Don’t listen to your friends who work outside of Recruitment, it is a tough job and making a move to a new company is a massive decision, not least because you will have to prove yourself all over again. Moving companies is also a big statement to your current clients and candidates by making it clear that you have found somewhere better to work.
No matter how much your manager annoys you and how frustrated you are with your current role, it’s still very important to be seen as a ‘good-leaver’. Recruitment is a £28 billion pound industry but despite its size it is often referred to as being an incestuous industry where there are often only a few degrees of separation between contacts so in turn maintaining your network and reputation is key when making a move.
The relief of securing the new role, the one you have really wanted can sometimes make people think I will resign and tell my manager/team exactly what I think of them but doing this will most probably come back to bite you.
Recruitment is quite unlike a number of sectors where you can leave and be welcomed back by a business with an increased skill set, you rarely find someone re-joins the recruiter they left and it ends up working out.
‘A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions’ Oliver Wendell Holmes
So, how should you resign without burning your bridges?
- Don’t make it about the brand
You may be working for a recruiter that doesn’t have the strongest brand and your team could be struggling to compete with your rivals, your manager may be a dictator who is full of advice but does not get their hands dirty, but none of these negative thoughts should be aired.
Think clearly about your reasons and try to articulate them to emphasise that the experience you will gain by moving is what has made you make this tough decision, a rational individual should understand that progressing your career is a compelling reason.
- Stay strong
If you are counteroffered remember that they are only putting this to you because they are aware you want to leave and fear you will walk out of the door with their contacts. It is dangerous to accept a counter offer because the reasons you have wanted to leave can’t be changed overnight and its most likely that they will never be addressed meaning you end up leaving within the next 12 months.
- Leave well respected
Your legacy and internal reputation will not be based on what you achieved in your time with the business but more likely what you did in the last few weeks. A thorough handover will mean you show that you have not taken your foot off the gas and have respect for the business you are leaving, worth remembering that you did join them in the first place because you liked them.
The chances are that you’ll be placed on gardening leave immediately for fear of the intellectual property that you will be walking out of the office with but make a concerted effort to have a handover ready, it shows your employer that you still have morals despite leaving.
- Don’t get too big for your boots
Demanding things from the business you are leaving and talking about what you will do to their market share/client base is not going to do you any favours. If you deal with it in the right way you may even end up benefiting from your old boss through introductions in the future. Put yourself in the shoes of your manager and try to remain as professional as you can.
- Speak to the right people
If your business has an HR team then an exit interview will allow you to go into detail about your bad boss, how you have been treated and general frustrations. It should also be kept confidential which means you should not be bad mouthed internally once you have walked out of the door.
If you don’t have the luxury of a HR exit interview and have to deliver it direct to the boss/manager that you don’t want to continue working for then keep in mind they will talk to your clients whilst you are on gardening leave so be as tactful as you can.
- Keep in contact
Aim to try and stay in touch with your old boss even if it is on LinkedIn, they will ‘thaw out’ over time following the disappointment of you leaving and if you have abided by your non-compete clauses it might even mean that you can gain introductions from them in future.
As Oscar Wilde said “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”
If you or someone you know wants to investigate options in the London recruitment market please contact me for a confidential discussion on 0203 440 3654 or 07710511231.
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