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I’m resigning, gracefully*

Whether it’s a need for greater career growth, a misaligned cultural fit or you’re heading off backpacking to Europe for four months – there will come a time when we need to #resign from a job.

So, you’ve decided that the deed is to be done, but now you’re wondering how to navigate the tricky situation of actually breaking the news to your boss. You might feel bad about letting the team down, leaving some good friends behind, or a project unfinished. Here are our top five tips to keep your reputation intact and resign gracefully.

Well a heads up would have been nice

Contracts are binding! Well, maybe not all, but in terms of your job contract, make sure you dig it up, dust it off and find out what notice period you agreed to. If the written word says you must give at least four weeks notice, abide by it! And if possible, give your boss a longer time frame rather than smaller. In that way, they have more time to find your replacement and get all their ducks in a row.

The seasons are changing

Offering to help with the transition and job handover is always a good idea! The war on talent is very much still on, and it’s going to take time, effort and resources to find your replacement. This HR reshuffling can take your manager’s time away from focusing on their own work. So being open, patient and professional when passing on the baton to the new you will go a long way in your boss’ eyes – and be something they can praise you on when you need a reference. Kindness and respect, always!

Thanks for the memories!

It’s important that you reflect on all that you achieved and acknowledge your job progression. Even though the job may not be right for you anymore, there are no doubt major lessons you can take away from it. Every experience teaches you something! Make sure to show your appreciation for the opportunities you received in your role, and let your boss know that you gave it your all.

No ghosting here

Give yourself time to say goodbye to your colleagues and manager. You’re likely to have spent a large chunk of your time with them, and disappearing in a cloud of smoke doesn’t exactly leave the best impression. It doesn’t have to be a big goodbye party, but definitely carve out some time to bid adieu. This will again show them that you care, and help you leave on a positive note. Goodbye brunch, anyone?

Keeping bridges in tact

It’s always a smart move to maintain a relationship with your manager and colleagues, as you never know when your paths may cross again. Whether it’s a simple LinkedIn message or a quick coffee catch up down the track, make sure you don’t burn a bridge you may need to cross later in life! Always remain professional and respectful – your future self will thank you.

On a final note – get excited about the future! Endings don’t always have to be sad and mopey. You know how the saying goes: when one door closes, another one opens.


Image by Michael Jasmund.


*Don’t actually say this.