One of the most daunting parts of pursuing a new opportunity
in the world of work is handing in your notice to your current employer.
Although it’s natural to feel nervous about resigning, with the right approach
you can leave things on a positive note. Here are our top tips for handing in
Don’t Make a Rash Decision
When you leave a company, you want to leave on good terms.
One sure-fire way to get it wrong is to hand in your notice when you’re feeling angry or upset. Whether you have differences of
opinion with other members of your office or you’ve been struggling with work
for the past few weeks, leaving a job is a major decision that should not be
Try to make every attempt you can to improve your situation
before considering handing in your notice. Speak with managers, HR
representatives and anyone else in your office who may be able to help. You
should only resign after careful consideration, once you’ve worked out rational
reasons to move on to a new job. Don’t make your decision after a frustrating
or upsetting incident.
Speak to Your Manager Face-To-Face
You should tell your manager before anyone else and you should
speak with them face-to-face. It’s a bad idea to write your resignation letter
and leave it on their desk or to resign by email, without talking to them first.
Book in some time for a private chat with your manager rather than talking in a
public part of the office. Remember to be polite and thank them for your time
with the company.
Feel free to outline your reasons for leaving but keep the
conversation professional. Don’t go into personal grievances with individual
colleagues or list every frustration you’ve had with the job. A concise,
informative outline is plenty.
Be Ready for a Counter-Offer
If you’re a valued member of the team, be ready for your
employer to make you an offer to stay, even if you have another role lined up
elsewhere. This can sound very tempting at the time – everyone likes to feel
valued – but it’s important not to get carried away and immediately accept
whatever you’re offered.
Bear in mind the reasons you wanted to leave the job in the
first place. Does the new offer address those problems, or will you still be
keen to leave in a few months? Whatever you choose to do, don’t respond to the
offer immediately. Take some time, consider your options and make sure your
final decision is carefully considered and rational.
Write a Resignation Letter
Once you’ve handed in your notice to your manager, you
a resignation letter addressed to them. A good resignation letter announces
that you’re resigning, specifies the role you’re resigning from, details when
your last day of work will be and thanks
your manager for the time you’ve spent at the company.
You don’t have to explain your reasons for leaving in your
resignation letter. Keep it as concise as possible to ensure there is no
misunderstanding about your resignation. Before you write your letter, clarify
what your notice period and last day will be. Your notice period will usually
be stated in your contract. If it isn’t, two weeks is generally considered an
acceptable notice period.
Write a Good Handover Document
One way to leave a good impression is to write a great
handover document, but this is easier said than done. You can create a good
handover document by listing any regular meetings your role may have related to
it, relevant contacts in your company who you work with, what files and folders
are needed most often, and any login information needed for work-related
websites and programs.
For specific ongoing projects,
you should also describe what the project is, the work that needs to be done, arranged
deadlines and any other stakeholders involved in the work. This will ensure
someone will be able to take on your work with minimal disruption to the
Got any other tips for ensuring you part ways on the best
of terms? Share them with us on Twitter at @viking_chat.