emotions rather than rationality dictating outcomes becomes much higher. It is entirely in your interests to manage the process in a warm, friendly, professional but ultimately brisk and decisive manner.

Naturally your consultant will be glad to walk you through the process and advise you how to handle specific situations.

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