Tendering Your Resignation

Letter of resignation
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What does the term tendering your resignation mean? It is a formal way of telling your boss that you will be leaving your job to pursue a new opportunity. To tender your resignation is the act of notifying your employer that you are resigning from employment and moving onto new endeavors. 

When you resign, it means that you are the one who decided to end the relationship with your employer. A resignation is typically a voluntary departure from a job on the part of an employee as opposed to a firing, layoff, or other employer-initiated termination.

However, in some circumstances, a company will offer a worker the option to resign instead of getting fired or terminated for cause.  

What Is Tendering Your Resignation?

When you tender your resignation, you typically provide written or verbal notice that you are resigning. It is standard practice to provide your employer with at least two weeks notice when possible so that they have time to find your replacement. A resignation letter is a formal letter indicating that you are leaving your current position and when your last day will be.

How to Tender a Resignation

If you gracefully tender your resignation, it will open the door to a smooth, amicable exit from employment with a company. Done right, you will leave employment on good terms with your employer.

What is the best way to resign? There are a variety of different ways to tender your resignation. You can resign in person, which is the polite way to do it if you don't work remotely, make a phone call to quit or send an email message to your boss saying you’re terminating your employment with the organization. The most formal way to resign is a letter of resignation containing your title, department, and official leaving date.

Before you quit, consult your organization's employment policies for guidance on formalizing your resignation.  Under most circumstances, you should give at least two weeks notice for support positions and up to a month for professional roles. If you are covered by an employment contract, check the details and fine print on what you need to do to end it while remaining compliant. You may be obligated to stay for a certain length of time, depending on the type of work or contract details.

Sometimes, you may not be able to give a full two weeks - or even any - notice. Here are some legitimate reasons not to give notice, and how to handle your departure from work.

When you resign, it is considered best practice to document your intentions in writing so there is a formal written record. Keep it simple and concise. Note your intended last day of employment and express gratitude for the opportunities you have had while in your current role, if appropriate. Additional information about why you have chosen to leave is not necessary for the letter, and it may be more appropriate to discuss your reasons in person with your supervisor or Human Resources department.

It is in good taste to write down your current projects and the status of each for your manager and future replacement. Depending on the relationship with your employer, you may offer help finding and/or training the person who will inherit your work. It is also reasonable to meet with your Human Resources department to set up an exit interview, reviewing employment status documents, and understanding the consequences for your benefits (such as health coverage, 401k status and vesting schedules, leftover Paid Time Off (PTO) and sick time, etc.) amidst your transition.

Avoid the temptation of blasting the employer or publicly criticizing staff and company policies. Future employers may make inquiries about your tenure at the organization and co-workers may retaliate if you were critical or left on bad terms.

Review advice on how to resignhow to write a resignation letter and resignation letter samples to see what is included in a resignation letter, and to get inspiration for writing your own letter to resign gracefully.

What About Unemployment Benefits When You Resign?

Employees who resign from a job are often not eligible for unemployment benefits, though workers resigning under duress, or a hostile work environment, may be eligible. Check with your state unemployment office and consult an employment advisor if you have questions about the implications of a resignation.

Examples of Tendering a Resignation

  • Patrick resigned from his job after finalizing an offer for a new position.
  • The governor announced her resignation after newspaper reports detailing her misuse of government resources.
  • John filed his letter of resignation with the Human Resources Office after discussing his departure with his supervisor.
  • Jill announced her resignation and plans for retirement.
  • Paul included an offer to help train his replacement as part of his resignation letter.
  • Peter notified his employer of his intent to resign.
  • She planned to tender her resignation after the busy season in the spring.
  • The company offered to allow the team the option to tender their resignation before the wave of layoffs began.
  • Mary chose not to resign in order to take advantage of the company’s severance package for laid-off employees.
  • Eric met with his Human Resources Coordinator and Manager to further explain the reasons for tendering his resignation.

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