Resign from your job with class

Our four steps to quitting your job with as little stress as possible


After quitting, a smiling individual walks out of an office with a box of files and plant

Found your next job or opportunity? Before your update your social with the good news, there's one thing you have to get through first: turning in your resignation. Resigning from your current position can be emotional and stressful. There's no easy way to get through it, but here are four ways to make it a little easier:

  1. Put it in writing. You can decide to hand your boss a paper copy of your resignation letter or email it. (Handing your boss a resignation letter can actually be a great way to start an uncomfortable conversation.) Your letter is something to keep for your records and for your protection. It's important to have a paper trail, in case there's any confusion around your last day or with payroll.
  2. The sooner you tell the company, the better. Your manager might be upset if they find out you've been sitting on this information (or worse, they're one of the last people in the office to know). Then, be firm on when your last day will be. Yeah, you're awesome, but the company will get by without you. You owe your loyalty to yourself and your new job!
  3. Unless you're open to staying at your current job, do not get into a conversation about counter offers. If the subject comes up, be polite and say you're excited about this new opportunity. No matter how much you hate your current role, you want to leave with a good impression, and having your manager pull together a counter offer – one you have no interest in taking – will definitely harm that. 
  4. Talk to us first! We can be your coach throughout the entire process. Contact a recruiter in your neck of the woods today.

Sample resignation letter

Former Manager’s Name

Dear [Former Manager’s Name],

It is with mixed emotions that I write this letter of resignation from [Company].

During the past [#] years with this excellent company, I have had the pleasure of working alongside many fine people. This has been an important part of my professional and personal life.

Please understand that I have made my decision after considerable thought. An outstanding opportunity presented itself that will significantly enhance my career and assist me in achieving my goals.

I am therefore resigning from [Company] effective [date]. This will allow sufficient time to complete current commitments. In the interim, I will work with you and the staff to provide a smooth transfer of my current duties.

I hope that you understand and accept my decision. I will support you in making this change as easy as possible for the staff and department.


[Your Name]

How to handle a counteroffer.

So you received a counter offer? Statistics show that, if you accept a counter offer, you will most like voluntarily leave in six months or be let go within a year. 85% of people who accept a counteroffer are gone in six months, and 90% are gone in 12 months.

We're not saying you shouldn't accept it, but here are a few things to consider.

  1. Stop and think. You looked around for a reason. Is the bump in pay at your current position really enough to overcome that? Only you can answer that.
  2. Consider where the money is coming from. All companies follow some strict wage and salary guidelines. Politely ask how the counteroffer affects future raise eligibility. Is it your next raise early? Can they make your increase retroactive in order to compensate for underpaying you?
  3. Prepare for déjà vu. The same problems that caused you to look for a new job in the first place will probably repeat themselves in the future. As much as some things change, others stay the same.
  4. Beware the consequences. In many cases, companies may immediately start looking for a new person at a cheaper price. In some cases, you could be training your replacement.
  5. Counters may be counterintuitive. When promotion time comes, your loyalty could be a factor in decision-making. When times get rough, your employer might begin the cutbacks with you.

So ready to take that next adventure in your new job? Check out our job seeker resources section for articles on starting a new job.

Related Articles

Our advice for graduates: Find balance, embrace curiosity, and dress to impress

Adecco colleagues from across the country share their tips for graduates of all ages 

read more
Wondering how to find the right job for you? Start with these 7 questions

Finding a job that fits isn’t always easy, so start by asking yourself a few important questions: Casual or corporate? Flexible or steady? Slippers or work boots? 

read more