The resignation process

It’s exciting to have landed a new job, but resigning from your current role can be stressful and even problematic. We’re here to help.

Most people only hand in their resignation a handful of times during their working life. It’s seldom easy. As experienced recruiters, we can help make this as stress-free as possible.

Here’s some of our hard-won advice: 

  • Resign formally. Many organisations have a set, formal resignation procedure. It’s important that you know what this is and follow it. You should always check your notice period and adhere to it. A concisely worded resignation letter is usually the best way, as this provides a dated record for both you and your employer. It’s important to leave on good terms (you might need to go back; you’ll certainly need a reference) so word your letter carefully and politely. Don’t burn any bridges!
  • Have a positive exit interview. Exit interviews are common. Sadly, these are often used as a forum to ‘tell people what you really think’. Don’t fall into this trap – it benefits no one, least of all you. Remain professional, be positive – and if negative issues need to be discussed, keep them in context, be as positive as possible and always remain professional. See this as an opportunity to be remembered well, not to set the record straight.
  • Be ready for a counter-offer. A counter-offer shouldn’t be unexpected and should be prepared for. It’s common for people leaving to be caught off guard, surrender to a counter-offer – and then later regret staying in the role. Typical counter-offers will include a salary raise and perhaps a promotion. At this point, it’s important to keep in mind your reasons for leaving – if you’re unhappy, or have been unhappy, it’s not really likely that more money and more responsibility will turn those feelings around. Remember also the reasons why your new job excited you. Deciding to accept a counter-offer can also weaken later negotiations for a rise or promotion, so any temporary boost may prove to be a career trap.
  • Be a ‘good leaver’. Businesses will remember your conduct as you leave. It will affect how they talk about you – perhaps in formal (or informal) references. If you need to return to the company, even years later, your behaviour will stand you in good stead. Be respectful. Remain positive. Avoid being drawn into bitching. Restrain yourself from voicing frustrations, no matter how valid. Stick to your notice period unless working a shorter period is welcomed. Above all else, keep doing your job well – consistent with your previous performance.

MDR Associates is here to both help and support you. We can guide you through the resignation process and offer support if you become uncertain. Always feel free to call us on 0161 443 4119 or e-mail us.

MDR Associates is a specialist recruitment provider, fulfilling contract roles and permanent jobs. Based in Stockport, near Manchester in the UK’s Northwest, we connect great people with excellent roles right across the UK – and overseas. We have over 40 years’ combined recruitment expertise – helping people find exactly the right job for them and helping organisations to resource a winning, talented workforce. We focus specifically on the built environment, rail and infrastructure, chemicals and petrochemicals, life sciences, nuclear, oil and gas, power and energy, water and utilities sectors.