How To Hand In Your Notice


You've just got the best news ever! You've been offered the job of your dreams. There's just one problem, you have to quit your current role and you have no idea how. You've had a good run in your current job but it's time for a change. How do you say goodbye without causing offence and ruining the good relationship you have with your boss.

Below we’ve listed 5 steps to handing in your notice to help you resign from your job with ease.


Know What You’re Going To Do After You Leave

This is the number one step before you even dream of leaving. If you're leaving for another job, make sure you have accepted your new job offer and signed a contract. The reason you're leaving needs to be locked down before you resign from your current role. The last thing you want is to end up jobless.


Act Professional

Regardless of whether you have a good relationship with your boss or not, you need to be professional when you tell them you are leaving. Ask to speak to them privately at their earliest convenience. When you meet them, thank them for the time you have spent working for their company and explain that you have decided to pursue another opportunity. During this conversation you should ask them to give you a reference if ever you need one. It’s important to get this confirmed now rather than contact them again months/years later. After you have said what you needed to, it’s best to leave it there. Your boss may take this news as a shock and will probably have over a million thoughts running through their head. Chances are, they thought things were going well and didn't expect this new. Give them time to process and come back to you in few days.

It’s also important to remind yourself that if you want this reference, you need to take your notice period seriously. It’s not an opportunity to slack off. Get things done and finalised before you leave and be sure to write a detailed handover document. You will also be asked to return all work items, laptop, phone, keys to company car etc. If you work to the best of your ability in the most professional manor in your last weeks, it will help you to get a glowing reference and also show your employer that you still care and have no bad feelings.


Prepare For A Counter Offer

When you hand in your notice your boss may approach you with a counter offer. It may be in the moment of giving your notice or it could be in the days you’re carrying out your notice. In a previous Sigmar blog, 3 Reasons Counter Offers Are A Bad Idea we explain the negative repercussions of accepting a counter offer. If your boss tries to persuade you to stay you need to remember the reasons you wanted to leave and stick with them.


Never Bad Mouth

No matter your reasons for leaving, you should never speak ill of your employer or the company you are leaving. No matter your feelings, you don't want to burn your bridges. You never know when you may have to work with that company again so bad mouthing them will only make things awkward for you in the future.

You may also be asked to take part in an exit interview before you finish. This is a good time to engage in constructive feedback about your role and the company.  It is not an opportunity to criticise and be negative. Try to be as positive as you can and if you need to say something negative be honest and polite.

Your colleagues and future colleagues may also ask what your reasons are for leaving but you should keep things professional. Your negative opinion may reflect negatively on the company, but it’ll probably reflect worse on you.


Say Thank You

You’ve spent 40 hours a week with your colleagues for the last number of months/years so it’s definitely a good idea to say goodbye and thank you. You could do this in an email or ask your colleagues out to lunch/coffee on your last day.

I always love seeing people writing goodbye posts on their LinkedIn to share their positive experience of a company. It’s always a nice touch to let people know they meant a lot to you.


Handing in your notice can be a difficult thing to do, especially if you have spent a long time with the company. Once you remain respectful and carry out your notice with a positive attitude everything will be fine. It’ll also ensure you keep the door open for any future engagement with those colleagues of the company.


Photo Credit: KatyRaeDesigns

Posted by Clare Reynolds on 8 August 2019

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