When you finally land that offer you really wanted, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of the new job and take your eye off the old one. But the manner in which you leave matters, to you and your employers.
Relationships are vital in any successful career, and you never quite know what the future holds or when your paths might cross again, whether as future colleagues, managers, referees or just valuable business connections. It’s vital to leave on good terms. Follow these 5 steps to do it right.
It’s in both your and your employer’s interests to communicate that you have accepted a new offer as soon as possible. Face-to-face is obviously best: set up a meeting where you can talk in private and think ahead about what you’re going to say, and what questions your manager is likely to ask you.
Employers would generally rather try and hold on to good people than start to hire all over again, so you might well expect a counter-offer. This could include more money, better benefits, a new job role, or even a transfer to a different role or division.
A counter-offer is flattering. It’s a sign that you are valued. At the same time, however, always remember that your response needs to be a careful decision, not just an initial emotional reaction. Our research shows that many people who accept a counter-offer go on to leave quite soon after anyway. So ask yourself:
If you are considering staying, make sure that your employer is prepared to commit to the counter-offer in writing, with all the details of the terms that have been offered to you face-to-face.
Following your resignation you will need to discuss the length of your notice period. Typically, your current employer will probably want you to stay for as long as possible and your soon to be new employer will be keen for you to start right away. Even if you are unable to reach your ideal outcome, it’s vital to stay focused and stay until the end of the notice period. If you try to leave earlier without agreement, you could of course jeopardise any termination benefits (or future references).
In the interests of goodwill and maintaining a good relationship, you should in any case try to be as flexible as possible with your current employer – you never know when you may cross paths with them again later in your career.
Once a decision has been reached take the following steps to ensure a smooth hand over of your role:
Think about the people you work with now and who you would especially want to keep in touch with after you’ve left, both socially and professionally. There are steps that you can start putting in place prior to your departure to make sure you can maintain contact.
When keeping in touch, remember to always stay professional. Avoid criticising your previous employer or comparing conditions at your new job with your old one.
Even before you’ve left your old job, there are things you can do to build up a good impression for your new role and give yourself a head start on the exciting new challenges that lie ahead:
Finally – stay calm and confident. Starting a new job can feel daunting, but remember that you were selected by your new employer out of many candidates as the best for the role.
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