MAKE A GRACEFUL EXIT
Now that you’ve decided it’s time to move on, find out how to exit the company without burning your bridges.
What we would all love to hear during an interview for a new job: the prospect of work-life balance and, of course, an ideal salary. However, a recent survey by job site JobStreet.com found that while one of the main challenges of professionals is not achieving work-life balance, it only pulled 26 per cent of votes. The top challenge at work, as voted by 49 per cent of respondents, is company politics. That said, there are many other reasons why people consider leaving their jobs.
AiRene Tan, an associate director of consumer, healthcare, professional services, and digital at specialist professional recruitment consultancy Robert Walters Malaysia, elaborates on these other factors. First, she says, is the limitation of career growth in one’s current workplace. “According to our findings in Acquiring Insights from the Exit Process to Build a Better Workplace, 11 per cent of the surveyed professionals in Asia cited limited growth opportunities in the company, and being underpaid, as the two main reasons for leaving their jobs,” she expresses. Besides that, team chemistry is also important as your bosses and colleagues are the people you’ll be spending most of your day with – naturally influencing your efficiency and productivity. Likewise, fitting into your working environment and culture also plays a large role in achieving job satisfaction.
Before you pass the letter on
If you’re thinking of handing in your resignation, AiRene and the experts from JobStreet both emphasise taking time to weigh this major decision. Whether you decide to stay or leave, self-reflection will serve as a guide to aligning your career with your goals and aspirations. One of the questions to ask yourself is whether you have a clear exit plan for a more successful transition to a new work environment. “During an interview with a potential employer, don’t hesitate to ask about the team you will be working with and the company culture. This will help you determine if the company will be a fit for you,” AiRene advises. If you’re thinking about leaving your job without securing another job, thoroughly think it through to be sure that you’re not acting on your emotions, because you may have had a terrible day at work or an increase in your workload. An exodus out of the company should also not be the sole reason for you to jump on the bandwagon. As for taking a sabbatical, AiRene recommends drawing up a timeline for this career break and plan – consider keeping your skills up to date or being involved in short-term projects to remain relevant in your area of expertise. Another thing to do before you hand in your letter is to survey the economy. The experts at JobStreet.com suggest studying the market rate to assess the appropriate compensation for your experience and skills if your earnings happen to not meet your everyday needs.
What to do with a counter-offer
Once that letter of resignation has been read by your supervisor, only one of two things will happen: he or she will sit down with you to understand what’s on your mind, process it all, and either let you go or present to you a counter offer. The latter should be handled carefully as counter offers tend to go astray, no matter how flattering it seems initially. Should you accept it, both the experts from JobStreet and AiRene caution that your loyalty will be questioned. “Statistics show that if you accept a counter offer, the probability of you leaving within six months, or being let go within one year, is extremely high,” AiRene stresses. Another reason to turn down the counter offer is the lack of trust between you and your supervisor, now that you’ve brought up the idea of wanting to leave. You may be passed over for a promotion, and when times get rough, there’s a danger of being one of the first on the chopping block.
What to expect after
One of the most compelling reasons for switching jobs is an increase in salary. AiRene shares, “Professionals in the sales and marketing industry can expect salary increments of 15 to 20 per cent, while those with niche skills can expect their salary to rise by 25 to 30 per cent. Professionals in the technical healthcare industry can expect salary increments of 15 to 25 per cent.” You’ll have to start from ground zero once you step into a new environment – stay professional and flexible, so you’ll adapt more quickly to the different working styles and personalities.