How to Quit Your Job Properly

Help with how to quit your job and resign gracefully from the company.

You have decided to move on and want to resign from your job. Follow the resignation guidelines to exit in a diplomatic and professional manner.

Leaving the company on the right note is important for maintaining a positive relationship that will be of benefit to you in your future career.

Use the different sample resignation letters to make sure that the process of leaving your job is properly and smoothly managed.

There are a number of ways to resign from a job. Whichever method you select, keep it positive.

Regardless of your reasons for leaving or how you really feel, your resignation should not involve anything negative or critical of the company, your boss or colleagues.

Negative Employee

Avoid a negative attitude

It is essential that you avoid bad mouthing previous employers. This is why:

  • You may need to use the employer as a reference later in your career
  • It is in your best interests to leave a positive impression behind. All businesses network and interact, information is passed around quickly
  • The resignation letter will remain on your employment file and could be shared with potential future employers. View this sample resignation letter for your use
  • You don't want to have to avoid ever running into your boss or colleagues again because you left on bad terms
  • Keeping your resignation positive and polite means you avoid any risk of libel or defamation liability

Top tips on how to quit your job

  • Avoid bragging to colleagues about your wonderful new opportunity. Rather focus on what you have gained from the company and what you will miss when moving on. This way you leave on good terms
  • Follow company guidelines when resigning. Particularly follow your contractual obligations with regard to notice  period. Traditionally this is two weeks but you will need to check your employment contract
  • Organize any outstanding benefits pay or any compensation due to you
  • You can volunteer to work with the new recruit to train them in your job
  • If you resign verbally it should be confirmed in writing. Use the letter of resignation template to help you with this
  • Be productive until the day you leave. Avoid taking the approach that it doesn't matter what you do during your notice period. This just creates hostility towards you

  • Do your best to complete assignments and tasks before you go and leave easily accessible information for your replacement

Writing your letter of resignation

  • Make sure you know who to address your letter of resignation to and who should receive copies. Check with HR if you are unsure. Keep a copy for your own records
  • Don't use the company letterhead for your resignation letter. Using company stationery to write your resignation letter is considered inappropriate
  • Deliver the resignation letter by hand to the person responsible if possible. You don't want it to be left lying unopened in an in-tray. This can lead to disputes about whether and when you resigned and whether you have served the required notice period. Try to make sure that the date on the letter and the date it is received are one and the same to avoid any confusion over effective date of resignation

Sample resignation letters

After your resignation

Use this how to quit your job checklist to ensure you have covered everything before you leave.

Job Interviews > How to Quit Your Job



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