How To Resign From A Job (With Examples)

By Kristin Kizer
Sep. 22, 2022

Find a Job You Really Want In

It doesn’t matter why you’re quitting your job, it’s a fact, and you need to do it in a way that doesn’t burn bridges. Sometimes, biting your tongue and not telling your boss what they can do with the job is tricky. Other times, you’re truly going to miss the people and the position.

Either way, it’s in your best interest to resign gracefully and professionally. We will go over ten steps you should follow when resigning, some common reasons people quit their jobs, and how to write a resignation letter with examples.

Key Takeaways:

  • When resigning from your job you should tell your boss before anyone else and provide a resignation letter at this time.

  • Offer to assist with training your replacement and clean out your desk before leaving.

  • When writing your resignation letter make sure you clearly state your intention of leaving and your departure date, which is usually two weeks after turning in the letter.

How To Resign From A Job (With Examples)

Why Are You Resigning?

Why you’re resigning doesn’t matter when it comes to carrying yourself with professionalism and class. But it does matter when it comes to the steps to resigning.

Sometimes, you need to walk out that door immediately for your safety, health, and physical as well as mental wellbeing. Even if that’s your only option, you can still do that with your head held up high if you rein in your emotions.

Let’s look at some common reasons why people quit their jobs and change the timeline:

  • You got a better offer. Whether you were looking or not, you love your job or hate it, getting a better offer means leaving on a good note and following all of the steps. At least following most of them. There are many reasons you want to maintain connections.

  • Change in career or want to move up. If you feel stuck at your job or you’re not in your dream job, then it’s time to move on.

    Keeping your interactions with your job professional is important for your future, and there’s no reason not to. You don’t hate the job or the people, and it’s just not for you anymore.

  • Unsafe, unhealthy, discriminatory atmosphere. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. Some work environments are just not good to be in – for many reasons.

    Sometimes, you can back away gracefully and follow the appropriate steps to retain a few good relationships. Sometimes you have to leave for your own sake, and at that point, there’s not much you can do.

  • Personal/Family reasons. These situations are exactly the right times to go through with all of the appropriate steps for resigning. You may want to come back to your job, and you may find these people you work with can help you professionally in the future.

    Even if your exit has to be abrupt, don’t skip crucial relationship-building steps.

  • Personality conflicts. It happens a lot. People don’t get along, and if you can’t stand to work with that person every day, then leaving might be the best step.

    It’s hard to hold your tongue when you feel someone else wronged you or forced you out. You might be able to mention in your exit interview that a particular person was the issue, but at that point, it’s too late to fix it.

    Otherwise, following all the resignation steps is your best bet.

  • Retiring. Usually, retirement is not a surprise, and there have already been things in the works for a long time.

    When this is the case, a resignation letter or any of the steps are not necessary. If this isn’t your path to retirement, then a few of the traditional steps will be required, but there may be more involved than that to get your retirement benefits. Retirement is its discussion and a separate topic.

10 Steps for Resigning from Your Job

As mentioned above, you might not complete all of the steps for quitting your job, nor do you want to. Let your situation be your guide, but knowing the steps helps you move ahead. But just in case you want to do it all the right way, this is how you quit your job:

  1. Tell your boss. The first thing you have to do is tell your boss or your manager you’re quitting. In most situations this will be done face to face and they will be the first person you tell.

  2. Give two weeks notice. It’s standard to give two weeks’ notice when you quit so you can help them transition to a new employee. It’s typically not enough time to find someone new and train them, but it’s still considered common courtesy.

    If you have a contract that specifies you need to give more time or leave on better terms, you might work out a longer transition time.

    When it comes to giving notice, one word of advice: make sure you’re prepared to walk out the door on the day you give notice. Some companies have a policy that won’t let you stay for two more weeks, and they prefer you to leave that day. Things might also go badly, and your boss may get upset and ask you to leave. Even if you think it will go well, know that being asked to leave that day is possible.

  3. Offer to help. Part of your two-week notice or part of your resignation letter will include an offer to help. Whether you’re helping train your replacement, transferring files, or anything else your company needs to do because of your resignation, it’s best to offer help.

  4. Resignation letter. Even though you’ve let your boss know your intentions, you’ll want to follow it up with a formal resignation in writing. The letter doesn’t need to be long, and it just needs to include some key information and dates. This professional step reflects positively on you and protects you in the long run. Look below for some resignation letter samples.

  5. Talk to HR about benefits and last paycheck. It’s best to speak with the HR department to know what benefits will carry over, especially if you need them.

    Learn what will happen with your unused vacation time. You can also find out how to get your last paycheck(s). Don’t be surprised if they also have some paperwork for you to complete.

  6. Clean your desk. Don’t leave a mess for someone else. Clean up your desk and any other personal space you have in the office.

  7. Ask for a reference. If you’re not quitting to go to another position, you might need a reference so you can find another job. Make sure to ask if your boss, supervisor, or even your co-workers will be a reference.

  8. Don’t get cocky. One of the worst things you can do is ruin all of your good professional work by acting cocky. This in-between time is when you might have to work at being professional more than you ever had before.

    It’s easy to blow off work or slack when you know you won’t be there soon. Just don’t do it. Your last impression is going to be a lasting one.

  9. Prepare for your exit interview. Not all businesses have exit interviews, but preparing a little bit can make them more comfortable. You might feel this is the time to spill your guts about how much you hated working there. It’s not. Save that share for your significant other or best friend.

    During your exit interview, you want to continue to be professional. If you saw lapses in the company or felt there were big problems, you can mention them. Just make sure you don’t like gossip or complain too much. This is not a time to gripe; it’s time to help the company.

  10. Don’t wait to get fired. Some people would rather be fired than quit. If you’re wondering if it’s better to be fired or quit, we’re here to tell you that quitting is by far the better option – most of the time.

    If you get fired, you’re going to have to explain that in future job interviews, and you might not come out looking very good. You also stand the odds of ruining your reputation at the company and destroying any chance of getting a reference.

    The only time you might want to opt for getting fired over quitting is if you’re getting laid off or downsized. If your company is eliminating your position, then you’ll be better off letting them fire you. This will often give you severance pay, unemployment benefits, and a great excuse if you’re ever interviewing and they ask you what happened.

    Quitting your job is not easy. It can give you all sorts of anxiety, but it is a part of life for most people, and once you do it, you can focus on your new chapter.

How To Write A Resignation Letter

  1. A salutation. You will be sending your letter to your manager or HR representative so you want to make sure you address them properly and with the right title. Sometime you will have to address the letter to your team or department, but that doesn’t happen often.

  2. Your intention and departure date. The body of your letter should clearly state your intention of leaving and the the date of your departure. This is typically two weeks after you hand the letter in but if you are leaving immediately or can stay long put that in the letter as well.

  3. Your reasons for leaving. This step can be option. You don’t have to go into detail about why you are leaving, but you should give a reason as to why you are leaving the company.

  4. Include a thank you and offer to assist the transition. You will want to include your gratitude for working and the company and leave it on a positive note. This is also where you can offer to assist in the transition and offer to help train your replacement.

  5. Sign off with your signature. Sign off with a closing and your signature. You should also include your contact information if you have not already.

Resignation Letter Examples

Quitting in person is hard. The second hardest part is coming up with the right words to write a resignation letter. Let these resignation letters serve as your template.

  1. Brief resignation letter example: Short and sweet, this brief resignation letter might be all you need.

    Jim Smith
    123 First Drive
    Scranton, PA 18503

    Gus Walinski
    Midland Tree Company
    456 Second Drive
    Scranton, PA 18503

    December 4, 2020

    Dear Mr. Walinski,

    Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from Midland Tree Company. While I have enjoyed my time as your receptionist, I have been offered a new position and will be leaving on December 18, 2020.

    As we discussed, I will continue working during these two weeks and help train my replacement once it is found. If you need any further assistance, please let me know.

    I appreciate having the opportunity to work at Midland and want to thank you for this experience.

    Best Regards,

    Jim Smith

  2. Immediate resignation letter example: Sometimes the world doesn’t work the way you want or hope it will. If there’s some reason you have to leave your job immediately, you’re going to skip a lot of the resignation steps detailed above.

    But there is one way you can try to save your reputation, and that’s by creating an immediate resignation letter. You can hand it off on your way out the door, or you can email it after you’ve left. If you’re in this situation, try a letter letting them know you quit like the one below.

    Jon Candy
    123 Clock Tower Road
    Schenectady, NY 12301

    December 16, 2020

    Joel Ioala
    Cogs and Wheels Inc.
    456 Facerville Street
    Schenectady, NY 12301

    Dear Mr. Ioala,

    I regret to inform you that I am resigning from my position as Chief Administrative Assistant at Cogs and Wheels Inc. immediately. I have cleaned out my desk and have left my company computer and keys on my desk.

    I apologize for not providing full notice. I have found the office atmosphere untenable. As we have discussed the harassment in the office previously, and there is a record of my complaints with the Human Resources department, I assume you know why I have left.

    I want to thank you for allowing me to work with Cogs and Wheels for three months. I was quite excited to get the position, I learned a lot, and I’m sorry that it has come to this.

    If you have questions, please feel free to reach me via email or on my phone. Thank you for your understanding, and I have enjoyed working with you.


    Jon Candy

  3. Retirement resignation letter example: Most retirements are planned well in advance. Not only do you want to enjoy a party that celebrates your years with the company, there are details to work out related to your benefits.

    Typically, your company will know your retirement is approaching but some won’t until you give them a retirement resignation letter. Either way, this sample letter will help you get started in writing yours.

    Kevin Arnold
    123 Fudgie Way
    Chattaroy, TX 25661

    December 20, 2020

    Kermit Inez
    Fresh Egg Delivery Company
    456 Farmington Road
    Matewan, TX 25661

    Dear Mr. Inez,

    Please accept this letter as notice of my retirement as Delivery Driver for Fresh Egg Delivery Company, Effective March 1st, 2021. As you are well aware, I have reached retirement age and have decided to take advantage of this opportunity to spend more time with my family and golf more.

    Thank you for your generous offer for continued employment or even a part-time relationship, but I have decided that full retirement is the path for me. I thank you so much for the last 20 years that I’ve worked directly with you. I am also very grateful for the 15 years I worked for Fresh Egg before joining the company.

    I will truly miss the people in the company and the many customers on my route. It has been an enjoyable experience, and I’ve met so many wonderful people along the way.

    As we discussed, I will help train my replacement and show them the route. I will also stay at my current residence for the foreseeable future, so you can easily reach me if there are any questions after my retirement. If there is any other way I can help make the transition easier, please let me know.

    Again, I thank you for my many happy years at Fresh Egg. Best of luck to you and the entire organization.


    Kevin Arnold

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Kristin Kizer

Kristin Kizer is an award-winning writer, television and documentary producer, and content specialist who has worked on a wide variety of written, broadcast, and electronic publications. A former writer/producer for The Discovery Channel, she is now a freelance writer and delighted to be sharing her talents and time with the wonderful Zippia audience.

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