How to Resign From Your Job While Preserving Relationships

Your resignation can leave a lasting good impression - done correctly

Man presenting his work to his boss on a tablet
••• Musketeer/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Thinking about an employment resignation to renew, revitalize or reshape your career? Are family obligations calling you to obtain different employment? Is your heart seeking a different or better employment opportunity?

Are your coworkers nightmares and gossipers? Do you just hate your current employment or deal with the boss from hell? Reasons for resignation are never-ending—and often quite valid.

You have an obligation to yourself to find the best possible workplace where you can contribute, grow personally and professionally, and spend time with colleagues you enjoy. You deserve this. Never forget this.

Don't resign without a new job

Whatever sparks your resignation, this resource will help you effectively resign from your current employment. You don't want to proffer your resignation without a for-sure new job offer in hand. Jobs are difficult to come by and often quite a challenge to find.

Plus, employers will tell you that the single most significant factor in predicting success in a new job is that the candidate is currently performing the job successfully for another employer.

But, when you do decide to offer your resignation, this information will help.

When you offer your resignation, this information will help you know what will happen next after you proffer your employment resignation to your employer.

Your resignation: How to resign from your job

Your actual resignation usually starts with a conversation with your immediate manager. He or she is the individual who must know that you plan to offer your resignation. He or she is also the person if you've been a good employee, who will miss you the most. The manager will ask you to put your resignation in writing, as a permanent addition to your personnel file. Here's how to proceed with your resignation.

Offer a resignation letter

You will need to offer a resignation letter to your current employer. This resignation letter is your official resignation and is placed in your employee personnel file. Your employer needs the letter as evidence that you resigned from your job for posterity and to officially end the employment relationship.

You'll want to leave a lasting positive impression with your tone and approach in your employment resignation letter

Sample Employment Resignation Letters

How to handle an employee resignation

When you offer your resignation, your employer probably has an established procedure. Here's how employers are recommended to handle an employee resignation. These tips about handling a resignation give you a clear picture of what your employer may do when you resign.

Employment ending checklist for employers

When you offer your resignation, and following the receipt of your official resignation letter, your Human Resources staff will work with your manager to make certain that your last two weeks remain positive and contributing.

In some organizations, the standard practice is to walk an employee out when they receive the resignation letter. This would also occur if you were a disruptive, noncontributing employee. But, in the majority of workplaces, you would work your notice time and aid the organization to make your transition orderly and professional.

If you provided the standard and expected two weeks' notice, your manager will have ample time to wrap up your job. The manager may pass portions of your job to other employees. But, in any case, the manager will make certain that other employees know what you do, how you do it, and what goals and outcomes are expected from the job.

It is rare that your manager could fill your position in time for you to train your replacement. But, in organizations that have a broad succession plan or a quick internal application and interview process, it can happen. Your job is to graciously train your replacement or the employees filling in.

You will also want to participate in:

Your employer will want to minimize the impact of your resignation on your workflow and work environment. Handled effectively, at your resignation, you leave knowing that you have contributed and added value during your time in their employment.

Participate in your department's farewell event, whatever it may be; a lunch, a beer after work, a potluck, or a reception are all commonly scheduled events. Send out a professional farewell note to the entire company that shares your contact information if you wish.

It is a gracious act to tell your coworkers that you will miss them and write several things about the company that made you happy during your time working there. Tell them where you are going, also if you wish. 

Then prepare to follow your employer's standard procedures in their employment ending procedures on your last day. You'll leave knowing that your colleagues will remember you for your professional leavetaking.