Resigning the Proper Way

Published on: 4 May 2016

How to resign the proper way

Take positive action

If you've been unhappy for a while in your job, it's time to take some positive action. It's all too easy to become stuck in a rut! Be in control of your own destiny.

Try having a chat with your boss and give him/her the opportunity to provide a solution to your problems. This often works wonders and at least you've started to take control.

If nothing changes over a fair period of time then you know it's time to start looking elsewhere.

Think before you act

Be careful about acting on impulse. If you feel ready to explode, take a few deep breaths and THINK sensibly. Have you the funds to live without a job? Have you updated your CV? What sort of job do you want? Have you spoken to your family and got their views? Are you just having a bad day?

It's often easier to find a job when you're already in one, take our advice and if you can, hang on in there while you look.

Telling your boss

Congratulations you've been offered another job. Make sure you have the offer of employment from them in writing before you go resigning from your current post.

It may be tempting at this stage to write a hurried note, leaving it on your boss' desk before you go scurrying out of the door.

Take our advice and do it the right way. It's only polite, regardless of what you think of your boss, to make an appointment to see them. Simply explain your intentions and then back these up with your written letter of resignation.

Letter of resignation

People find these really difficult to write. Don't fill up your waste paper bin with lots of crumpled efforts. A resignation letter should be short and to the point.

As a bare minimum all you need do is ensure it's dated, addressed and signed properly, states your intention to resign, the period of notice you'll serve and intended last day of work.

If you've had a good relationship with your boss it's a nice touch and highly advisable to thank them for their support and guidance and wish them luck for the future.

Burning bridges

Don't burn your bridges! You may want to tell a few home truths and write about what an awful place it is to work. And it may well be. Take our advice though and save your venom.

Think about yourself. You may need your employers for a reference; they're unlikely to act in your favour if you've left a bad taste in their mouth.

It's a small world and especially if you're keeping within the same industry you never know when you're going to bump into these people again. Be polite, helpful and whatever you do leave on good terms.

Working your notice period

Your contract of employment or staff handbook will probably state what your notice period is. If it says 3 months then you should expect to work this period if your employer keeps to the terms.

In the absence of any specified terms you should allow a minimum of a fortnight.

Aim to be a professional to the end. Work with the same energy and passion as you would if you were staying. Tie up any lose ends, provide clear hand over notes for whoever is taking over your job and provide as much assistance as possible.

By resigning the proper way, your last couple of weeks will hopefully be without tension, you'll have secured a good reference, colleagues will have a lasting positive impression of you as a true professional and you can hold your head up wherever you go.