How To Resign With Dignity: 3 Simple Examples

So you’ve found a new job, accepted the offer from your new employer and now it’s time to hand in your notice. This experience can make you feel a whole cocktail of emotions. For example, it can be tempting to cartwheel your way out of the office to a celebratory fanfare if you hate your job. On the other hand, if you love your job, you may feel like pouring your heart out in an emotional letter to your boss. In the long run, however, neither of these options are likely to help your future career. This article explains how to resign with dignity and without burning your bridges.

Our Top Three Tips for Those Wondering How To Resign With Dignity

In addition, we suggest following the below three tips for resigning with dignity and grace.

Young lady leaving her job with belongings packed in a box and a big smile on her face
It’s important to remain professional and positive in your current employment right until the moment you walk out of the door.

1 — Follow The Process

If you have changed jobs within your current company, don’t assume that the positions you have held have the same notice periods. If you don’t give enough notice, you could be in breach of contract, and your employer may withhold any wages, bonuses or other entitlements.

Not giving enough notice could result in a breach of contract and may lead to your employer giving you a bad reference. Is an employer allowed to give a bad reference? Actually, yes, they can. What they are not allowed to do is provide an untrue or inaccurate reference. If an employer has reasonable grounds to believe that you breached the terms of your contract, they have a duty to pass that information to your future employer.

2 — Remain Professional

Are you feeling lost for words and worried about using negative language? Or even if you don’t know how to write a resignation letter, don’t worry! The resignation letter templates below will give you a great starting point for how to resign with dignity.

3 — Prepare for the Exit Interview

An exit interview is your opportunity to state your reasons for leaving honestly. However, you shouldn’t use it as an excuse to totally let rip! Remember the above point — remain professional at all times. You’re still an employee of the company until you leave, and any negative behaviour you display may result in a bad reference.

In addition to improving corporate culture, HR will often use an exit interview as an excuse to make a counter-offer. While counter-offers can be incredibly flattering, not to mention highly tempting, accepting one can do untold damage to your career.

The easiest way to handle a counter-offer is to politely tell your employer you will think about it and decline by email. This way, you don’t have to have a further discussion about it, so you won’t have to deal with being put under pressure.

Young man having his exit interview with a member of HR
Exit interviews can be almost as nerve-wracking as job interviews! It pays to be prepared.

How to Write a Resignation Letter: 3 Simple Examples

Example 1 — Basic Resignation Letter

You could also add that you enjoyed working for your current employer. Even if you choose not to, thanking them for the opportunities they have given you allows you to resign with dignity.

Basic Resignation LetterDownload

Example 2 — Leaving for A New Job

This resignation template gives you the opportunity to explain that you have a new job to go to and the option to disclose who your new employer is.

Resignation-Letter_-Leaving-for-a-New-JobDownload

Employee considering how to resign with dignity judging by this note in their diary
While you may feel like bursting into your boss’s office and shouting “I quit” at the top of your voice, there is always a company protocol to follow when resigning.

Example 3 — Reason for Leaving

Of course, you may have an entirely different reason for resigning such as taking a year out to study, travel the world, or volunteer as an aid worker overseas. Whatever your reason for leaving, you can edit the wording in this template to suit your situation.

However, our advice would always be to choose your words wisely. If you plan to resign with dignity, make sure your explanation does not brag or offend your current employer in any way.

Resignation-Letter_-Reason-For-LeavingDownload

A Few Final Thoughts on How to Resign With Dignity

Using the fewest words possible to say what you need to say is always the best tactic. It leaves less room for you to say anything you might later regret and avoids wasting your manager’s time.

After reading this article, we hope that you now feel more knowledgeable on how to resign with dignity. If you found this article useful, please share it on social media. Others will be bound to thank you for it.

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