Assumptions – ‘but for’ sales and growth

Your resignation: Short and simple

Are you ready to submit your resignation? Resigning has many ramifications for both you and your employer. It can bring forth strong reactions, surprise, and even attempts at interrogation. Before you share your big news, carefully consider the way you will handle this delicate situation.


The standard notice is two weeks. Try to allow for this time, to keep a positive spin on the transition with your coworkers. The goal is to make your departure graceful and positive.

Verbal resignation

A verbal resignation can put you in the position of needing to defend your decision. Remember, this is likely a surprise and a negative development for your supervisor. You may even be asked for suggestions about how to improve the organization. If you have been close to your supervisor, you may feel obliged to answer. This is not the time to share your comments. You are leaving for a new opportunity, you appreciate the opportunity you have had, and you are ready to help with the transition. That is all you need to share in a verbal resignation. You may want to have a few positive comments ready, in case you need to deflect the conversation away from the negative.

It is a good idea to schedule this meeting with your supervisor for the end of the workday. This way, you will have more control over ending the meeting quickly and strong reactions can dissipate before the next workday. Your boss will most likely be caught off guard and will be thinking about the impact of losing you from their team. Be sure to let them know you are ready to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

During your last days at your current employer, keep your comments positive so you will be remembered as a team player.

Written resignation

A written resignation allows you the opportunity to carefully compose your resignation and keep the message positive. Delivering the news in writing is usually perceived as permanent and will hopefully reduce the number of recitations you need to make. It may also dispel interrogations and negate the chance you will receive a counter offer, as it sends a clear message that your leaving is a fact and you will be gone by a certain date.

Expect a written resignation to be placed in your file, as well as be circulated to explain your leaving. A written resignation could easily outlast your current supervisor and coworkers in the organization. Keep it short, simple, and positive. Do not state any dissatisfaction with the organization or any individuals. You never know when you may meet again or what opportunity may arise in your future.

It is usually best to combine written and verbal resignation. Bring your written resignation to the verbal resignation meeting with your superior. This will send a clear message that you are serious about your resignation, and committed to a smooth and professional transition.

Keep it positive

Resignation usually means more work for the rest of your team. It may well cause your coworkers to ask awkward questions, and share their own discontent. If possible, avoid this situation. What you say will be remembered and may become exaggerated, or misinterpreted. Whatever you say, it will now be viewed as biased, so keep it short. The more discussion, the more questions will arise. Avoid discussion about your new employer.

Dwell on the positive. This is the time to express genuine appreciation for the opportunity you have had with this employer and your coworkers. Say thank you. If questions arise, turn the conversation to positive attributes about your experience with them.

Leave on the right note

Time spent nurturing relationships before you leave is a wise investment in your future. Take the time to speak with each person you have worked with—support staff, peers, executive personnel, and others. Use this time to clear up any unfinished business with them as much as possible. Be sensitive to their reactions, and avoid retelling your story. Keep your comments positive and constructive. Let people know how much you enjoyed working with them.

Use this opportunity to make the rounds and say goodbye. You never know when your paths may cross again.