How to resign from a job in 2023

How to resign from a job in 2023
Phili Alexander

How to resign from a job in 2023

Our top advice on how to write your resignation and navigating your notice period.

There often comes a time where people decide to leave their current job and move onto pastures new. The days of employees staying at one company for decades until retirement is long gone, and this rarely happens now.

But while resignations are commonplace, there is still a process that needs to be followed – from the initial announcement, right up until your last day. If you’re on the verge of resigning, here are the key parts of that process. 


The preparation: knowing your rights

Check your contract for things like your notice period and any rules around terminating your contract. Are you still on probation, and if so, how does this affect timeframes? Work out things like your annual leave allowance, as this may be prorated, and any money you may owe the company for things like season ticket loans.

Be especially thorough if you’re going to a competitor and have a clause in your contract around this – it may be under a section called ‘restrictive covenants’. It should detail the actions an employer can take if you go to a competitor. This may mean you have to leave sooner than your notice period and/or be placed on gardening leave.


The resignation format: keep it both verbal and in writing

Your resignation letter will need to be in writing, so the company has a record. However, this shouldn’t be the only form of communication around this. It’s always a good idea to speak to your manager first – ideally in person, although nowadays a video call may be the only option.

Don’t tell your colleagues beforehand either; your manager should be the first to know. This avoids them receiving a surprise. Remember you want to keep good relationships where possible, so this human touch is important. When speaking with them, talk about the value you feel you’ll get from your new opportunity, rather than bad-mouthing the current one

If you’d like to leave earlier than your notice period allows, politely ask your manager and see what response you get. The likelihood is that this will need to go in as a formal request, which can be covered in the subsequent resignation letter.

An email to your manager will suffice, but they may ask you to copy in the HR department as well. Also, ask if the letter needs to be printed off as a hard copy.


The resignation letter: how to structure it

If the letter needs to be given as a hard copy, ensure the date, company name and company address is on there. If it’s being done over email, then this isn’t necessary.

In both cases, address it to your manager and keep it short. The content doesn’t need to be too long and complicated – the real depth will already have been covered in your verbal conversation (and if not, it may be covered in your exit interview).

Briefly state your reason for leaving. If you’ve found a new job, you don’t need to state the name of the company you’re going to. Simply say you’ve found another opportunity which you’d like to explore.

However, if you’re going to a competitor and have a restrictive covenant clause in your contract (as mentioned earlier), it’s good practice to let your employer know who you’re moving to. That way they can activate the rules in your contract. Don’t try to hide this, as they will probably find out anyway – and you don’t want to end up in a legal battle for breach of contract

If you’re happy to work your contracted notice period, then state this. If you’d like to leave earlier, add this as a request.

Finally, finish with a word of thanks for the opportunity to work with them. Although this isn’t a necessity, it’s a nice touch. 

If you’d like to make your life easier, why not download our resignation letter template? [LINK] This can be easily copied into an email or document as well.


The counter offer: how to respond to it

You may find that your current employer is keen to keep you onboard and gives you a counteroffer. This is especially likely in the current market, where retention has become a top priority for businesses.

The first thing to do is consider why you wanted to leave in the first place. Was it just money or was there more to it? If it’s the latter, then the counteroffer may not solve this issue, especially if the new role is something that excites you. Often, people who accept a counteroffer end up leaving not long after anyway, as there were other things at play.

Even if money was the overriding factor, both options (staying where you are and moving on) give you a healthy pay rise, so you should then weigh up other factors. These include:


Progression opportunities

Job satisfaction

Company culture


Work-life balance



Write a list and see which of the two jobs tick the most boxes. This can go a long way towards helping you make up your mind.

You also need to take into account the fact that you only got a better deal once you resigned, and not beforeOf courseyour employer doesn't want you to leave, but the fact they didn’t reward you beforehand should set some alarm bells ringing.

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