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5 Ways To Resign From Your Job… Gracefully

Bosses do cringe when employees take leave while serving their notice period.


Making the decision to leave a job isn’t easy. Arguably, one of the toughest parts about a resignation is to find the most appropriate opportunity to bring up the topic and make arrangements to leave your job on a good note with your soon-to-be ex-colleagues.

Rachel Ho works as a Human Resources manager in a multi-national corporation. In this article, Rachel shares with us some insights and advice on how Singaporeans can resign from their jobs in a smooth and professional way.

Read Also: 4 Career Decisions Young Singaporeans Have To Consider Today That Our Parents Didn’t

#1 Make Sure You Have Finalised The Employment Details With Your New Employer

It is important to have all the employment details, such as the commencement date, remuneration package, confirmed with your new employer before tendering your resignation. Ensure that everything is set in stone before you tender your resignation.

To be on a safer note, signing off on the dotted line puts all parties on the same page to prevent any miscommunications to arise during the transition.

Rachel shares: “I would say getting a black and white agreement with the new employer is essential. That will prevent yourself from getting into sticky situations with employers who renege on their original offer and instead leave their employee hanging with lesser terms thereafter.”

#2 Tell Your Direct Superior Before Anyone Else

News travel fast, especially news like your intention to resign. Once you made up your mind to resign, let your direct superior be the first person you inform. The last thing you want is for them to hear it from someone else instead of you. This is common courtesy and in keeping with the proper chain of communication.

#3 Initiate A Transition Plan

Taking the initiative to work out a transition plan shows that you still care about the company. Keep your plan simple and suggest who might be suitable to takeover your work and what needs to be done. Your boss will make the ultimate decision, but your efforts show that you are willing to work things out responsibly as you transition out.

Rachel continues: “Respect that your boss may not want you to announce your departure from the company until they have a transition plan or a firmer timeline in place. It would be a nice gesture to be flexible and explore extending your notice period if they are unable to on-board a replacement in time. If your role is hard to fill in, work out a win-win arrangement with your employer. Find a way that works best for both parties as best you can .”

#4 Have Consistent Reasons You Are Leaving

Prepare a coherent explanation for your departure. Keep your story short and neutral to avoid rumors and speculation due to inconsistent sharing.

Rachel’s word of advice: “Never badmouth anyone, whether its before or after you leave. Any given industry is small enough such that everyone knows everybody. So things can go downhill fast if word of your badmouthing gets out.”

#5 Be Prepared For The Worse

Things may not turn out as what you expect at times. There may be instances whereby your boss decides to terminate your employment on the spot due to the sensitive nature of your job that may have conflicts of interests with your new employer.

Some companies have a policy where you are will be placed on paid but mandatory “Garden Leave”. If so, ensure they abide the MOM’s rules and regulations and  that you are properly compensated for the arrangement.

Rachel: “I’ve come across unreasonable bosses who refused to accept a resignation. In this situation, it is important to escalate the resignation and notify the Human Resources directly.  On the other hand, I’ve met employees who took medical leave all the way after they resigned. Such disruptive behaviour affects the team’s morale and does not reflect well on the resignees, even if they have been performing well before they resigned.”

Give Your 100%, Until Your Last Day

Employees should not put in lesser effort at work after they resigned. After all, you still have a responsibility to fulfill. Behaving professionally should reflect the kind of values you have,  and allow you to leave with a clear conscience and place you in the best possible position to embark on the next chapter of your career! is a website that aims to provide interesting, bite-sized financial articles which are relevant to the average Singaporean. Subscribe to our free e-newsletter to receive exclusive content not available on our website. Follow us as well on Instagram @DNSsingapore to get your daily dose of finance knowledge through photos.


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