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How to resign from your old job

by Katharine de Vaal November 02, 2011

​We spend the great majority of our time helping candidates find challenging and exciting roles but what about the often neglected yet very important step of resigning? After countless interviews, case studies and assessment days you are finally able to relax, breathe a sigh of relief and picture yourself storming ahead in your new role.

And then you remember that first you have to resign.

If you’ve been miserable in your current role this may conjure up feelings of excitement, but for most it’s a rather daunting and unpleasant task.  It’s entirely natural to feel very loyal to your current employer and therefore a tad guilty at the thought of potentially leaving them in the lurch. 

Making a clean break

With that in mind, make sure that you leave on good, if not great, terms.  The idea is not to burn bridges and in fact to leave them thinking that at some point it would be nice to have you back.  Tell them what a great honour it has been working with them and that you will do all you can to make sure the handover is dealt with smoothly. 

Make sure to put the reasons for your resignation in writing, as formalising your thoughts will help you crystallise why it is you are leaving and reduce the temptation to give in to counter offers.  Although counter offers tend to be very flattering you need to be clear about the reasons that you are leaving and not lose sight of these motivations as you go through the resignation process.  Is it really about the money?  And how much would your role and the opportunities ahead change should you decided to stay a little bit longer?

Resigning is a necessary part of a successful job search, so do approach it with thought and integrity.  And now it’s on to the exciting next jump in your career! 

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