Congratulations! You have made the decision to take a new opportunity and advance your career, now it is time to share your news. A job resignation can be challenging; although it is “just business,” there are strong emotional ties to consider, and for this reason it is best to keep it simple and straightforward.
A resignation should ideally be delivered in person to your manager, paired with a letter that can be shared with key leadership and human resources.
- Request to meet in person. If details are requested, indicate the meeting is of a personal nature that will need to be discussed confidentially.
- Prepare a resignation letter to be shared at this meeting, and share it with HR afterwards.
- Pair your letter with a direct statement such as, “I have committed to join a new organization, starting in two weeks. Please review this. I hope we can discuss how we can work together to make the transition seamless.” Be definitive, you have made your decision, you are not “thinking about” leaving, you ARE leaving.
- Stick to your agenda; if asked, indicate that due to the confidential nature, you would be happy to share details after you begin the position.
- Be prepared to resist a counter offer. There are reasons you were looking for a new opportunity, those have not changed. Read more about counter offers here.
- Share the news with three people around the office BEFORE you speak with your manager. Stick to the basics, share that you will be leaving and on what date, do not share details at this time. This will deter a counter offer and assist in a smooth transition.
- Do not apologize for leaving, this is a great opportunity for you; you have put in your time to your company and given your all. It is not your fault that your company could not give you the growth and challenges needed.
- Do not vent. This is not the time to share feedback or complain, there is no reason to focus on any negative aspects that led to your departure, and it is not an exit interview.
- Do not share details of your transition at this time; it is best to wait until emotions cool.
- Do not lay out any expectation that you would consider a counter offer; this will only muddy the waters and cause a more stressful transition.
- Do not be surprised if you get walked out. Although unusual, some companies do not retain employees for the two week notice period; this is not a personal attack on you.
- Do not be afraid to share your recruiter’s contact information, he/she can assist in finding your replacement, or in some cases, your manager may be looking for a new opportunity as well!
Example Resignation Letter:
Please accept this letter as my official notice of resignation. I appreciate the work we have accomplished together, but have made a commitment to another organization and will begin working with them in two weeks.
It is my intention to work diligently with you to complete or transition as much as possible in the remaining time I am here in order to make my departure as smooth as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can best accomplish that goal, I hope that you will share them with me. I would like to leave on the most positive note possible.