How to withdraw your resignation letter

Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

Set the scene, you have decided to leave your current job in search of a new challenge. Your mind is made, you have formally resigned with acceptance and your last day is looming. However, as time progresses you become unsure if you have made the right decision. You might have received a counteroffer, or a new project has come available or simply the new opportunity that once appealed to you has changed in some way. As a result, you are hoping to withdraw your resignation and stay within the organisation, but you have never seen or done this yourself in the past and have no idea how to tackle such a task.

We know, it is a little ironic that a recruitment agency is talking about withdrawing resignation letters when our job is to help people move, but as firm believers of the success of our partners drives the success of our business, we know that not every opportunity is right for everyone.

Therefore, during this article, we will show you a simple step-by-step process on how to withdraw your resignation letter the right way, giving you the best chance to stay exactly where you are should that be your wish.

Step 1 — Prepare for any outcome

In the wise words of Benjamin Franklin, ‘by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’. Before you action, anything note that you have already had your resignation letter accepted, as a result, your company has likely put in processes to replace your position or move your responsibilities elsewhere. As a result, there is a chance that despite your interest to stay, it might not be reciprocated.

Preparing for this result ahead of taking any further step will put you in the right head space no matter the outcome, allowing you to pivot towards your next step whatever that might be.

Step 2 — Understand where you stand

If you are fully committed to rescinding your resignation, then you will need to understand where you stand. We would advise that you speak with your direct manager to get a better grasp of how the wider organisation might feel about you retracting your resignation, what the possible options might be for you and if your manager would even want this.

Depending on the answer from your manager will inform you if you move on to step 3 or not. If the organisation is completely against you rescinding your resignation, then you know where you stand and can pivot to a formal job search, if they are open then you can formalise it next.

Step 3 — Follow up with all formal parties

As with your resignation you will have likely informed a number of people in writing (manager and HR are most common) and with any withdrawal of resignation, you will need to do the same. Following on from your chat with your manager, we would recommend following up swiftly with your withdrawal stating your reason (counteroffer, change of heart etc.) giving them ample time to process and accept or decline before your last official working day.

Sometimes during these scenarios, the answer might be a quick yes (or no) and other times it might require a few more heads during the decision process. Give the company time to conclude and keep in close contact with your manager to learn how the talks are progressing.

When writing a resignation withdrawal letter there is no one size fits all structure, but we would always advise you to keep it short, sharp, and snappy with a good explanation as to why you would like to remain in the company whilst being professional and courteous of the company’s time. You can use the examples below to help structure your own should you ever need it.

Resignation withdrawal example (counteroffer)

Hello (Name)

After speaking with (managers name) earlier this week and receiving the new offer to remain with (company name) I have decided to accept and withdraw my initial resignation which was handed in on (date).

I am extremely excited about the prospect of continued growth with the team and would like to thank the team for proposing something that truly met the needs I was looking for

If there is anything else required from my side, please do not hesitate to contact me, looking forward to hear the next steps.

All the best

(Name)

Resignation withdrawal example (change of circumstances)

Hello (Name)

Due to a change in circumstances which were highlighted to (managers name) earlier today, I would like to withdraw my resignation letter which was hande in on (date).

If possible, I would like to remain at (company’s name) in the role of (job title). I appreciate that actions might have already been taken since my resignation to cover the workload, but I would welcome a chat if further information is required.

Thank you for your consideration.

(Name)

It is a rare instance when resignation letters are withdrawn, but when you need to do just that, feel free to reflect on this article to help navigate the process correctly. Be mindful however of withdrawing any resignation, depending on your reasonings it might result in the company being sceptical about your commitment to the long-term and if there are troubled waters ahead you might be one of the first let go.

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Eden Whitcomb

Eden Whitcomb

Bringing simplicity to the chaos of recruitment, one educational post at a time.