Giving notice: what to do & what to expect when you want to part ways..

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It would be rare if at some point in your life, you didn’t have to have one of the most awkward conversations in the work place…  the dreaded “I’m leaving” one!

No matter how long you’ve been with a company, be it 6 months or 6 years, it’s always going to be nail biting, waiting to speak to the right person and summoning up the courage to tell them you are heading off for pastures new. You feel guilty, dis-loyal and all of sudden, panicked that you aren’t doing the right thing. And what happens if things don’t go as planned? It would be nice if there was a brief conversation, a hand shake, a pat on the back and a thank you for all your hard work..  but it’s not always that simple. And sometimes, despite your previous best attempts to advise your employers you aren’t happy in a role, they are oblivious to it and are totally taken aback when you hand your notice in.

Read our guide below on how to hand in your notice and what to do if things take an unexpected turn..

  • Do it at a decent time – not as your manager is heading out of the door for home time. Ideally in the morning so you don’t sit stressing about it all day and it gives them time to process the information and make plans going forward. Ensure you ask for a meeting, don’t sidle up to their desk or send an email, it’s much more professional to be personally accountable for your decision.
  • Ensure you are prepared with your reasoning. Don’t make things up, be honest about your decision but also respectful to them, at this point they are still your employer and deserve to be treated with care.
  • Keep a cool, calm head and refrain from entering in to any arguments. Their disappointment and frustration at losing you could well come out in a rather abrupt and seemingly angry way but try not to take it personally. Remaining professional and sticking to your reasons will give them time to calm down and get to grips with what it means for them as a company.
  • Don’t be disrespectful to the company or anyone who works there. Regardless of your thoughts and views, industries are small and people DO move on to other companies. It’s not unlikely you will cross paths with some of the same people again if you are staying in your sector and maybe they’ll end up as your manager for a 2nd time!
  • Don’t make promises to “re-think” about it if you are sure you won’t change your mind. You will only be prolonging the process and giving them false hope. Be polite but firm, your decision is made. You may hear phrases such as “I had no idea you were unhappy” and “if only you’d said something”. Only you know if you’ve been transparent with your employer about your happiness at work – maybe you did say something, maybe you didn’t.. either way, that’s your decision and it’s one you made based on how comfortable you felt approaching them.
  • Refrain from instigating a bidding war. Going in with “I’ve been offered a job somewhere else and they’re paying me £5k more than you are” isn’t the way to do it. If your decision is based solely on money and your current employer feels you are trying to force their hand in to giving you a pay rise, you run the risk of them waving goodbye to you in a negative light.  Be honest if it’s about money but don’t attempt to lead them to believe if they offer more you will stay.
  • Avoid being tempted by throwaway comments and offers. In a blind panic, some employers will offer you the world to stay. You have sought to find another job for a reason, there may be some things that could change about your current job but ultimately would you be happy? Or would you be looking again 6 months down the line?  Keep in mind that promises made in haste may not be cast iron so be careful of being lured in to turning down the perfect job for you.

Above all, be clear on what you are wanting to achieve. If you are confident the move you are making is right for you then don’t be ashamed to be chasing your dream. You want to leave on good terms, no one can predict what will happen in the future and you may someday end up working there again.  Always be professional, don’t ever be goaded in to saying things you might regret and remember, without the company you work for now, you might not have had the experience to get the job you really want so a little thank you wouldn’t go amiss.

If you’re keen to hear about new jobs in Business Travel as they come on the market please do get in touch with Caroline or Emma and we can have a friendly and informal chat about what you are looking for. or   We cover all aspects of the industry and are always happy to advise on current recruitment drives.

Picture courtesy of Pixabay.

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