I've been listening to the "How to resign" series of casts and I've found it very helpful, but geared toward someone who is dissatisfied with their current position and wants to move on. Do you have any specific advice for someone who is not the primary earner, and who would be resigning solely in order to follow their spouse to a new job in another location? I would want to make the reason for the resignation clear to my boss; I would also want to make the transition period as easy as possible since my company has only three people and I'd more than likely be both hiring and training my successor. Any advice for that specific situation?

jhack's picture

It's about the new opportunity.  

Remember, you don't talk about why you're leaving, you talk about where you're going.  You say only good things about your current job.boss/firm, even if you don't like your current situation. 

So focus on where you're going and why. 

Everything else is the same:  be prepared to provide a smooth transition, document everything, etc. 

John Hack

TNoxtort's picture

 I think the main point of the resignation cast is to be positive. As you already feel positive, that should be easy.

Also, what you put in writing may be shorter and less detailed than what you tell people. I've had several coworkers resign for the same reason and no one thought badly about. But it's just something that you may not want to put in writing.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Because so many people think of leaving rather than going somewhere better, we probably addressed that too strongly.

And yet, can you point out any guidance in the cast that wasn't helpful, or was wrong for someone leaving without negative thoughts?  I think all of the recommendations work equally's just that you don't have to avoid any of the things we're telling you to avoid.


afmoffa's picture

Wildemoose isn't leaving his (or her) job because he hates it or somebody offered him a better deal. His leaving is no reflection on his job. And that's what's special about Wildemoose's situation. There's a better opportunity there to capitalize on goodwill than might otherwise be the case.

Usually, we leave a job because we're fed up or we've found a new job. Rightly or wrongly, such job transitions often come across as a snub to the old job: "I'm so demoralized at this place I'd rather take my chances in the ranks of the unemployed." "They're going to pay me more, so therefore you didn't realize my value." "Hey, guess now you know why I was wearing such a sharp suit three weeks ago." "Yes, I accepted that five-year service plaque at the barbecue last week, and I had the new company's offer in my Blackberry even as you shook my hand."

Under those circumstances, even when everyone is being professional and polite and supportive, it would still be inappropriate to capitalize on goodwill.

By "Capitalize on Goodwill," I mean something like: "Hey, I've really liked it here. I know I'm doing the right thing for my family/ I'm so proud of my wife for getting this opportunity/ I'm excited about the new city, BUT gosh, I wish I could just take this place with me. Do you know of any similar positions I should look into out in Cleveland/Miami/Singapore? Would you mind if I gave you my resume, just in case you think of something?"

Back when I was managing a retail camera store, I was also working freelance as a graphic designer. Often, my day job would put me in touch with contacts and potential clients, but my boss and I had agreed that I would never solicit new business while I was on the clock at his stores. Sometimes great opportunities would walk in the door, and I had to allow them to walk out. But when my boss decided to retire and go out of business, it opened up great opportunity to capitalize on goodwill. Suddenly, I had a pile of brochures on the front counter, I was restoring old photographs for our customers, I was adding great photographers and gallery owners to my network, and all with the blessing of my boss. I wouldn't have been able to do those things under normal circumstances.

wildemoose's picture

Mark, it seems like one of the main points (and maybe I'm misremembering) was "Don't give details on where you're going and you don't have to answer any questions." You're definitely right that the "Don't focus on the negative" point is much easier when there's no negative. But it seems to me that for someone in my position, being more forthcoming with details ("My spouse got X job which is the perfect opportunity for him/her, unfortunately it's in Y city so it looks like we'll be moving...") would be appropriate.

jhack's picture

You can share where you're going, if you choose.  Mark was indicating that you don't NEED to do so, and that you shouldn't talk about some details, for a reason:  your current firm may be preparing a counter-offer.  So if you say, "I've taken a job at JKL corp.  It's a $4000 raise and I'll have control over my own budget," then your firm could say, "We'll give a $5000 raise and control over your budget."   Then what?  

Your situation is different:  You're following your spouse (and kudos for that).   And while it may not apply to you here, others reading this on the forum should consider:  The firm could make you a new offer, a unique one.  Like, they are going to open a sales office in that city, hadn't announced it yet, and would you like to be the manager of the office?   You never know.  So this is one situation where being open about your situation could benefit you.  Moreover, it removes any doubts from their minds that you're actually going to a competitor and your "holding back" is hiding something.  

Letting them know that you like and respect the firm, and that you will recommend it when you can, etc, is a good thing. 

John Hack