How to resign from your job
You’ve accepted a new role – but before you can start this exciting new job, you need to hand in your notice with your current employer. So, what’s the best way to handle this potentially awkward situation?
Handing in your resignation
It’s important to resign with dignity and professionalism. Remember that you have made the decision to leave for good reasons.
- Find out how many weeks’ notice you must give and check your contract for any conditions you need to fulfil.
- Speak to your manager and let them know your decision - be honest about your reasons for leaving.
- Remember to be calm and try to leave on good terms (you may want positive references from them in future).
- You may be able negotiate a shorter notice period at this point – but be prepared to meet the conditions in your contract.
- Put your decision in writing and give your resignation letter to your manager.
What to include in your resignation letter
- Find out who the letter needs to go to – is it your line manager, or the head of HR? Address it to the right person.
- Date it – this could be important, as it might determine the date of your final day.
- Keep it simple – be honest about the reasons for leaving, but don’t use this as a chance to settle grievances or complain.
- Be thankful – mention positive experiences or supportive colleagues.
- Keep a copy – so that you have a record of the date and what you wrote.
- Remember – when future employers ask for references, the company might refer back to your resignation letter. Try and leave on a positive note if possible.
What to do if you get a counter-offer
It is flattering to receive a counteroffer - you’ve finally found out how valuable you are to your employer. Our advice is to handle this situation with caution.
Why were you looking for a new role in the first place? More money is always a motivator, but there are probably other things that caused you to look elsewhere. Check back to our advice on deciding to leave for some common factors.
A company might give you a counter-offer to keep knowledge and experience in the business. They might also be trying to save costs – it’s expensive to recruit, hire and train a new staff member. But is staying in your current role the best thing for you – or is it just the easiest thing for them?
In our experience as recruiters, the majority of people who accept a counter-offer either leave or are fired within a year. Once you have resigned, your relationship with your employer changes. You’re now known as ‘the one who was looking to leave’ and your employer may question your loyalty.
Say thank you
Whatever the reason, it is nice to be wanted. Be grateful that they would like to keep you int their team and say thank you – whether you decide to accept the counter-offer or take the new role. Either way it’s an exciting new start!
A new start
Be bold and stay true to yourself. Remember the reasons you were looking - and think about the future!
Ready to move on from your current role?