How to Resign on Good Terms

Mar 15, 2018 | Blog

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Resigning from your job can be a nerve-wracking experience. There are so many thoughts running through your head – am I doing the the right thing? Will I upset my boss? Will I miss this place too much? Will my new job make me happy? All of these thoughts and the emotions you’re feeling can sometime cloud your judgement and make it difficult to concentrate on the resigning process.  If you’ve ever left a job that you’ve been in for a significant period of time, you’ll know resigning is about far more than a carefully-worded letter. So what is the best way to resign, in order to not burn any bridges you may have spend years building? We, at CA, have some choice pieces of advice for you.


Be sure and stay positive

The most important piece of advice to follow is to be 100% sure that you want to resign. If you’re certain, it makes the rest of the process far simpler and less stressful. Once you’re sure, it becomes a lot easier to remain positive about the whole event. It is all too easy to see the resigning process as a necessary negative in the road to your new job or career. Staying positive is crucial to keeping everything on good terms.

Talk to your boss

Though most companies require written resignations, it’s pretty cold to just send one through out of the blue. Before you even think about putting fingers to keyboard, sit down with your boss and explain your resignation to him or her in person. This is person that you want to stay on good terms with above anyone else in the company, so be sure to show respect but be clear as to your reasons for resigning.

Be prepared for a counter-offer

If your resignation is news to your boss, they may come back with a counter-offer to get you to stay with the company. Be ready for it. We have some advice about counter-offers here.

Write it down

Whether you’ve been asked to or not, get a resignation letter written and sent to all relevant parties. Include your name, the date, your boss’s name, your notice period and the date of your last day with the company. Most importantly, sign it. Make sure you also provide a brief thank you to the company.

Plan the handover

Part of staying on good terms with your previous employer is how you leave your place in the company. By planning your handover of duties thoroughly, you are making sure that when you’re gone, there won’t be any holes or cracks that your previous colleagues need to patch up. Make sure every part of what you do there is covered. If you leave behind a trail of confusion, you’re unlikely to find many useful contacts at the company down the line.

Resigning is often a necessary part of career progression. It needn’t be a negative, frightening prospect, and it certainly does not mean you need to burn bridges. Plan the process carefully and you’ll leave on good terms with some great contacts that you will be able to call on in the future.



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