Resignations and Counter Offers

How to Close the Deal

If you want to move your career forward, tendering your resignation is often an unavoidable task. All bosses will have had to do the same thing themselves a number of times, and should be able to empathise with you if you handle the situation well.

Be Professional

  • Time you resignation to be considerate of the working patterns of your boss. First thing Monday morning is rarely a good time and to resign while on holiday or by post or email does not give a professional impression 
  • Bring a carefully prepared resignation letter to an arranged face to face or virtual meeting to show your resignation is an intention not a whim
  • Explain the reasons for leaving in positive terms and avoid personal criticism of current colleagues wherever reasonably possible
  • If you focus on the positives of the new role that are not available in your current role, most people will appreciate your reasons and offer you their congratulations despite their disappointment at losing you.
  • Agree a provisional departure date at the time of resignation; it can always be changed, but sets up a framework within which everyone can plan for the future.
  • If you are hoping to leave before your official notice period ends, suggest targets for you to achieve that would allow them to be able to release you earlier than contractually required.
  • Read your employment contract carefully beforehand so you know what your position is in all areas eg. whether you can leave immeditely (without further pay) or whether a new employer can buy you out of your current contract which would enable you to start straight away.  Any restrictive covenants are also worth reading through in case they need to be discussed and settled amicably.
  • In the very unlikely event of the meeting turning sour, retain your professionalism and conclude the meeting at the earliest opportunity. They may well need time to reflect on your news. Such a response may further strengthen your resolve that you are doing the right thing.

Invitations & Promises to Stay

  • As a rule of thumb, the worst possible thing you can do tactically is walk into a meeting intending to resign, and walk out agreeing to stay. If you handle the situation in that way you will seriously erode the (questionable) esteem in which you are currently being held by your current construction industry employer
  • If sudden promotion prospects, salary improvements and great futures with the company appear, it is rather unlikely that they had been planned for you five minutes earlier.
  • If you genuinely feel you have heard something new that may influence your decision, confirm that your resignation and provisional departure date will stand, and agree to meet again in a few days once you have had the chance to reflect on the conversation, and confirm the accuracy of the new information. Are your colleagues of the same grade getting the same pay rise and promises? Have they had them already?
  • Discuss your situation with your recruitment consultant. Some less scrupulous employers have a consistent track record in relation to counter offers that may be worth you being aware of

Predatory Approaches and Other Job Offers

Having made your decision, some current employers and less professional recruitment agencies need a little help in understanding you have made your decision and that it is final

  • Once you have made your decision, let all interested parties know as soon as possible. If you are frank with them about your decision, you can reasonably expect them to archive your details without further complication.
  • If a recruitment agency is reluctant to cease contact with you, you may want to write to them to formally request that they either archive your details or permanently remove them from their database.
  • Be wary of unsolicited calls from unfamiliar recruitment agencies and contact from employers that you have not directly sent your CV to - especially if you know your recruitment consultant has agreed to approach them on your behalf.  Professional conduct by employers in construction starts with ethical practices in dealing with people 

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