How to Resign Gracefully in 5 Steps

Nov 4, 2022

You’ve interviewed, passed your reference checks, and accepted a new job offer. Congratulations! Now, you’re ready to resign from your current position. Even when you are ready for a change, it can be nerve-wracking to break the news to your manager that you’re moving on to a new opportunity. Below are five steps to follow to ensure you’re leaving on a good note.

Step 1: Figure Out Your Timeline

If you’ve accepted an offer elsewhere, you likely have set up a start date with the new company. Ideally, you will provide two weeks’ notice to your current employer. This is a courtesy that allows your employer to offboard your knowledge and prepare for finding a replacement.
Sometimes, you might know that you can provide more than two weeks’ notice. Provide as much notice to your employer as you can, and make sure you know your timeline before you move on to the next step.

Step 2: Prepare Your Resignation Letter

Draft a formal letter of resignation to announce your departure to your manager. This can be a short letter and should only contain the necessary information. For example:

Dear [Manager],

I am resigning from my position as [title] at [company] effective [the last date you will be working]. Thank you for the opportunities I’ve had while working with you and [company].


[Your Name]

Step 3: Tell Your Manager First

You should always tell your manager about your resignation first. Under no circumstances should the rumor make its way around the office before your manager is notified!
When you meet with your manager, bring your resignation letter and give it to them. Be prepared to be asked why you are leaving for a new opportunity, and answer honestly but tactfully. Don’t burn a bridge! Communication with your manager is the key to a smooth departure.

Step 4: Prepare For an Exit Interview

Corporate exit interviews are a common way for managers and HR professionals to evaluate what the company can do to retain employees. You’ll be asked to answer some questions pertaining to the company, your position, and management. You also should be asked to give some suggestions for things that can be done differently from your point of view. Again, honesty is the best policy, but remain tactful and civil no matter how tense the discussion might get.

Step 5: Work Just as Hard Until Your Last Day

You want to leave your current company with a good impression of you as an employee. Not only is your reputation on the line, but you also might want or need to ask your manager for a reference in the future.


Work just as hard every day even after you’ve turned in your resignation. Train your replacement or temporary replacement as well as you can in the time you have. Ensure that all your work is covered prior to your last day, and leave with good ties to your company.

Written by: Alessandra Cespedes & Sarah Perlman

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