The Resignation Process
Don't hand in your notice until you have received written confirmation of your offer of employment from your new firm. It may well have been a difficult decision to make, but you had decided to leave, so it’s the right thing to do.
Hand in your notice in writing (we can provide a resignation letter template), then negotiate a leaving date and clarify final pay and any outstanding holiday entitlement.
It's a big step handing in your notice and it can be nerve wracking. Keep in mind your reasons for pursuing a new role and what your new firm offers is terms of your development as a legal professional and long-term career opportunities.
The counter offer
For very good reasons, well-managed firms do not make counter offers. They believe their policies are fair and equitable and will address any issues prior to a resignation, not afterwards.
A counter offer is an offer made by your existing employer to either match or exceed what has been offered in your new job. The position you would have liked before, the salary you thought you deserved all along, the terms they’d promised at the start but never made good on.
It is of course flattering that your firm is concerned that you are leaving so it can be confusing and lead to mixed feelings about your decision to move on. What should you do now?
Think about the following questions to help you eliminate doubt and be confident in your decision:
- Why have I been offered more money now when it wasn’t on the table previously?
- If I stay, will the situation improve just because I said I was leaving?
- If I stay, will my loyalty be questioned and affect my chance for advancement?
- Will I have to go through this process again next time I'm ready for a new position?
In our experience accepting counter offers generally doesn't work out well in the long-term. Ultimately, the issues that caused you to look for a new position in the first place remain and promises made at counter offer don’t become a reality.
You need to stay strong, stay committed, when the counter offer comes, be polite and say “no thank you”.
Working your notice
Co-workers will be curious about why you are leaving. Whether they corner you at work or call you at home, tell them exactly what you told the firm you are leaving. Anything you say will most likely get back to your employer and make the departure more difficult.
Finally, do not underestimate the importance of your performance during your final weeks. It is a mistake to “mentally check out” and wind down while working out your notice. Give it your very best effort right up until the last minute you’re there. You won’t be sorry you did.