Needless to say, unless there are extenuating circumstances, it is always best to have another position lined up before handing in your notice.
It’s a good idea to hand in your notice in person, armed with a carefully construed resignation letter that clearly states your intentions. You might also consider explaining the reasons for your departure in this letter, while avoiding any language that may be seen as offensive or open to interpretation. Be sure to thank your employer for giving you the opportunity to work for the company in the first place and end the letter on a positive note.
To avoid any unnecessary rumour mongering around the office, be sure to tell your boss about your decision before your workmates. Another considerate approach is to think about the transition of your responsibilities and offer to help out during this period. It builds good will in a situation your superior and the company would rather have avoided. After all, your boss is also the one who may be asked to write a reference for you at some point in the future!
Make sure that you check the company policy on notice periods in advance. Most businesses tie the notice period to the normal pay cycle, so for example if you are paid fortnightly, the notice period will typically be two weeks. Of course, depending on the circumstances, the company may decide that you can leave immediately, or depending upon the perceived importance of your role, you may be asked to provide more notice in order that the position can be filled appropriately.
If you are considered a valuable asset to the business, you may be asked if your decision is final. At this point, your demeanour is crucial. If you are seen to be ‘on the fence’ about leaving, be prepared for a counter offer once your boss has had an opportunity to discuss the situation with human resources.
Our recent ‘Tipping Point’ survey of 1,400 Irish business professionals revealed that more than half of all respondents were more inclined to stay with their company on receipt of a counteroffer. However, research has shown that the majority of those who accept such offers leave the company within a calendar year.
When it comes to handing in your notice, being forewarned is forearmed. Good luck with your decision!