5 tips on how to resign

5 tips on how to resign

Perhaps you’ve handed in your notice many times before or perhaps this is your first time and you’re feeling anxious about how to tell your boss. Making the decision to leave your job and resign can be a really exciting time or it may be something that you’re dreading.  However you feel it’s important to know how to hand in your notice in a professional manner. One that enables you to leave the door ajar and that ensures the process is a smooth and amicable one.

I remember the last time that I resigned. I was so excited as I was about to leave London and move to Bristol with my boyfriend. But I was also really worried about leaving my boss in the lurch. Below are some tips that I followed which ensured that I was warmly welcomed back into the office to say hi a couple of months after leaving.


  1. Reflect – if you have another job to go to then you will have (hopefully!) thought about why you want to leave your current company.  Please don’t ever resign in the heat of the moment. Do that and it’s more than likely that you’ll wake up the next day and regret it. And you may not then be able to retract.
  2. Tell your boss face to face wherever possible. When I resigned I was in my company’s UK office and my boss was in the German office and not due to visit the UK for some time. This meant I had to tender my resignation by a phone call. Not an ideal situation. So when I called her I quickly got to the point and then we agreed that we we’d have a follow up call a few hours later. This gave her the time to digest the news and we could then put a plan in place together on how to recruit my replacement.  I think it’s good practice to follow up this discussion with an email or letter confirming your conversation with useful information such as when your last day will be and how much holiday you have left to take etc.
  3. Be prepared  – During the meeting or shortly after it, your company may offer you a salary increase to entice you to stay. Before the meeting know how much you are worth and what would make you stay.  However don’t be offended if you aren’t offered an increase. Most companies realize that there’s a strong likelihood of you leaving after six months anyway as there’s often reasons other than salary as to why someone leaves a job.
  4. Be as helpful as you can – Once you’ve handed in your notice offer to help as much as possible. You never know when you may want to go back or back or have them as one of your clients in the future.  Ask your manager what are the most important tasks that you can complete before you go and to whom you should hand over information.  If there isn’t an up to date job description for your role then offer to produce one and meet with a number of recruitment companies that you can then recommend to your boss.
  5. Be Professional – Your boss and your team may have been surprised by your resignation. If you were working on a particular piece of work with them they may begin to panic about how it will be delivered with one team member down. This may result in them getting stressed and displaying some negativity towards you. Please don’t take this personally. Such a reaction is actually a compliment towards your contribution.  It’s important that you remain professional at all times during your notice period.

I just gave you 5 tips on how to resign, it would be good to hear which one stood out to you the most and why. Please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.


Caroline Arnold 

Executive Coach

T: @carnoldcoaching

F: Caroline Arnold Coaching

W: www.carolinearnoldcoaching.com