Best Way to Resign

This section has been designed to ensure that you resign in a dignified way without burning your bridges behind you. But before we talk about how to resign it is important that you understand when to resign.

WARNING: Do not resign from your current job until your new job is confirmed.

Resign only when your new job is confirmed. Till that time you must resist the temptation to resign. Many people resign when they are not absolutely sure what they will do next and then repent later. So weigh your options carefully before tendering your resignation.
Once you have decided to resign, you need to make sure that you resign on a positive note. Resigning on a positive note is crucial as you never know when you may need a reference from your previous employer. Although, it is not easy especially when you hate your present employer but as the saying goes - a man's got to do what he's got to do.


The first thing you have to do when you decide to resign is write a professional and polished resignation letter. Keep it positive, brief, simple and focused. Include the following in your resignation letter:

• The fact that you are resigning

• The position you are resigning from

• Your intended date of leaving

• Appreciation for the opportunity given to work for your present organisation.


The resignation letter is not a grievance letter. Don't say something you would regret later. Words once said cannot be taken back. This letter would be included in your file (with the employer) and the information could be shared with future employers. So don't include anything negative about the organisation, superiors, colleagues or subordinates.

Put some time between when you write your resignation letter and when you send it. It is a better idea to write your letter and then reread it 6-8 hours later, before you finally send it. This might provide you with fresh insight and save you from potential harm. Further, don't write your resignation letter when you are angry.

Before you finally leave, ask for a letter of recommendation from your employer. This document will be an addition to your credentials which you may furnish to your future employers if the need arises.
One question which you would probably encounter at this stage is why you're leaving the job. The employer might also request you to indicate what is wrong with his organisation or the position which you are occupying. Although as eager as you might be to straighten the record, it is generally not a very good idea. Except for remote cases, organisations never change even a bit on the basis of the feedback of an employee who is quitting. In such a case, you should indicate positive aspects about the organisation and assert that it is just a time to move on as you are offered an opportunity which you cannot pass up at this point in your career.

It is not necessary that the question comes up only from your employer. Your colleagues at work might as well pose the same question to you while at work or at home. All you have got to do is, give the same answer to them as anything you say 'can and will' fall on to the ears of your employer. This can put you in an embarrassing situation and make you look like a liar.

Even if you have submitted your resignation, you will have to still work in your present organisation for the duration stipulated in your employment contract. This is generally known as notice period. The notice period generally varies from 15 days to 2 months depending upon the importance of the position you are occupying. Normally, the more important the position, the more would be the duration of the notice period.

If there is no notice period mentioned in your employment contract you should submit your resignation at least 15 days before you intend to leave. The rationale behind the notice period is that the transition from you to your successor takes place smoothly. Moreover, it gives your employer time to find a suitable replacement.
In case, there are circumstances which require reducing the duration of the notice period (i.e., you or your boss may want a quick exit), then all that needs to be done is to find solutions to prevent any impediments to completion of essential projects/activities.
In the meantime, do not let your emotions get the better of you. You should try and work with the same level of interest and enthusiasm with which you were working before. If your interest seems to flag find out a way to rejuvenate yourself and be mentally focused. This would help you to leave graciously.

Counter Offers

When you tender your resignation you must also be prepared to receive counter offers from your employer. The employer will try to make you to change your mind. If he offers more salary or benefits, keep in mind that it took the threat of leaving the job to bring about this increase or addition.

Accepting counter offers has been counterproductive. Only in the rare cases, it has really proved beneficial for employees to accept it. Generally, it is offered to gain some time to find a suitable replacement or to finish an important project which you might be working on. No matter what the employer says you would always be seen as a person lacking loyalty by the inner circle. Your absenteeism would be seen as job searching by your colleagues or employer. Moreover, there have been many studies which conclude that the basic reasons for wanting to change jobs are bound to resurface. So, it is better not to accept a counter offer. If you are faced with a counter offer say:

"I have been presented with an opportunity which I really cannot miss. I did not give my resignation to make you raise my salary or perks. But if there is anything I can do to help till the time I leave, please let me know."


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