Beware of retaliatory strike
If your intention to make a job change is sincere and nothing will change your decision to leave, you should still keep up your guard. Unless you know how to handle a negative reaction from your current employer, you may end up psychologically wounded or right back at the job you wanted to leave.
The best way to shield yourself from the inevitable mixture of emotions surrounding your resignation is to remember that employers follow a predictable, three-stage pattern when faced with an unwanted resignation:
1. Your boss will express shock.
“You sure picked a fine time to leave! Who’s going to finish the project we started?” he or she might say.
Your boss may imply that you’re irreplaceable and that your leaving will cause the staff or the company hardship. The company might as well ask, “How will we ever live without you?” In this case you can reply, “If I were run over by a truck on my way to work tomorrow, I feel that somehow this company would survive.”
2. Your boss will start to probe.
“Who’s the new company? What sort of position did you accept? What are they paying you?”
Here you must be careful not to give too much information or appear too enthusiastic. Otherwise, you run the risk of feeding your current employer with ammunition he or she can use against you later, such as, “I’ve heard some pretty terrible things about your new company,” or “They’ll make everything look great until you actually get there. Then you’ll see what a sweat shop that place really is.”
3. Your boss will make you an offer to try and keep you from leaving.
“You know that raise you and I were talking about a few months back? Well, I forgot to tell you: We were just getting it processed yesterday.”
Remember that you are resigning for a reason: You have found a better opportunity. You deserve the extra responsibility, money or perks you have been offered by the new company, so be tactful but firm if it appears that your old boss is attempting to woo you back.