How to effectively resign from your job – The long goodbye

You’ve made the decision to leave your job.

Whatever your situation it’s a big step, and resigning takes a lot of courage. After all you are stepping into the unknown.

Resigning is formally announcing your intention to leave and there are good and bad ways to go about it.

You don’t want to ruin the relationship with your current employer but it’s time to move on.

While it might be satisfying to sing from the roof tops all the gripes you have and tell your arch-nemesis what you really think – you don’t want to burn any bridges!

The first thing to consider before resigning is why you are leaving – you will be asked.

Remove emotions from the equation and really try to pin down what isn’t working for you.

This will help you to realise whether resigning is really what you need or if you just need a long holiday.

A resignation letter is the norm, but you want to maintain the relationship with your company, so break the news to your manager first. Be courteous and have a face to face conversation.

If they offer you a counter offer, then considering why you are leaving should help you decide what is best for you.

The next step is to draw up your resignation letter and send it to HR to make your resignation official.

The most important thing is to stay positive throughout – even if it’s a bad situation. Take the high road and talk about your time in the organisation positively and professionally.

When writing your resignation letter, it should be short and concise; it doesn’t need to be any longer than one A4 page. Remember, it isn’t goodbye yet as you still have to work your notice period, so no need to fill your letter with pages of how much you will miss everyone.

This is a formal letter, and needs to be headed as such. Include contact information for both yourself and the employer at the top of the letter, and address it to your manager using ‘Dear Mr/ Mrs...’

Moving on to the body of the letter, you need to state that you are resigning from your current position, along with the date it will be effective from and the length of your notice period.

You don’t have to include your reasons for leaving, however if you do - make sure you keep it positive. Don’t badmouth the company or any of your colleagues. Remember, it’s crucial that you maintain the relationship for networking and reference purposes.   It also best practice to thank the company for the opportunities they have given you and mention that you have enjoyed your time with them.

Following this, you should now ask if you can count on them to provide you with a reference when the time comes. Then sign it off with ‘yours sincerely’ and type your full name underneath your signature.

The key information to take away from these tips is staying professional and positive throughout - then resigning should be a breeze!

Ps. don’t feel bad about wanting to move on! Nobody expects you to stay in the same role forever and a good company will support you with wanting to take the next step in your career.

Click here for our handy template resignation letter – we’ve done all the hard work for you!

Back to listing