“WAIT, you're leaving…?!”

Counter Offer

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Deciding to leave a company and accept a new opportunity is an exciting, yet complicated process.  The goal of the resignation process is to inform your boss that you are indeed leaving.  However, many times when your current employer discovers you are looking to move on and accept another opportunity, a counter offer will be presented to you.  As you are presumably an awesome employee and valuable contributor to the company, your boss will attempt to get you to stay.  It is at this point, when you are faced with the uncertainty of leaving to go to a new place or sticking with what you’re comfortable with, that I stress the importance of truly understanding the following three questions: 1. Why you are leaving, 2. Why it is you are looking for a new job or accepting another, and 3. Why now.

This said, before you even get involved in the interview process and take the step in giving your employer two weeks notice, take some time to reflect on these reasons, sort out the issues driving your desire to leave and consider ways in which they could be fixed.  Try to re-evaluate the situation with your current company and see if there is potential to work it out or find some solutions; maybe your problems can be diminished with a simple accommodation or rearrangement.   Often times, writing down a list of the pros and cons of your role in the company, you may very well come to a simple conclusion.  In doing so, this will help you understand your desire to leave more deeply.  Is it money? Does it have to do with management and acquisition? Love for the job? Maybe if you had a higher paycheck, you’d stay.  And if you’re an excellent employee – which you most likely are – this will be easy to resolve.  On the other hand, if and when you realize the root of your problems are things your current employer cannot fix or change, it is then that you can feel confident in preparing yourself for new opportunities and following your intuition.  Essentially, solidify the reasons for leaving in your mind and remember them throughout the entire process.

Furthermore, it is essential to then devise a transition plan.   Ask yourself: How will you break out your clients? You don’t want to leave people hanging out to dry.  Who will take over your territory and responsibilities? Who will follow through with your clients?  It is crucial you are not burning any bridges with your decision to change.  You want the transition to run smoothly and in a courteous, respectful manner.  Additionally, make sure to carefully take into account the logistics: Who is it you will be giving your two weeks notice to? Where will it be done– Over the phone? Or in person? When will you do it?  What do you expect or anticipate your boss to say?  How will he or she react to the situation?  Practice envisioning the outcome or consider roleplaying in order to be prepared to tackle the situation and respond accordingly.  It is critical that you are ready to answer questions firmly and with assurance in order for the process to play out efficiently.

Now that you have sharpened your reasons for leaving and have discovered that perfect opportunity where you can successfully develop the career you want, you are ready to actualize the move.  In regards to keeping things professional, you may be close with your boss and if so, it is vital that you do not allow the conversation to get emotional; avoid letting your personal relationship with this person get involved, as you are not seeking any sort of feedback.  I advise in omitting the details of your decision, such as why you’re leaving and where you are going; do not explain your new job and company.  What if it’s a competitor?  This could be a really big pill for your current boss to swallow.  Therefore, during your resignation meeting, there should be no room left for negotiation, you are certain you are moving on and will not accept any sort of counter offer to stay.  Here, you must stick strong to your values and goals.  Plainly stated, keep it straightforward… “Here’s my two weeks notice, here is my plan of action, I wish and hope all the best, I have accepted another offer and I am leaving.”  Respectfully, it is a done deal.