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I've been working for 5 years now for an IT firm and I resigned. When my last few days were approaching, I retracted my resignation because I haven't found another job to move to yet, and they gladly accepted it. Now after three weeks, I realized I want to find another job out there and I want to resign again. What can I say to make things easier for all the parties involved? I'm deeply regretful that I had to retract and waste their time, but I have to do this because I feel like if I don't go now, I won't be able to leave ever again.

By the way, the first resignation's notice has lapsed so I'm a regular employee again, and I probably need to render the notice once again. Can I ask for that to be shortened since I just recently did that?

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What can I say to make things easier for all the parties involved? I'm deeply regretful that I had to retract and waste their time, but I have to do this because I feel like if I don't go now, I won't be able to leave ever again.

I think it's a huge mistake to quit (twice) without already having a job waiting for you. But you aren't asking about that, so I'll concentrate on the specifics of your question.

Just resign. Work out your notice period to the best of your abilities, and try to find ways to make your transition out as painless as possible. Your new announcement will certainly be awkward no matter what you say, of course.

Say you are sorry that you wasted their time and strung them along this way but that you feel you really need to go this time. Try to be sincere in your apology - sincerity goes a long way.

You probably don't need to bother to explain why you want to leave. The time for that was during your first resignation. With a second resignation it's unlikely anyone will really care.

By the way, the first resignation's notice has lapsed so I'm a regular employee again, and I probably need to render the notice once again. Can I ask for that to be shortened since I just recently did that?

You can ask for anything.

Given that you have changed your mind several times, it won't be a huge surprise if they don't accommodate your wishes. Still it's worth asking.

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    "it won't be a huge surprise if they don't accommodate your wishes." It also won't be a big surprise if they just escort you out of the building and tell you not to come back. – David K Oct 10 '17 at 11:53
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Tough position. Rejection (which is what you're doing to your employer) is psychologically tough once, twice is virtually insurmountable.

5 years is a long time.

I'd analyse deeply, earnestly and honestly (warts and all) why you're leaving. I'd spend a long time working on it and prepare some substantial notes. I'd sit and talk about it all to my best friends in the organisation candidly beforehand so they'd understand where I'm coming from and it's as psychologically least shocking as possible. Maybe organise a post-quitting BBQ or pub session to keep the door open to staying friends.

I'd then organise an official formal sit down and have a long honest talk to management telling them the whole story, giving them plenty of complimentary but constructive things to think about and work on.

You're probably leaving them in the lurch, but by communicating deeply try to make them sympathetic to your position and perhaps help them be able to move forward.

(Note: this is all if you're absolutely certain you have another job lined up, per @HorusKol's comment the bridge will be thoroughly burnt after quitting a 2nd time.)

  • One thing is, all my friends are gone. I am the last of us in the organization. I am not the most opportunistic person, I've been in this place for 5 years even though I could've jumped multiple times(been offered multiple jobs but didn't sign). I hope they'll be able to see that. – Optimism's Flame Oct 8 '17 at 23:43
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    Well "all my friends are gone" is a great place to start a discussion with management :) ... "all my friends are gone, thought I could make it work, been here a long time, time for me to move on ... ". – Williams Oct 8 '17 at 23:45
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    You know, I actually haven't thought of that as a talking point until you pointed it out. Even though it's just been a short period of time, I can feel their absence. I don't have a pang for the comforts of their familiarity, but the reasons surrounding their departure probably would make my decision to leave again more understandable to the management. Thanks for that. – Optimism's Flame Oct 8 '17 at 23:52
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This answer is without knowing the details of your contract and notice period.

The reason for a notice period is to give the company enough time for you to clean up the items you are working on. They generally don't have enough time to hire an outside person and have you train them, because that person will probably have a notice period also.

Your quitting, un-quitting, and now quitting again doesn't remove the obligation to serve a notice period. They still want you to finish up your projects, and prepare to handover your responsibilities.

But they also may decide to end your employment as soon as they can. You might even find yourself unemployed the day you tell them. All depending on the terms of your contract. They could also decide to make you work every bit of that notice period.

There is nothing you can probably say to make this better. Either you made promises to them when you un-quit, or management made promises to their boss when they took you back; and now those promises are about to be broken.

Planning on explaining why you have to leave now, may make you feel better. But it is unlikely that the company will agree with you.

The general advice given to employees is that they shouldn't accept a counteroffer to stay. The advice is the same for employers: an employee that accepts a counter-offer is expected to leave within a year.

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