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Making the decision to hand in your notice can be a difficult decision. If you’re still deciding whether or not to resign, visit our career planning advice page for help.
If you’ve made the decision to leave, there are some formalities you will need to go through. The information below 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, you might need to check your contract/terms of employment to see 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, to manage their expectations.
To manage your own expectations, you might want to read up on how your employer deals with final salary entitlement and holiday allowance so that you know what your last pay packet is likely to be.
Writing your resignation letter
The two main things you should include in your letter are a reference to the position you are resigning from and the date you intend to leave. In addition, you may like to reflect on what you have enjoyed about the role and how much you have learned. Ensure your letter is professionally worded and concise.
Once you have handed in your notice (i.e. given you employer your resignation letter), you may be invited to an exit interview. This gives your employer the chance to understand your reasons for leaving and evaluate if there is anything they could improve upon.
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 offer you a promotion or a salary increase to encourage you to stay with the company. More money or greater responsibility may not influence your decision if you are genuinely unhappy with the company or the direction your career is taking. However, if you feel that your reasons for leaving could be overcome, then you could consider a counter-offer as a way to avoid the upheaval of changing jobs. If you are offered a desirable incentive which you want to accept, make sure your employer puts the counter offer in writing before you officially agree to stay.
Leave on good terms
It’s important to remain professional throughout the resignation process. 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.