Today’s work tip is about resigning. I know a bit about this topic, from both sides of the fence: having had quite a number of different jobs, and working in HR. My worst resignation was probably when I told one of the Partners of the firm that I was leaving, and he started to cry. Even worse, we were in a bar (probably not an ideal resignation site, now that I reflect on it), so it looked like I was a heartless girl breaking up with him over cocktails. Which I guess I was, except for the heartless part – although I was so happy to be leaving, I may have been grinning while he mopped at his teary face with tissues.
Interviewing for a new job is like dating (more on that in a future post), and resigning from your job is like breaking up with someone. One is full of excitement and promise; the other is awkward and can be a bit sad (especially if you’ve worked in a place for a while). So, if you’ve decided that it’s time to leave your job, and you’ve really thought about it properly, not just decided after a crappy day (or short series of crappy days), then our suggestion is that you tell the truth about it. And don’t tell everyone else before you tell your boss – it’s definitely not great for them to hear your news from the well-meaning barista in the local cafe.
And please don’t try a fake resignation, where you actually don’t want to leave, but just want to force your company into paying you more by competing with another opportunity that may or may not exist. You’re better than that, champ.
Many people get stressed about resigning – whether they’re not entirely sure it’s the right decision; or they’re worried about the reaction of their boss; or they feel guilty about ditching their colleagues and friends. The act of resigning is rarely as bad as you think it’ll be. Unless your boss is a Bad Manager – maybe they’ll take it personally and cut you off as soon as they know you’re going; or try a guilt trip to convince you to stay; or pretend they saw this coming; or criticise your decision / new employer / attitude / life. In such cases, you need to remember: it’s not you, it’s them.
Whatever happens, don’t lose your temper or make threats. And don’t start any fires or steal things before you leave. And resist the urge to have a few too many drinks at your farewell and start telling Brian in Accounts what you really think of him. And please don’t send a “Dear all” email – it might feel cathartic as you write it, but will undoubtedly seem like a very bad idea as soon as you hit send.
You might also find this video educational: basically, don’t be like Alice. Good luck out there, friends.