If you’ve recently quit your job, you likely did a fair amount of soul searching before making the decision. You may have had another job lined up, a transition plan in place, and an idea of what to expect over the coming weeks.
However, now you’re not so sure. Maybe your current employer made you a better offer, or there are red flags that the new position is not what you’d hoped when you accepted. Perhaps your job offer was rescinded and you’d like to stay where you are. Can you withdraw your resignation—and if so, how?
How To Withdraw a Resignation
Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to withdraw your resignation and continue working in your current role. Here’s how to “un-quit” your job.
Talk to Your Manager
Before you formally retract your resignation, speak with your boss. They may be delighted to hear you’re thinking of staying put, which will make your next steps much easier. In any case, it’s important to know where you stand.
Put It in Writing
If you do go forward, you need to write a formal retraction of your resignation. This should be a professional business letter containing all the details of your request to stay on in your job. Remember it is just that—a request. Be gracious and be prepared to be turned down.
Prepare for Any Outcome
Again, your manager may be happy to hear you’d like to stay—but it’s also possible they’ll say no, and you’ll have to leave as scheduled. Be ready to hear bad news. Keep your resume updated and your network on standby with referrals and recommendations just in case you need to embark on a new job search.
You may be wondering if your employer is legally allowed to refuse to accept your rescinded resignation. In most cases, the answer is yes. Most U.S. workers are “employed at will,” which means they can be terminated from employment at any time, for almost any reason, provided that reason isn’t discriminatory. Just as your employer could fire you at any time, they’re also allowed to let you go if you resign then attempt to withdraw your resignation.
In some cases, however, you may have legal protections against this situation.
You may be covered by an employment contract that stipulates how your job may be terminated and under what conditions. Learn as much as you can about your specific company’s policies before you speak to your manager.
Tips on How To Write a Letter Rescinding Your Resignation
When you write your letter or email, keep the following in mind.
Keep It Brief
Although you want to be tactful and avoid coming off as brusque, you’ll also want to keep your letter short and to the point. There’s no need to go on at length or to be excessively apologetic.
Your letter should begin with the most important detail: You are withdrawing your resignation dated [insert date here] and you would like to stay in your present role of [insert job title here].
Say Thank You
Remember that you’re asking for special consideration, so thank your manager and team for their willingness to extend it.
Just as you did when you wrote your resignation letter, use business-letter format and be sure your message is polite and professional. Proofread and edit your letter to be sure it’s free of errors before you send it on to your manager.
If you choose to send your message via email, you can omit the address paragraphs that begin a standard business letter. Choose an appropriate subject line, such as “Request to Withdraw Resignation—[Your Name].” Test your email by sending yourself a copy before you email it to your manager.
Sample Letter Asking to Withdraw Your Resignation
10 Grove Street
Middleville, Nebraska 68000
November 1, 2021
1010 Business Drive, Suite 10
Middleville, Nebraska 68000
I’m writing to request the opportunity to withdraw my resignation dated October 24, 2021. I appreciate your counteroffer and would be delighted to stay on as Account Coordinator at Acme Corp.
I particularly wanted to thank you for taking the time to speak with me last week when I initially resigned. Our conversation really helped clarify for me that I want to continue to build my career at Acme Corp.
Thank you for your support and consideration.
[Signature for a handwritten letter]
Resignation Withdrawal Email Example
Subject: Resignation Withdrawal Request – Tonia Winston
Due to a change in circumstances, I would appreciate the opportunity to withdraw my resignation dated October 15, 2021.
If possible, I would like to continue in my current position and stay on with ABC Company.
Thank you so much for your consideration. If there’s any additional information I can provide, please don’t hesitate to ask.