How to Resign
A SUMMARY IN SHORT OF HOW TO RESIGN
1. If you’re wondering how to resign, first tell your boss (or whomever you report to) face to face that you’re leaving the company and ask what you can do to wrap things up before you finish working with them.
2. Keep your resignation short, sweet and polite. Remember a letter of resignation is the last reflection of your character. So make it graceful and professional.
3. Give your company the required notice.
4. As you finish up your job, try to remain focused on the job and do everything you can to help your soon-to-be ex-company with the transition of your work to whoever will be doing your job next. Be as cooperative as you can be and make sure they know that you’re keen to complete any outstanding work to the best of your ability.
THE FIRST STEPS…
KEEP IT TO YOURSELF
Once you’ve made the decision, do not go blabbing it all over the company until you have notified your immediate supervisor. Give her or him time to absorb and process the information
PLAN TO GIVE NOTICE
It is always advisable to leave under the best possible terms, therefore do not leave your employer high and dry, struggling to cover your position. Give at least one week’s notice or the minimum notice specified in your employment contract if applicable so that your boss can sort a replacement
ASK YOUR BOSS FOR AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS AN IMPORTANT MATTER
Poking your head in and asking for a moment of his or her time will do – just be respectful of the fact that your supervisor has a job to do, and may not be able to drop everything at the precise moment you are prepared to spring this news on him or her. Booking a time to discuss the matter will mean that your boss can focus on the news that you are giving him or her
BE PREPARED, DIRECT, & POLITE
Plan what you want to say as most managers are extremely busy and they will appreciate your direct approach, forgoing the temptation to “cushion the blow,” “find the right way to say this,” or otherwise beat around the bush.
Chances are you’ve been working with this boss for some time, and whatever your reasons are for leaving, she or he may have some questions or may try to make a counter-offer. You will need to consider in advance whether you would stay for a pay raise, increased benefits, a promotion or other incentives. If staying is an option, what would make you open to it? Check the warnings below, though, because counter-offers can have some serious downsides
POTENTIAL WORD TRACKS
“I’ve been considering my options here for some time, and I’ve decided it’s time for me to move on. I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve found here, but I must give my two weeks’ notice.”
“I need to let you know that I have been offered a new position at another company. I have really enjoyed working here, but I need to give you my two weeks’ notice as of today. Does it work for you if my last day is…?”
HOW TO RESIGN: QUITTING ETIQUETTE
How to resign in style:
EMPHASISE THE POSITIVE
Always emphasise the positives of your time with your employer. You never know when you might see them again and how important they might be to you down the line. Always expect a reaction.
Prepare for an emotional or confrontational response and stick to your prepared comments. Don’t be drawn into a ‘slagging’ match that may harm your chances of a much-needed reference. Stay calm and exercise breathing techniques if necessary.
Be honest, but polite. It is best to rely on tact and diplomacy to make an honest answer palatable. You can be truthful without being cruel:
“I felt our working styles and approaches weren’t a great fit, and that we never meshed as well as I wished we had. Still, the overall experience here has been positive; and with this opportunity, I feel excited to have new challenges.”
HAVE A COPY OF YOUR LETTER OF RESIGNATION IN HAND
Make your letter brief, non-confrontational, professional and remember to thank the company for giving you their opportunity in the first place.
It’s also a good opportunity to thank your employer for the opportunities provided. Again, you never know when you might meet your boss again.
There are some bare essentials that any resignation letter should include:
- Person it is addressed to
- Notice of termination of employment
- Effective date
- Your signature
SHAKE HANDS, SMILE, & THANK YOUR BOSS
Whatever the reason for your departure: relocating, better job, or just to get away from this company, show some class when you are walking out the door. Shake hands, thank your soon-to-be ex-boss for everything and leave.
Go to your work station and stay there for at least 10 minutes. Now you can go blab it to everybody, however, remain polite, classy and simply confirm that you will be leaving.
HOW TO RESIGN: TIPS & WARNINGS
Tips on how to resign
- If you used a recruiter to get your new job, ask them for help with your resignation if you are unsure of what to do. They should be able to help
- Keep your emotions in check. Don’t let your friendship with your boss make you feel like you are letting them down by quitting. This is business and you need to keep things professional
- When you are resigning, some companies may try to offer you a counter offer (i.e. a raise, better job, bigger office, etc) to try to keep you employed with the company. Accepting a counter offer is usually a bad move especially since you’ve already let your employer know you were looking for a new job. Stick to your guns, remember why you wanted to leave the firm to join a new company, and do not entertain counter offers
- A counter offer is sometimes made because the employer has no one else available who is able to do your job. If that’s the case, and you take the counter offer, they will probably ask you to train others to take over your position. You may end up unwittingly training a replacement, only to find that the next change is not on your terms.
- Many companies will automatically release you the day you give your notice. Be prepared and do not be offended
- Make sure your desk and files are up-to-date in case you are asked to leave immediately
Writing a letter of resignation
Heat Recruitment recommends that you write a good resignation letter leaving on good terms with your current employer (Try to behave with compassion and humanity, even if the other side doesn’t). It is important to produce a resignation letter as you hand in your verbal resignation so the process of leaving employment is professionally managed.
Organisations and individuals are liable to dispute or penalise if resignation is not handled properly; resignation letters and resignation acceptance letters are therefore vital mechanisms for handling the resignation and leaving process properly.
Additionally, by keeping resignation letters positive you avoid risk of libel or defamation, which carry potential legal liabilities for employee and employer. By leaving on good terms with your current employer you increase the likelihood of receiving a good reference and leaving the door open, as you never know what the future holds.