Accepting a new job can be extremely exciting. It’s a fresh start and usually means you’ll be earning more money, have more responsibility, and get a clean slate to work from. As soon as you sign your offer letter, however, you may get a sinking feeling in your stomach when you realize the next step is to notify your boss, which is not unlike breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend – you know it’s best for you but they aren’t going to like it. It helps to know ahead of time the possible paths that conversation can take so that you’re prepared for whatever he or she throws at you. The following is an overview of what you can expect.
You’re going to be nervous turning in your notice, but that’s natural. This is simply you ending one chapter in your life and starting another one. There’s going to be 3 phases to your meeting: the beginning, middle, and end, which is your action, their reaction, and your response to their reaction. Stay professional and unemotional. Start by simply telling your boss that you’ve decided to leave the company for an opportunity that you couldn’t pass up, and your last day will be on such and such date. Then wait for his or her reaction.
There is one of 3 ways the meeting will play out.
A) Accepting, Professional Boss
One way is that your boss or bosses will accept your notice. Most professional firms know that it is selfish to try to keep you from making an adult decision such as changing jobs. They’ll accept it, let you finish out your work, and wish you luck while throwing a party for you on your last day. Thank them for understanding and make it clear that you’ll do your best to help make the transition go as smoothly as possible for everyone.
B) The “What Am I Going To Do Now?” Boss
Another way it could play out is that they react in a negative way. They might make a negative comment, say you’re making the wrong move, or try to put you on a guilt trip. They might ask how you could leave them with so much work to do, or tell you that it is unprofessional of you to walk away right now. That kind of reaction, whether they realize it or not, is a way to manipulate you into staying there. Your departure affects your boss personally not only because he or she will have to figure out the staffing change and possibly get their hands a little dirty doing your work for a temporary period of time, but their performance is evaluated on how well their staff does and if they are happy and productive. You can simply respond by saying that you realize it is an inconvenience, but it is the best move for your career and one you couldn’t pass up. Then make it clear that you’ll do your best to help make the transition go as smoothly as possible for everyone.
C) The Counter Offer That’s Too Late
The third way it could go is that you break the news to your boss and he gives you a counter offer. This can be a difficult decision, but only if the reason you’re leaving is because you’re not getting paid enough. If that is the case, there are dangers with accepting a counter offer that you might not realize until afterwards. Your relationship will not be the same moving forward. It will affect your employer’s perception of you. They may completely understand but they may think you’re not loyal and that it’s just a matter of time before you make a move. So there’s a real possibility that it could strain the relationship. If, on the other hand, your reason for leaving is because of something that has nothing to do with money, like a lack of opportunity or a negative work environment, remind yourself once again of that issue and simply respond by saying, “no, thank you. I appreciate the offer but I’ve made up my mind.”
Legally, you are not obligated to tell your employer where you are going or how much you are making. You can say “I’d prefer to keep that information confidential at this time, but once I get started with my new employer I’ll drop you a line and give you an update”. Or you can tell them where you’re going. It’s up to you to decide that based on the relationship you have with your boss or bosses.
In closing, while this advice may seem like common sense to people who have been there before, if this is your first professional job change out of college, turning in your notice can be intimidating. By knowing the road ahead you can control the outcome and leave on good terms.
Best of luck to you!
About The CSP Group
Based in St. Louis with offices in San Diego and searches performed nationwide for companies of all sizes and industries, the CSP Group prides itself on uncovering the very best candidates for the most well defined positions, drawing upon their own personal experience as senior level Finance and Accounting professionals to uncover and convert passive potential hires into excited, motivated candidates. We represent our clients with commitment and integrity while also building and placing great value on our reputation amongst the strongest and most upwardly mobile candidates in every market segment and geographic region we serve.
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