Resigning with Class

23 Jan by Alicia Vroegop


So you have found a new opportunity through us at Team. Firstly, congratulations! You have obviously shown your future employer that you are a ‘class act’, and your next move is critical to maintaining that reputation... The resignation.

Whilst it can be tempting to channel your inner toddler, handing in your resignation requires you to behave like an ‘adult’.

​Here is some advise for handling this situation in a professional, mature way that leaves little to no room for negative exposure:

1. Do it for the right reasons

  • Using a new offer as a form of negotiation for a pay-rise or better conditions leaves you with a tarnished reputation on all sides of the table. No employer likes being held over the barrel this way, and the counter-offer will likely come with hidden strings attached and ‘guilt factor’. Additionally – your bridges have been burnt with the new employer and most likely the agency representing you.

  • Counter offers, whilst initially flattering, do little to address the reasons you wanted to leave. They serve the company you’re leaving well – less inconvenience from losing knowledge, but research shows you are likely to find yourself back to square one inside of 6 months.

2. Check your current Employment Contract

  • Ensure you adhere to the requirements of your current contract. Double check the notice period, restraints of trade and anything you need to do to exit the building with no entrails dragging behind.

  • Occasionally, you may be able to negotiate the terms of your notice period – but ensure you get any new agreement in writing.

3. Read and understand your new Employment Contract

  • Ask questions, make sure you have all your facts straight, you understand everything on offer e.g. benefits, salary, hours of work.

  • Get advice – your right to seek independent advise is protected by NZ Employment Law, and nobody should pressure you to sign before you’ve had that time (but keep it reasonable)

4. Resign in Writing

  • This is a legal document which is ending an employment relationship. Keep it professional, short, and to the point. DO: Email or prepare a formal letter as soon as you have signed your new contract. DON'T: Text, mic-drop, abandon, or quit by proxy (i.e getting someone else to do it).

  • Copy only those who need to know – e.g your boss, their boss, HR... not the whole team

5. Remove the Emotion

  • If the reasons you are leaving are largely negative or stressful, avoid the temptation to use your resignation letter to ‘have a pop’ or parting shot.

  • Whilst it can be great fun to fantasise about dancing on the boss’s desk or sending revenge-emails to your colleagues, it will damage any good reputation you may have built up.

  • If emotions are running high, it is crucial you find someone you can trust to help keep you level-headed. (A lot of companies offer independent, anonymous, counselling help for free – use it, you are entitled to whilst you’re still employed).

6. Stay Classy

  • Do you want a good reference? In a few years when this boss is asked the question “would you rehire this person?”, you’ll be wanting an enthusiastic “Absolutely” over a “Hell no!"

  • Now is a good time to dig deep, so you don’t leave a bad taste in your colleagues’ or bosses mouth with mess to clean up. It’s hard, but continue working in a productive and positive way that makes YOU proud of you.

  • Do a handover that leaves you with a clear conscience, and perhaps leaves your manager with ‘what a great person, we should keep in touch’.

  • Work out how you might handle a counter offer* See comments below on counter offers

​Remember, New Zealand is a small place, where “six degrees of separation” is more like one or two. People talk, and a bad reputation will follow you around like a bad smell. Additionally, the bridge to your new job may need to be crossed again to a great opportunity in five years time. Make sure it’s fire-proof.

Need further advice? Call us... 095256400