What To Expect When You’re Expecting…To Resign — 10 Tips When Leaving Your Job

John Hartley
5 min readSep 1, 2021

The Great Resignation is upon us! As someone who added to the statistics and recently switched jobs, I thought it might be helpful to walk through ten of the “Do’s” of resigning.

The discomfort in planning your final days may be enough to prevent you from leaving, but chin up, you got this.

Do understand why you want to leave

You will be asked this a million times, especially as you’re interviewing elsewhere, so be sure to understand the real reason you’re leaving.

Better opportunities? Poor leadership? No career advancement? Better pay?

Understanding why you want to leave will help throughout the resignation process, so spend some time being introspective.

Do read through your employee handbook on how to appropriately resign

RTFM. Think of this as a cover your butt clause. When you began your employment, you likely signed a document that contractual binds you to the company until either side terminates your employment.

Reading the manual may shed light on appropriate length of transition, possible loss of assets, and what you need to return on your final day.

It will also likely give insight into any non-compete or non-solicitation statements that could result in legal documents if not followed.

Do your homework and make sure you understand what the company expects.

If there is no handbook, well, YOLO, let’s get this train rolling.

Do resign face-to-face

You don’t have to do this, but for me, it’s the right thing to do. Schedule 15 minutes to talk directly to your boss in person or on [insert video communication tool] if you’re remote. Face-to-face moves through any follow-up questions much faster and will tighten the feedback loop.

Do give a full two weeks notice

Giving at least two weeks allows your company to pick your brain a few last times and make sure they have things covered.

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John Hartley

Engineering leader with a passion for building and growing teams. Writing about leadership and management in the tech industry. Director of Eng @ Curology