Are you ready to resign?

How you handle this process is extremely important because a burned bridge may never be crossed again. You want your resignation to be professional but human; a delicate balance. 

  • Be Succinct: Whether telling your boss in person or in writing, get straight to the point.
  • Do not be negative
  • “Less is More”-Do not disclose the firm name, industry, title , your role or salary. You don’t have to tell them where you are going or the reason you are leaving.  If they keep pressing you, tell them that you’ll send them an email in a few weeks with your new contact information.
  • Negotiate a final date that suits your employer as well as you and your new employer. Cooperate fully in the transfer of knowledge, files, documents, projects and clients you are working with prior to leaving.
  • Be Appreciative: Recognize that leaving does not invalidate everything your employer has given to you. Thank them for training, for opportunities given and for providing you with the chance to grow. Thank colleagues for mentoring you and for taking the time to do so. Find something good to say – always accentuate the positive.
  • Follow-Up in Writing: If your process starts verbally, always provide a written letter of resignation that confirms when you are leaving. The letter should be succinct.
  • Never Burn Bridges: Every business community is small and you never know when you might need to rely on a former employer for a reference, advice, or even a job. Equally unpredictable is where your current colleagues might move to next. They could be a hiring authority or wind up applying for a job with you.
  • Keep in Touch: Be proactive about staying in contact with valuable contacts and friends you developed. Your network will be an incredibly important component in your ongoing career development.


Companies never change based upon the conversation given at someone’s resignation meeting. All the reasons why you are leaving should be addressed in your exit interview, not in your resignation.

An understanding manager and a well-managed company know that every employee is a temporary employee and that trying to talk a grown-up out of an intelligent life decision is a selfish move. There  are a great deal of companies that accept your notice and wish you the best in your career. More  companies should take this route during the resignation, but many do not.

The following 3 scenarios are very common.

Scenario #1: They will accept your resignation and thank you for your service.

“We are disappointed to see you leave, but we have valued your time here and want the best for you.“

Scenario #2: They will accept your resignation, but not before they take you on a guilt trip. 
“How could you do this to me or us , after all I’ve or We’ve done for you?  How is this going to make me look?”
Understand that your manager is only human and is reacting to very bad news that affects him/her personally.  They’ll get over it with time and everything will be back to normal soon.  This isn’t great to hear, but everyone is replaceable.  When they start doing this, say something like, “My decision is final and we need to focus on the turnover of my projects. When would you like to start?” If he/she still keeps trying to guilt trip you, keep bringing up the turnover.  If they start getting vindictive and emotional, say, “Let me give you twenty minutes, and I’ll come back and we can start the turnover process.”  Remember this is your meeting, and you don’t have to sit through a guilt trip.

The most common way counter-offers are handled are in….

Scenario #3: They will very calmly and collectedly try to talk you out of it. 

“Before you make this official, let me talk with management and see what we can do to keep you here.” OR “Let’s pretend this didn’t happen.  What can we do to make you stay?”

It’s best not to share the reasons for leaving or to get into a dialogue about where you are going. Stick to the topic of the resignation and the plan of turning over your projects. Do not to fall into the trap of “let’s pretend this didn’t happen,” because it can’t be forgotten. 

Resignation Letter

Keep it simple, keep it vague, keep it unapologetic, and keep it controlled.


The purpose of this letter is to inform you of my resignation from my current position as (title) with (company). My last day of work will be (date). I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to you as my manager, and I wish you and (company) much continued success. 
Please understand that I am not in a position to consider an alternative offer from (company), since my decision to resign is final. Please let me know how I can be of assistance in helping make this a smooth transition.

Sincerely Yours”