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How To Give Notice

Giving notice and leaving a job can be one of the most difficult and emotional parts of a job search, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you are miserable in your job and can’t wait to resign, or leaving is bittersweet, there are some things you can do to make the resignation process smooth. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  1. Clean things up – while it’s a good idea to keep your business and personal life separated, most of us have sent personal emails from a work account, logged into personal websites, etc., from work. Before you give notice, it’s a good idea to delete personal files, stored passwords for personal online accounts, and make sure you have any personal information that you’ll need after you are gone.
  2. Write a resignation letter and tell your boss first – avoid the temptation of telling friends or colleagues in the office first. Write a short professional letter and have a few copies available (for your boss, HR, etc.). The letter should simply state that you are resigning and offering 2 weeks notice, and your last date will be on a specific day. You are under no obligation to tell your employer anything about where you are going, why you are leaving, or the offer amount you received. In fact, you are much better off not telling this information to anybody during your resignation process. I advise candidates to take this approach because it makes the transition period out a lot easier. If you tell your current employer anything about the reasons for your departure, you are giving them all the ammunition they need to make you feel guilty, make you susceptible to a counteroffer, and manipulate you! This is a bad scenario and should be avoided at all costs! Counteroffers almost NEVER work out. Industry research shows that over 80% of people who take counter offers leave within six months of taking them. I’ll talk more about counteroffers in a later post and link to it here.
  3. Offer to be helpful but be mindful of your soon-to-be employer’s needs – it’s a good idea to tell the company you are leaving that you will do what you can in order to make the transition period out as smooth as possible. Offering to put in some extra hours during the notice period, to be available after you leave to answer brief questions, etc., is a professional and thoughtful gesture. However, in very few instances is it acceptable to give more than two weeks notice. I often see job changers get hung up on a sense of loyalty to the employer they are leaving, or a belief that things will come crashing down if they aren’t there to help. The reality is that life will go on for the employer you are leaving. It is important to start the new job on the best terms possible. The new employer will probably want you there ASAP, so don’t forget that they are waiting for you!
  4. Don’t go off the rails in an exit interview – if your company asks you to do an exit interview, don’t turn it into an airing of grievances session. Be mindful about what questions you answer, and politely decline to answer any questions you aren’t comfortable with. Keep in mind that the employer may not be done making a run at a counteroffer yet. Anything you tell them about your motivations for leaving, new offer, etc., can easily be turned around and used to make you second guess your decision. Second, any criticism of coworkers, bosses, and culture can create animosity and negative opinions of you.

Giving notice is hard, but you have a lot of control over how easy the process will be by following these guidelines. In general, I advise candidates to follow the “less is more” approach. Remember, you are moving on to something you are excited about!

By |April 15th, 2019|Job Offers, job search, professional development|0 Comments

Breaking Barriers

Breaking-barriers-590x331Trying to break through barriers is often a motivating factor when looking for a new job. I’m an amateur weight lifter and fitness nut. A couple of years ago I hit a plateau in my training that I could not get through. I ended up hiring a personal trainer, and it turned out to be money well spent. My trainer was an expert in exercise and nutrition. He assessed where I was, we set measurable goals, and he then built a customized plan to help me with breaking barriers. Not only did I get results in the gym, but the lessons learned from my physical training overlapped with what I see as a headhunter dealing with senior level people interested in advancing their careers.

Breaking barriers can be a challenge, and when you feel you have plateaued, here are some things you can try:

  1. Get Advice — I’ve found that people are typically not great at self assessment. For breaking barriers in your career, seek advice from an objective third party. Your boss is the ideal place to start. He/she should know very well your strengths and weaknesses. Beyond the standard annual review process, ask to have a serious conversation about your performance and how you can improve. Not only will you get objective input, it will show your boss that you are serious about professional development.
  2. Try Different Things — like with my fitness plateau, breaking barriers requires that you try different things. Repeating the same actions and expecting different results is the definition of insanity, right? Seek out new ways of becoming more knowledgeable and efficient. Attend industry conferences, take courses related to your profession, learn new computer skills that may help you streamline your work processes. The bottom line, mix up the routine that is not getting you to where you want to be quickly enough.
  3. Set Goals — in my opinion, goal setting is probably the single best thing you can do when trying to improve at something. “Improvement” can mean a lot of different things, and unless you have a clear idea of what the end goal is, it’s very hard to work efficiently towards it. Setting clear goals and developing a manageable plan of execution is ideal. It’s OK to have big goals, but be realistic about the time frame you set. If your overall goal is lofty, break it down into some smaller interim goals so you have your sights set on things that are attainable in the short term.
By |February 1st, 2016|professional development|0 Comments

Job Search Mistakes

  1. Having Only One Resume – There are no one-size-fits-all resumes. If you use a single resume for your job search, you are making a big mistake! Resumes are usually glanced over very quickly to pick those candidates selected for interviews. It is critically important for you to target your resume to the specific company/job. A bit of minor tweaking can often make the difference between getting the interview, or not. Refer to my earlier post on how to target your resume here.
  2. Applying Online – this is a classic job search mistake to avoid. The main reason is because it is what everybody else is doing! It is very easy to get lost in flood of applicants who apply indiscriminately online. Second, many recruiters hold the belief that top-notch candidates don’t apply online. Top candidates are either sought out, or come in through other methods. Finally, applying online may hurt your chances of getting an interview or proper consideration at a company. You are far better off being evaluated as an employee referral, represented by a recruiter, or recommended by someone known to the company.
  3. Not Being Selective – whether you are actively or passively job searching, BE SELECTIVE. I generally advise people to take initial interviews liberally. Meeting the people and company face to face is the best way to see if there might be a fit. After an initial interview, I suggest people get much more selective. Don’t get deep into the interview process, or take things to the offer stage, if you can’t see yourself working at the company. You’ll not only be wasting your time, but you could leave a negative impression with the people who feel like you wasted theirs.
  4. Not Networking – this is the ultimate job search mistake. Study after study shows that the best jobs, and the best chances of landing your next job lies in networking. Friends, classmates, recruiters, alumni organizations, professional organizations, and former coworkers are just some of the categories of contacts you should tap into when considering a job change. Many people don’t do this because it involves more effort, but it is absolutely worth it!

David Staiti is the founder and Managing Partner of Virtus Recruiting, LLC. He has almost two decades of executive search and recruiting experience. He’s published numerous articles on job search and career management topics for The Wall Street Journal, CareerBuilder, and Forbes.com