Leaving Your Job? How to Resign

You’ve applied, gone through interviews, and accepted a new job offer. Congrats! But there’s one final step that you might not be looking forward to: Resigning from your current job. Few people look forward to this conversation, but to move on without burning bridges, it’s important that the resignation process is approached well from your side. Here are some tips for each step.

  • Although it’s not always required, writing a resignation letter before speaking with your manager is a good idea. If you have a more personal rapport with your manager, you may not feel it’s necessary, but they may request one after your conversation. Most companies like to have one on file. Here are some examples of resignation letters for inspiration. Once you’ve written one, print it and seal it in an envelope if you’ll be meeting with your manager in person. Write your manager’s name and “Personal/Confidential” on the envelope.
  • If you’re able to meet with your manager spontaneously, or casually, by asking if they have a minute to talk, that can be a good approach. This may not always be possible though, so scheduling a meeting with them also works. The sooner you can schedule it, the better.
  • If you’re meeting with your manager in person and you’ve prepared a resignation letter, hand them the letter in the envelope and tell them that you’ve accepted another position, when your last day will be, and what preparations you’ll make before your departure. Be sure to thank them as well. Here’s a rough idea of how your part of the conversation should begin:

“I’ve accepted another position and I’m leaving [company name]. I’d like to thank you for teaching me a great deal during the time we’ve worked together and for making a real contribution to my career development. I hope I can do everything possible during the next two weeks to make my transition a smooth one.”

“In the coming days, I will write up a list of all the projects I’m working on and their status. We can review them together and I’ll be happy to do anything I can to complete them or hand them over to someone else during the next two weeks.”

  • If your manager tries to get more information about your new position, you’re encouraged to be vague with your responses or say something to respectfully avoid answering at all like:

“I think you know I really respect our relationship very much but I’d really appreciate it if you would not try to make my resignation any more difficult than it is.”

  • Your current employer may try to convince you to stay by offering you a raise or promotion. You’re welcome to consider such offers, but should always keep in mind the reason you wanted to leave in the first place. Thanking them for the offer but reiterating that you feel a new role is the right step for you will allow you to leave on good terms.

Helpful Articles:

Resignation Tips
How to Quit a Job (Without Burning Bridges)
Should You Take That Counteroffer?
How to Gracefully Turn Down a Job Offer
5 Good Reasons to Consider Turning Down a Job Offer