- Decide whether you’ll start your discussion by phone, via Zoom, or with an email.
- Begin your resignation letter by thanking your boss and the company for your experience.
- Make sure to send a copy of your letter to your manager and HR.
- Don’t badmouth your employer to other people or via social media.
Today, just over 1 in 3 Americans work from home full time, according to a recent report from Pew Research Center.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies worldwide have begun creating more opportunities to work from home. This new dynamic can create new considerations, though — especially when you decide it’s time to leave a remote position.
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Although your work environment might have changed, one thing has remained the same: the need to know how to resign professionally.
Here are some of our top tips on how to resign remotely.
Tip 1: Decide How You Will Resign
When you work remotely and don’t go into an office every day, it can be hard to know what the professional standard is for how to resign. Do you have to do it in person?
Approaches can vary, though some experts say setting up a meeting with your boss is a good first step.
Prepare your resignation letter before making contact with your employer, said Ashley Stahl, career expert and bestselling author of “You Turn: Get Unstuck, Discover Your Direction, Design Your Dream Career.”
Email or phone your boss to set up a phone call or Zoom meeting. During your call, inform them you’ll be resigning.
And don’t neglect to practice.
I recommend rehearsing what you plan to say. Because it’s not in person, you can even use a cheat sheet to stay on track, added Stahl.
Other experts note that sending a resignation letter via email is also acceptable, though it’s a less personable way to notify your boss.
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Tip 2: Frame Your Resignation Letter in a Positive Light
After you’ve spoken to your supervisor, put your intentions in writing with a resignation letter. Make sure you frame the letter in a positive light so you can part ways on a good note.
Thank the person you reported to for their leadership and for their helping you become better at your job and allowing you to receive offers you might not have received before you worked for them, recommended Fred Coon, chairperson and CEO of Stewart, Cooper & Coon.
If it’s anywhere near true, it counts in the good column.
In addition, include all the pertinent details and even let them know you’re willing to ensure you’re leaving them in the best position possible.
Clearly state your final workday in date format: My last day is Friday, September 22, 2023, suggested Stahl.
Highlight what you’re willing to do. For example, train the next employee, be available for consultation for one month following resignation to finalize any project details, etc.
While your letter doesn’t have to state your reason for leaving, it’s fine to say you’re pursuing another opportunity.
However, if you’re leaving a job because you’ve had negative experiences with your employer, keep your explanation vague. You could say that you’re resigning “for personal reasons.”
Tip 3: Keep a Log of Everything You Did for the Company
Being able to show a strong track record with an employer can go a long way, especially if you’re searching for a job or negotiating in a new position. Writers, for example, may gather clips of work they’ve written.
If the materials you collect are in line with the terms of your contract, it can be a beneficial move.
Other best practices include collecting fodder to support the work you did at the company, said Stahl.
Make sure your numbers are accurate to prove your successes.
Tip 4: Don’t Badmouth Your Employer
If you’re leaving because of poor work conditions, low pay, or not being properly valued by your employer, it can be tempting to spread the word about how badly you were treated. But don’t.
Airing the company’s dirty laundry with coworkers or other business acquaintances can burn bridges with potential employers. It may also reflect negatively on your professionalism.
Refrain from saying anything negative about your employer or colleagues once you’ve left the company, advised Stahl.
And never badmouth your boss at an interview or with others in your network.
Not badmouthing extends to social media, too. A recent survey found that over 70% of employers use applicants’ social media accounts during the vetting process. Speaking poorly about an employer could give them cause for concern.
Tip 5: Consider Taking a Counteroffer
You email your resignation letter — then an email comes back offering more money, more perks, and better benefits. Do you take the counteroffer?
Everything always starts with said Coon.
If your decision to leave was less about money and more about not wanting to sit in front of a computer all day, a counteroffer with a higher salary likely won’t be as meaningful. If you’re not being treated well or respected, better benefits won’t change that dynamic.
What’s more, the seed has been planted in their minds that you intend to resign.
What they know now is that you’re willing to leave their company for more pay, and they’ll start looking for someone to replace you, warned Coon.
Frequently Asked Questions About Resigning
How do you resign without burning bridges?
Resign in a professional manner to avoid burning bridges. Not giving proper notice, leaving projects undone, and badmouthing the company after you leave can leave a negative impression.
Previously, people held jobs for a long time. That’s just not the case anymore, explained Stahl.
You might easily run into a coworker or previous manager at a new job. Your previous colleague might be the new hiring manager for a coveted position you’re seeking.
Who do you send your resignation letter to?
A resignation letter serves as proof that you properly communicated your intention to leave.
You will send two resignation letters: one to your direct supervisor and one to HR, explained Stahl.
In the unlikely event your supervisor quits or is fired, you need to have on record that you did, in fact, provide adequate notice.
Informing your boss and HR also gives them the notice they need to start backfilling your position.
What day of the week is best to resign?
Experts differ in their approach to the best day of the week to resign, with both Monday and Friday as strong considerations. Resigning on a Monday gives management a week to begin crafting their strategy for your exit and preparing for your replacement.
If you resign on a Friday, your boss can reflect on what’s needed over the weekend and get ready to draft plans come Monday.