How to resign my job?

How do I resign questions on travel forums tend to encourage responses such as – just tellthe b.t..d’s what to do with the job! In fact for most people, particularly those in a professional job, it’s difficult to resign. Resigning is telling the world “I’m taking the road less traveled”. I’m leaving and I don’t have a job to go to. Its the moment of no return and you are informed the group of people least likely to understand your motivation – your colleagues and bosses!


How to actually resign – the actual answer is of course professionally:

  • try asking for unpaid leave or a sabbatical first. Even if you know the company doesn’t normally allow this it means that you have given them every option to retain you. If you subsequently resign they cannot pretend to be surprised!
  • try to give as much notice as possible; if you know it will be hard for you to be replaced this is particularly difficult, it may give your employer a chance for you to help train your replacement.
  • remember the person you are handing your resignation letter to may be your future referee, or you may even need a job back in the company when you return from your trip of a lifetime! Don’t burn your bridges.
  • explain that you are leaving for your reasons, not because you hate the company, the job or the people!
  • Don’t just drop an email to your supervisor. Ask for an interview, at a time that’s not really busy for him/her. Resign verbally and politely briefly explaining your future plans, the boss will probably be relieved that you haven’t been headhunted by the opposition. You will probably need to follow up the interview with a printed/signed resignation letter.

Make sure you get contact details of potential referees, you can never be sure when you particularly if its possible that you will end up working while traveling. Make sure you keep in contact when you’re traveling as a courtesy.

2 thoughts on “How to resign my job?”

  1. Hi Lissie,

    Watching and preparing for the (IT) outsourcing wave to wash over you is another semi-proactive way.

    And then when it comes, politely resign in an “I’m leaving to pursue other interests” manner – avoid burning your bridges as clients/customers.

    And keep paddling!

    Mark McClure’s last blog post..Video Email To Your CEO

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