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Handling Resignation

Since this is a very stressful situation for almost everyone, it is usually best to do it first thing in the morning prior to getting involved in the normal daily routine. Prior to your resignation date, prepare yourself by removing all personal items and files from your office and computer.


  • Do write a resignation letter and submit a signed copy to your immediate supervisor, with a duplicate to the human resources department.

  • Do be sure to give proper notice to your current employer.

  • Do leave on good terms with co-workers and supervisors. Most sectors are very tightly knit and the more specialised, the greater the chances you will work with those individuals again.

  • Do make the transition as easily and smoothly as you can. Your professionalism will carry you forward in a positive light.

  • Do train your replacement well, should you be asked.

  • Do stay a productive member of the team to the last day of your employment.

  • Do leave a detailed progress report for your supervisor and/or successor noting the status of all your major assignments.

  • Do make a plan to keep in touch with key co-workers, friends, and mentors. Keep your network strong.

  • Do thank your current employer for the opportunity.


  • Don’t discuss your resignation with others at your place of employment prior to formally resigning. News can and will move faster than you can.

  • Don’t disappear, mentally or physically, during your last weeks on the job. This can be an act of great self-discipline.

  • Don’t make statements or express opinions that you may later regret. Remember that old adage: if you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all. No matter how tempted you are, even if invited to, this is not the time to vent.

  • Don’t consider a counteroffer unless you can completely trust the situation; studies show a high percentage of workers still leave the employer within a year of accepting a counteroffer, many being forced out. The momentary flattery of a few more dollars often doesn’t correct the underlying issues. Read handling counter offers here.

  • Don’t make promises you can’t – or won’t – keep. Often this is related to being “on-call” after you’ve started at your new employer. Just say no.

  • Don’t feel the need to tell your current employer any reason for leaving besides having a better opportunity and do be polite in thanking the employer for the opportunity to work there.

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