Forewarned is forearmed: Resignation Preparation

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So, last week I wrote a blog “The minefield of a counter offer and why NOT to take it!!!” which has already received nearly 4,000 views.

The message was don’t take a counter offer, which is easier said than done – this is how to avoid one in the first place!

Preparing for resignation:

  • Expect mixed emotions – sadness, guilt and feelings of disloyalty, these are all perfectly normal.
  • Remember the excitement about your new position – new people, new opportunities, new challenges – keep that in mind as you go through the process.
  • Prepare yourself and you will not be taken off guard.

When to do it

  • It is helpful to choose a “business as usual” busy time that best avoids uncomfortable or awkward situations.

 How to do it

Here’s why you should always resign in writing, not verbally.

  • Because you mean it and it’s not an invitation to “chat” which can become stressful and lead to well meaning, unintentional but also unwelcome pressure.
  • Pushing that white envelope across the table with carefully worded sentences sets the right professional tone for a smooth transition out.


The art of deflection

  • Any current employer will naturally want to seek information 
  • Avoid detailed information disclosure
  • Keep all bridges positively intact
  • Role play at deflecting answers
  • Answer in a way that demonstrates the decision is already made and the commitment will be followed through
  • Always return the conversation to the “decision made”
  • If pressed – why are opinions so important? 

Managing employer tactics

  • Be mentally prepared - forewarned is forearmed
  • Love-ins and everyone dropping by
  • Re-hashed organisation charts - “we were about to tell you..”
  • New position - “how about it?”
  • Old mentors “you can’t possibly leave!”
  • Emotional pull - “do this one thing for me personally”
  • Counter offers - cold hard cash is often next year’s pay rise.



John, I’ve committed myself to joining another organisation and would like to commence at the earliest opportunity. Here is my letter of resignation, and I would like to discuss how we can work together to make it a smooth and swift transition.


Dear …

Please accept this letter as my formal resignation and x months’ notice with my final day being xxx.

I am grateful for the success we have been able to achieve together at [company name], but I have now made a firm commitment to joining another organisation.

Please note that I intend to work with you to complete any outstanding work during my notice period in order to make my resignation as smooth as possible.

I am eager to leave on a positive note and look forward to discussing with you how to accomplish this.