It’s not you, it’s me

Posted by Prospect‘s UK Team

It’s not you, it’s me  – How to handle the resignation process

Over the past few years employers have done well to improve their employees working environments. We’ve seen a massive rise in employers offering more competitive benefits; including the chance to work from home and physically removing people from their desks after 7pm. With PR professionals feeling more loved and generally getting a better gig at work the need to resign has become less. Historically seen as a 1-2 year ritual, handing in your resignation has become less habit and more of a life event.

In order to help you through the process we’ve put together a ‘how to’ that whilst may not fit every situation, gives you the bare bones on how to approach what has become almost a tri-career event and will hopefully keep you focused during what could potentially be some quite emotional and fraught conversations with your employer.

Be prepared

Make sure you’re prepared. Plan how you will do it. Accentuate the positives. Be firm, but humble. Show appreciation. Thank your boss.  It’s definitely advisable to take a resignation letter into the meeting or in your case perhaps hand it in to HR if your boss is on leave.

A resignation letter helps you to handle your resignation with confidence and leaves no room for doubt which will help you avoid any conflict. You are not required to divulge or provide any information regarding the name of the company you are joining and candidates often keep this information confidential to prevent your boss selling against your future employer.

The letter itself will usually thank your employer for the experiences you have gained whilst working for them, will state that you wish to leave and will usually end by you asking them to confirm your last of day of employment.

Remember your reasons for leaving

Career changes, like all ventures into the unknown are tough but you need to keep at the front of your mind the reasons for looking to leave in the first place; the limitations of your current role, the lack of opportunity to specialize and the multiple reporting lines into multiple bosses, the competition created by numerous P&Ls etc

Do keep your end goal in sight, think about how the new role addresses the issues that you continually come up against in your current position

Stay focused

You’ve been a loyal and committed employee and remember you don’t owe your employer anything.  Don’t buy into the emotion. This is a business decision, a career decision (not a personal one) and a new journey for you. Don’t let guilt, blame or persuasion divert your decision. Stay professional and in control of the situation.

Different scenarios

Although you may have resigned before, one of three things will happen when you hand in your notice;

1. The first scenario is they may ask you to delay your decision by appealing to your emotions and loyalty.  This may be particularly relevant to your situation given they are already short staffed and under resourced.  This scenario is usually dressed up as

“I had no idea you were unhappy…Let’s sit down to discuss your concerns…”

“Why would you throw away all your hard work now…?”

“I was considering you for a promotion… let’s talk about it before making any rash decisions”

Whilst obviously flattering to receive praise and compliments, they are often being driven by the harsh reality that recruiting your replacement will take time, money and resources which are often not available in this market.

2. The second scenario, is they will escort you from the office with immediate effect. This again is particularly prevalent within some agencies.  You will be put on gardening leave for the rest of your notice period.  This often occurs if you’re involved in confidential product launches, front office deals or if you’re heading to a direct competitor.

3. The final scenario is your manager accepts your resignation, offers you their best wishes for the new role and requests you serve the remainder of your notice period.

As well as hopefully helping you to secure your new position, our role at Prospect doesn’t end there. We’re here to advise you beyond the acceptance stage of the job search. If you’d like to talk through the resignation process ask us for help. We appreciate that not every scenario is the same and having been around for some time we hopefully have the insight required to guide you through the process.