6 things you must do when turning in a resignation letter

Turning in a resignation letter can be scary and thrilling at the same time! I was ecstatic when I knew I was about to turn my letter in at my last job, but deep down inside, I was worried too. What if I did it wrong? What if I offended someone

The last thing I wanted was to burn a bridge. If I ever needed their referral again, I wanted to make sure I left on good terms.

Here’s what I did that I think will help you with your resignation letter hand in too.

Make sure you’re sure

Okay, that sounds crazy, but it’s true. Don’t make your decision on a whim. We all have bad days. They aren’t an invitation to quit, though.

Do some soul-searching. Is this job really not what you want? Where will you go, or what will you do?

If you don’t have a plan, take a step back, think about your options, and then come back to this question.

Write it down

Don’t just give your resignation verbally. Follow it up with a written letter. You want everything in writing so that there’s no, ‘he said, she said’ going on after the fact. 

Be as detailed as possible in your letter. Include your last date of employment and any terms that need to be cleared up. Make sure the letter is clear about your intent to quit, and if you can do it in a positive light, give a short but complete reason.

Prepare your answers to the questions that will come

Unless your employer saw it coming, he/she will likely ask questions. Prepare yourself for all of them.

Don’t be caught fumbling over your words as you may end up taking back your resignation and regretting it later.

Think of all the scenarios you’ve gone through and try to predict what they’ll say to you.

Know how you’ll handle counteroffers

Don’t assume your employer will just accept your resignation. He/she may try to persuade you to stay.

Before you have your meeting, think about what would be something that would change your mind.

Knowing this going in will help you stay clear in the direction you chose, whether it’s to leave definitely or maybe stay if they do XYZ.

Don’t tell anyone before your boss

It’s very unprofessional for your boss to find out from others that you’re leaving. Keep it a secret until you have a formal sit down with your boss.

Speaking of your boss, it’s a good idea to set up a meeting with a definite time, so you aren’t cut short on time if you have a lot to say or risk catching the boss at a bad time.

Give enough notice

No matter how frustrated you are or how bad you want to quit, don’t do it on the spot. Make sure you give at least a 2-week notice or the timeframe that’s normal for your industry.

Remember, your boss will have to find someone to replace you, and if your resignation is a surprise, it’s probably not something they planned.

Follow these steps to hand in your resignation, and it won’t feel so overwhelming. It may even feel empowering! Just make sure you are professional and handle it well, no matter how your employer reacts.

Don’t burn any bridges, so you can use them as a reference should it be necessary for the future.