CXOBlog > March 2013
"A little integrity is better than any career." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Are you a person of your word and of upstanding character? So you've accepted a new position and given your word that you're joining a new company - now it's time for the resignation conversation. Resigning is no fun - the conversation typically goes in 1 of 3 ways:
  1. They congratulate you and wish you the best of luck {potentially}
  2. They get mad and walk you out of the office {potentially}
  3. They ask you to "think about it" and start putting together a counter-offer {potentially}
For this discussion, we're going to focus on option #3, the counter-offer. Guilty, doubtful, fear of change – these are probably some of the emotions you will feel during your resignation. Resigning isn’t meant to be easy, but what we must remember two main things:
  1. You're only as good as your word
  2. Counter-offers are almost always counter-productive to your career
Upon accepting a counter offer, the power shifts in multiple ways. First, the company is now in control of the timetable of your transition. Versus a standard two week notice, your boss can now take his time in finding your replacement. Second, you're now known as someone that is not "on the bus." You've been out schmoozing with other companies while everyone else is working hard. Third, you're very likely no longer considered for future promotions. Who wants to build a team around someone that will jump at the first opportunity? Here are 3 more key reasons not to accept a counter-offer:
  1. Why did your company wait for you to resign to say these things or promise these changes? Have they not always valued you to give you what you deserve?
  2. No matter how you behave in the future, you'll always be regarded with suspicion. You've already shown that you're ready to leave, so management will be waiting for you to do it again.
  3. A counter-offer is almost always about money. The reasons people leave are almost never about money alone. 60 hour work week? Don't respect your boss? That doesn't change with more money.
In conclusion, if you are faced with a counter-offer, always go back and remind yourself of the reasons why you wanted to leave in the first place. Ask yourself if this counter offer will satisfy those needs. Ask yourself why your company is only offering these things now. In the end, ask yourself, "Am I a person of my word and integrity?"

Posted: 3/8/2013 2:25:17 PM by Mark Butler | with 0 comments

I've seen a properly executed and well-timed thank you note seal the deal in an interview process multiple times. I've also seen the lack of follow-up communication from a candidate expressing gratitude to a hiring manager make a sure thing go sideways. I would highly recommend both a formal email thank you message and hand-written thank you card sent to each individual involved in the interview.

In addition to thanking the person you met, the thank you note reinforces the fact that you are very interested in the position. Use your letter to highlight any specific items that you want to leave the decision makers thinking about after the interview. You can also view the thank you as a follow-up "sales" message. In other words, restate why you want the job, your qualifications, and the impact you'll make in the first 90 days.

Here is a strong example of a well-written thank you email:

Dear X,

Thank you for meeting with me today. I sincerely appreciate your time and enjoyed our conversation. Based on our discussion, I am very interested in potentially joining you and your team. I strongly feel that my x years of experience leading x, y, and z will make a substantial impact to your team's pursuit of x.

Thank you again for your time, kindness, and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you again in the near future.

Very appreciative,



Here is a strong example of a well-written personal thank you card (short and sweet):

Dear X,

Thank you for meeting with me on Friday. I sincerely appreciate your time, enjoyed our conversation, and look forward to speaking with you again in the near future.

Most sincerely,



Finally, remember to proofread - if you misspell something or have a grammar error in a short message, as a hiring manager I'm assuming you'll have 40+ grammar errors in a 40 hour work week. If you've just left a strong interview you're excited about, get the thank you email and hand-written note out immediately - you'll be glad you did.

Posted: 3/8/2013 1:07:26 PM by Mark Butler | with 0 comments

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