Most individuals are naturally not particularly practiced in the resignation process and won’t be looking forward to having this discussion, being conscious of its importance and the impact it can have on your current employer, manager and colleagues.
However, the resignation process is an important part in your career progression. So, once you have your offer in writing, what’s next?
When to resign? It is best to resign as quickly as possible. For most it is a conversation they would like to get out of the way. Three months’ notice is average in the Pensions industry, once you have made up your mind to leave typically you will want this countdown to start without unnecessary delay). Equally for your current employer they can start to plan for your exit and backfilling your role. You may have a particularly good relationship with your manager and want to resign directly to them, if this is going to delay you resigning by a few days let your next employer know, they should be understanding and appreciative of your openness and professionalism. If it is going to delay you by more than a week look at alternative individuals to resign to in the interim and arrange to follow up with your manager once back at work.
If you have a good relationship with your current manager, it can be helpful to let them know a couple of days before you resign. This creates an open, more informal discussion opportunity ahead of the formal resignation.
If you would prefer to move straight to formal resignation, depending on your organisation you may be required to email/post your resignation letter as well as booking out time with your manager to directly resign (virtually or face to face). Reflect on the positive aspects of your role with the company to date, your appreciation of the opportunities it has given you to put you in the position you are now to consider a career move. At the same time remind yourself of the reasons you initially sought another role, for example if plateauing in your career and seeking a new challenge, increased prospects etc and where you have expressed these ambitions / frustrations previously (counter-offers will typically look to address these issues, but should it have taken you resigning to resolve? What happens in another 6-12 months when these frustrations may start to creep in again?).
It may be tempting, when resigning, to let frustration and anger get the better of you towards your “old” employer, feeling secure and sometimes relieved to have a new job and a different environment to look forward to. It is better to stay as neutral as possible, focus on the positive experiences and position any negativities as constructively as possible.
Your end date is typically as per your contract, any future employer should respect you serving full notice (that loyalty will only be of benefit to your next company too). There can be instances where you can agree a shorter notice period depending on factors such as current work-loads/projects.
By handling your resignation and subsequent handover professionally you will maintain as positive as possible a relationship with your colleagues and managers. The Pensions industry is a small world and you may meet them again in different circumstances.
Congratulations on your job offer and best of luck!