What To Expect When You’re Expecting…To Resign — 9 More Tips For Leaving Your Job (Don’ts)

John Hartley
6 min readOct 15, 2021

Part 2 of the “What to Expect” series focuses on the “Don’ts” or things that you should avoid when resigning from a position. Read Part 1 here.

Don’t resign with memes.

Don’t drag everyone else down

You have your reasons for leaving and that’s all well and good, but don’t ruin the experience for everyone else. It is likely that you are the only one leaving, so don’t spend your time bad-mouthing the company, people at the company, or airing grievances.

Instead, spend some time helping others focus on the positives and the things that you are sad to leave behind. Or just don’t say anything at all. It’s like the saying goes, “if you can’t say anything nice, maybe just keep your yapper shut.

Don’t hold back in your exit interview

In most companies, especially those with an HR department, it is likely that you will be asked to participate in an exit interview. Exit interviews are generally 30 minutes to an hour and focus on “what could the company be doing better,” and other questions on why you decided to leave.

Have a plan for the items you would like to discuss in the exit interview and don’t hold back when it is time to give feedback. This is the one time during your resignation where putting everything out there is beneficial, but try to do so in a constructive manner. Writing it down ahead of time will help prevent you from meandering.

Don’t dump everything out and point at it; instead, give reasons why you were unhappy with how something was handled. The more context you give, the more likely others will benefit from your feedback.

You can follow the model of “what I saw was X, what I wanted to see was Y,” to try and give constructive feedback.

Don’t openly steal people from the company

In the “Do’s” (read more here) we discussed reading through the employee handbook to understand how to resign. Once again, you can turn to the…

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