November 30, 2023

Cracking the Career Code: How to Resign the Right Way


Episode Highlights





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With 2024 just around the corner, many people will be on the job hunt looking to start new roles in the new year. For those who are gainfully employed, this means they will have to have a difficult and potentially anxiety-producing resignation conversation with their manager at their current company. In this episode of Cracking the Career Code, Matt and Kierra discuss how to resign the right way. They share tips on what setting resignation conversations should take place in, how much notice is required, and examples of what to say to maintain professionalism when transitioning companies.

Episode Transcript

Hello, welcome back to Cracking the Career Code with Matt and Kierra, where we provide candidates the keys to success in their job search. Today we are going to discuss how to resign the right way. So Matt, why don’t you just start us off? I know that a lot of people are looking for new roles or going to be looking for new roles, so start us off with what that’s going to look like.

Sure, sure. Yeah. So, year end bonus season is upon us. There’s job search January around the corner. So a lot of people thinking about making a switch for 2024. So we just want to go over how to resign, how to do it respectfully. We know these are difficult conversations that you have to have with your current employer and your current manager and that they can cause some anxiety, some internal turmoil.

Am I doing the right thing? I don’t want to leave on on bad terms. So we’ll just go over kind of the rules of doing resignations the right way. So, you know, number one you definitely want to leave on good terms. You don’t want to burn any bridges. You know you want to be able to get a recommendation from your manager that you’ve worked with. So, you got to keep in mind you’re ruining your manager’s day when you go into that conversation and tell them you’re leaving, you’re putting in your two weeks, right?

There’s couple of things that you want to do. And I think the main goal is to get your manager to not be upset that you’re leaving and, you know, kind of flip the script on them and get them excited about where you’re going. Congratulate you on the next step of your career, as fast as possible, in that conversation.

So, Kierra, do you know any ways that you know you might use to kind of flip that script? Yeah, so I guess first I just want to add like, not everyone has the best relationships with their managers. Hopefully you do have a good relationship with your manager. But I think either way, whether it’s good or bad, you should still have a sit down conversation with them face to face, over video, in person, whatever that may be.

Yeah. Don’t just send an email, right? Yeah, I don’t think email is ever good. Right. And you might need to send an email to like officially resign at the end of the day, but definitely have that conversation. Wait till there’s a good time to have that one on one. And I think ways you can do this is just say what you’re looking for in your next opportunity, that this is something that you’re not getting at your current role.

I think you should make it about something that can’t be fixed. So whether that be a commute. Or whether that be what you’re compensated and how you’ve been looking for a raise and not getting that. Make it about something that wasn’t fixed or that was not available to you in that current role So then it makes it seem like there are more reasons than just not liking where you’re at. I think that’s a good way to go about it.

But I definitely think the one on one is so important because you don’t want to burn any bridges. You never know where you might cross paths again. You never know if you’re going to work with this person again in the future. And you just always want to have a good relationship with the previous company you worked at. Yeah. And then hopefully you can use them as a reference in the future as well Yeah, and just just to add to that like, you know, definitely Make it about something that they can’t change or they can’t fix or put a put a band aid on and you did mention like pay or compensation or salary.

I would be careful using that as a reason why you’re resigning. You know, maybe talk about the industry that you’re going to and that you’re excited about, like obviously a company that you’re working for can’t change what industry they’re in, or maybe like a product that you’re excited to work on, or You know, it’s a it’s a it’s a growth opportunity or a larger company or a smaller company.

Right? You want to be careful with, you know, bringing up compensation because there’s always that, recruiters worst nightmare that could come into play the dreaded counteroffer. Right? And so when we’re talking with candidates who have to put in their notice and resign from a company, we tell them and we tell everyone like, they should expect a counteroffer, right?

So, you know, the manager, like I said, you’re ruining their day. They want to keep you, you’re adding a lot of work for them. They’re going to have to backfill your role. They’re going to have to figure out who’s going to do the work while they’re figuring out how to hire your backfill, right? So, you know, you should expect to receive a counteroffer or have them bring one up.

It’s not always the case, right? We say proceed with caution, right? Yeah. More money won’t fix, all the problems that are there. Like I said, it’s more of a band aid than anything. And there’s a lot of data that shows people that do entertain or accept counter offers, end up leaving within the next six months anyways, right?

There’s empty promises that don’t get fulfilled. You’re already planning on leaving and have one foot out the door, kind of puts a target on your back, that you accepted a counteroffer. Maybe then you get passed up for a promotion. And again, you know, more money isn’t always going to fix those other problems.

So it’s best to just close the door on those counteroffers right away. Yeah. And even if it is about money, if they’re not compensating you the way that you should or feel that they should be compensating you, right away, and it takes a counter offer or it takes an offer from another company to get that, that’s not somewhere you want to be anyways. Yeah, where was that money? Where was that money all along? If they don’t give you that value right away, that’s something to consider, because I don’t think that going with a counter offer is going to fix any of the problems that you had before that was not said.

So, if it is about comp that’s something that I would just think about. Also if you are working with a recruiter and even an agency recruiter, you can always ask if they fill these types of roles and say that and even bring it up to your manager. Like I know someone that could help fill this role if you are looking for someone to replace me. So you can also use that as a conversation as a way to help with the process and introduce them to somebody new, like the recruiter that you’re working with if it is an agency recruiter. So it’s always good to have that conversation as well.

Something that I also wanted to talk about is exit interviews. So let’s say you get to the point where everything is good. You put in your resignation and they ask you to do exit interviews. Some companies will do this, some companies will not. But this is your opportunity to share what it is that you think could be changed about the company, but you want to do it in a respectful way.

So what do you think that would look like if somebody is asking you questions about why you’re leaving? Yeah, so just to make it clear the resignation conversation with your manager or one on one, hopefully in person, or video chat, or on the phone, like that is not the time to air your grievances about the company, right?

Right. Some companies do exit interviews. So that would be a more structured interview, usually with someone in HR. And you’re able to share your opinions. And, you know, got to keep in mind, you don’t want to burn bridges, you have to be careful. Yeah, you have to be careful about the grievances that you’re airing.

You know, what I would suggest is maybe write it down beforehand, what you’re going to say. And, you know, maybe even get someone who doesn’t work at the company to look at that and put themselves in the company’s shoes. And like, would this make you angry? Or is this just truly constructive feedback on how the company can improve or how management can improve.

Right. And I feel like there’s always a respectful way to do that, too. Like, even if there are some negative things that you didn’t like about the company, there’s always a way that you can communicate that respectively. Sure. And I think that’s also extremely important. You don’t ever want to say something that’s disrespectful or rude.

There’s definitely ways you can reframe that. So maybe that is a really good idea, Matt to put that down on paper, make sure you know exactly what you’re going to be talking about and through. So that you don’t run into a situation where, it might be an opportunity to burn a bridge, for sure. Yeah.

A future employer might have to call your past employer to do an employment verification, usually not a full reference, but you want to leave on good terms and you usually want that employer to say that you’re eligible for rehire. So, you know, don’t say anything crazy in those exit interviews. When you’re resigning, I think the standard in the US is everyone gives like a two week notice, right?

So I wanted to chat through that, because, it’s not always necessary, right? And you know your situation best. You know your relationship with your manager best, and kind of what’s standard practice, at different levels. Right? A manager might have to give a month’s notice. Some companies, if you resign, they might lock you out of systems and tell you today’s your last day.

Or they might pay you through two weeks. So, you know keep that in mind. Don’t always have to give a full two weeks notice, especially in like at will employment states. Where you can terminate your employment agreement with a company for any reason, or no reason at all, at any time, right? There’s no like implied or written contract there. So yeah, just feel out your situation, as it pertains to you and your company when you’re putting in that notice.

Yeah, I think that’s always good to think about. And some companies do, like you said, have a policy. I think it would be most respectful to give a two week if you aren’t like on a contract, and you do have a good relationship. I know some people need a little bit more time if they’re rolling off a project and need to transition things over to people.

So really just think about that ahead of time. And be transparent with the new company that you’re looking to work with, so that they are on the same timeline as you. And that they can improve that and make sure everyone’s on the same page. I think that’ll make your transition a lot smoother. You don’t want to start off at your new career on a bad note, just because you weren’t transparent about the start date or when you could leave your current role.

So all good things to think about. Every situation is different, like Matt said. So, make sure you think about that ahead of time. Yeah. You might even be able to start your new job earlier, or you might be able to take a week off where you truly don’t have any work responsibilities before starting your new job.

So, you know, could work out for your benefits, not having to do the full two weeks or whatever it is. Right. Yep. Yep. Absolutely. Absolutely. Did you have anything else to add about all of this? I mean, the only other thing I can think of is if you do have an end of the year bonus coming up, make sure that’s transparent. And make sure that you’re not looking to start a job after a month and a half, start date, or something crazy like that.

So just make sure that aligns too. Yes. Too much time between accepting an offer and starting a job can sometimes lead to unforeseen circumstances. You never know, what might come up or what business things might change, right? I would say maximum about a month between accepting an offer and, and starting a new job.

Also want to be, you know, mindful of like what your company policy is about that bonus and when it gets paid out. And like, if you leave within a certain time after that payout, do you have to pay it back? So, you know, know all of that stuff before you end up leaving money on the table. And sometimes this time of year, companies that are still trying to hire, they might do a sign on bonus, to pay you back for the bonus that you’re stepping away from. Something to consider when you’re in the offer negotiation phase as well. Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you so much for joining us today on Cracking the Career Code. Go check out, for more content and follow us on LinkedIn if you are not already.



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