We always tell our candidates, “You know the minute you resign, your employer is going to suddenly feel you were worth more than you were yesterday, and they are going to offer you more money to stay”. Nine times out of ten, this is the case. Prepare yourself for this. How will it make you feel that you weren’t given that money, which you obviously are now worth, without having to go through the extremes of finding a new job? Is it worth another $2.00/hr to stay at a place that didn’t value you as much yesterday as they do today? Is money the motivating factor for which you are leaving?
If money is your only motivation, ask for the raise. Pursuing a new position only to increase your income can not only hurt your chances of any future employment with a company but it will also create tension with your current employer, even if they were to offer you the counter. Often times a counter offer is just a temporary solution and a quick way for an employer to retain what they have versus finding a replacement. Although it may seem generous at the time, this can put strain on your future relationship with the company. More times than not, most people who accept a counter offer will be looking again in 6 months. Most employers know this and will make sure they are working to find your replacement.
When you are convinced it is time to make a move, take note as to why you are looking to make a change. What do you want out of your new position that you do not have now (closer commute, more opportunity, better hours, better environment, etc). If you are ready to make a change, make the job change realistic and don’t block yourself from a new opportunity because you have grown comfortable with everything you have. Making a job change is a life changing experience. We often hear when people move on from a position how much they will miss their friends (with whom they never talked) and all the emotions kick in. They want to stay to see if they will get the raise they were promised or a year-end bonus. These things will always be there. No matter what happens with your year- end bonus or annual raise, start thinking in terms of your new position. Begin by removing personal items from your desk – family pictures, decorations, etc. It is easier to leave a job, and a desk or office, that doesn’t feel as ‘homey’ as it did yesterday.
Write your resignation letter so it is ready to be presented to your boss. Your emotions might be all over the place when you are ready to actually resign, so if this letter is already written it will be done so in a calm, concise manner and you will not have to make any last minute changes.
ALWAYS give your current employer two weeks’ notice. That doesn’t mean your employer will allow you to stay those two weeks (for company privacy policies some people are walked to their car immediately after resigning). Repeat over and over “It’s not personal. It’s business.” The more preparation you do ahead of time, the easier it will be to say goodbye to your colleagues. Always, always leave on good terms! You never know when you’re going to need a reference in the future, so don’t do or say anything you will later regret.