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How to resign: 10 tips for resigning with confidence


So you’ve got a new job, congrats! But now comes the awkward part: resigning!
How to quit your job
Try reading our top tips before handing in your notice!
Resigning can be difficult for many reasons; you might feel pressured or bullied into staying, be offered more money, feel guilty, or even scared of not knowing what to say. Bright Purple have put together our 10 tops tips on how to resign professionally with confidence, and doing it without burning bridges and relationships you might need in future!
  1. Don’t quit until your new role is finalised
  2. Be as sure as you can be
  3. Draft your resignation letter (and get it checked)
  4. Do it in person
  5. Be careful of counter-offers
  6. Be gracious and tactful
  7. Write a handover
  8. Ask for a reference and exit interview
  9. Maintain relationships
  10. Don’t blow it at the leaving drinks!

10 tips to resign with confidence:


1. Don’t quit until your new role is finalized (and be wary of your notice period)

There’s nothing worse than jumping the gun and quitting your job, only for something to go wrong with your new offer. Make sure you have finalized all the details of your new contract in writing before handing in your notice.
Make sure to confirm what your notice period is by checking your contract of employment. You also might be put on Garden Leave rather than working your notice period. The more information you have on hand before resigning/handing in your notice, the more confident you will feel.
You or your current employer might also want to negotiate the length of the notice period – make sure you know what you want to do in this scenario.
Be aware of and respect/honour any no poaching and non-compete clauses in your contract which may stop you from poaching staff from your current employer or contacting existing clients. The length of these clauses varies, so check your contract.

2. Be as sure as you can be

For most people, there’s always going to be some doubts when leaving a job. It’s familiar, comfortable and you know everyone, why would you leave?!

Stick to your guns: write down the reasons you want to leave and weigh them against the pros, plus the pros of your new job. Be as sure as you can before reaching the point of no return.

3. Draft your resignation letter and get feedback from a neutral source

It’s important to type up and print your resignation letter before handing it in in person (if able). Write a draft and ask a neutral friend (not a colleague) or family member to read it over for you. Remember your letter should:
  • Be dated and addressed appropriately to your manager
  • Be written in a formal tone; no slang or sarcasm
  • Reasons for leaving
  • Clearly state your notice period and finishing date
  • Thank your employer for the opportunities you have had; a sentence or two goes a long way
  • Have a closing sentence and signature
Resignation Letter
As pretty as your handwriting is, make sure to type up your resignation.

4. Do it in person, and tell your manager first

The last thing you want is your resignation getting back to your manager before you’ve spoken to them. Make sure to keep your plans private and tell your manager before anyone else.
Book in some time in your manager’s calendar and, if possible, resign in person. This is just the politest thing to do and may allow you an opportunity to address and discuss your reasons for leaving.

5. Be careful of counter-offers and other promises

It happens all the time: you are offered a job for a lot more money, and suddenly your current employer can match it, despite never being open to a pay rise before!
Remember your worth:
If the main reason for leaving was about money and your employer can then match your new offer, then by all means consider staying. However, consider why it took you being offered a new job for them to increase your pay?
If there are multiples reasons you are unhappy, then try not to let extra money or promises sway you. You are unhappy for a reason, and unless you are absolutely confident that your employer is suddenly going to make all the changes you need to enjoy work, extra pay is unlikely to make up for these issues.
Plant pot filled with money
Remember why you are leaving and stay focused on your happiness.

6. Be gracious

Regardless of whether you particularly like your current employer, it’s important to try to maintain a professional front until the very end of your employment. Thank them for the opportunities and skills you have gained in your time there and focus on the positives of your experience.

7. Write a handover

Again, you want to be remembered for your professionalism when you left the business (and you probably don’t want to leave your colleagues in the lurch when picking up your work!) Writing a thorough, clear handover will leave a great lasting impression (and save you being pestered with follow-ups after your departure!).

8. Ask for a reference, and an exit interview

While you’re on the best terms you can be, don’t forget to ask for a reference that you can use for future employment opportunities. It’s much easier to get a reference when your departure is fresh as opposed to months later!
References may also come in the form of LinkedIn recommendations. Remember you can also give recommendations to your soon to be ex-colleagues!
Most employers will be keen to arrange an exit interview as it helps them improve – it can also be an opportunity for you to ask your manager about your strength and weaknesses, helping your own personal and professional development.

9. Maintain relationships

Business is all about networking, and you never know who might come in handy in the future! While you may never wish to hear from them again, do your best to keep in touch and maintain relationships, whether through LinkedIn or occasional messages.

10. Don’t blow it at the leaving drinks!

We can all get a bit chatty after a few drinks and say something we shouldn’t. You may be ecstatic to be leaving and want to shout it from the rooftops, but be mindful that you are making a lasting impression on your colleagues. Anything you say about the company or individuals could be held against you and ruin those relationships you’ve been trying so hard to maintain. Act as if you’re still on the clock and think before you speak, especially after there’s a few pints in your system!
Resigning is never easy, but following our tips will help you with a confident and smooth transition, without burning bridges with your current employer that you might need in the future!

If you’re worried about resigning, remember that people resign and move jobs all the time, it is how the job market works!
Looking for that new opportunity so you can put your resignation skills into practice?
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