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Career Coaching – Leaving a Job - Irish Job News - News on Jobs for Ireland

Career Coaching – Leaving a Job

29 February 2008 | Ireland | 4 Responses by paul savage.

There is unlimited information about how to get a job but very little on how to leave a job. Most people think it is easy to leave a job but anyone who has navigated this route will understand that it does not always go to plan. Parting company can be a difficult experience for the employer and the employee. I have experienced it myself when what I thought would be a clean break turned a bit nasty. This can throw away years of friendships and loyalty. Jobseekers must plan their next move but equally they must put a bit of planning into their departure to ensure it is smooth and stress free. There are a couple of key points to consider.

When you are leaving play it straight.

If you make a decision to leave – then leave. It is essential that employees never use the threat of leaving to improve on their current situation. If you have a problem with your current situation or terms at work then discuss these openly and try to resolve. Sometimes an employer cannot resolve your issues so you will have to accept this and move on. Using the threat of leaving as a tool to get what you want is not advisable.

what to do when leaving your job

Make your exit formal – put it in writing

Documenting your departure will ensure that there is no confusion. It also makes it definite. You should tell your employer verbally but have a written document to support this and make copies available to the relevant parties such as your manager and HR. Try to hand the letter to your manager or HR in person, this insures that you can see their reaction straight away, this gives you the option to talk to your boss about the reasons why you are leaving the company.

Keep it simple and don’t get personal.

Most jobseekers have valid reasons for departing and these can vary from one person to the next. I advise clients to keep there reason for leaving basic. For example “I am seeking to test myself in a new environment”. Providing the real reasons for leaving can play into the employer’s hands giving them ammunition to try to make you stay. There is also no need to get personal and kick your employer when they are down. You are leaving the organisation so personal attacks against your boss, other employees or the company will not serve you.

Don’t stay for counter-offers.

Employers often will try anything to stop an employee from leaving – everything from pulling on their heart string to offers of untold riches. Ignore them!! They may be tempting but 80% of employee who stay for counter offers leave within a year anyway. This would suggest that the situation does not change. Also bluffing your exit, with the idea of getting a better position or wage, is not recommended.


Article by Paul Mullan of Measurability offers Career Coaching to individuals (Career Direction, CV Design & Interview Coaching) and Assessment Solutions for businesses to improve their recruitment decisions.

4 Responses

  1. guinness416 said on 29 Feb 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Of course you can use the threat of leaving (in a non-aggressive manner) to make your current situation better – but you must be willing to act on it, if negotiation doesn’t go your way. People do it all the time here (in North America), and I can’t believe Irish work culture has changed so dramatically since I was last a part of it.

    I also don’t think you need to write something about new environments or other creative wording at ALL. The letter is going in your file; all it needs to say is, in not so many words, “I am leaving, effective March 10th” – very simple.

  2. Paul said on 11 Apr 2008 at 7:39 pm

    Yes you can put a gun to eployers head and people do it all the time. From experience though not very well. There are loads of reasons not to use this strategy to get what you want or to stay for a counter-offer.

    Irish culture dramatically changed?? Bit strong from one persons view. Anyway this is the view from most career experts across borders. You should try getting a job where you employer is open to dialogue and negotiation and stay away from employers who only act with threats – ha ha

    Didnt say to write about environments – your last point. Just said to document you exit and your one iner would be fine on a letter.

    Thanks for you comments

  3. Paul said on 11 Apr 2008 at 7:40 pm

    ps excuse the spellllling

  4. Niall Devitt said on 24 Apr 2008 at 10:18 am

    Sound Advice Paul, I agree, there is no need to verbally use the threat of leaving because once you make the employer aware that you are unhappy with whatever, the employer already knows that this threat exists. In operating “a gun to the head approach” you only serve to highlight a negotiating style that will invariably be seen as a liability. In other words, the employer will say to themselves, this is how this person resolves difficulties and is not worth the hassle.

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