10 Steps on How to Resign from your Job

August 22, 2021

The time has arrived for you to move to a new and challenging opportunity.  No matter the reason you are leaving, you always need to leave your current job and employer in a professional and courteous manner. 

At Ascent Global Partners, our consultants will always guide you through the resignation process carefully as this can be a very emotional and stressful time.

We have compiled a list of 10 steps on how to resign from your current role.

1. Never resign until you have signed a new contract.

Until you have put pen to paper on a new offer, DO NOT resign.  In addition to signing your new contract, make sure you have confirmed the new start date and there are no gaps in your pension, social insurance, or employment.   

It is incredibly important that you also check your notice period, gardening leave or any other issues that might hinder your targeted start date with your new employer.  It would look unprofessional if you got the notice period etc. wrong.

2. Remove your personal belongings from the office.

You need to be subtle about doing this but if you tell your employer that you are resigning first, they may escort you out of the building immediately.  Most likely you will get the majority of your things but you don’t have control over what happens to your personal belongings then.

3. Arrange a meeting with your manager to resign

The most appropriate person to resign to is your direct manager.  You manager will need to plan for handover, replacements etc.  Our advice would be always to do this in person but if that is not practical, you need to do it online (i.e. video conference).  Do not text or email your manager.

4. Write a formal resignation letter and email

You need to make sure that you officially file your resignation on the same day as you speak with your boss.  It will be a stressful conversation no doubt so plan a resignation email/letter well in advance.  If it’s an email, leave it in your drafts folder so you can quickly send it.  The email will be sent to;

Your Manager

Human Resources

CC or BCC your personal email account

Hand the physical copy of your resignation letter to your hiring manager.

5. Don’t be intimidated during your resignation

Employers will typically use three tactics to retain staff if they don’t want them to resign.

The Key Person Speech

They are going to say things to you that you need to be prepared for such as “You are key to the success of our organization”, “you were going to get a promotion”, “I am depending on you to be my successor”, “you have a great career here”, “I was talking to my boss about raising your salary already etc.

The Emotional Connection

People are often caught off guard with this one.  They will say things like “You are like family to me”, “our kids/wives/husband etc know each other really well”, “I will continue to lookout/take care of you in the company and make sure you get what you deserve etc”.  We are aware of managers crying when people resign, again, please prepare yourself well, it’s going to be an emotional rollercoaster.

The Anger Technique

This is a last resort tactic used to retain staff and is often a shock to the system.  Managers can shout, throw things, bang tables etc.  To shock the employee into staying.

Companies will use one or all of these techniques during the resignation process.  Sometimes different people within the same organization will try different approaches.  Managers often get training on what to say to retain staff so be aware of what is happening.

6. Don’t discuss your new opportunity during resignation

The reason we feel this is important is because if your soon to be  ex-employer knows any information about your new opportunity or the interview process etc they can use this information to hurt you.  They could contact your new employer if they have a connection or they could take legal action against you if you interviewed during work hours for instance.

Also, they will bring out dirt on your new employer which you most likely don’t want to hear before starting your new job.

7. Don’t change your mind

Don’t crumble under the pressure during the resignation process and agree to compromises, speaking to more people or consider staying at your old job.  Remember why you arrived at this juncture.  Just be quick and professional about the resignation process, once as you are out of your old company, you will feel so much better and can look forward to a great career in a new company.

8. Never take any data

This is a really bad idea and if you get caught doing this, you will likely never get a job in the industry again.  Stealing data is not worth it.  If you feel there is information, notes etc you need to take, please consult a lawyer, in general though, we strongly advise against this.  We know people who were recorded stealing data that had resigned from their old job and their new employer then reneged on their contract because they were made aware of this fact.  In short, it’s not worth it.

9. Don’t accept a counter offer

Never accept a counteroffer, either stay where you are or take the new job, 50% of employees who accepted a counteroffer leave within 12 months (  It’s a startling statistic.  You have to be clear on why you are resigning in the first place.  Accepting a counter offer can often hinder your chances of promotion etc further down the line and you do lose a little bit of trust with management as you will be perceived as a flight risk from that point onward.

10. Leave on a positive note

Send out an email thanking everybody for their help while you worked there etc.  Try to arrange a leaving party to say goodbye to all your colleagues.  Also, make sure you contact all of your clients if you have any and explain to them what’s happening.  If you don’t contact them and then show up at another firm without letting them know what was happening they may understandably be upset.



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