How to resign nicely

by | 13.09.19

It is never easy to hand in your notice, it doesn’t matter if you love the job and have been there for years and years or you have only been with the employer for a short period of time it is never a nice thing to do, so what is the best way of doing it? Here are some tips:


How to give notice

Giving notice simply means alerting your boss that you are leaving. After being employed for longer than a month giving sufficient notice is a legal requirement and the length of notice required is normally in your contract of employment. The standard length of time for most employers is one month notice. Ideally you should ask for a meeting to hand in your notice and follow this up with a letter formally giving notice and the date you intend to leave.


Who do you give notice to?

It can sometimes be difficult to know exactly who to give notice to – is it your immediate line Manager, or the big boss? What about the HR Department? We would recommend you give your notice to your line Manager rather than disrupting the hierarchy. In a small Company it is usually best to hand your notice in to the owner.


What do you say when resigning?

All you really need to do is tell your boss that you are leaving and establish what will be your last day at work. But generally most people will give their reason for leaving and thank their boss for the opportunities they have been given.


What not to say when resigning

It may be best not to be too honest. No employer wants to hear you have been unhappy or what you think about how the Company operates. Resign professionally, remember you want to obtain a good reference. The best reasons to give are career related. If you really want to point fingers to gain a sense of closure before you leave it is essential you keep emotions out of it, stick to facts and talk calmly about what has really caused you to resign.







What if you are asked to stay?

It is common that when you resign your boss will try and persuade you to stay, perhaps by offering you more money. What you need to do in this instance is remember why you are leaving. If you do stay you may always have that ‘what if’ feeling and you may struggle to put aside the feelings of dissatisfaction that led to you to resign in the first place. It will be a hard decision for you, do you stay or do you go? If you are leaving just because of money it may be worth staying but otherwise you are unlikely to feel happier if you stay.


When is the best time to hand in your notice?

Timing is very important when handing in your notice. We would generally say that the end of the day is the best time to do the deed. There will be less people around and your boss is unlikely to be busy. The best day of the week to resign if possible is Friday. That way your boss has the weekend to think about it, whereas handing in your notice on a Monday will start your bosses week off really badly.


What should you say in your resignation letter

Your resignation letter is best kept brief and professional, avoid handwriting the letter if possible. The letter you write should simply state that you have decided to leave, you do not have to put the reason in writing, it should also thank the organisation for the opportunities that they have given you. You need to give the letter to your boss when you speak to them about leaving.


How much notice do you need to give?

The length of notice depends on several factors. Basic employment law requires you to give a weeks notice after you have worked somewhere for over a month. After that it’s a week for every full year you have worked for the Company up to a maximum of 12 weeks. That is unless it says something different in your Contract of Employment, remember it is still a contract if you have been told verbally and it has not been put in writing. Most employers ask for either a month or four weeks notice and generally this is in your Contract of Employment.


Do you have to work your notice period?

If your employer wants you to work your notice period then you have to do it, you’ll be in breach of contract otherwise. However sometimes you will be offered gardening leave, particularly if you are in a senior position. Generally speaking if you are on garden leave you remain employed by the Company and subject to your normal terms and conditions of employment. You can’t start a job with another employer whilst you are on garden leave.


How to tell your colleagues you are leaving

It can be tempting to tell your colleagues you are leaving before you tell your boss but please don’t take this road. It is always best to speak to your boss first so the news does not reach him/her from another source which could result in an awkward situation for you. Your employer may not be happy about you sharing the news too soon, so don’t tell your colleagues until your boss gives you the go ahead.


Attending an exit interview

An exit interview is not to embarrass you or put you on the spot, it is for your employer to understand why people are leaving and perhaps improve their methods of work. Having said that, it is really not a good idea to use the exit interview to have a good moan about your boss, the Company, your colleagues or the job. Remember you want a good reference.


How to get a good reference

The best advice we can give you is to leave on good terms, be pleasant and professional at all times and work hard during your notice period. Whatever you do, don’t spoil it. If you’ve hated your job or your Manager it is very tempting to tell them once you have somewhere else to go. It’s your reputation you need to uphold, and the way you handle yourself during your notice period will impact on the lasting perception your Manager has of you. Leave with professionalism. That way no-one can have anything bad to say about you.


Leaving pay

When you leave your employer is obliged to pay you everything you are owed in your last payment, you will usually get your last payment on the date you are usually paid rather than the date you actually leave. Your last pay packet should include payment up until the day you leave and any holiday pay you have accrued but not taken. If you have taken more holiday than you’ve accrued then this will be deducted from your final payment. Along with your pay you should receive your P45 which you will need to give to your next employer.


We hope this has helped you, leaving a job can sometimes be as stressful as starting one, but if you leave in the right way we promise you everything will be okay.


Happy job hunting!