How to Resign from a Job & Leave on a Good Note - With Examples
Leaving a job is never easy. And, once you spill the beans, you still have at least two weeks to coexist and work with your coworkers. It can be a really bittersweet process for some, for others those two weeks can’t go by fast enough and they need to get out of there ASAP.
Whatever your situation is or your reason for resigning from your job and moving on to another, here are some tips and tricks to make it the smoothest transition possible.
#1: You need to start by typing up a resignation letter– preferably not at work and on your own computer lol here is an example of a resignation letter I wrote when leaving my first 9-5 job out of college:
“Your first and last name
The Date: Month/Day/Year
Name of your manager
The title of their position
Dear (Managers Name),
I’d like to inform you that I am putting in my notice for my resignation as (insert job title here). I want to give an 8-week notice because I love our team and company and do not want to leave at a bad time. I am going into business for myself as a Graphic Designer, so I am able to give two months to help this transition go smoothly. My last day will be (insert date here). I made this decision because of my own personal career goals and interests that I have recently realized no longer align with my current position. This is no reflection on you as a manager, our team, or (Company Name) at all. This has been a wonderful first job for me and I am very grateful for your mentorship and guidance.
If you think an 8-week notice is too much time just let me know. I want to help this transition of responsibility be as easy as possible.
I was in a unique position since I was going to be freelancing and didn’t have a job lined up that required me to start in two weeks' time. I loved my team and didn’t want to leave them with only a two-week notice. The job required training and learning new programs that the company created– not stuff you learned in college. This made the period of time when a coworker left up until hiring someone new to fill their position feel so long and draining. It truly burns you out when you are doing the work of two people, without much notice and for the unforeseeable future until someone is ready to take over the workload.
If you are in the position where you need to give a two-week notice because you have another job lined up– give the notice to your manager as soon as possible. For example, if you get an email saying you are being offered a position on a Thursday, you take time to think about it and accept the position the next day, Friday. Over the weekend, you draft up your resignation letter & print it out (if you work remotely, just email it on Monday).
#2 Handing in Your Letter:
On Monday ask to set up a time to talk to your manager, and you can ask to discuss your career goals. In the meeting, tell them the situation, and have the printed resignation letter with you.
I resigned while my company was still working remotely, so I actually waited until I had a monthly meeting with my Manager and told her over video chat. Always make sure to express your gratitude and sincerity for all you have learned and the skills you gained. After the video call, I sent my resignation letter to my Manager and she forwarded it on to the right people to begin the “de-hiring” process.
#3 You’ve handed in your resignation letter (CONGRATS!!!) but now what?
It’s best practice to not announce you are leaving the company until the company announces you are leaving. At the company I worked at, it was typical to hear about someone resigning within the last week of their two-week notice. This just makes the first week a normal easy work week where you can get everything in order, without slack messages or desk visits from sad or curious coworkers.
The number one thing you cannot forget to do— is make sure you take copies of any portfolio work, example campaigns, or projects you’ve worked on (obviously unless it's classified company information).
#4 The Last Day Email
I worked until about 4:30-5 pm on my last day. I was scheduling email campaigns with product promotions for as far out as I could to give my coworkers a nice buffer of about two weeks before they had to start taking over my workload.
Since I was busy, I typed up a draft of an email to send out to everyone. Everyone who left the company on a good note would always send out a thank you email to everyone- including contact information. I sent out my email around 3:30-4 pm to give people time to reach out or email me before I logged off forever at 5 pm lol it sounds so dramatic but that is truly what would happen, you’d message the IT director saying you were done for the day and as soon as you logged off they would block you on everything and deactivate your username.
Here is an example of the goodbye email I sent out to the company on my last day (short & simple is key).
I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone I have worked with for almost (x amount of years/months). Working at (company name) was an amazing experience and a great environment. I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to work here right out of college -- it was the best possible first full-time job experience. I wish you all the best! My personal email is (insert email here) Thanks for everything!
#5 Individual Messages to Your Manager & Work besties, & Coworkers
You can’t forget to send a personal goodbye to everyone you worked closely with! If you aren’t in person you can send them messages, I sent slack messages to everyone who made my time at the company special and fun.
#6 Packing Up Your Desk
You didn’t get fired, so just bring a bag that is big enough for you to put everything in from your little fake desk plant to your coffee mugs. No need for an oversized cardboard box. I was blessed to have a coworker pack up my desk and ship it to me since I hadn’t been back in the office since March of 2020 and I lived over an hour away from the office. Shout out to Krista, even my Warby Parker Bluelight glasses made it back without a scratch <3.
#7 Exit like Micheal Scott
You know that episode of The Office where Micheal is leaving to move across the country with his fiance, and all his employees surprise him with a song? That definitely won’t happen, but he left with gratitude and happy tears in his eyes. No matter what the job was, whether it completely burnt you out, made you cry, made you lose sleep over stress, or was truly a wonderful experience: you grew. You gained confidence or clarity as to where your career path will take you next. And THAT is how you exit, with grace and gratitude.
In high school and college, when that came to an end we had a graduation ceremony to close that chapter of our lives and do the same for the resignation of that job. Go get a drink with your friends, get dinner with your significant other, maybe even just spend some quality time with your dog and get take out from your favorite place. Celebrate that chapter that you just closed and the excitement you have for the next one.