- Signing On -
how to resign (if you already have a job)
by fergus mellon
While it may be uncomfortable to hand in your resignation, know that you will likely do this ten times throughout your career (that is just over 4 years per role over a 45+ year career) so you will need to get skilled at it.
The good news is that while it may seem awkward to resign it is a very normal thing and your manager should be used to it. Keep in mind that despite what you think about having done a good job of hiding your job hunt (you may have used the excuse of a doctor's appointment or just gone missing over a lunch hour!), your manager is likely to have had at least a passing suspicion that you were on the hunt for your next opportunity (for more on this, see "4 signs your employer knows you're looking to leave"). Now that you know it is not a terrible thing to do, know that you must resign in person or at the very least over the phone. Don’t go to HR first. Out of respect for your manager go to them first.
Another reason to resign in person is that it is the best way of preserving the relationship you have built with your manager. While you may think that you are unlikely to run into your manager again you are likely to be wrong. I have personally worked for an old manager four times in my career and while I left their teams I was lucky enough that they did not take it personally (we both wanted to stay in contact!). This means you want to approach it professionally and openly, if the manager wants to counter the offer you have received take this for what it is. It is a huge complement to you. Listen to it and if you still want to leave explain how thankful you are for the counter offer, but that the new shiny role is what you are most interested in pursuing.
For more on how to leave your job "In Style", there is a section on this in Early Stage Professional: starting off right as well as this column by Fergus Mellon in USA Today.
Next Section: Your First Week and don't forget about the Crushing It section of this site that is designed as a quick aid for your first six months.
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