6 Steps to Help you Navigate the Awkward Period After Resigning
Your last day at a job is often filled with good wishes and kind words from your coworkers, but the period in between handing in your resignation letter and starting at your new job can be awkward, and your current employer may have some ongoing resentment about your leaving.
Here’s six ways you can navigate that period the right way.
1. Make it clear if you’re interested in a counteroffer or not
If the job you’re leaving was your first job, it’s unlikely to be the kind of position where they’ll come up with a counter offer, but don’t completely rule it out.
It’s not uncommon for an organisation to offer you full time work, a promotion or pay rise to try and keep you on, especially if you’re a long term employee and they’ll regret losing your skill set.
If you’re set on your new job, then make it clear (politely but firmly) that you’re not going to be staying, regardless of the counteroffer. Otherwise they may think that you’re interested in staying on in a different role, and then be disappointed or confused when you do actually leave.
2. Pose your new job as an opportunity you can’t turn down
Try and avoid using terms like “I quit” and instead point out that you’ve been offered a new opportunity.
(Even if you’ll literally be skipping out of there) Make a graceful exit where people feel like you’re just going on to another chapter, rather than trying to erase the last one.
Be pleasant and polite to all your coworkers and remember that they may be upset about you leaving, so try not to emphasize your excitement too much.
Your current employer should always be under the impression that you’re at least a little sorry to be leaving, rather than feeling like you’re just waiting to run out the door.
3. Resign face-to-face with the right notice period
If you need to resign with a particular person, try and schedule a meeting with them or go and see them in person.
Give them a polite but clear resignation letter, so that they have formal proof that you’re terminating your employment with them.
Also consider how many weeks notice you should give – most places require two weeks notice, but if you’re doing shift work it can be a nice gesture if you’re willing to work up until the most recently released roster so that they have enough time to redo future rosters.
Under certain awards and contracts, you’re required to give anything from 2-4 weeks notice
Your resignation letter should set out your notice period so that there can be no doubt. It’s also nice if you can either mention in the letter itself or to the person a positive personal experience you’ve had with the company so that you end on good terms.
Never just update LinkedIn without telling your old employer, or not turn up to work anymore.
4. Have a clear start date with your new employer
If you’re telling your current employer that you’re leaving, you need to have a clear start date with your new company so that you can give proper notice of a final date at your old job.
If they’ve told you you’ll be starting in Autumn, ask for a specific date. Otherwise you may be left with a chunk of time where you’re waiting to start with the new company, but have already had your exit with the old company.
That’s a difficult position to be in, and can mean staying on longer at the old job and leaving loose ends.
It’s all too easy at your new company to tell funny anecdotes about past clients, customers, suppliers or patients and then find out you’ve said something you shouldn’t have.
This is something you should discuss in your exit interview with your current employer if there’s any doubt to make sure you don’t end up in hot water.
6. Go through the job hunting process the right way
All of this is irrelevant though, if you’ve gone about the job hunting process the wrong way.
If you’ve provided a manager’s email address or phone number as a referee without first telling them, or dramatically quit before getting a new job, or even told them you were leaving before you got a contract, nice gestures and long notice periods aren’t going to make up for it.
Make sure everything you do in the job hunting process is considerate of the fact that you may need to return to your old job if the new job doesn’t work out.
If you’re worried about telling your employer you’re leaving but need a reference, check out this article
Getting a new job can be incredibly exciting, and so can quitting your old job.
But never forget that it may not be the last time you see and work with your current employer, so make sure that the whole time between quitting and starting your new job that you’re always pleasant, polite and considerate of your current employer to avoid problems in the future or while you’re waiting to start your new job.