November 13, 2019

Do Not Give Insurance Agencies A Two-Week Resignation

by Scott Thompson

Are you at the doorstep of starting a new job, and the only thing left to do is resign?  You probably think you’re required (either legally or by generally accepted social norms) to give your employer a two-week notice. I’m here to tell you that is not the case. 

The rules of the game in the insurance industry have changed. Resignations are different than they were 2 or 3 years ago. Nowhere is this more evident than with insurance agencies. As an executive, producer or senior account manager, you are probably joining a competitor which means every minute you remain tied to the information of one book you are a detriment to the other portfolio. 

Case in Point #1: Legal Obligations Are Rare

According to Employment Law Handbook’s The Myth of the Two Weeks’ Notice Requirement there are no state or federal laws that require an employee to provide two weeks’ notice. You probably work in an at-will state. Therefore, there are no legal ramifications to immediately leaving. Handled correctly there won’t be any social or reputation ones either.

The exception is if resignation timeline is specifically outlined in an employment contract. Then, in those cases seek legal counsel to understand your rights and obligations.

Case in Point #2: Control The Process With A Great Resignation Letter

Contrary to the way many of us were taught to resign…..you are in control. This isn’t a debate and certainly not an apology. You set the tone with a great resignation letter.  Here’s Exactly What To Write In Your Resignation Letter from CNBC that perfectly illustrates the simplicity of giving notice.

  • You don’t offer up much information
  • You don’t go into a lot of explanation about why

….and because of this there’s not much left to be said. So, why stay around another two weeks? Your silence will just be awkward!

Case in Point #3: Walking Out Protects You

Agencies will react 1 of 3 ways to your resignation.  #1) Happy.  #2) Accepting.  #3) Emotional.  It’s #3 I’m most worried about for your mental and emotional health. 

For Client Service Managers….. You Are Protected From Counteroffers

Counteroffers give employers an opportunity to play mind games. They play to your emotions. They chip away at your enthusiasm and try to redirect your attention. This will not stop even if you repeatedly decline the counter. There is no reason to subject yourself to emotional torture for two weeks. 

For Producers….. You Protect Clients

No matter the terms of your non-compete, leaving immediately makes an impact on current and future relationships. A clean, swift break looks much better especially as the rumor mill starts swirling. Two weeks’ notice delays your social media rebranding and allows your current agency to control the narrative about your exit. You wouldn’t receive a two week heads up if the agency was going to fire you, so why give them a two-week head start when it benefits you?

For Executives….. Your Protect Your Liability

As an executive you have access to significant company capital and resources. You have information on finances, revenues streams, marketing contracts, acquisitions and employees. Staying opens you to accusations, even if totally unfounded, that may be recourse for future liability and indemnification. I’d rather see you leave with a month before your new start date than try to line it up all without a gap that comes back to bite you.

For more advice on resignations and handling counteroffers, please contact me at sthompson@csgrecruiting.com.  You can also check out similar articles like 7 Tips For a Successful Resignation and Counteroffers, Mistakes, Missteps, and Why They Aren’t A Great Career Solution.

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