Careers On The Line 65: Resignation, Leave On The Best Terms

Updated : Sep 04, 2019 in Articles

Careers On The Line 65: Resignation, Leave On The Best Terms


Welcome to another episode of On The Line. I’m Holly Scott and I’m Joe Mullings and today we’re going to talk about the fun topic of resignation. How to professionally transition out of your current organization with dignity, grace and all of those good things, right. Yeah. You know so the number one thing is remember what you do the last two weeks is what they’re going to remember about your entire stay. Absolutely. That’s your swansong. Remember that. Because it is what you do, how you transition, how you carry yourself when you know you’re leaving is what they’re going to remember. That’s how they’re going to remember you. We’re going to give you language today and mindset today about how to manage that appropriately. Having said that, what’s more important again is how they’re going to remember you. So general rules on resignation. Crisp, sweet, short and non-negotiable. Yep. Right. Those are my sort of buzz words to you. Holly and I have given guidance to hundreds of thousands of people, thousands on here’s what your resignation letter from my side looks like. Holly will run it a little better is Dear Mrs. VP, it’s been a great run. I appreciate everything I learned here. For personal growth reasons I’m moving on. Please understand I really value our relationship. However my decision is final and irrevocable and looking forward to be able to wrap up crisply and send me on my way. Right. Right. Yup, making sure that they know that you appreciate them. That your decision is based on professional and personal growth. That it is not anything that they haven’t done for you. It’s non-negotiable and that you’re tendering your notice and you’ll do everything to help transition powerfully. Yeah within reason. Within reason you know. And here’s something to really remember is most of the time when things go bad in a resignation it’s because you sent a mixed signal. Right which goes back up two steps, right. You don’t go into resignation with any less conviction than this is final and non-negotiable. The minute that you go in and show hand that you’re not sure that you’re I’m thinking about leaving. Forget it. You’re on a slippery slope and it’s dangerous. Or even if you are confident go in there confident. We hear people all the time like I totally want this new job. You know I want to leave this other company. This new thing is great for me. And then people go in there and like well maybe I’ll wait till tomorrow to do it, right. Go in final. This is here’s what’s going on. I’m moving on. I’m transitioning. Giving you my two weeks notice and the questions are going to come. They’re going to come. Joe, what could we have done? Didn’t we tell you that we had a new role for you? We wish we would have known. Couldn’t be at a worse time. And let me jump on that. Heads up everybody is replaceable. I’m going to tell you a cute little story and I hope I’m not going to offend anybody with this. Shocker. So when I was in my first engineering job. I was talking about resignation and I actually the fellow’s name was Elliot and it was when I worked for Loral Fairchild and I was really struggling with it, resigning. And I was like you know and my grandmother at the time was alive and I was talking to her like nanny you know I’m really you know I’m really nervous about this. Why are you nervous? I’m like well you know I’m working on this project right now. And you know if I leave you know I don’t know what’s going to happen to the project. She goes and again we can beep this. She like what the fuck is wrong with you? That was a verb, adjective, period and comma in my life. Right. She’s like do you realize that in 1963 our President was shot and killed and not more than two hours later the vice president was being sworn in and his wife was standing next to the new president and blood on her dress and the world didn’t stop for a moment. Who do you think you are? Love that. Right. And that story really has resonated with me is everybody’s replaceable. You’re not going to crush an organization you’re going to disrupt it for sure. But you need to move along for everybody involved. Oh yeah. No absolutely and go in with that firm committed professional mindset. However my resignation story went a little bit differently. I went completely professionally and the only one time I resigned before I came to meet my forever person over here. At that time though it got very emotional. He got very very emotional very angry. Very angry. So I caution people when they go to resign to expect the unexpected. And if it goes sideways if it gets heated if it gets why, how if all the questions are firing. Thanks for your time. I’m going to go back I’m going to finish up what I’m doing right. I’ll be available shall any business needs to be there to be tied up but leave because I can tell you that when I have prepared people for that and they come away they say that it was easier than you expected. They’re so grateful. I would rather you be. Expect the unexpected. Know you’re going to get counteroffers. They’re going to beg you. They’re going to be pissed. They’re going to have every range of emotion. And if they wish you the best and say congratulations wonderful. Big load off your shoulders. So as long as you’re tight and again ready and you know what to do should something go that way. It really is the same. You’re a professional. You stick to your commitment and you say thank you for making time for this conversation I’m going back to my desk. So when they ask the question what could we have done to have kept you. That’s that’s a bear trap. Yes. Ok, that’s opening up negotiation for counteroffers. OK. So just when that question comes up in leadership will I always ask that I know you know the very few people who’ve resigned to us. I’ve asked that question out of reflex. And I think what you’ve got to do is just say really there’s nothing. This was a personal choice of mine from a developmental perspective. I did really appreciate my time here. All the work, all the opportunity. So thank you. Right. Right. Don’t say I’d rather not say. Don’t say I listened to Holly and Joe and they said don’t step into a bear trap. All you want to say is look it’s more about me seeking out future development, personal development. Less of what I didn’t get here. Right. Right. That’s it. Move along. Again thank you very much. High five. Yeah but that’s it. Think it through and even roleplay right. So you want to role play. If you’re working with a good headhunter role play with a headhunter. If you’re not working with a headhunter have a mature person who’s actually been in a corporate setting. Sit and play that game. Also here’s another tip. Don’t let them say Wait don’t resign to me. Wait till Sally V.P comes in next week. No. Done. Resignation on your terms. Done. It’s on your terms. Resignation is always on your terms right. Never let them defer it, third party it. Or hey wait a second let me get down the hall and get the VP. No it’s done. It’s done. But make sure you’re ready to really leave. Oh yeah. And you have to be prepared to although you’re giving notice which is still saying two weeks. They’re going to walk you out. They may walk you out and that’s okay or you may get in a situation where it’s best for you to leave so be prepared. Meaning back at your desk. Be ready. It’s not going to take you two weeks to unpack and pack up all the family pictures and everything else, right. So mentally be prepared that you’re going into that conversation firm and final and it may be your last few minutes at the organization. To that point and if you can orchestrate it. Everybody wants to resign on a Friday. I don’t know where you work security things like that but I would clean out my desk the day before. Yeah just right. Just to be safe. Just the general stuff. Get the heavy lifting out because it’s never easy to be sitting there with the box right and taking the pictures and you know the Batman character sitting on your desk and all the other things while everybody’s going. Looking around. It’s super uncomfortable for everybody. Right. Exactly right. Clean it out the day before and just come in and you know respect and listen never be apologetic. Right. Right. Be thankful. Yes appreciate. Right. Be thankful. Be grateful. Be complimentary but never ever have any shame. Never be apologetic and again be supportive of the entire team as you walk out the door. Yeah, absolutely because that’s again how they’re going to remember you. And that’s exactly right. And then again when you resign and if they asked for those two weeks I would say make it the best two weeks ever. Yeah. In employment there. Right. And then on the other side. Never give more than three. No. Yeah I agree too. Right. Never give more than three. There’s so many bad things that can happen there. And let me give you a couple lists of those. Sending the wrong message to your new employer. Nothing you’re doing is going to take three weeks to hand off. Two weeks does it. Be accessible by phone. They’re not going to call you anyway. Yeah and get started with your life, right. Get started with your new professional opportunity but nothing more than three ever. Right. There’s no project you’re working on. Think of the JFK scenario ever that’s more important. No. And it’s in everyone’s best interest. The minute that conversation happens. The time that the minutes get longer. The hours get longer. The days get longer. Two weeks. You’d be surprised. You’d be surprised at how that can feel so. More than enough. Put it in an ideal situation is verbal conversation in person. If you can’t get them in person, phone followed up by an e-mail followed up by your resignation in writing. Always e-mail and hardcopy. That’s right. E-mail, hardcopy or depending on the situation but definitely a conversation. Definitely in writing because you want to put a time stamp on when you do this. And that also shows that you handled yourself professionally right. Correct. You did the right thing. So resignation oftentimes in a career some of the most uncomfortable times. But it’s actually one of the easiest simplest things to do. It should be a five minute conversation. Really. If it’s done right it should not be a very long conversation. Again you most if you’re in good standing which chances are very high that all of you are it’ll be a people will be disappointed. They’ll be. Wow. Gosh we’re really going to miss you. But go ahead and make it final because that transition they will eventually wish you well and eventually if you handle that professionally they will think back when they’re called for a reference on you of how you handled yourself and how you transitioned. So that’s your resignation download from Miss Scott always hits it right on the ball. You’re learning. You’re getting there. I’m trying. I’m studying. I have my book here. I have my pen. Keep showing up every day. You still have plastic. I have ceramic. I see that. Anyway this is another episode of On The Line with my alcoholic partner. Holly Scott. Thanks for joining us today. See you soon.

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