From the resignation letter to saying goodbye: How to resign from your job professionally

Have you ever wondered how to resign from your job? Maybe you’re ready to leave your job for the first time ever and kiss this office goodbye. It could be that new job offer you were just given, or you’ve decided to step out of your comfort zone and move to another country. All of this points to big change, but resignation isn’t tough or scary. We’ll take you through the process of how to resign from your job smoothly and gracefully, beginning with the resignation letter.

resignation letter and more

1. THE RESIGNATION LETTER

The time for lengthy term papers is over – a simple resignation letter will state your departure. It doesn’t have to be cold or severe, so just keep the resignation letter short and simple! Be cool about it and maybe take it one step further: turn it into a sincere thank you note. No matter why you’re bowing out, your employers still deserve to be thanked – after all, you’ve had plenty of awesome opportunities you’d otherwise never have if not for your bosses.

Don’t forget other crucial bits of info in your resignation letter like your very last date of employment and the notice being served. The notice period varies from company to company, but the typical range goes between two weeks to a month. (Intimidated? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered with some sample templates down below!) And yes, you have to serve your notice period!

Be sure to inform your manager first before anyone else, and if you can help it, always submit your resignation letter in person and submit the letter by hand. Sincerity is key, and it’s always great to offer your employer closure in person instead of hiding behind a computer screen.

Now we’re ready to dig deep into writing a resignation letter! A standard, basic template would go something like this for a full-time position:

resignation letter and more

Click here to download resignation letter templates for internships, part-time work, and full-time work.

2. REASONS WHY YOU WANT TO RESIGN FROM YOUR JOB

You should and must provide good reasons for leaving, unless you want your soon-to-be former employers to have a less-than-awesome impression of you when you go. Sure, you might have a lot to be unhappy about, but airing them like dirty laundry for everyone to see won’t help your case. Don’t use resignation as a tool to tear other people down, no matter how justified you feel in your displeasure and resentment. Professionalism is the name of the game, so to speak!

The reasons you provide, whether in writing or verbal conversations, should be as positive as possible. Here are some tips for you if you’re cracking your brain over it:

resignation letter and more

Some typical positive reasons include the following:

  • Returning to full-time study
  • Exploring another position closer to your interests
  • Taking time off to focus on family/your personal well-being

3. THE EXIT INTERVIEW

The next step in how to resign from your job is taking part in the exit interview. This is normally conducted by Human Resources or your direct supervisor.

Be professional and friendly as much as possible during the interview. Even if you intend to inform HR about what the company has done wrong (yikes), you can always frame it in a positive way. Better yet: instead of blatantly pointing out crappy stuff, provide specific feedback for your employers to take into consideration. Establish that there definitely is room for improvement, and that future employees can benefit from it (and not go through the same stuff as you).

4. SAYING GOODBYE TO CO-WORKERS

Keeping in touch with your co-workers is totally up to you. Are you going to miss joking around with these people and seeing them at 9 in the morning everyday? You might not ever see them again, you know! It really depends on how you feel about them, and whether these friendships mean a lot to you. Pro tip: it’s always good to keep the door open for personal and professional reasons.

After finalising your resignation, it’s time to say goodbye to your old office pals. Remember that your manager already knows, so you have the option of letting him shoot out an email to the whole department announcing your departure. If you’re feeling up to it, inform your co-workers personally. This is especially if you have friendly working relationships you think are worth keeping.

So, there you have it – a detailed roadmap on how to resign from your job. Departures are inevitable; life always moves forward, and new opportunities are always waiting around the corner for you. That however doesn’t mean you can recklessly resign and burn your bridges as you move further up the ladder.

At the end of the day, people will remember you and what you leave behind. Instead of leaving behind a sour departure, why not make it as meaningful and beneficial as possible?

Sophia Lee

I used to freelance exclusively for Glints - now I'm a content marketing intern working furiously in the backdrop. Talk to me about writing any time! (Or we could have a serious discussion about video games and e-sports... that's cool too.) Find me on Instagram (@pxtrx)!

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