28 January 2022

How to Resign and Step Into A New Role with Confidence

Paul Halsall

Red Tiger Consulting


You will always remember resigning from your first job – I was leaving to go to a competitor and was instantly told to leave the office that day and put on gardening leave (I was on a minimum of 1 month notice; I gave them 3 months as I had projects to finish). My employer did try and wriggle out of it (and tried to avoid paying me a bonus) but in the end, with the help of a legal friend, I was able to get my 3 months wages and my annual bonus and have the rest of that summer off.

It’s so important to get your resignation right and no-one really advises you how to resign nor do you get much help on how to then approach your new role. As a recruiter and a career coach I come across this all the time and this is why I thought I would write a blog post with some handy information on how to approach resigning and starting a new role.

Coaching can help all the way across the various elements of this blog, so it is worth considering the use of a career coach. It can be invaluable to have independent help if, for example, you are not sure what direction to take your career, or perhaps you want to start your new role in the correct way to make the right impression and maximise your chances of high performance.


It is important to not do anything until you have had an exchange of letter between you and your future employer. This is usually either an offer letter or a formal contract of employment. I had a candidate just the other week looking to resign after a verbal offer – I had to interject and tell them to wait until they get the offer in writing (and preferably have the full contract at the same time) before they resign.

It is human nature to want to get difficult conversations, like resigning, out of the way quickly, but when it comes to handing in your notice you really do need to hold tight until you are happy with the offer and have all the details in writing.


When you are thinking of resigning you need to check all the details of your current employment contract and the company policy as to how you resign. What you should have been aware of weeks if not months before this, is what amount of notice period you will need to work. This is negotiable but always assume the worst-case scenario i.e. having to work your full notice.

How do you officially resign – is it to your line manager or HR or someone else? When I resigned from my first role the first 3 people in the list (Line Manager, HR Manager, and MD) were out of the office so I went to the next person on the list with my letter – the second in command of our team.

Also, always think it through before resigning. What can really take people by surprise is a counter-offer from their existing employer, usually in the form of a pay rise and greater responsibility – make sure you’re prepared for this possibility. It is flattering in a way to have a counter-offer, and it is up to individuals as to what to do if this occurs, but what I would ask myself is 2 things: A) Why has it taken a resignation to get you that pay rise? and B) How will things change once you resign? (for example, once you have said you want to leave, that will always be on your current company’s mind no matter what)


how to resign with confidence: the process

By now you have made your mind up that you will be leaving the role to move onto the next step in your career. Resigning can be the hardest bit and very important. It can be emotional leaving any job, but just remember to really try to leave on good terms (it’s a small world). If you have trust in your line manager, and if they are not the ones that you resign to, I suggest that you speak to them first before you officially resign, out of respect and also trust.

Verbally tell them and also have it in writing. Be clear on your reasons so that you can explain. Remember that team managers are usually under a lot of pressure so there could be initial emotion from them, but don’t take it the wrong way if your boss shows some emotion at you leaving. Above all, make sure you leave on good terms.


Serving your notice period can be a tricky time as your head is probably already thinking about leaving and your soon-to-be new role. We see notice periods of 1 month up to 6 months (and you can even get beyond that in some cases). It is so important during this period that you stay professional and try to stay as motivated as possible.

If your company is able to move quickly you may be required to do a hand-over. I would suggest in any role, even if you are not looking to leave, make sure that you document as much as possible about your process and tasks. Imagine if (God forbid) you are off sick for a while and someone has to step into your role – where do they start? Documentation will help in either a handover situation or will make you look good upon exit of your role/the company.


Some businesses may require for you to conduct an exit interview – the first stage is to determine how they use the information that you will give them. It is important to be professional, honest, and constructive. They will want to know the motivations behind you leaving. The better businesses treat Exit Interviews as more than just a HR box-ticking exercise, and utilise key themes to present them back to the senior leadership team.


It’s inevitable that there will be a leaving speech (be prepared to say a few words) and you may want to organise a leaving do. Our advice here is simple – don’t make a fool out of yourself telling some home truths to your previous line manager; that should have all come out at the Exit interview.


Career coaching, or specifically Transition coaching, has really opened my eyes to support in moving to a new role. Role changes I’ve had in the past have never really required any preparation for my next role in advance of starting. How many of us have just turned up on day one with so much to soak up and so little time to understand things? If you are reading this and you or anyone you know is considering or about to change roles, it is most definitely worth exploring some transition coaching.

One top tip I have is to make sure that you try and have some meetings with the new business as early as possible, just to follow on from the interview so that you can understand your new company/team structure and have a plan in place for your first few months in the role. Never underestimate how much starting a new role can take out of you and never underestimate the benefit of having a career coach. With the right one it would pay back your investment many times over, not only in monetary terms (you are more likely to climb the career ladder with a coach) but also more importantly your happiness and mental wellbeing.

Hopefully this blog post on how to resign with confidence gives you what you need, but if you would like to discuss anything covered in here with one of our team please get in touch. If you are due to start in a new role and want to hear more about Transition Coaching, then visit our Coaching page to request a free clarity meeting consultation with us.


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Published by Paul Halsall

Paul is an experienced head hunter, data and insight specialist, trainer and coach. His experience lies in Location Planning and Mapping but more recently within Business Management, working internationally on a variety of accounts.


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