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The Great Resignation: How to Resign from A Job

The Great Resignation: How to Resign from A Job

The last 18 months have been a whirlwind, to say the least. The labor market was red hot in the first two months of 2020 before the pandemic brought the market to a screeching halt. However, as the economy continues the recover, the labor market is heating back up. The result of this is what some are calling the “Great Resignation” – a flood of employed job seekers leaving their current positions to pursue new opportunities. If you are one of the 42% of employed job seekers looking to take your talents elsewhere, here’s how to resign from a job.

Always speak with your supervisor first

If you accepted a new job opportunity, signed the offer letter, and have a start date arranged, the next step is to speak with your supervisor. Never send in a resignation letter without having a one-on-one conversation with your boss. Spilling the beans about your plans to resign can be challenging, but the professional thing to do is tell your boss before proceeding further in the process. Do your best to provide at least two weeks’ notice, if possible. Giving adequate notice will help your current employer prepare for your departure and allow for a smoother transition.

Write your resignation letter

Once your boss is aware of your plans to depart, the next step is crafting an official resignation letter. In most mid-to-large-sized companies, it may be required to submit a formal resignation, but if it isn’t, you should submit one regardless. In your letter, provide the following details:

  • Full name
  • Your job title
  • The location where you work
  • Address your letter to your boss
  • The last day of your current job

These are the essentials that are required when it’s time to resign from a job. Keep your letter in a formal business format, and if you are emailing it, always write it in a Word (or similar) document.

Keep your reasons brief

In your letter or conversation with your supervisor, it is okay to explain why you are moving on. However, keep your reasons short and sweet, especially if they are negative. You can simply state you accepted another opportunity or offer more details to help the company improve in the future. But if your reasons for leaving are negative, it’s best to keep those to yourself.

Always be positive

When you are resigning from a position, it’s critical to remain positive and professional. Down the road, you may need a recommendation from your current employer. If you burn all your bridges on your way out, you may also burn your chances of securing a much-needed recommendation later on in your career.

Also, try and make the most of your last days with your employer. It can be easy to coast to your last day and do the bare minimum, but this will likely be strenuous for your employer. Ask your manager what you can do to make this transition easier for all parties. Offer to help train the new employee, tie up loose ends that you were working on, or note the things that would be helpful for the rest of the team to know. However you can help, this will help you end things positively and leave a good impression on your now-former employer.

resignation letter

How to Write A Professional Resignation Letter

resignation letter

So, you decided to take your talents elsewhere. You signed the offer letter from your new employer and you’re ready for a fresh start. Congratulations! That’s exciting and something worth celebrating.

However, before you pop the champagne, you need to finish the hard part of accepting a new opportunity: submit your resignation.

This can be a nerve-wracking and stressful situation. Now, this isn’t the first step to your resignation (the first being the submission of your two-week notice), it can be quite difficult. Here are a few tips on writing a professional resignation letter.

The format of a resignation letter

The resignation letter needs to be done right and professionally; it may make the difference in a graceful departure or you’re getting kicked out kicking and screaming. And remember, you want to leave on good terms, so you can use the experience and manager as a reference.

The format of your letter is pretty basic:

  • The date you submit the letter (top-right corner)
  • Your full name, title, and address
  • Phone number
  • Address the letter to your direct manager
  • Name of the organization
  • Address of the organization
  • Your actual resignation
  • Your signature and printed name at the bottom

Basically, your resignation letter should be formatted like any other official (and professional) letter. Keep it short and sweet.

What you should say

You don’t need to sugarcoat or try and get fancy. Just simply state the details. All you need to do is state the position you’re resigning from and your last day of work.

This is not the place to go into detail about why you’re leaving. Just provide when you’re leaving so HR can begin the exit process and start looking for your replacement.

Here’s a brief example of all that needs to be said in your introduction:

Dear [Your Manager’s Name],

Please accept this letter as a formal notification of my resignation from my position as [your job title] with [company name]. My last day will be [your last day, typically two weeks from the date of your notice].

A brief thank you

After you’ve stated when your last day will be, now you can write a thank you to your manager and employer for the opportunity. Your thank you message may depend on numerous things, such as the relationship with your manager, how long you worked there, what your job title was, etc.

Essentially, just thank your employer for the opportunity and all that you’ve learned. Remember, you may need this manager as a reference in the future so end your resignation letter on a good note that will leave a positive impression.

After your thank you, you can discuss your intentions of assisting with the transition. Once again, you don’t need to go into great details. Just explain that you want to help with a smooth transition and help wrap up any projects you are currently working on.

The closing of the letter

After your thank you, all you need is a final sentence or two thanking your employer again and a hope of well-wishes. Here’s a basic example of how to end the letter on a high note:

Thank you again for the opportunity. I hope we can keep in touch and I wish you and the company continued success.

Then, all you need to do is sign the letter. Include your printed name, as well as your signature. Now all you have to do is submit your letter to your manager. Good luck!