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Making the decision to leave your employer can be difficult. If you’re still deciding whether or not to resign, visit our career planning advice page for help.
Once you’ve made the decision to leave, you will need to go through some formalities. For many, the idea of breaking the news to their current employer is the most daunting aspect of the whole process. This page is designed to give you an insight to the resignation process and how best to handle it.
Before you resign
Ahead of handing in your resignation, dig out your contract/terms of employment to double check how much notice you are obliged to give. If you have already found another job, make sure that your new employer is aware of the date that you are available from, so that no conflict arises.
It is also worth reading up on how your employer deals with final salary entitlement and holiday allowance so that you know what to expect with your last pay packet.
Writing your resignation letter
Your letter should be professionally worded and concise, detailing the position you’re resigning from and the date you intend to leave. You may also like to note what you have enjoyed about the role and how much you have learned.
Once your employer has received your letter, they may invite you to an exit interview. Your employer will want to understand your reasons for leaving, to see if there is anything they could improve upon.
It’s important to be honest with your feedback as your comments could influence positive changes within the company which could benefit your colleagues.
Where possible, avoid any negative comments, and keep statements factual and objective. Your aim is to leave the meeting on a positive and amicable note, with an agreed leaving date.
Your employer may use your exit interview as an opportunity to encourage you to stay with the company, by offering you a promotion or a salary increase. Accepting a counter-offer may avoid the upheaval of changing employment, but if you are genuinely unhappy with the company or your career direction, it’s unlikely that more money or greater responsibility will change your mind. Consider very carefully whether this is the right decision for you; research has found that 80% of employees who accept a counter offer end up leaving the organisation within six months. This suggests that accepting a counter offer rarely changes the factors that drove you to look for a new job in the first place, and after investing a significant amount of effort and time you should carefully consider whether accepting your new job opportunity is the right decision to make.
Leave on good terms
Throughout the resignation process, it’s important to remain professional. Maintaining a positive relationship with your manager and colleagues will make working your notice period much easier and could allow you to return to this employer in the future.
In the event that there is a dispute with the final settlement, the way you conducted yourself when issuing your letter of resignation and attending the exit interview will have an impact on how this will be handled by your employer.
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