6 Important Steps to Resigning

Are you preparing to leave your current job for a new one? Resigning from a job can be a very difficult thing to do. So, before you quit your job, think thoroughly about the reasons for leaving. And, if you’re still ready to move on, resign from your job the right way.

Leave for the right reasons. There are many motives for leaving a job. Employees quit for reasons like new opportunities, higher salary, or relocation. The last thing you want to do is leave a job for the wrong reasons because you could end up regretting your decision. If you’re leaving a job for an issue such as a misunderstanding or conflict with a co-worker, try to resolve the issue first. Whatever the motive, make sure your decision is the right one for you before you break the news to your boss.

Inform your employer first. Once you’ve made the decision to leave and found the right job, you may be tempted to confide in your co-workers. But, be careful because you don’t want your employer finding out through the rumor-mill. So, tell your boss first. In addition to talking with your employer, be sure to hand-deliver a resignation letter at the time of your resignation. Writing a resignation letter is not only a professional way to explain your resignation, but it’s also good for documentation purposes.

In your letter, be professional and avoid any malicious statements that could be taken negatively. You don’t want to burn any bridges between you and your employer. Remember to start your letter by stating your reason for leaving, but be careful with how you present your reasons. You don’t need to go into detail about what went wrong. Instead, simply state that you’re leaving for a great opportunity or for career advancement. Be sure to give a specific end date of work and thank the employer and company for the opportunities you have had to work for them in your letter.

Give sufficient notice. No matter what, you want to leave your job on a good note, because you’ve worked hard to develop professional relationships with your boss and co-workers and you never know when you’ll need a reference. Consult your employee handbook to see what the company’s notice requirements or procedures are before leaving a position. You want to give time for projects to be completed or re-assigned. This also allows the company time to look for and hire a replacement. The traditional amount of notice individuals give is two weeks, but the more responsibility you have at that company the more advanced notice you may be required to give in order to have a smooth transition.

Wrap up your projects. Start working toward getting all of your projects wrapped up and completed before you leave. Also, be sure to clean up your e-mail inbox and gather all files and projects so you can hand them over to your boss or the person taking them over. Be sure to stay active while you’re still working for the company. Make sure your boss and coworkers have the materials they need to train your replacement. It is natural to feel a sense of withdrawal, but it’s important to stay focused on work until the end. Leaving a job on a good note will help you maintain key networks later, So don’t leave on bad terms by slacking off during your last week of work.

Enquire about your benefits. Be sure to talk to your HR department or your boss about employee benefits like health insurance to find out when they expire, or if life insurance policies and retirement benefits will transfer with you.

Be ready for an exit interview. Many companies use this opportunity to know the real reason why you’re leaving. The interview will usually be conducted by a HR person to gather information about improving working conditions and how to retain employees. Be aware that you may be asked to complete a questionnaire.  Be honest during your interview, but remain professional and positive.

Feeling a little guilty is natural when resigning from a job. But, for the most part, your co-workers and employer should be happy for you if you handle your resignation properly. Don’t create the impression that you are spiteful. Before hurrying out the door, try to resolve any conflicts that may have led to your decision. There is no point leaving on bad terms and you’ll want to avoid any problems in the future, especially for referencing purposes. The most important thing to remember as you are going through your resignation process is that you leave on a good note.


  1. Mark H

    Surprised there is no discussion regarding the potential counter-offer. If you are leaving for all the right reasons, the counter-offer should be a non-issue, but as we recruiters know, that is not always the case, especially if the candidate has not been prepared for the offer. Anyway, really like your blog but was curious about the aforementioned omission. Keep up the good stuff.

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