If you're quitting your job, for whatever reason, you should be writing a resignation letter. You may be experiencing a career change, or you've decided to slow down professionally. Whatever your reason is for resigning, it's important to do so respectfully. It may feel awkward making the announcement, but remember that everyone resigns at some stage. You are not obligated to stay in the same job forever. Let's look at how to leave the right way.
A resignation letter serves a few purposes. First and foremost, it's a legal document that covers you once you've left a job. They also help your employer plan for your replacement with ample time. Most importantly, resignation letters are a great way to keep your relationship with your employer smooth even after you've left.
Your letter should be used to give thanks and leave a good impression to avoid burning any bridges. This is a common courtesy that allows you to praise the work you did with your employer and colleagues. They will then remember you for future opportunities - you never know where your networking will take you. Even if you're quitting on a sour note, keep your letter positive. You don't want to lose them as a reference.
Keep your resignation letter short and sweet. You need to inform your employer that you're resigning. Then, offer your appreciation to the company and focus on what you took away from the experience. Discuss how you plan on assisting the transition with remaining ongoing work or projects. Finally, close the letter. This should be no more than one page long.
In the first paragraph of your letter, give notice of your resignation and the effective date. Make sure you address your manager how you'd usually do so. You don't need to be unnaturally formal.
The next paragraph is about positives. Discuss major projects you worked on, memorable professional guidance you received, or the most valuable skills you acquired. Even if your boss was the worst and you were itching to get out of there, last impressions matter.
The following section is where you show courtesy and professionalism. Explain that you'd like to make the transition smooth and convenient for the employer. Mention your plan and/or willingness to work alongside your manager so that your leaving doesn't negatively interrupt the progress of your ongoing work.
If it's applicable or useful to your career, mention how you'd be up for future professional opportunities with the company. Sign your name (if emailing), or your signature (if printing) along with your contact details.
Your resignation letter is not the time to complain. It isn't appropriate to be negative or critique the company, managers, or co-workers. There is no point dampening your last couple weeks in a role.
You also shouldn't discuss your new role, nor the salary you're being offered. A resignation letter is not the time for counteroffers and negotiations. If you're writing a letter, you're resigning.
The reason you're resigning doesn't need to be shared. You may discuss it with a manager in person, but you're not obligated to discuss it in your letter.
There's a method to resigning. Sending off your resignation letter without warning will be quite shocking to an employer. Start with an in-person conversation with your manager to inform them of your decision. This allows you to keep the tone of your quitting as friendly as possible.
After you've talked, send an email with your personalized resignation letter. Even if a manager reacted fine face-to-face, it's important for you to have a paper trail of this process. Issues can arise at any moment and companies will be nasty if they need to be. Check your contract for a notice period to ensure you're following all the rules.
Resignation letters are part of the process. Whether you're making a career change or leaving the workforce for good, leave positively. Making lasting impressions will not only make your exit smooth and less-awkward, but it can also land you another opportunity down the line.