Quitting a job is never easy.
It’s almost like breaking up with someone – there are plenty of good memories, you learned a lot, but ultimately, it’s time to move on when it’s time to move on.
Breakups can be messy. They involve a lot of crying and “it’s not you, it’s me”’s.
However, when it’s time for you to quit a job, there is no added emotional hassle (thank god).
Instead, you must write a letter of resignation. And it must be classy and professional, too.
Yes, even if your boss was Satan. Or worse, Michael Scott.
Among other things, you want to make sure you stay friends with your employers after you quit to get those valuable future references.
In this article, we’ll show you:
1) Why writing a letter of resignation is so important
4) How to structure a formal letter of resignation [with an example]
3) Ready, fill-in-the-blank free samples for:
- Letter of resignation to your supervisor
- Letter of resignation to the board
- Immediate/short notice letter of resignation
- Emailing your letter of resignation
4) How to submit the resignation letter
Why Writing a Letter of Resignation Matters
A resignation letter is a legal document where you announce your intent to leave your current position within a company. It gives your employer formal proof that you want to resign and a traceable record that the conversation happened.
I’m sure you’ve seen many movies where the protagonist barges in the office of his supervisor and yells: “That’s it, I quit!” Then, everybody claps, as the protagonist takes his wife and kids to live in some sort of ranch or camping in Hawaii or something.
While that’s going on, all I can think about is: “He’s in so much legal trouble!”
Although that looks pretty cool, in real life, quitting is much less glamorous and I advise you to virtually do the opposite of the cool movie guy.
You should give at least a two-weeks notice period (for some employers, this can be way longer) when you leave a job and make sure you end things on a good note.
Let me tell you why:
When you leave a company, you are entitled to certain employment-related benefits, like severance pay, pension benefits, or overtime pay. You can only get them, however, if you hand in your resignation prior to your departure and within the contracted notice period.
Check your company policy in the employee handbook or your employment contract for the exact benefits and the exact time-frame, because they may vary.
Also, you want to be helpful with the transition of responsibilities and daily duties, so that no information is lost or misinterpreted after you leave. At the end of the day, someone else will take your position: this could be an internal employee or they could hire someone else.
Whichever the case, your team members need to know your exact duties and responsibilities, so almost no knowledge is lost in the process. The next guy/gal shouldn’t have a hard time figuring out what they’re supposed to do.
Essentially, those two weeks are when you pass the crown and make life easier for the person that will take your job. On top of that, you want to maintain a positive relationship with this employee so that you can use them as a reference in the future.