Resigning From Work: A Checklist

| 4 min read
resigning from work

Gbemisola, a sales analyst had grown tired, weary of her present job and was planning to resign from work. She had an unresolved issue with a client who had paid for the service but was largely unsatisfied. In the middle of a growing email thread with the client, she got upset and ended up sending a rude email to the client.

Shortly after sending the email, she regretted her action but the damage had already been done. The issue with the client remained unresolved and was escalated to her line manager, Anthony. Her line manager learnt of the rude email and while throwing questions at her, she got caught up in her emotions yet again. She fired rude shots at her line manager and crossed the line of insubordination via cynical questions to her manager.

The case was reported to the human resource manager and she was handed query, which eventually resulted in the immediate termination of her appointment.

The scenario above comes begging with the question – what are the best ways of resigning from work?

Check Your Reason For Resigning From Work

resigning from work

It’s always important to check your reason for resigning from work. Is it a new job, a career change, relocation plans, tired of your present workplace and colleagues or are you travelling to study abroad? Answers to this will guide you on the steps you need to take and how to go about it. It would also help you determine if your reasons for resigning are legitimate enough or if you just need to look inward for a change.

State of Your Finances resigning from work

The state of your finances is important. Let us put this into perspective; If you’re resigning from work into a new job, how much do you have saved? Most personal finance professionals advice that before you resign from a job, you should have saved up to 3-6 months of your salary especially if you are not immediately transitioning into another stream of guaranteed steady income.

It is also good to state what lifestyle changes you’ll be making in the short term to give you access to more funds.

Go Over Your Job Contractresigning from work

Have you made the decision that you are resigning from work or are you still thinking about it? This is a perfect time to find your work contract, dust it and read through it again. Most employees are shocked to find out that they are required to give a month’s notice (and not 2 weeks) before they can resign from work.

You will also have a fresh perspective on what your obligations are to your employer when resigning. For instance, you cannot work with a competitor within the period of a year after you resign. Knowing things like this will help you avoid a rift or possible lawsuits.

Get Your Personal Items Outresigning from work

Once your mind is set on resigning from work, it is time to get your personal items out especially from your work computer and email. Most employees are shocked to find out that the moment they hand in their letter of resignation, they are asked to leave immediately and not given a chance to clear things out.

Prepare a Resignation Emailresigning from work

Type your resignation letter and save it in your email draft. Not everyone needs to know you are resigning from work; keep it lowkey. Before you send out your resignation to your HR manager, it is always a good gesture if you have a relationship with your boss to inform him/her verbally before you send an email. This could also be your line manager or the HR manager.

Don’t Close Doors You Walked Throughresigning from work

Tom Stoppard writes in his play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead: “Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.” No matter what your reasons are for resigning, don’t close the doors you walked through. Relationships are important in life and your career. Leave on good terms and always remember they might need you in the very near future.

Final Phaseresigning from work

When you are a week or two away from exiting the company, it is a good time to let close colleagues and associates know about your exit.

Last on your checklist should be to return every company property in your possession and express gratitude to the management and everyone for opportunities you have been given. You should also ask and collect recommendation letters for your professional profile.

In conclusion, it is very important to remain professional and committed to your job until the last second.

Princewill Akuma
Princewill is a marketing maven, who is passionate about user-centric marketing. His experience spans Tech service, Recruitment, Media and Entertainment sectors across Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania. He's a career adviser, mentor, hobbyist DJ and a lover of cardio exercise with a personal record of 23.49 km. Let's connect, i'll love to hear from you.


  1. i literally laughed out loud at the lady typing her resignation letter. tongue out and hitting the keys. i can totally relate.

  2. Hello,
    I enjoyed reading this piece, i resigned from my former job about three weeks ago.
    It was a situation where my immediate Boss( the COO) got angry based on some malicious reports she got about me. I felt very embarrased because she did not confirm what she heard from me but she bursed out in anger banging my table, ” if you can not do the job you can leave”

    This was not the first time that she will threathen me about my job but this time she was banging ny table and shouting … Immediately the CEO heard her voice, he rushed to my desk, he called me to his office and apologised, (she is the wife of the CEO and i reported dirtectly to her) At the point i told the CEO , am sending in my resignation letter.

    The CEO sent me a personal mail to apologise for what happened and pleaded with me to reconsider. Yes , i was going to reconsider but the COO sent me another email, validating and justifying her actions, without any form of apologies.. she did not see her action as unethical and unprofessional.
    At this point, i replied her e mail and sent in my resignation.

    I will like to have your thoughts on this.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Abisola,
      Sorry about your ordeal.

      I do strongly believe you’ll never enjoy working at the organisation because your COO and Wife to your Boss might see you as a point of conflict between her and her husband.

      Her actions as narrated here are very unprofessional but since you were apologised to by your CEO I would have asked you stay on the job, find another job while there and then move.

      Regardless of this, resigning from the job is still not a bad decision and I would advise you to update your professional profiles and start job hunting. Please do feel free to email us if you need further clarification.

      Wishing you all the best, thank you for reaching out.

  3. Hi Princewill,
    It’s funny your Article on ‘Job quitting’ came up at this time as i just resigned from my place of employment three(3)days ago. I love what I do and I have a relatively good interpersonal relationship with my Colleagues but i recently discovered that my Bosses’ objectives differs from the stated Company objectives. To make matters worse I am being owed up to fourteen(14)months salary, not to mention commission and other allowances.

    My Ag.C.E.O – to whom i report directly – is trying to get me to reverse my decision (during my 1month notice) because he thinks no other employee can fill the vacuum i will leave behind soon and he doesn’t know how to get the money to pay me off.
    I must admit that there is the fear of the unknown but i believe i have made enough sacrifice and taken enough risk for the Organisation. I need to get back on the ‘mill’ and make up for lost times before i run out of ‘steam’….
    What do you think?


    • Hi Simisola,
      It’s really a terrible working condition to be in and being owed for fourteen months, wow.

      I think if they knew no employee can fill the vacuum your exist would create maybe the situation could have been handled better but while you exist please be at your best and keep the relationships you’ve built.

      I do not think you have made the wrong move, it’s timer grow and the only way is to get back in the proverbial mill like you’ve mentioned and we believe if you keep up the enthusiasm, you don’t run out of steam.

      Fear is only a mind game, pay no mind to it but prepare yourself for the job application and interviews phases; be strategic. Go at it with your best and with time you’ll land better opportunities, we are always here to help.
      Best regards.

  4. When I was quitting my last job it was pretty funny. I just came to work one day and I realised that I don’t want to work in such a bad environment anymore so I went to my bosses and I told them all I honestly think about them and about the company. I got fired in 15 minutes with a full month salary paid 🙂 I did not left the doors open, I slammed them 🙂

  5. Hi Prince,
    I am in this kind of mess am always thinking of resigning from my job everyday since last year but I have not gotten another job.
    The issue I have is that I have not been recognized and appreciated by my managers despite my professionally and hardwork.
    They prefer people who do high service which is not my style and promote them for the work I labour for.
    A particular white manager does not even want to hear my name because I usually challenge his unprofessional way of working and his technical ability. And because of that he is fighting against my promotion and every good recommendation that my immediate manager is making on my behalf.
    And am getting worry everyday consigning this and I wish to resign. please advise.

    • Hi Samuel,
      While you can challenge ways of work, I’ll advise you’re professional about it always; now or in the future.

      On your resignation, if you made the decision to leave, it’s only right to prepare yourself and plan your exit; upgrading your profile, searching and landing another opportunity while at your present job and after you have resigned.

      Wish you all the best ahead.

  6. I am at the verge of resigning from a job I took up four months ago. The work environment is becoming more unfriendly everyday, the work conditions are so harsh, my efforts are not appreciated in any way and I’m being owed two months salary as I write this piece. I resigned from my previous job because of unpaid salary running into seven months but now I am experiencing the same situation again. What can I do other than to take a walk? I want to go back to school and hopefully move from the media industry to integrated marketing communications/PR/Advertising/corporate Communications etc . Your kind advice would be greatly appreciated

    • Hi Inyene Ibanga,
      So sad to hear your ordeal but I believe you have an actionable plan, write it down and begin to execute. If you need any help as regards skills you need to develop for marketing communications please do not hesitate to write me, we are always here to help. Fear not, you’ll rise above these soon.
      Best Regards.

  7. Am find the write up so interesting. Am about putting in my resignation letter by next week, reason being that my MD gave me two weeks suspension unjustly without query of any kind. Most recently we engaged an accountant who is my subordinate. My MD decided to be dealing with the guy instead of me. To thus end, he is doing everything to make sure I resign my appointment with his company.

  8. I planning to resign from my job in 2019.having serve the organization for 19yrs.I will like to purse my passion which is entrepreneurship and am always feeling unfulfilled.again it is so demanding which is affecting my health ,lam 49yrs of age working in a hospitality firm(hotel).my family and friends do not subscribe to my decision due to fear of unknown and vested interest. My salary is BTW #150 to #200000per month.pls .advice me

    • Hi Gloria,
      I believe your passion has already set you on fire to say no! Your family and friends do care and their fears are valid but I believe you have a solid time to plan your exit and also convince them to support you through this process. Also, find a network of people or friends you may know who have done a similar thing in the past to learn from their mistakes and other good experiences. We wish you all the best with your pursuit, our team would put your question out on our platforms for our community to further get their thoughts on this.
      Best Regards

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