• How to Resign Professionally

      Congratulations! You’ve been offered another job that ticks all the right boxes and so all you need to do now is resign – simple, right?  Or is it..? 

      Accepting a job offer can be an exciting but also slightly daunting prospect, since you now need to face your boss and tell them that you’re resigning.

      Whilst you’ve probably got a real sense of achievement, you mustn’t let this go to your head and so you need to resign in a professional manner – and be aware of the counter offer! Here’s some handy tips to help you:


      Firstly, you need to think about the best and most appropriate time to resign – telling your boss in the lift when they’re just going off on annual holiday isn’t going to go down well! Ask for a moment of their time when you can ideally sit down in a private office away from everyone else.


      Rather than just telling your boss that you’re off to a better job, you need to give careful consideration to what you’re going to say - if it is handled in the right way it will demonstrate a positive and mature personal approach to your decision.

      Alternatively, if you approach it inappropriately, negative feelings and recriminations can occur and these could affect your career in the future.  You should aim to leave on good terms.


      Who knows how your boss is going to react? They may well give you hearty congratulations. Alternatively, they may feel betrayed and so you could find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.

      Whatever their reaction, you should retain your composure and remain professional at all times, even if you feel like doing the complete opposite! Plan what you are going to say and stick to it - be firm yet polite.

      Let them know that you have not made this decision lightly and without serious consideration. Be positive and avoid negatives – you may well have to rely on your boss giving you a reference after all…

      Set aside your emotions, focus on resigning and not justifying your reasons. You will probably be asked about your reasons for leaving, which is fair enough, but you don’t have to give detailed reasons. 

      Tying things up

      You will no doubt have to work out a notice period. Some employers will make you stick to your contractual period, others will be more flexible. Agree this with them and get a leaving date.

      Tell them that you will keep your foot on the gas and give whatever sort of handover they require.

      You should also be prepared for a counter offer so be ready to reinforce the fact that you would like them to respect your decision, all in a professional and polite manner of course!

      More information