Although finding your new job can be hard, it is easy to underestimate how difficult it can be to resign from your old one.

Remember, it is always best, where possible, to leave a company on good terms.

Many companies will accept your resignation gracefully and wish you all the best for the future: this makes the process very simple.

Some, however, will take it less well and may resent your decision for the inconvenience it causes them. In these cases you need to make it clear to your existing employer that your decision has been made, is final, and that you have made a commitment to your new employer that cannot be broken.

Even if you are with a large firm which conducts exit interviews, do not get drawn into distracting discussions that detract from the business in hand i.e. arranging a leaving date and what your employer wants you to do in the period leading up to it.

Some companies will want you to work until your last day, perhaps handing work over to colleagues during this time. Others may put you on ‘Gardening Leave’, requiring you to stay away from your work place during your notice period, but remaining available to answer questions and queries regarding your current workload.


Some companies may make you a counter–offer to stay: Beware! Whilst these can sometimes be flattering and tempting, you need to remember that the company is doing this for its own benefit not yours. Also remember that many managers and HR people have been trained in how to handle resignations and how to turn them around.

  • Companies may start to express regret that you are leaving and play on your emotions.
  • They may outline all the great plans they have for you in the future.
  • They may try and ‘knock’ your new employer to make you reconsider your decision.

Points to consider

  • Is the counter offer a ploy to avoid a short–term inconvenience by your employer?
  • Will they seek a replacement to you anyway?
  • After resigning once, will your loyalty will always be in question and future prospects limited?
  • They may just give you your next pay rise or bonus early and you will in effect be worse off in the future.
  • Any problems you have with your current employer will still be there: a pay rise will not make them go away.
  • In the future, if the company is forced to make redundancies: will you be the first to go?
  • If they had great plans, and your future with them is so rosy, why didn't they tell you before you resigned?