How to negotiate a reduction in your notice period

This technique really works....


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Resignation: How to negotiate a reduction in your notice period

In my BLOG  "How to Resign" I promised to explain a great way to reduce your notice period.  

This is a nice little tip that really works.  I have taught this method to all of the Candidates I have placed over the years and more often than not they have reported that it has worked, so keep this one up your sleeve.

Why would you want to reduce your notice period?  There are three main reasons:

1. You can't wait to escape your current employer.

2. You would like a break between jobs if you can wangle one.

3. Your new employer is impatient to get you on board.

Whatever your reason, this is how to do it.  The approach exploits the one card you have left to play when you have resigned. It is a powerful card because the departure of any member of the business causes problems for their employer.  Problems? Yes, of course.  Firstly they are going to lose your brilliance and expertise; that's the main challenge of course.  Then they have to replace you, a painful process for most managers as it will cost them time and money and they are going to have to make a decision, too.  Painful.  Your boss will need to ensure that your work gets done and that there is a nice, clean handover.  This equals more work.   And finally they need to manage the impact of your decision to leave on your colleagues.  It is unsettling when someone leaves.  "Why is Sally leaving?"  "Does she know something I don't know?"  "Will her leaving affect my job?"  "Who will be my new boss?" "If she can get a better job perhaps I ought to start looking too?"  "If Bill gets her job instead of me I will NOT be happy".  Unsettling. Your trump card is based upon this set of problems and (to be frank) exploits your employer's need to manage the fallout from your decision to leave.

And what is this trump card?

The timing and nature of the announcement of your departure.

The easiest way for me to explain is simply to give you an example of what to say to your boss as part of your resignation discussion.

It should go something like this: "Bob, my new employer would like me to start as soon as possible.  Of course, I am fully aware that I have to give you 1 month's notice and I fully intend to honour that, but I have a suggestion.  If you would consider allowing me to leave one week earlier I will firstly make sure that all of my work is completed and handed over properly.   There will be no loose ends, I guarantee.  I will also promise not to tell anyone that I am leaving.  (Now here's the key bit) And I will leave it to you to announce my departure at a time and in the manner of your choosing.  How does that sound Bob?"

You see, this is the only thing that you have left to offer him because he already regards you as yesterday's man/woman.  He has tried the Counter Offer but you rejected it.  What you have suggested however, well this is attractive.  He can get the ball rolling on replacing you and manage the impact of your departure on the rest of the team in a controlled way.  And control is the key word; you are giving him back control of a situation which is fraut with difficulty for him.  He will probably announce that you are leaving on or near your last day and he will not have had one month of you walking round the office beaming because you are about to leave. Oh, and he gets to see the back of you a little bit earlier as an added bonus.

We must recognise that there is an implict threat in this approach.   The threat is that you will in fact be a royal pain in the proverbial for four weeks and completely upset the applecart.    But if you have a good relationship with him I think that he will see that you are actually doing him a favour.  Blackmail is too strong a word but some bosses may feel manipulated by you. So be aware and make the right choice for you. This approach really does work more often than not.  Of course, if you are reading this after you have already told half of the office about your new job you'll just have to try it the next time.

Let me know if it works for you.

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