How to resign

Make no mistake: there are both right and wrong ways of handling your resignation. Resigning calls for diplomacy, good sense, calm, deep consideration and strength of character. Be sure to command your emotions and do what is right for you.

Think before quitting

It’s essential to know your mind before making such a big change. List your reasons for wanting to leave and ask yourself if you have exhausted all possible avenues within your current company. Resigning is a big step if all you want is a new challenge and a change of environment, as you may well be able to get this where you are.

How to resign

If you’ve decided to leave your current employer, you’ll need to write a letter of resignation to confirm your decision. There may also be a meeting to discuss your decision – even if it is not a formal meeting – so you’ll need to plan. That means knowing what you want to say, how you want to say it, and sticking to it.

Quitting etiquette

Always emphasise the positives of your time with your employer, as you never know how important they may be to you down the line. Prepare for an emotional or confrontational response, but stick to your plan to avoid reacting in a way that may harm your chances of a much-needed reference.

Letter of resignation

A resignation letter is an opportunity to say what you want to in a controlled way. It’s worth remembering that your new employer has a right to see your resignation letter, so keep it positive. This letter also provides a good opportunity to thank your employer for the opportunities they have given you.

Be sure to include:

  • Name
  • Date
  • Person it is addressed to
  • Notice of termination of employment
  • When this is effective from
  • Your signature
  • Remember that a letter of resignation is the last reflection of your character, so make it graceful and professional.


Other things to consider

Be sure to give your company enough time to find a suitable replacement; particularly so during busy periods . Your new employer may want to speak with your current one for a number of reasons, so do everything you can to leave them with a positive impression.

Be prepared for a counter-offer and set your boundaries first. If you are changing jobs purely on the basis of money then a counter-offer could be the perfect outcome, but think about the implications. Accepting a counter-offer could impact your integrity with your would-be employer and you could find yourself wanting that same job in the future.

Make sure you negotiate a fair settlement for any outstanding holiday entitlement, pay or commission. In return, you must deliver on any outstanding projects and remain positive about the company to your colleagues.

If you follow these simple rules of resignation then you stand a good chance of leaving your current position of employment with good grace and dignity, helping you to secure a winning reference whilst maintaining a truly professional reputation.

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