5 Things NOT to Do When You Resign

Published on: 8 Jan 2021


When it comes to telling your boss that you want to resign, there’s a right way to do it and a wrong way.

Do it right, and you’ve got a better chance of a glowing reference from your current employer in the future.

Get it wrong, and it could come back to haunt you if you cross paths with your boss or colleagues again one day.

In this article, we look at five things NOT to do when you resign.


Don't quit in a fit of anger

Whether it’s your boss giving you grief or a massive row with a colleague, we’ve all had those days when we feel like storming out of the office and declaring that we won’t we back. But, as tempting as it might be in that moment, the worst thing you can do is quit your job in a fit of anger and then regret the decision once you’ve had a chance to calm down 10 minutes later. Instead, take a few deep breathes, head outside for some fresh air or even just pop to the loo until the red mist disappears.


The personal touch

You’ve lined up a fantastic new job or decided to return to further education and the next step is to inform your current employer you’ll be leaving the company. But don’t simply leave a resignation letter on your boss’s desk or let them know by email – speak to them in person first and then provide written confirmation. Courtesy costs nothing and could help in the future if you end up working together again.


Short and sweet

When penning your resignation letter, keep it short and to the point. You don’t have to state why you’re leaving or let your current employer know what your new job is if you don’t want to. More importantly, resist the temptation to list all the negative things you disliked about your job that prompted you to look elsewhere for employment. Don’t forget, you might need a reference one day.


Left in the lurch

You’ve offered your resignation and you now have to work your notice, if required by your current employer. Refusing to do so and insisting on leaving the company immediately is usually a bad idea for a couple of reasons. First of all, you won’t look good in the eyes of your boss or your colleagues if you leave them in the lurch, plus you could be legally bound to work a notice period if stated in your contract.


Socially awkward

You’ve left your job and walked out of the door for the last time – but don’t be tempted to celebrate your newfound freedom with a rant on social media. Status updates detailing how much you hated your boss or how terrible your old job was might be entertaining for your friends to read but won’t reflect well on you if a future employer checks out your social profiles.