How to Resign from Your Job the Right Way

Feb 13, 2023 | Career


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How to Resign from Your Job the Right Way.

At some point in your career, you would want to move on and resign from your job.

The reasons for doing so are many.

More money, a new challenge, a nicer location and better career prospects are a few.

Regardless of what your reasons are, you need to do it professionally.

You need to provide the company and the position the respect it deserves when you first got it.

This post will highlight four key elements of resigning from your job.

Make sure you walk out of the door without burning bridges.

The chances are you will come across someone you’ve worked with within your industry, and a good personal reference can go a long way.

How to Resign from Your Job the Right Way


1. Inform your manager about your decision

This can be one of the hardest meetings you would have to conduct, but it needs to be done.

Find an ideal time for your manager when there is no one around, or book a meeting in private.

In most cases, you will be leaving as a result of finding a new role, so do let them know.

You are not obliged to but it might be worth mentioning, just in case you will be moving to a competitor.

You might be put on garden leave or asked to work remotely before you leave.

Most good managers will try to keep you, if possible, with a counteroffer or better working terms.

Anything from a pay rise to working from home a couple of days a week.

This is up to you to decide, but make it clear if you want to move on to the new opportunity.

This is the time to be bold. Ask for time to consider any offers and make a firm decision.

Follow the conversation up with a written resignation letter after you’ve considered any counteroffers.

2. Write your resignation letter

Putting together a resignation letter can be an emotional, happy, bold and empowering exercise.

You have to hand in a letter to resign from your job officially and bring your contractual employment to an end.

There are many templates online for your industry, so make sure you find the most suitable one.

The most important thing is to be graceful in your wording.

This is not the time to gloat, regardless of why you are leaving.

Address it to your manager and thank them for the opportunity.

Outline your notice period in the letter and state when your last day in the office would be.

It is also good to affirm your willingness to help your team and hand over your work to other colleagues to allow a smooth transition.

You can hand in your resignation letter after you have informed your manager about your decision.

Do not send a letter without first discussing it with your manager.

It will come across as very disrespectful. Even if your relationship with your manager is poor, it must be done respectfully and in person.

If your manager is not available, find a senior manager who can formally accept the letter.

You don’t want to burn bridges in your industry, as you never know what the future holds.

Check out our post on how to prepare for your next interview.

3. Serve your notice period

Depending on your seniority and job type, your notice period can be anything from 1 week to 6 months.

Most people will have a 1-month notice, so be mindful of this when it comes to handing in your notice and when your last day will be.

You are within your right to negotiate your notice period down if possible.

This could allow you some downtime between finishing the current job and starting the new one.

Be willing to offer something in exchange if that helps with your negotiation. Anything from working longer hours during the notice period or documenting all your work for a smooth handover.

Regardless of why you are leaving, your work ethic during this period should remain exceptional.

Work harder if possible and leave a positive legacy. You don’t want to be the one everyone was happy was finally leaving.


4. Get work references

Now that your managers and colleagues know that you are leaving, it would not hurt to ask for some personal references.

You can send out an email asking colleagues you’ve worked with to post a few warm words on your LinkedIn profile.

Most companies will provide a basic reference from HR stating your position and the period you worked.

Getting personal references shows your network the kind of person you are and can make you attractive for future roles.


Throughout your career, you will have many roles and work in several companies.

Leaving the right way can go a long way to potentially getting a future job opportunity.

Don’t forget to send out a Thank You and Good Bye email on your last day.

You can provide a link to your LinkedIn, email address or contact number if you want people to keep in touch.

Offer to join your team for drinks in the future to catch up on old times.

If you have any tips on how to resign from your job, feel free to share them in the comments below.


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