Notice of termination: how to give notice correctly and elegantly

At some point, many employees reach a dead end: their career falters, their boss is annoying, their colleagues are lazy and the tasks are repetitive. FOCUS Online shows the perfect strategy for anyone who wants to quit their job gracefully.

Giving notice is difficult. Legally it is clearly regulated, but interpersonally a lot can go wrong. In many industries it is a particularly sensitive issue because "in the job you always see each other twice in life", says Oliver Badura, headhunter and managing director of the HR consultancy Aquinum Consulting. Means: employees never know if boss and colleagues won’t still need them at some point, such as when they also change companies. However, it becomes difficult if employees have already finished with the job, for example because they have a problem with colleagues.

What the headhunter advises for the termination:

1. Ask your direct supervisor for an appraisal interview.

2. Make an appointment, set out your arguments and mentally prepare for the conversation.

3. Don’t back out with the resignation right away, but address your desire for new challenges and perspectives.

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4. Outline your demands, whether more money, more responsibility or home office.

The tip of the headhunter: "Set the requirements for the position so high that the company is guaranteed not to meet them."

5. If, as expected, the boss cannot meet the requirements, explain your resignation with the new job that offers you the challenge you are looking for.

"Of course, you can’t predict how the boss will react, but if you remain fair and argue well, you can’t really go wrong.", says Badura. "After all, this way you have given him a chance to keep you." And if you don’t really want to change jobs, you might get an exciting offer that you didn’t expect.

The taboos

If you think you can pull out all the stops during the termination interview, you’re wrong. For three things employees should note:

1. The boss and colleagues could still be useful later as a network

2. The boss still writes the reference

3. The new job can still slip through the cracks despite a signed employment contract. Because also here the period of notice of the probationary period applies – and this amounts to in the worst case only two weeks.

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That is why applies to the termination and the time after:

  • A payroll with the company, job and colleagues is out of place in the termination notice. Rather, say something positive about your company.
  • Continue to work with commitment until your last day of work. "Don’t give anyone a reason to write anything nasty about you, especially not in the last few days." If the boss reacts badly to the notice, it is practical to let itself be issued before regularly intermediate references – in such a way could be proven, if it makes air its annoyance in the final reference.
  • Complete important projects yourself if possible, or instruct colleagues.
  • Give a break. "I would recommend a walkout to anyone", says Badura. After all, you don’t do the farewell party for your boss, you do it for your colleagues. In addition, the walkout is the perfect opportunity to leave your email address with all those who don’t have it yet – preferably with the sentence "I would be happy if we stay in touch."

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Networking tip for professionals:

"But if you’re looking for a job again in a few years, you can call your former boss and ask without obligation if he doesn’t know someone who’s looking for someone", Badura explains.

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