Today’s post is all about how to quit your job gracefully and it addresses the question from several perspectives. What is the ideal resignation letter supposed to look like? Is there such a thing as a one-size fits all resignation letter template? (Spoiler: we have a sample resignation letter lined up for you at the end of the post) How much advance notice should you give? And is it ever polite or acceptable to quit via email instead of in person?
How much notice should you give with your Resignation Letter?
Like it or not, this is one of the biggest debate in the professional world in terms of knowing how to quit your job gracefully. For the average, a resignation letter 2 week notice should do in most scenarios. However, since there’s no general consensus on this issue, here are some of the issues you might want to consider before hitting ‘send’ on that email or prior to walking into your boss’s office to hand him that letter. Remember, always check your finished letter against a quality sample resignation letter.
- Can you be easily replaced? If you’re part of a larger team at work, in which just about anyone else can come through and temporarily fill in your position, then two weeks’ notice is more than enough time to have you replaced. However, if you fill a key management position, or simply a role that no one else can take, it’s probably wiser to give your employer a heads-up of a few more weeks. Remember that they will always have less time than the notice you give them to actually find someone to step into that position.
- What about your new job? While it’s an act of empathy and generosity to squeeze in a few more days or weeks of advance notice at your old job, you must always remember you have a new one to take care of, too. After all, you wouldn’t want to make a bad first impression before you even get there, right? Do your soon-to-be former employer a favor, if it’s absolutely necessary, but don’t bend over backwards to do this, to the point where you might be jeopardizing your future employment position.
- How senior are you? In most companies, managers and executives will put in an advance notice that’s a matter of months, not weeks, nor days. This is because it’s far more complicated to hire a person in a key senior position. It also has a lot to do with getting the team used to the idea that you will be replaced. In such situations, two months is the appropriate range of notice.
- What about your colleagues? Much like in the case of the first question, if you’re part of a larger team, where your responsibilities can be easily divided among the other members, a 2 week notice is perfectly fine. However, if you manage a team, they might need some time to transition to your departure and eventual replacement. It all boils down to the contacts you want to keep from your old job. If none are of much interest to you, go ahead and burn those bridges. However, chances are you may want to keep in touch with some of your co-workers, so don’t risk aggravating them with too sudden a departure.
When to Use a Resignation Emails
In the past several months, the Internet witnessed a genuine downpour of ‘creative’ job resignations: via video, pranks, and even drawn-out text feuds. While we do believe that, in certain cases, a resignation email can be appropriate, we strongly advise you against taking any of the other options. No matter what you think, you don’t have the worst job in the world (unless you actually do, case in which we’re really sorry for you). It’s usually not worth getting so many people upset or annoyed, only so that you can quit your job with a bang. So feel free to use the email resignation letter template below to let your boss know you plan on leaving the company.
Subject line: Resignation – [YOUR NAME]
Dear Mr./Ms. [BOSS’S LAST NAME],
Please receive this message as notification that I am leaving my current position as [JOB TITLE] with [COMPANY NAME], effective as of [RESIGNATION DATE].
I would like to take this occasion to express my gratitude for the opportunities I have received at [COMPANY NAME]. Thank you for all the assistance and professional support you have offered me. The best of luck for both you and [COMPANY NAME] in the future.
Please inform me at your convenience of my accrued leave benefits, final work schedule arrangements, and other employee benefits. I am also offering to assist and support you throughout the transition prior to my departure.
How to quit your job gracefully
While there’s no single way to answer the implied question above, there are a few things that you may want to remember to do, before you actually hand in that resignation. Here’s a checklist for when you’re seriously thinking of quitting your job.
- Leave them happy. It’s best to quit on a high note, after a period of professional accomplishments, such as meeting a tight deadline, closing an important contract, or after a positive evaluation. Don’t quit when you’re overworked, burned out and exhausted, if you truly want to give a good impression.
- Polish your plate. As much as possible, try not to leave any projects in mid-air before you leave. Make sure there are clear procedures and guidelines in place before you quit and instruct your co-workers on how to approach the person who will be stepping into your shoes. Leave your files in good order and easy to find. Your boss and colleagues will definitely appreciate it.
- Know your rights. Are there any severance packages you’re entitled to? What about paid leave benefits? Know what to expect before you have that talk with your boss, lest they should try to talk you into something less than what you deserve.
- Give proper notice. We’ve covered this above. Two or three weeks should do it, unless there’s a specific minimum time frame in your contract.
- Keep it under wraps. While it’s all right to inform your employer that you have received a new position, don’t go blabbering on about your resignation before you’ve actually handed it in. At the very least, don’t let your coworkers find out before your boss does, as it will most certainly ruin their final impression of you.
- Check, double check. After you’ve written your resignation letter, proofread it for spelling and grammar and make sure you’ve included all the required information. Heartfelt, sad, or sincere letters can be appropriate depending on the context. If you’re retiring or going away on medical/maternity leave, make sure the letter includes this information. And do try to keep your enthusiasm in check in the tone of the letter, no matter how happy you may be about leaving this particular place of employment.
Resignation Letter Template
YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION
First name, last name
Title (if applicable)
City, state, zip code
EMPLOYER CONTACT INFORMATION
First name, last name
City, state, zip code
Dear Ms./Mr. [LAST NAME],
- state that you are resigning;
- state the date at which your resignation becomes effective;
- state reason for resignation; this is optional, except for cases of: maternity leave, medical leave, retirement, other exceptional situations that require immediate termination of employment;
MIDDLE PARAGRAPH (optional)
- express thanks for professional opportunities and assistance;
- express wishes of luck for the future toward your employer;
FINAL PARAGRAPH (optional)
- offer to assist with transition before your departure.