And get yourself free.
Paul Simon could have easily been talking about the resignation process with these song lyrics. When you’ve accepted an offer of employment and are preparing for your resignation with your current employer you experience all sorts of emotions. While it should be an exciting time often it creates a bit of anxiety.
What will the reaction be of your boss? Well, typically you can expect three different potential responses.
The quilt trip: “How could you do this to me?”
The angry boss: “Get your things and get out of here.”
The good boss reaction: “Hey congratulations. I’m very happy for you. I wish you the very best.”
Just like anything if you know what could be coming you can best prepare yourself. So just knowing these are the likely possible reactions you can be prepared on how to handle. But experience has shown over these years that there is a certain way to approach the resignation that will help the process go smoothly for you.
First, prepare a resignation letter. For example, I suggest this wording:
“Mr. or Ms. (Name):
I respectfully submit my resignation to be effective (Day and Date).
The reason for my resignation has nothing to do with you as my supervisor or with (ABC Company) as an organization, but rather it is due to an exceptional opportunity, which I have accepted, that is more in keeping with both my personal and professional goals.
I have enjoyed my association with (ABC Company) and wish all those employed by the organization much future success.”
You hand the letter to your boss. They may ask, “What is this?” You simply say, “please read the letter.” The letter diffuses the situation by not making it personal regardless of whether it is. The reason for my resignation has nothing to do with you…. These are powerful words. Telling your boss that they nor the company have anything to do with your decision. Instead, it is all about… an exceptional opportunity. In addition, an exceptional opportunity that “I have accepted”. You've committed to this new opportunity. That often helps defuse the opportunity for your boss to propose a counter offer. Not always but it can give them the message that you are committed to this new opportunity.
So remember, you called the meeting. You don't need to discuss much. Just drop off the key, Lee and get yourself free. It will feel as though a heavy weight has been lifted off your shoulders once you’ve resigned.