How do I resign from my job and write a resignation letter?
Nervous about resigning?
Resign from my job!
In an entire lifetime the average person has only 7 different jobs! No wonder most people find resigning a nervous and awkward experience, especially if you have been at your employment for a long time.
To date (aged 25) I have had at least 7 jobs from the age of sixteen and I can only think of one previous employer who I left on good terms with a good reference in the bag (6 of these jobs weren't exactly career moves, more summer or part time jobs to fund college or university).
Now I am a recruitment consultant and I see people resigning from their jobs everyday, in fact I coach them all through that process.I don't think there hasn't been one of them that hasn't been grateful of the advice no matter how senior.
The aim of this article is to ensure a professional and positive resignation that will ultimately guarantee you a good reference in the future, and if possible keeping bridges open in case things don't work out.
I will briefly guide you through what to expect and how to handle the following:
- Resignation Meeting
- Resignation Letter
- Leaving on Good Terms
It all depends upon your work environment. In most cases however a resignation meeting should be called. You don't want to surprise your boss in the middle of the office or when they are on their lunch break. So arrange to have a quick chat with them just for five minutes. Remember the following:
- At this stage you should have accepted a new position with a new employer. You should be happy with your decision and new career move but how do your think your manager will respond?
- Remain confident! Difficult as it may sound this is the key to your success.
- Inevitably the general response from management will be one of disappointment, regret and maybe even shock. They are about to lose a valuable member of their team so don’t be surprised if they are visibly shaken.
- To allow you to work through this difficult reaction try to remain positive at all times and disclose as little detail about your new role as possible.
- Remember that 80% of individuals who accept a counter-offer do not stay for more than 1-year, as the company is less likely to re-invest in someone who has attempted to resign.
Resignation Letter or Notice
You will hand your resignation letter to your boss during your Resignation Meeting. There is a lot of bad advice out there and template after template. You don't need a long resignation letter template! Just do the following:
- As this is an official letter it needs to be two sentences only and should run something like this:
“This is to inform you of my intention to resign, effective [state your notice period here and date you will be leaving]. Thank you very much for the opportunity of working here.”
This doesn't leave them reading an essay and allows you to say anything else you feel you have to say verbally, as dealt with in the section above.
- There is a temptation to include a middle paragraph explaining your reasons for leaving. This is unnecessary and could be damaging by causing the company to mark you as someone who is unsuitable for re-hire (remember that a good reference is crucial and your ultimate goal).
- Remember: The letter is for the attention of one person only…your immediate boss. It should be typed and handed in-person to your boss during the resignation meeting.
Leave your employer on the very best of terms by preparing a Report!
- To increase your chances of coming across as a confident, positive and professional individual you could (if you are a the go the extra mile type) prepare a short report detailing the work you will complete before the date of your departure.
- This report is a 'most important list' and should be as detailed as possible even down to including who would be best suited to complete your work once you leave and the amount of outstanding work upon that date.
- This is a useful tool as it indicates to your boss that you have ultimately made the decision to leave. It also helps you complete your resignation meeting positively and professionally.