Resignation & Counteroffers



Now that you have a made a positive business decision to accept an offer of employment from another firm it is necessary to resign from your present position.

Resign to your supervisor as soon as possible; preferably the same day you have accepted your new and better opportunity.

1. Be POSITIVE; state the following in a tactfully written resignation letter:
 You are giving notice.
 Your last day will be______.
 Thank your supervisor for the time spent working for the firm.

2. Give reasons for leaving ONLY when asked. If asked, don’t prolong the conversation. Simply state that you are very excited about the new opportunity and how it better fits your career goals. Your supervisor should be happy that you have been given an opportunity to better your career and accept greater challenges and responsibilities in your new position. This is NOT the time for a discussion about changing careers as you have already made the decision to leave AND a commitment to your new employer.

3. The amount of money that your new employer is offering you should REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL at all times! If asked, just say, “ The offer was very fair,”…and drop the subject. Your agreement was between you and your new employer and it needs to remain a personal matter.

4. NEVER BURN BRIDGES! Doing so could affect future references.

5. NEVER give MONEY as the reason that you are leaving. This will always complicate a smooth resignation.

6. Offer to assist in every way possible to ensure the smooth transition of your duties to another person. Your stated last day of employment at your present firm is not open to negotiation. You have made the decision to leave and have stated when your last day. Your decision at this point is IRREVOCABLE!

Here is an example you may use:

June 31, 2000

Mr./Mrs. (Name)

Dear Mr./Mrs. (Name)Please accept this letter as formal notice of my irrevocable resignation from ___(Company ____. My last day of employment will be Friday, ____(Date)___, 2000.

The experience and knowledge gained during my association with your company had provided career growth for which I will always be appreciative.

My decision is irrevocable.


(Name) Title



How the counteroffer will be phrased:

 “We have plans that we didn’t tell you about yet………”
 “We can’t get along without you, we’ll match the offer…….”
 “Want to have lunch and talk about this?……..”
 “There is a confidential reorganization/promotion soon……”

The correct reply is ALWAYS: “No, thank-you, the move I am making is for career growth, not because of something lacking here.”

Your feelings when time to resign:

 It’s natural to feel grateful for the time spent at the present company.
 It’s difficult to leave people you have worked with and for.
 These people will act as references in the future and you may work for them or, better yet, they may work for you someday.

Implications of accepting a counteroffer:

 You are leaving for your career; if you stay will things really improve?
 Your loyalty will be forever suspect and affect chances for advancement?
 It is less expensive to counteroffer than find a new employee.
 Will you always have to threaten to get a raise, better conditions, or a promotion?
 80% of people who accept counteroffers are gone in one year…..MOVE NOW.