If This is Your Year to Quit, Write the Best Resignation Letter You Can

(From our friends at FlexJobs.com)

3.9 million workers quit their jobs at the start of 2023, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest JOLTS report. At the same time, recent surveys have indicated this trend may continue, with many workers considering a career change this year. If you’re one of them, a resignation letter is part of the process. Here’s how to do it right.

According to FlexJobs, your official farewell should demonstrate your professionalism and express gratitude for those who positively impacted your work experience. A well-written resignation can increase your chances of getting a good reference and keep from burning bridges. After all, you never know when you may be working with a former colleague in the future – or when you may think about returning to your former company. (According to surveys, 62% of workers who changed jobs during the Great Resignation regret it and would return to their previous employer., and employers say almost 5 percent of new hires are boomerang employees.)

Of course, you’re probably aware of the customary guidelines. Most employers expect two weeks’ notice, but if you’re in management or another kind of key role, you should allow more time for a transition. The FlexJobs team recommends treating your resignation letter be treated like a formal business letter. Resignation letters should be formatted professionally and only contain a paragraph or two. Avoid letting your letter run over to a second page or become a platform for venting.

You should include these elements:

  • Announcing your intention to leave on a specific date
  • Your reason for leaving, even if it’s simply to “pursue other career opportunities”
  • A mention of your current workload and plan for resolving it before you leave. “I have two projects that I’m currently working on, and I will work with you to delegate everything on my plate to the appropriate team members before I leave.”

You should never use your resignation letter to settle scores, complain about your boss, the company, or your job, or provide too much information about your reason for leaving. Keep it short and classy, and you can’t go wrong. Your boss may be disappointed that you’re leaving, but most managers are realistic about turnover. Keep in mind, though, that companies have every right to terminate you immediately (usually paying you the two weeks’ salary in lieu of having you stay on.)

This may feel like a shock, but you shouldn’t take it personally. Most companies have had at least one or two bad experiences with employees behaving badly before they left. From spreading gossip or discontent to sabotaging projects and attempting to steal clients or valued employees, many managers would rather be safe than sorry and simply cut their losses. Even well-intended employees don’t produce their best work during their final couple of weeks, so it’s probably more effective to delegate the work and start recruiting as soon as possible.

You can find more tips for a better resignation letter and samples to draw from here.

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