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. 

Exit interviews

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.

Counter offers

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. 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. However, if you feel that your reasons for leaving can be overcome, then it may be worth considering a counter-offer as a way to avoid the upheaval of changing employment. If you are offered an incentive which makes you want to stay, make sure your employer puts the counter offer in writing before you officially accept.

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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