If you are at that crossroad where this pandemic has forced you to retrospect about the possibility of changing your career to pursue other avenues, you are not alone. Many of the employees, managers, and leaders across the globe have questioned their career trajectories, and some of them had to make hard decisions to resign.
If you happened to be that employee who decided to resign, it could be pretty hard to express it to your manager. Quitting a job and communicating it to your manager could be a tense moment. A lot of emotions swirl around in the departing employee’s mind. Just like how it is hard to tell another party about breaking up, it can be one of the most challenging moments in your career life. While you are eager to walk out respectfully, you also don’t want to offend your current managers.
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT COMMUNICATION
Over the decades of my corporate career, I have found that even the most loyal employees who took pride in being associated with an organization would act quite impersonal or incongruent at the thought of expressing their decision to leave the organization. As managers, we are trained to sense those moments. In those moments, employees would typically behave awkwardly. There will be this serious or cold look on their faces as they stand quietly, waiting for a chance to talk to us. We can almost see a neatly folded paper in their hands. And when they get a chance, they want to get through by blurting it without adding too many pretexts or preambles.
However, we undermine the value of these moments. The way you communicate with your manager when you resign tells a lot about your professionalism and your future prospects. We live in an intricately connected ecosystem where professionals and managers are moving across organizations seamlessly. You would never know where and when you will cross paths with those you have worked with or under. Therefore, make the best use of this opportunity in your favour.
HOW TO COMMUNICATE THE DECISION
Here are the three ways to communicate your decision about resigning depending upon the reason for leaving and your situation whether or not you have the following job. Taking these suggested stances will put you at ease during that conversation.
1. WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE ANY OTHER JOB AT HAND YET
If you have not lined up another job but still want to resign, you should approach this conversation more personally and humbly.
In such a situation, you could communicate on these lines -“Hello boss. I have been thinking a lot lately about my role and progression in your team. I know you have given me all possible opportunities to grow and be successful at what I do. Still, I have been doing some retrospection, and deep down, I think I would like to explore something else in my life. I don’t have any job I would like to switch with, and I thought it would be nice to get some advice regarding my decision. I would love to hear your inputs before I formally put up my papers to resign.”
When you do that way, you will walk out with support and assurance that if you ever want to return in the future, the gates will still be open.
2. WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR NEXT JOB OFFER AT HAND
More often, employees don’t quit unless they have another offer at hand. In such situations, you should make the decision look like a case for progression, success and dreams. When you do that, who would not want others to be successful?
In such a situation, you could say something like this -“Hello, boss. I have been thinking a lot lately about my role and progression in your team. I know you have given me all possible opportunities to grow and be successful. Still, lately, I have been feeling more inclined to change my profile and go for a technical role. Incidentally, I have been offered a job role that matches my desires and, of course, pays my bills better too. I have decided to resign, but before I put it onto paper, I would love to hear your advice and input on how to be more successful in that kind of role.”
By taking this stance, employees walked about feeling valued and respected.
3. WHEN YOU ARE QUITTING BECAUSE OF FRUSTRATIONS OR UNHAPPINESS
The general belief in the corporate circle is that people don’t leave the job, but they leave the managers. On some occasions, the job itself may be frustrating or not up to your expectations. If you decide to resign for those reasons, communicating your decision may be extremely tricky.
Employees often assume a silent stance as they want to walk out without frictions, or they sometimes make it about their grudges or unhappiness. Neither of those does any good for you.
If you take an open approach here, you could say – “Hello, boss. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about my contribution and my value here. Though you have tried your best, I wish things could have been more satisfactory and fruitful for me to feel like I belonged. I desire things that I believe I can’t get here. Therefore, I have decided to quit, but before I put it onto paper, I would love to discuss what kind of things will make a difference to the rest of the team members. Are you open to that conversation? And perhaps you could give me some pointers for my future success as well.”
Guess how fruitful that conversation will go in the long run.
PLAY IT PROFESSIONALLY
Quitting is never an easy decision, but this may be the best decision you could make at a given point in time to progress further. Someday you might be sitting on the opposite side of the table. Handle it sensitively, and it will go a long way in developing your own leadership and people management skills.
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Dr Raman K Attri is a multifaceted personality as a scientist, author, speaker, L&D leader, and artist. Awarded as one of the Brainz Global 500 leaders, Transformational Business Leader of the Year, and one of the most Admired Global Indians of the Year, he is featured in over 200 media features. An award-winning learning scientist, he specializes in the science of speed in personal and professional performance. A prolific author of 50 multi-genre books, he writes on leadership, learning, performance, and workplace learning. He is an authentic accelerated learning guru who walks the talk by earning two doctorates and over 100 international educational credentials. Permanently disabled since childhood, Dr Raman K Attri is a hallmark of positivity and inspiration. He has transformed his inability to walk into a unique expertise to teach others techniques to ‘walk faster’ in what they do. His remarkable achievements inspire others to strive for excellence in their personal and professional lives.