Skip to content

Even though we all have to do it at some point, resigning can be stressful. It’s an awkward conversation to have with your boss and you can never be sure how they’re going to react. The best way to help alleviate the stress of resigning is to be well informed on the process.

Here are our recommended resignation steps: 

1. Make sure you have all the particulars of your new role figured out first. If you’re resigning because you’ve accepted a job elsewhere, it’s important that you first ensure you have a written contract and not simply a verbal job offer. The last thing you want is to tell your current company you’re resigning only to find out the job you were offered has been rescinded. 

2. Read your contract. Read the terms of your current agreement to ensure that you’re clear on the amount of notice your employer is entitled to be given. The standard is that employees must give their employer two weeks’ notice, but this can vary. You don’t want to get tripped up by discovering you need to give four weeks’ notice, or you may find you’re not legally bound to give any notice (however, it’s good to remember that providing adequate notice is the courteous thing to do). 

Make a transition plan. Once you’re clear on the timeframe for when you’ll be finishing in your current role, it’s a smart idea to make a transition plan. Assess your workload and what can be achieved in the time you have left. If there aren’t already handover documents outlining your role then you may need to create them. Put together a plan you can present to your manager for transitioning. They will greatly appreciate this, and it gives you the opportunity to leave on a good note. Far too often employees mentally check out as soon as they’re offered a new job, but it’s important never to burn bridges and to keep your reputation intact. 

4. Write a formal resignation letter. Now it’s time to formally write a resignation letter. Feel free to ask our consultants for our free, editable resignation template.

5. Resign in person to your direct boss. This step is usually the most challenging for people. However, if you’ve done all the above procedures, hopefully you’re feeling confident and clear on what you need to convey in the conversation. Bring your resignation with you and make sure that your manager is the first person at your company you tell you’re leaving. Remember to be polite and professional. Managers have usually had to face resignations before and most of them will understand. Your manager will want to discuss the transition plan at some point. You will then be able to share your transition outline and ask what their expectations of you are prior to your departure

6. Be prepared for an exit interview. Not all companies conduct these, however those that do are seeking to discover what motivated you to leave so they can find out if there are any constructive takeaways. Keep it professional and polite, but be brutally honest as well. Too often employees have exit interviews with HR without discussing significant issues they were having in their role. In actual fact, these sorts of discussions are actually very beneficial for businesses and may help them improve in the future.