Informing your Employer you are Resigning

Tips to Resigning: Now that you’ve secured that new career opportunity, all that remains is to notify your current employer. Simple.

Well, like most things, if done right, it is simple. However if done poorly, it can make the process painful, potentially damaging your reputation and the memory of all the good work you’ve done in the past. Here are three simple things to keep in mind.

1 – Clarity

You will be meeting (preferably face-to-face) with your manager to inform him/her of your intentions to leave. The conversation should have three simple elements in your key tips to resigning:

  • Thank your manager for the opportunity to work with him/her and for all you have learned during your time together. Positive. No time for a complaint session.
  • Announce your intentions and give your notice. Two weeks is standard. However, if pressed for additional service, offer your time in the evenings or on weekends to ease the transition. You can arrange for this to be paid on a consulting basis.
  • DO NOT offer specifics about your reasons. Simply say that an opportunity that you need to accept has presented itself.

The reason you don’t make it issue specific is because that approach invites negotiation.

For example, you say,

“Sorry boss but I’m leaving”


“Because of X reason’”

Your manager’s natural response will be to offer to fix ‘X’.

What do you say then? Give another reason they will offer to fix? This process will lead to one of two things. Your boss will feel you weren’t being straight with your reasons and that may generate lingering resentment. The other possibility is your boss will wear you down and you will relent, passing up that opportunity only to find what was offered to fix your concerns, hasn’t. Worse yet, you are still in that job you had interest in progressing beyond and that great opportunity you wanted is now in your rear view mirror.

2 – Professionalism

Keep your promises and keep your mouth closed is one of the key tips to resigning.  If you offer to do something to make the transition simpler for your manager, follow through. Yes, the extra time is tiresome but stay true to your word, be professional and do it.


Don’t play the Pied-Piper with your co-workers. When they call or stop to congratulate you, don’t give them too much information about what a terrific opportunity you have moving forward. That won’t help them in their circumstances and in the majority of the cases that information will get back to management, casting shadow on you.

3 – Stick to your decision

Attrition is difficult for the people you leave behind. Managers now have their usual slate of issues plus the challenge of replacing you. It would be much easier, at least in the short run, to keep you. They may make one or more overtures to keep you.

Once you have progressed to the point of getting another offer and decided to accept, know that in the VAST majority of cases nothing (other than the raise they offer to entice you to stay) will change.

Stick to your guns. You will earn their respect for being resolute and professional….maximizing the opportunity to work with some of these people again, should that situation present itself in some form in the future.