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According to the Randstad Hong Kong’s Workmonitor survey, 29% of respondents have changed jobs in the second half of 2020. 55% said that they changed their jobs for “better employment conditions”.

It is only natural for working professionals like you to want to develop and grow as you progress in your career, and you should not feel guilty about leaving for a new job. There is nothing wrong with seeking better employment opportunities or to protect your own employability and income security.

However, resigning from a job will always be uncomfortable, especially if your company has provided a great work experience for you. Even if you've seen the signs you should quit your job immediately, it will never be easy to leave at once as there are process and rules in a resignation to be followed.

As such, the best way is to plan ahead before you leave, so that you’re more prepared for what comes next after you tender your resignation letter.

Here are some tips and guidelines on planning your resignation. Learn when to quit your job, what to prepare and successfully resign from your job with grace even if you dislike it.

things to do before you quit a job
things to do before you quit a job

6 things to consider when resigning from a job

1. assess your reasons to quit?

We all have different reasons for quitting a job. Your preparation on how to resign from a job should start by having a good reason to leave. Assess your reasons and understand why you want to quit. Be it the desire for a career change or perhaps the lack of growth opportunities, or simply because you're tired of our toxic colleagues. Regardless of what your reason is, it is always good to depart on good terms.

Communication is extremely critical during resignations, and you should be prepared to give your boss a clear explanation of your reasons for leaving.

If you have been with the company for about two years, you could be leaving for a change in working culture or to pursue other learning opportunities. If you have worked in the role for less than a year, you could explain that the workplace culture and role are unfortunately not what you were expecting and had hence made the decision to leave. While you should not feel obligated to explain your reasons for resigning, you must be prepared to answer questions from your boss.

Your boss might ask if you are leaving for a higher salary or if you’re joining a competitor. They may even try to offer you a counter offer to persuade you to stay. During your exit interview, show your appreciation for their trust in you and explain respectfully that although you have made up your mind to leave, you would still wish to stay in touch with them even after you’ve moved on.

It’s important to maintain your work relationship with your boss and colleagues even after you leave the company as they become part of your professional network.

how to give reason for resignation
how to give reason for resignation

2. know your salary expectations

Is your current salary not up to your expectations? Do you feel that you’re getting underpaid? If these are the main reasons for resigning, we strongly advise you to do your research online to have a sense of a reasonable salary range that you should be seeking. Furthermore, if money is the main issue, then it’s not a good idea to quit without a job on hand.

It’s always a good idea to have data-backed evidence when negotiating salary, whether it is with your current boss or future employer. Doing your own research about your own salary demonstrates your ability to problem solve on your own and a level of confidence that many employers are looking for.

3. update your resume and find a new job

Don’t quit without a plan or a back up plan. Before you tender your resignation, you should consider finding a job replacement first or be absolutely sure that you have enough savings to tide you through while you take a break from work.

Update your resume and showcase your skills, job experiences, and achievement. When updating your resume, search for keywords from the job description or the company’s website to increase your chance of securing a job interview. You may also add three to five of your skills that are aligned with what the company is looking for, but just be careful not to oversell yourself.

If you are making a career change, it is best to update your professional online profiles and emphasise some of your career highlights.

4. create your resignation letter

Put your resignation in writing. Writing your letter of resignation is one of the most important things to do when you're planning to quit your job. Your formal resignation letter should mainly contain details about your intention to quit your job.

Do not include anything personal and make sure to leave your feelings out of the letter, even if you have very strong opinions about your experiences. There is no need to add fuel and throw shade within your letter when you're already going to leave.

Most importantly, do not forget to include a short section of the letter to express your appreciation and gratitude towards your boss for the opportunities you've been given thus far and their investment in your development.

5. know the timing when to quit your job?

which are the best months to resign?

Although there is no best month in resigning, the month of December is typically when the job market tends to be more active after the performance review period. Most of these job seekers are those who have worked hard in the hopes of securing a promotion, but were denied the opportunity due to various reasons.

March and April is another period where we expect to see a surge in job seekers and this is usually right after bonus payouts. These employees already have the intention to quit but they tend to hold out for their bonus . The other bonus payout period to look out for is between the months of July and September, where we’ve also observed higher attrition rates.

By anticipating these trends, many employers would have already made plans to ramp up their hiring activities at the start of every year. If you already have the intention to quit your job, you shouldn’t need to worry about your employer’s ability to fill your spot or how your work is going to be delegated to the rest of the team. That’s no longer your problem to deal with. You should focus on getting on with your career path.

when is the best day and day to tender your resignation?

Timing is important in everything. The best day to tender resignation is on Monday. Typically, the notice period will usually be from 2 to 4 weeks, depending on how long you’ve been employed for. Submitting your tender of resignation on Monday will be most ideal as your last day of work will fit nicely on a Friday. This will also give ample time for your employer to find a suitable replacement and to allow a smooth transition.

The best time of day to tender resignation is after 3pm, when your bosses got their important meetings and deadlines out of the way. They usually reserve this time to have smaller catch-ups with their team or to reply to emails. However, don’t schedule it for 6pm, as they may already have other personal commitments to attend to after work.

Despite this, know that everyone has a different schedule. Find a time that works for both you and your boss, and send a calendar invite and book a room for a private chat. The whole discussion about your career choice with your manager should not take more than 30 minutes.

However, if you are feeling too frustrated at your colleagues or don’t feel that the culture is working out for you, then there is really no best time to resign. Rather than feeling dejected and hoping that things get better for you, perhaps it’s better to just rip the band-aid off, especially if it’s affected your mental health.

Knowing when to quit your job is important and you never know that this might just be the best decision you’d make. Focus on your own career development by finding a job and employer that can help you meet your goals.

6. plan the best approach in tendering your resignation

The best way to resign would be face-to-face as it avoids any miscommunication about your reasons to quit your job. Your boss would also appreciate you being upfront with your decision and have the opportunity to better understand your reasons for leaving.

If you are a person who dislikes confrontation, a good way is to tender your resignation letter via email. However, even if you do so over email, you should still keep the door open for a discussion.

what should you do after you submit your resignation?

Now that the difficult part of quitting your job is over, it’s time to serve your notice period and prepare your handover. A notice period is a time between the date on your letter of resignation and your last working day. The more senior you are, the longer your notice period will be. Always check it against your employment contract and work with HR to determine your last working day with the organisation.

how to do a good handover
how to do a good handover

Work with your bosses to prepare a job transition plan checklist for a smooth handover. To ease the transition, take the time to finish up the projects that you’ve already started on. Offer as much help as you can to your boss and team while serving your notice period. 

If you’re in a client management position, work with your direct line manager to delegate your portfolio with your other colleagues or hand it over to your replacement. You should also fix a date and time with your direct supervisor to inform your clients of your departure and advise them on who will be servicing their accounts in the future. This would help reassure your clients that they are left in capable hands.

If possible, ask your boss for a recommendation letter that’ll testify to your credibility and level of expertise in the event your future employer asks for one.

start looking for jobs and work with randstad

From job application to signing of the new employment contract, a normal job interview process for a manager role can take 3 months to complete. In some cases, it may even stretch as long as 6 months to find a job you really like, depending on the company’s hiring process and market conditions. This is why it is always important to plan ahead.

Kick-start your job search plan for a better rewarding job. Find out who’s hiring and what type of jobs are available. Review your skills and work experience to decide if you’re suitable for them, or if you need to take a short break in your career to upskill yourself. 

Connect with us and we’ll help you find job opportunities that are more suitable for you. You can also speak with our specialised recruiters, who have in-depth knowledge about the industry and labour market as well as employer insights to better consult you on your career search.

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