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There are both etiquette and protocol to be observed when resigning from your current job and starting your new job. Here are a few points to consider:

The first stage is to accept the role verbally subject to contract. If the contract has been sent promptly, read the terms and agree (assuming you are happy with the terms).

The contract must be signed and returned quickly and this should be done prior to notifying your current employer (if this is done in reverse order, it is presumed that the individual might be open to a counter-offer). Ensure you fill in all details including your referee contacts (make sure that you put them on notice).

Serve notice and date the letter so it is effective from this date. Be polite and courteous and thank them for the experience you have gained. Do your best to leave on good terms.

With respect to working out your notice, your new employer will want you to endeavour to start as soon as possible. Let the dust settle and after a week or two see whether your current employer is willing to allow you to leave early. If they cannot be persuaded, you must respect their decision. They may also be persuaded later on.

You will no doubt be counter-offered, usually with promises of a pay increase of between 10-15%. You may also be offered a secondment to a blue chip client or foreign office and/or be assured of a change/improvement in the quality of work distributed to you. Most individuals who accept a ‘buy back’ return to the market within 6 months. You have to ask yourself, why did I decide to leave? Why wasn’t I previously given what I have just been offered (as a knee jerk reaction)? Will my employer maintain his promises permanently or will I be in the same/very similar situation in 6 months’ time?

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