Resigning? Do It With Dignity

4 min read
Resigning? Do It With Dignity

We have all had jobs that we haven’t loved. I’m guessing plenty of us had also had less than ideal managers and bosses as well?

If you’re at that point where you just can’t stand it anymore it might just be time to give it the old heave ho! Even if you’ve had a better offer, need to move house or the commute is beyond ridiculous, when it comes to telling your boss, it’s definitely one of life’s moments that comes under ‘most difficult things to do, ever!’


Whatever the reason, leaving your job on a high note, resigning with class and dignity ensures your reputation is left intact without negative impact on your career down the track. Resigning via text message or social media is extremely bad form, some even say that email is inappropriate except in circumstances where a personal meeting is not possible.

What is the best way to quit…

In person is best, no matter how much you dislike the person. Try to make a time when the boss is in the right frame of mind to listen, schedule a meeting at a convenient time – first thing in the morning is often good before the hassles of the day have started. Keep it positive and professional, avoid being rude and insulting at all costs. Don’t forget, you may need a recommendation down the track and also, you never know where people will end up.

You will also need to put it in writing as a paper trail for HR. A formal resignation letter can be written and handed to your boss at the same time that you resign. You should keep it simple, if you wished you could include a simple note of gratitude such as ‘thanks for the opportunity to work here’.

What happens next

How much notice you give generally depends on how long you have been in the job, your level of seniority, what industry you work in and Fair Work rules.

Checking out company policy is a good idea too, especially if you are going to a new job with a competitor. You may find yourself being shown the door immediately to ensure you don’t take off with any trade secrets.

Some companies now do exit interviews in an effort to understand why they are losing talent and where they can improve, as well as an opportunity for general discussion of your experiences during your term of employment. It is an opportunity to give your employer feedback and whilst it may seem like the ideal time to air grievances, make sure this is done in a non-threatening and constructive manner, even if all you really want to do is flip them the bird and tell them where to go!

Keep it professional to the end with colleagues as well as your boss, especially if you are leaving on unfavourable terms. It may make you feel better to trash the boss but that happy feeling won’t last and could also have the potential to destroy relationships with co-workers that you value and intend to keep in touch with after you leave.

Finish with dignity and peace of mind knowing that you have done your best. Slacking off, long lunches, tantrums and bad attitudes will be the last thing remembered after you leave, even if you were a model employee for 5 years. Acting out may come back to haunt you in the future and perhaps even damage future career prospects.

Be the better person, serve your full notice if required and do a thorough handover. Leave gracefully and with your dignity intact. Onwards and upwards from here!


Have you had any cringe worthy experiences resigning from jobs?

Do you have a feel good story you would like to share?


About Author

Jody Allen

Jody is the founder and essence of Stay at Home Mum. An insatiable appetite for reading from a very young age had Jody harbouring dreams of being a pu...Read Moreblished author since primary school. That deep-seeded need to write found its way to the public eye in 2011 with the launch of SAHM. Fast forward 4 years and a few thousand articles Jody has fulfilled her dream of being published in print. With the 2014 launch of Once a Month Cooking and 2015's Live Well on Less, thanks to Penguin Random House, Jody shows no signs of slowing down. The master of true native content, Jody lives and experiences first hand every word of advertorial she pens. Mum to two magnificent boys and wife to her beloved Brendan; Jody's voice is a sure fire winner when you need to talk to Mums. Read Less

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