Resigning from your first job, or a job that you really love, can be a tricky situation. You might feel you have a lot of responsibilities at your office, or that you don’t want to offend or upset your boss or coworkers. Turning in a two week notice can be stressful and nerve-wracking. There are lots of things you can do to prepare ahead of time to ensure that resigning from your job goes smoothly. 

Be sure you have another job lined up

You shouldn’t even consider resigning until you’ve lined up another job and work out the details of when you’ll be changing offices. This will help you narrow down your last date of work with your current job, and give your boss a better idea of how much time they have left with you.

Take inventory of everything you’re responsible for at your office

Before you write up your resignation letter, take inventory of what sorts of responsibilities you have at work. This should include things that your job specifically entails, as well as anything additional that you’ve “adopted” as a part of your job. What clients are on your caseload? Are you responsible for making follow-up phone calls or writing emails? Are you responsible for covering a specific beat at your newspaper? Have you become the go-to girl for bringing in birthday treats for your office ladies? Make a list of all these things so that your boss has a concise list of what exactly he’ll be losing when you leave. 

Write up a personalized resignation letter

When the time comes to write up your resignation letter, make it personal. Thank your boss for the opportunity to work for the company and list some things that you learned in your time there. If you feel comfortable, you can also tell your boss where you accepted a new job. At the end of the letter, be sure to include the date of your last day.

Submit your resignation letter at least two weeks before your last day

The standard across most industries is a “two-week notice,” but if you know ahead of time when you’ll be leaving, there’s nothing wrong with submitting your resignation letter earlier than that. This will give your boss more time to find a replacement and give you time to tie up any loose ends before you leave.

Offer to help train whoever will be taking over your position

If your boss is able to hire a replacement quickly enough, offer to help train them in your role so that they know what to do before you leave.

Do as much as you can to make the transition smooth for your office

See what kinds of things you can do around the office to help ease the transition. Can you clean and organize your desk/office space? Can you help file paperwork? What sorts of things can you tie up around your office so that leaving doesn’t devastate the balance? 

Follow up with your boss after you leave 

A week or two after you begin your new job, send a thank you letter to your former boss and give them an update on how your new job is going (bonus points if you include specific things that your boss helped you learn that are helping you in your new job). Also include your phone number, email address and social media handles so that your former boss and co-workers can have a way to connect with you. 

Handling your resignation in a mature and professional way will help your boss feel more comfortable with the idea of you leaving. It can be scary to think of how your boss and co-workers may react to the news but in order to continue growing professionally, it is necessary to learn how to resign. 

Georgia G

Georgia Gallagher graduated from the University of Alabama in the summer of 2019 where she majored in Journalism and Political Science. She is currently working as a Cast Member at  Walt Disney World in Florida. In her free time she can be found advocating for pro-life policies and working with single or low-income mothers. She often says that her planner is second only to her Bible and she’s never caught without a cup of coffee in her hand.