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Monday, September 17, 2007

How to resign from your job

How to resign from your job

Words by Francis Kahihu

The moment we experience dissatisfaction at our places of work, the ultimate decision we make is to resign. Resigning from the workplace is however not an easy task. There are various reasons why people resign. The most quoted is the search for greener pastures in terms of pay and working environments. But for whatever reason you resign, you need to realize that effective resignation is as needful as good orientation into the workplace. There are right and wrong ways of resigning from your job. If you get it wrong, there could be negative feelings between you and your employer, colleagues, and a bad reference. If you get it right, you could actively enhance both your personal and career development through future references by your workmates.

Before making the decision to quit, consider the effects of the action. It will be helpful to consider the reason behind the move and check on whether it is justifiable. There are times when we make decisions out of pressure from without that make you quit your workplace because you want to catch up with peers or the mere desire to work with a particular organization. This could be driven by the esteem with which others consider the next door employer. Always realize that the fact that an employer is said to be good does not guarantee satisfaction for each of the many employees. Discuss your situation and feelings with friends and family, or anyone in a professional role that you can trust. Most of all, listen to your own feelings. In the end, it’s your life and you’re the one who will have to live with the consequences of your decision.

When you’ve made your mind up, take a look through your contract and seek what specific procedures your employer has in place. Make sure you’re aware of the length of the notice period you are required to work. If you don’t have a formal period of notice in your contract, try to allow at least two weeks for the handover period as a sign of good will. Most employers expect you to give a month’s notice before departure. If you are leaving one employer for another, ensure you mention to your prospective employer that you are required to give a month’s notice to your current employer. Many employers would be willing to wait for you to clear your notice period since it is a sign of responsibility.

In case you must leave in less than the expected notice period, remember that your will have to pay the employer for the period in lieu of notice. Don’t be shocked when they withhold part of your salary. I have heard of many professionals who wait till the paycheck is deposited and then fail to show up at the workplace. This not only spoils the relationship with your employer but also goes against professional ethics. Always remember that there were many other parties relying on your services other than the boss you are running away from, and it’s only proper to hand over for the smooth transition at the company. Don’t seek to revenge. It’s a small world and you would always need each other in life, and if not you, you may deny someone else an opportunity in the future for having broken the bridges. Start preparing for the handing over early enough to ensure you pass on every important information and assets in your custody.

How do you communicate your decision to your employer? Many people have been known to draft the resignation letter, drop it at the manager’s office and don’t bother to explain their decision to the employer. In addition to the official resignation letter, it’s common courtesy to speak to your boss in person about your intentions to leave. Work out what you’re going to say and stick to it. They may try to dig for more information, so be certain what information you’re willing to divulge. Be honest. Some employers conduct exit interviews for their staff for purposes of establishing the reasons behind the resignation. Don’t beat about the bush. If you are leaving the employer due to poor staff-management relationships, let the panel know. This might help your colleagues who remain. I have met several persons who veil all their reasons under the guise of pursuit for further studies.

There’s a possibility your boss may try to make you stay – finding a replacement will not be easy, so be clear of your position and present rational responses. If you would consider sticking around, give them a deadline of when you would need their counter-offer by. Consider this carefully, and think what it involves. It may be a salary hike, a promotion, or a move to another location. Does any of this change anything? Will you retain or enhance your standing in the company, or will there always be a shadow hanging over you? This serves as an opportunity for a renegotiation. Only realize that some employers are quite cunning. They would present you with a counter offer just to have you around as they scout for a replacement. You will need to use your sixth sense in determining the genuineness of the offer.

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