Make sure you:
Tell your immediate boss informally, face-to-face, before handing in a formal letter. Give constructive criticism if necessary but avoid blatant insults. Do as much as you can to facilitate a smooth handover, remember that your current colleagues could be good contacts for the future. Choose your referees carefully and brief them on why you think you are suitable for your next job.
And make sure you don’t
Hand in your notice when you are feeling angry or focus solely on negative points. Feel obliged to give specific reasons for your resignation.
How to handle a counter offer
If you are offered a pay rise equal to or above your new job offer, consider why it took the threat of leaving to bring it about. Your boss may promise to remedy any problems within the company which have influenced your decision, but can you be sure they will be dealt with effectively? If you do decide to stay, remember that your boss may see you as ‘the one who nearly left’ and you may find yourself having to prove your commitment to the organisation. By staying, you will in turn have to turn down a job you have accepted, this could work against you if you have to deal with that company in the future.
Your letter is a vital part of your resignation, but should not be used to air your grievances. The letter needs to include only the basic details of your resignation, i.e. the position from which you are resigning and your intended leaving date.
Your notice period is usually stated in your contract of employment. Where no period of notice is stipulated, you should allow between two weeks to a month. If you want to exit more quickly, try to offer solutions to any barriers that could prevent you. If your contract calls for you to work a month’s notice, but your new employer wants you to start straight away, include a paragraph in your resignation letter stating: ‘I am aware that my contract demands a notice period of (x) months, but I am required to join my new employer as soon as possible. If you could therefore waive my notice period, I would be happy to help hand over responsibilities to my replacement.’