Three Principles to Following When You Offer Your Resignation

Three Principles to Following When You Offer Your Resignation

 Leaving a company, especially if you have been with the company for several years, can be stressful.  It requires planning and strategic thinking.  Here are three principals to consider when you  decide to make the transition over to another company and offer your resignation.

 When You Offer Your Resignation, Leave Better Than You Entered:

This is actually a principal I heard from an insights leader I respect very much.  He shared an example early in his career when his company was going through a re-organization.  At that time, he decided to leave the company.  It was concerning him that he was going to be assigned a new position within the company and shortly after starting the new assignment, he turned-in his resignation.  After putting some thought into the situation, he decided to make his boss aware several weeks in advance of when he actually planned on resigning.

This was not an easy decision because he was unsure of how his manager would react with such an early resignation notice.  In retrospect, this was a very smart decision because it allowed his manager to properly assign people in the re-organization.  It was unselfish, and most importantly his manager never forgot that respectful gesture.  Years later, he applied for another job at another company.  Who do you suppose he interviewed with?  That right, his former manager. Can you guess who received the offer?  The person who respectively gave several weeks advance notice when they were not required to.  This story has always stuck with me.

When You Offer Your Resignation, Never Forget That Insights is a Small Group of Professionals:

The world of insights is actually very small.  You will likely cross paths with the same folks many times throughout your career.  This is a very important principal to remember because you never know when you will be working with someone again from a previous company.

Every month it seems I am crossing paths with former colleagues and researchers who I have worked with before. It could be someone from a research supplier or from a company I worked at previously.  Remember, your reputation follows you. People remember who treated them well and who didn’t.  And, they are constantly comparing notes.  That research supplier that you are working with today might very well be your manager in 5 years.  They could also change functions and suddenly be a merchant with a retailer. We are a very small group of insight professionals and you should believe that everyone knows everyone else in our small group of professionals.

When Offering Your Resignation, Be Respectful but Firm:

When the moment arrives and you are going to turn in your resignation, try to be very respectful but firm at the same time.  The company you are leaving will likely spend a considerable amount of time trying to probe why you are leaving, what kind of offer did you receive, would you consider staying?  My principal and belief is that once you have assessed the situation, analyzed the upside potential and downside risks, then the best thing is to stand firm and go forward with your decision.  It does not benefit you at all to provide insightful information about salary or rationale to your former company when you resign.  Consider being respectful but firm and have faith in your decision.


How you leave a company is very important for your future career.  You should consider leaving it better than you entered if possible.  You should also remember that we work in a very small profession that cross paths frequently. When the day arrives and you turn in the resignation notice, don’t forget to be respectful but firm in your decision.  This moment is confusing and can be stressful, so having faith in your decision.

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