So you’ve followed all the advice, aced the interview and got your job offer in writing. You’re over the moon about the new offer, but now need to face the boss and tell them you’re leaving and officially hand in your notice. As much as we’ve all spent time day dreaming about telling the boss to shove it in front of the entire office, or like the guy at Twitter that took down Donald Trump’s account on his last day there, there’s a right way and a wrong way to handle giving in your notice!
Depending on the circumstances, your company may know you were looking to leave. This makes the whole process a lot easier! But what about the times where the boss doesn’t know about your intentions to leave? It can be a surprise to the team, and you can sometimes feel a little guilty, like you’re leaving the team in the lurch, so it’s important to make sure you handle this situation professionally and considerately to your boss and team.
• Get your letter ready. Your letter doesn’t need to be war and peace and it also doesn’t need to list the reasons why you’re leaving. Keep it short and to the point. Be clear about the notice period you are giving. Don’t use this as an opportunity to get all your grievances down on paper. Remember that at some point in the future you might need to use your current boss for a reference.
• Check your contract for your required notice period. Your boss might try and get you to work a longer notice period, so if you are armed with your contractual requirements, you can discuss this with them. It also means you aren’t agreeing a start date with your new employer that you won’t be able to meet if your current company hold you to a longer than average notice period. If you have a longer than average notice period, you may be able to negotiate this down, but they don’t have to agree to it. If you need to negotiate a shorter notice period, remember the old saying – you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Be prepared with reasons why a shorter notice period is beneficial to them. Be prepared to agree to a longer period than you had planned – there may need to be some give and take.
• Pick the right time to discuss this with your line manager. You know their schedule, you know when they are likely to be stressed. Avoid these times, especially if this news will be a shock to them. Depending on how busy your boss is, you may need to request a formal meeting, so use the proper channels to do this. If you don’t work in the same location as your boss and you don’t see them often, you should know who the next most senior person in the office you work at is. Ask to speak to them in the absence of your boss – don’t leave the letter on their desk and leave at the end of the day. Don’t tell anyone until you’ve discussed this with your boss. Even if you trust your colleagues, these things can get out and your boss will be much more amenable to discussions if they hear it from you first.
• Get to the point – it may feel daunting, but it’s best to just get it said. Be prepared to be asked about your reasons why you’re leaving, but like your letter of resignation, don’t use it to complain about your situation. Be respectful and if necessary, just say you’ve been offered an opportunity you can’t turn down.
• Think about what the possible outcomes may be. It might be the case that your boss offers you more money or other incentives to stay. Think about this beforehand. If you are certain there’s nothing they can possibly offer you to stay, think about how you can turn them down professionally. You still need to work there for a month, maybe more, so no point in making life more difficult than it needs to be. If you are considering their counter offer, remember that you will still be working with the same people, in the same place. If you are leaving simply for more money and love the environment that’s one thing, but if you’re struggling to get on with your boss or team, think carefully about accepting a counter offer.
• Think about the company you are going to. Is it likely they are viewed by your company as a rival? If so, you may be escorted off the premises at the time you hand in your notice. If this is likely, make sure any personal effects are cleared out before speaking to your boss.
• Check with your boss about how they want the news to be communicated to the team. They might be happy with you telling the rest of the team, or they might want to discuss it with them. Whatever they decide, make sure you comply. Your colleagues will understand if your boss wants to tell them the news officially. When speaking to your colleagues about your departure though, again make sure you don’t use it as an excuse to moan about the company. They won’t want to hear it – they’re still going to be working there after you leave. Don’t make your last few weeks there uncomfortable for everyone.
• Tie up loose ends. You might be excited to leave and start with your new job, but your colleagues are more than likely taking on some extra work over the coming months until your position is filled. Make this transition as easy as possible for them and cover as much as you can before you leave. Make sure handover notes are clear and concise, that clients / customers are informed of your departure and their new interim contact and that you complete all your own admin like expenses, time sheets etc before you leave. You don’t want to be pestering colleagues a few weeks after you’ve left because you need an expenses form. Get it done before you leave.
• Don’t take the mickey! You’ve handed in your notice, you’ve agreed a handover plan, don’t sit back and think your work is done. Sometimes the last few weeks in your job can be the busiest. Your colleagues will already be picking up some work from you, don’t let them think you’re slacking off by taking long lunches, coming in late and leaving early.
Follow these tips and make the exit from your job smooth for yourself and those you are leaving behind. You’ll be able to walk away knowing you’ve left everyone well equipped to cover for you, customers or clients know who they need to keep in touch with and everything is covered. You can focus on your new role and the new challenges this will bring.
How can The Wage Shop help?
Job hunting is hard, so follow our tips and make the best of every opportunity to project the best image of yourself. Don’t forget once you’ve landed that role, The Wage Shop are on hand to make sure you’re paid correctly, on time and manage all your tax and national insurance requirements. So you can focus on working hard and getting settled into that new role.
We also offer a Payment Advance service so you can access your money when you need it so you can be ready for the first day. Whether that means a new suit or coffee’s to soften up the new colleagues, we’re here to help.