Telling your boss you want to leave is never easy. Even if you hate your role, don’t get along with your boss, and can’t wait to go, there is always a right and a wrong way to resign.

I quit!

your 7-point checklist on how to resign the right way.

The reasons to leave a job can be many – and yours is certainly valid and right for you. Whatever be your cause to resign from your company, if it is done pleasantly, professionally and appropriately, resignations need not scary or turbulent. You can leave your job with a lot of positive feelings, and that that will be a great first step to your new role in a new organization.

Here are seven ways to make this happen, once you are sure you have made the right decision

to quit.

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outdoor work conversations

#1 - give a professional and formal letter of resignation.

Write a courteous letter that contains the following details:

  • Your employee details (name, employee number, designation etc.)
  • The effective date of your resignation
  • The date of your last working day at the company (do so after checking your contract for the required notice period)
  • Brief reason why you are leaving (do not say anything emotional or negative)

Address your resignation letter to the appropriate person(s), as set out in your organization

policy. And do keep a personal copy for your records.

#2 – have a person-to-person meeting with your manager.

You may have given both a verbal and written notice of resignation, but courtesy requires that you have a one-to-one meeting with your manager (even if s/he is the reason for your leaving).

Be courteous in our interaction, and explain why you are resigning from the organization. As in the letter, keep negativity or ‘blame-gaming’ out of the conversation. Focus on what it means to

you in taking your next steps, and thank your manager for the learning and opportunities. Remember, this is a meeting after you have taken the decision to leave, despite any measures they may have offered to retain you. So, be pleasant and firm, and talk about what you hope to achieve with your move.

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#3 – inform your colleagues about your resignation.

Do this after you have agreed with your manager and HR partner. You may choose to send a general email to some, individualized mails to some, and face-to-face meetings with some others. This is entirely up to you, based on the closeness you have to your colleagues.

Thank them for their colleagueship, and to those you want to keep in touch with, give them your contact details.

#4 – confirm and organize all outstanding benefits.

Most companies have efficient internal systems that employees can access to confirm outstanding monies and benefits according to the organization’s policy. Have a discussion with your HR partner if you need help in understanding the statutory and company settlements that have to be made — and feel free to confirm it with external experts, especially for statutory settlements.

Don’t take a hostile approach in sorting out differences in calculations. Start with the assumption that your company is interested in doing the right thing, and there is no error that can be amicably sorted out.


#5 - complete your exit interview in the right spirit.

Exit interviews are meant to address questions and concerns with respect to your tenure of employment. This is a great opportunity to give and receive healthy, constructive and positive feedback on both sides. Prepare for this engagement to ensure your feedback is relevant for the


#6 – request for reference and recommendations.

Instead of waiting for the time you will need a reference letter, make the request for one during your discussions with your manager and/or HR partner. Even if you have already landed your new job, recommendations are great boosters to your credentials. You can also request your managers, leaders and colleagues to write recommendations on LinkedIn.

#7 – tie up all loose ends.

The ‘little last’ formalities will take quite some effort from you, but they are important to give both you and your organization a sense of satisfaction on a job well done. They include

  • Informing HR the correct contact details for future correspondence
  • Ensuring you have correctly closed your company computer files and email accounts, and returned all devices, documents, badges, passes, etc.

If handled well, resignation formalities need not be daunting or scary. In fact, it can be a pleasant experience for both your company and yourself, and create strong professional networks for both.

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Resigning can feel quite daunting; however, if handled well, it can be an experience that boosts your career and be a positive experience for you and your employer.

If you’re looking for your next career move or want a confidential chat about movements and opportunities in the market, contact Randstad's specialist consultants here.

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