Before entering the job market there are a number of factors which you should consider, beginning with the reason(s) behind wanting to resign. If your reason is solely a desire for a higher, market-related salary then resignation may not be the answer. It is far more economical to keep an employee than attempt to replace him/her. As a result, you will often find candidates end up staying with their current employer after they receive a new job offer, as the reason for leaving in the first place, is resolved through a counter offer.
"If money is what you're after, then it is best to approach your current employer about a salary review before deciding you want to find a new job and resign," advises Jaclyn Pratt - Financial Recruitment Consultant at RecruitFin. "If your request is not approved, then consider the option of resigning, but be very careful of an increase presenting itself later, in the form of a counter offer."
Why not accept a counter offer if it resolves my reason for wanting to leave in the first place? Juliette Attwell - RecruitMi Director, draws on her extensive experience in the recruitment industry to raise some fundamental lines of reasoning, as to why you shouldn't accept a counter offer:
If your employer has the budget to offer you a higher, market-related salary in the form of a counter offer, then why wait until your threat of resignation to implement the increase?
Will you be up for an annual salary review after accepting the counter offer or will you have to threaten resignation in a year's time again?
Now that your employer knows you were job hunting, will you, or your loyal colleague, be up for a promotion when a more senior position becomes available?
Your employer will be suspicious of your actions in future due to your disloyal conduct.
Have you tarnished your reputation amongst recruiters and other employers by accepting a counter offer and going back on your word?
If you are unhappy in your work environment and money is a secondary reason behind wanting to leave, remember that a higher salary is not going to improve the environment.
How will your colleagues react if they are aware that you resigned and accepted a counter offer and how will this affect your work environment?
Should the company need to cut back employees in the future, who do you think will be first on the list to go?
'Love what you do' and put career advancement above salary enhancement.
Is the counter offer really due to your high value to the firm? It is economically beneficial to keep rather than replace an employee, plus ask yourself why you were not valued initially.
There are a number of reasons why people decide to resign besides a salary increase, e.g. there may be no growth potential with the current company, extremely long working hours, the distance travelled to and from work, to name a few. Jaclyn Pratt reminds us that, "In these instances it is still paramount that you thoroughly explore all options to resolve the problem(s) before starting your search for a new job, as a counter offer can take many forms." She goes on to say, "It could be that your employer decides to promote you or reduce your working hours in order to keep you." Again, the points above apply; if you have discussed your issue(s) with your current employer and no effort is made to rectify the situation then commit to resigning and constantly remind yourself why it is you wanted to leave in the first place. An offer of promotion after you resign is' too little too late', as with an offer of a higher salary.
Once you decide to resign, ensure that you are honest with your recruiter about the reason(s) as to why you are looking for a new job. Honesty will result in the establishment of a better working relationship between you and the recruiter and enable him/her to find the right job for you, one in which you will not find yourself facing the same problems as you are experiencing at your current employer. Jaclyn Pratt emphasises that, "Potential employers are interested in not only your reason(s) for being on the job market now, but the explanation behind previous moves too. In order to avoid serious repercussions later, come clean from the start." A key question during any reference is 'reason for leaving' and your motivation for having left that company should align as closely as possible with that expressed by your referee. References are a crucial element of your job hunt, which links to the following point of leaving on good terms.
Don't burn your bridges. Ensure that you handle your resignation in a professional manner. Write a formal letter, in which you not only specify that you are leaving, but thank your employer for the work opportunity. It is also important to meet with your employer face to face, no matter how daunting the prospect may seem. Keep in mind that he/she will ultimately have an impact on your future job quests. "If, for example, your notice period is 30 days and your new employer wants you to make an attempt to reduce it in order to start your new job as soon as possible, there is no harm in approaching your boss with the request, but don't go against his/her answer," recommends Jaclyn Pratt. Jaclyn continues, "If he/she insists that you need to work the full notice period due to the division's current workload then by doing so, you have emanated traits of commitment and loyalty to your future referee as well as your new boss."
Planning on resigning? Think very carefully about why you want to resign, and make an effort to rectify these issues, before approaching a recruiter and beginning your search. Your recruiter wants to help you find the best job for you and can only do so with complete knowledge of your reasons for leaving. He/she also requires your full commitment to the move, hence the importance surrounding extensive contemplation of your resignation together with a desire to want to leave your current company, regardless of what your employer may counter offer. Demonstrate the type of character that recruiters would want to market to their clients and that companies want to get on board. Your current employer plays a key role in the future of your career too, so treat them with respect and conduct your resignation in a professional manner. Always remember to 'Love what you do,' as the RecruitGroup says, rather than what you earn.