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According to the Randstad Singapore’s Workmonitor survey, 31% of respondents have changed jobs in the second half of 2020. 1 in 4 cited ‘personal ambition in the management field’ and ‘desire for change’ as their reasons for leaving.

Resigning will always be uncomfortable. As such, it is always good 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 what to prepare and expect during a typical resignation.

things to consider before quitting your job

1. how can you prepare for your resignation?

Your preparation should start by having a good reason to leave. Whether it is a job or a relationship, it is always good to depart on good terms. Communication is extremely critical during this point, 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.

In your resignation letter, be clear about your intent to resign and your appreciation for their investment in your development. While it is not a ‘must’ to explain your reasons for resigning, you must be prepared to answer them.

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. Your work relationship with your boss and colleagues should continue 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. which are the best months to resign?

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. This may be either because they are too young or old, or were given new stretch goals that are miles above their pay grade. There are also other pull factors, such as a more attractive employer, expanded job responsibilities and higher salary.

Another period where we expect to see a surge in job seekers is in April, right after bonus payouts. These employees tend to hold out for their bonus before they actually tender their resignation. 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 in quarter one every year. This is when we see more hiring either for new and critical roles or to replace a headcount.

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 in the year 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. Focus on your own career development by finding a job and employer that can help you meet your goals.

3. when is the best time of the day to submit your resignation?

The best time of day is after 3pm, when they’ve 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.

Despite this, 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.

We do not recommend telling your boss in the car on the way to a client meeting. Your boss may be caught off guard and re-think the purpose of your presence at the client appointment. It would also impact the mood of the meeting, which the client will definitely pick up on.

4. what is the best approach to tender your resignation?

The best way to resign would be face-to-face as it avoids any miscommunication about your reasons to leave 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, you can submit a resignation letter via email. However, even if you do so over email, you should still keep the door open for a discussion.

5. 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. A notice period is a time between the date on your resignation letter 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 after clearing your leave days.

Next, you need to 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 spread 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 reference to support your credibility and level of expertise in the event your interviewer or future employer asks for one.

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

start looking for jobs, if you haven’t already done so

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.

If you’re planning to quit soon, start looking now! Kickstart your job search plan. 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. 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.

Download our comprehensive digital career guide for tips and tricks on how to prepare your resume and interview. Once you are ready, you can reach out to our specialist recruiters. You can also visit our job listings for the latest jobs and find the field that suits you well.

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