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Global Mobility Job Change – What’s Next?

How do I resign effectively without burning any bridges?

Today, more than ever, it is important for employees at all levels to preserve the peace and make a graceful exit when they decide to move on from a company. At Signature Source, we always advise that “how you exit is how you will enter”.  This industry is a “nitch” industry and it is far better to depart an organization with honesty, respect and cooperation than to leave on ill terms or in the “cloak of the night”. With information so widely available on the internet, it is not surprising that a single burnt bridge could come back to haunt you before you even realize it.  In fact, this subject is so often discussed that there are dozens of articles from major professional magazines, newspapers and blogs available. So how do you go about resigning from a global position without damaging your reputation or losing valuable allies to your career?

Be Honest

Many people are intimidated by the thought of formally resigning and having to explain the reason for his/her departure. As a result, they seem to conjure up negative experiences they have had with the company and use them as ammunition. This leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouths and indicates to your former bosses that you will never be a good fit for the company in the future, even if you find yourself interested in another position later on. Instead, explain what it is that you are moving on to, and why. Whether it’s more responsibility, higher pay, or moving closer to home, your boss can be sympathetic to these factors. Perhaps you didn’t realize how challenging a global position would be until you got there.  We encourage our candidates to understand that they are NOT obligated to share with their employer who the new employer is for the next chapter of their career.  After all, out of respect for the new employer who needs to announce the “new employee” to the organization, sharing information prematurely in this industry will be disrespectful to the new employer.  The current employer merely needs to know if you are leaving to join a competitor and that’s all – no names, organization size, location, etc. – just it is or is not a competitor.

Give Notice and Deliver it Directly

Pen your resignation well in advance of your departure date, and contact your boss directly to let him or her know personally.  Respect is key!  Your boss will appreciate the time to prepare for your departure and the respect that you have given by having a dialogue with him/her prior to the information being shared within the organization. This is not a good time to send out a mass email to the entire office with your intentions. Remember, your new employer must also see the same respect in that you keep the company in the highest of confidential barriers until your start date at the new organization.

Keep Working

Just because you’ve decided to leave doesn’t mean you can cut corners. As long as you continue acting professionally and doing your job well, you are likely to be invited back in the future, or get a good reference on your way out. Remember how you “how you exist is how you will enter” when the next career change occurs. If you check out before you’re actually done, everyone around you will feel the weight and get frustrated. It is disrespectful and below you to do so to your colleagues and most importantly to your reputation in this industry.

Ultimately, resigning from a global mobility position can be challenging. The amount of work it takes to put together an assignment often deters people from resigning even if they are not a good fit for the job if you were granted special relocation benefits and/or relocation allowances. Be prepared to repay any allowances you were given in lieu of fulfilling your contract and respect everyone involved at all costs.  It will be an investment in your future in the global mobility industry.

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