Candidates alwats tell me that resigning is hard; and it certainly can be. The interesting thing is that many times the difficulty is in the friendships we create at work. We spend more waking hours with our closest colleagues than we do our spouses, kids, and personal friends combined in any given week. Naturally we form bonds and make connections with these people, and in large part those bonds are what can make us so successful working together.
The thing to keep in mind is that where you work doesn’t destroy those relationships.
If you choose to work for another organization the friendships can remain intact. They can get stronger as you may now find you will spend time together on purpose, because you want to, and not just centered on work, projects, and meetings. In the end, it is not your business card that makes you friends with someone. That might be how you met them, found common ground, and built the foundation of your relationship, but work doesn’t have to define it. Might they be sad, frustrated or hurt to see you leave? Sure, they could, and probably will. That's human nature. But your real friends, the ones who care about you, will be happy for you and that happiness and support will trump whatever personal or selfish motives they have. Your friends will get over you moving on in your own career and doing what is best for you and your family because that is what we do for those we care about.
Some people stress out about telling the company, too.
From the company’s perspective resignations are a part of business. Employees, even the great ones they love, respect, and value, move on. There are many studies out there speaking to the average time a person spends at an employer and most seem to agree on between two and three years. Now, take the number of employees in your company and do the math……..I’ll wait……yep, that many resignations. A resignation is, while perhaps disappointing, not an uncommon occurrence for a business.
Keep in mind is that companies make decisions like this every day.
Companies make decisions to reorganize, hire, and let go of people for a variety of reasons and without getting caught up in the personal side of things or emotion. They have an obligation to make decisions with the best interest of the business in mind. Your business, in this metaphor at least, is you and your family. You have that same responsibility and shouldn’t feel bad about exercising it. They would, and do.
The reality is that resignations are a part of professional life and all parties involved can handle it. You should not let it stress you out at all. If you’re worried at all about an upcoming resignation I would encourage you to check out my 7 Tips for a Successful Resignation.