How to announce your resignation

One challenge to tackle in the process of resigning from your job is how to announce your resignation to your colleagues.

While not the most difficult or awkward of tasks, it is still an important announcement you’ll need to make and composing it properly will help you leave with a good impression.

Why should you announce your resignation?

Regardless of whether your departure from your company is a happy one, it is polite to announce to your colleagues that you’re leaving.

It is also a good opportunity to meet with your close colleagues in person. Leaving without a proper announcement is an easy way to burn bridges, particularly with those who would consider you a friend. The business world can be small; you want to build and maintain a good reputation.

When should you announce your resignation to your colleagues?

It is crucial that the first person you announce your resignation to is your boss. You do not want them to find out from somebody else that you have decided to leave the company. Not only is this disrespectful towards your superior, but you may find yourself in trouble for violating company policy. The last thing you want to do is create more difficulties for yourself as you leave.

Once you’ve spoken with your boss about your resignation, you will want to confirm these company policies. This will include:

  • Your official last day at work
  • What steps you will need to take to formally resign
  • What tasks you will be responsible for before you leave, and
  • When you can inform your colleagues that you’re leaving, and whether your boss would prefer to do this themselves

Most companies will consider one month’s notice adequate in order to prepare for your departure. Consider carefully the timeline in the lead up to your last day, and whether or not your colleagues will be receptive to your decision.

Of course, those involved in your handover will need to be informed earlier; it will be up to yourself and your boss as to when you will organise these meetings and discussions. However, for the rest of your colleagues not directly involved, and for those colleagues with whom you aren’t very close, it is best to carefully consider the relationships you have with them, and whether you want to give them time to organise a final farewell or not.

Be careful to only include the colleagues you have interacted with. A company-wide email announcing your departure isn’t appropriate, and may cause confusion and frustration.

How to write your resignation announcement

First, you may want to consider whether you will write a personalised email to individual colleagues, or if you would prefer to write a group email. You may want to write certain people individually, and then send a group email to others. That’s okay. What’s important is that you keep your group email polite, positive, and thankful.

Remember: the goal of this email is to leave a good impression, and maintain your work contacts. You never know when you will work with your colleagues again!

  • Begin with a formal greeting.
  • Then, include a sentence about your positive experience in the company. Even if you haven’t enjoyed your time at the company, find something positive, even if it is just about how much you have learned.
  • Write a sentence about your decision to move on. You don’t need to say why you’ve decided to quit; in this case, you may just want to say that it’s time for you to move on.
  • If you feel it is appropriate, include your contact details so your colleagues can keep in touch.
  • Include a final sentence thanking your colleagues and the company for their support.
  • Sign off with your name.

Remember that you may want to BCC your colleagues in order to avoid sharing their contact details (should they prefer it), and so they are not bombarded with emails in case people choose to reply all.

What not to include in your announcement

As with any other interaction at work, keep your announcement professional. That means:

  • Don’t air your grievances
  • Don’t insult or swear
  • Keep your language professional

Also keep in mind that you do not need to share your reasons for leaving, and you do not need to tell your colleagues where you are going next. In fact, in some cases, it is beneficial not to. Use your best judgement.

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