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Leaving a company can be the hardest part of the entire new job process. While you may be both excited and nervous about your new opportunity, you need to make sure that you don’t burn bridges. To do this, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Do the Pros and Cons.

Remember why you made the decision to look in the first place. You didn’t just decide at the spur of the moment. In all likelihood, your decision has developed over a period of time, something hasn’t been right (commute, management, growth opportunity, company culture, workloads, stability). If you don’t have good-solid reasoning to leave, it is not time to resign. That being said, changing jobs can feel very vulnerable and you may feel like it would be easier to stay than go through the pain and struggle of a new venture. Fear of the unknown and change can be paralyzing. If you want the opportunity to improve your situation, you will have to get a hold of the fears, believe in yourself, and be willing to take on the challenge.

2. Write out a resignation letter in advance.

By preparing your resignation in advance, you communicate that you have taken the time to think. Also, you provide a set of clear expectations for your departure.

SAMPLE RESIGNATION LETTER

Dear _________________,

This letter is to inform you that I am concluding my employment with (company) effective (date).

The time I have spent here has been rewarding and helpful in my career development. I hope that my contributions to the company have been constructive. My relationship with you has always been professional, and I am grateful for having had the opportunity to work with you.

I have accepted a position that will enhance my career growth and expose me to challenges and opportunities, which I believe, are in my best interest. Should you flatter me with an offer to remain, I could not, under any circumstances, consider it. I have given considerable thought to my resignation and my decision is final.

(Boss' first name), I have the utmost respect for you and wish nothing but the best for you and (company). If I can be of any special assistance during my final two weeks, please feel free to call on me.

Sincerely,

3. Be Gracious.

Recognize that regardless of your current situation, there are reasons to be grateful to your current employer. Resist the temptation of telling them all the things that made you decide to leave. Negative energy will lead to a negative resignation and you want to leave on a positive note.

4. Don't let your resignation become a debate.

This is your decision. There is a tendency to feel like you need to justify your reasons for leaving. Instead, be very clear that you have made the decision and that you wish that to be respected.

Counter Offers:

Many companies make counter offers to employees, once the employee’s announce they are quitting. Most of the time they include more compensation and responsibility (sometimes even a title change). While counter offers can be alluring, there are some questions you need to ask yourself about them:

1) Will more money make the work environment better?
2) Have the problems that caused you to look been fixed?
3) If you had been denied a raise or promotion before, why are you deserving of it now?
4) Are you going to be treated differently for showing a “lack of loyalty” to the company?

While it is always scary to leave a known for the unknown, your new job is waiting for you with new potential. While counteroffers are nice ego boosts, they can end up being short-term Band-Aids for the real problems.

How to deal with a counter offer:

• Let your boss know you don’t want one, and that your resignation is non-negotiable.
• Don’t list all the reasons why you are leaving. These can be used as ways of making you stay (“So if we fix X, Y, and Z, you’ll stay?”).
• Remember why you were looking in the first place! More money can’t fix bad management, bad co-workers, or a bad situation.