How to Resign

We look at the best way to leave a job, without burning any bridges.


So you have finally found the job of your dreams. Everything is confirmed in writing and now it is time to tell your boss.

3 stages of leaving

A well executed resignation can have a positive impact on your future career.

It always has three elements, sometimes if you are lucky, four.

Breaking the news

Always tell your boss in person that you are resigning.

If he is based elsewhere try and arrange an opportunity to meet face to face.

Only use the telephone as a last resort.

Always explain your reasons, be honest.

The confirmation letter

The confirmation letter is a formal document, bringing your relationship with your employer to an end. It should:

  • be formal
  • refer to your contract of employment
  • refer to the conversation with your manager
  • thank the manager and employer for the experience you have gained, which has been valuable to your career
  • confirm your last working day
  • detail any holidays you intend to use prior to leaving
  • list the company property you have been loaned and will be returning

Working your notice

There is a temptation to get a bit de-mob happy, but it is important that you continue to work normally, starting at your usual time, and staying just as late as you used to if necessary.

Organise a proper handover of your work.

The last memory of you will be the memory that sticks and you want that to be good.

You never know where your colleagues will move to.

They could be the link you need for a future career move.

Dealing with a counter offer

This stage doesn’t always happen, but as it gets more difficult to find good employees more companies will try to hang on to them by making a counter offer.

You might be offered promotion, more money, training, a different role.

It is very flattering, but this is a time to be selfish.

Consider the new job offer and the counter offer from your existing employer separately.

Compare them not against each other, but against the objectives you set when you decided to start looking for another job.

Tell the new employer that you have received a counter offer, but don’t try to create a bidding war.

Stay focused on what is best for you.

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