A candidate asked how they should give their notice and leave on good terms:

I’m very excited about a new job I’ll be starting in three weeks but I’m nervous about resigning from my current job. When I submit my notice it will come as quite a shock to my direct report and colleagues; what is the best way to provide my notice? I want to leave on good terms but I know that my shock departure is going to create quite a gap and will add a lot of work to already busy plates.

We asked Olena Kuzemczak from our Winnipeg office for her advice on the topic. As a recruitment specialist in Sales and Marketing in the “hot” Winnipeg market, Olena often advises candidates on how to professionally hand in their resignation before starting an exciting new opportunity.

Here is what she had to say:

Making an effort to leave your employer with grace can greatly contribute to your success down the road. Here in the Manitoba market, you will commonly hear “everyone knows everyone”. Although this is not entirely accurate, there is some truth to it. You never know when you might come across someone again in your professional career, so it’s important to resign with poise and leave a professional impression.

Here are a few tips on how to resign gracefully:

  • Do not blindside your employer, deliver the message yourself. Your direct supervisor should be the first person to know you’re leaving. Wait to speak to him or her first before sharing the news with colleagues. This will minimize the risk of having it leaked through the grapevine.
  • When giving a notice, ensure that you give the standard two weeks’ notice or longer so your employer has time to search and train the new person coming into the role.  As difficult as it is to deliver the news, it is always better to give your notice right away.
  • Some people submit a letter of resignation and if you decide to take this route, maintain a professional tone throughout the letter and show appreciation for the opportunity. Arranging a face-to-face meeting to resign is strongly encouraged. This will show that you take the situation seriously and demonstrate your level of integrity.
  • Keep the conversation positive when discussing any issues. Do not point fingers at anyone and possess accountability.
  • After you have discussed your reason for leaving, offer solutions, suggestions and share ideas that a new employee can benefit from. If there’s no documentation already in place, set a plan to document as many aspects of your role as possible.
  • During your last couple of weeks in the role, complete as much work as you can and use your time wisely to thank all your direct reports and colleagues who have helped you along the way. You will want to keep those relationships and continue to grow your existing network. Either you or someone in your network will cross paths with your former employers or colleagues and it is best to not burn any bridges.
  • Lastly, if you are asked to do an exit interview, this is usually a good sign. Your employer values your opinion and it will give you the opportunity to provide insight for improvements. You should still avoid being overly negative, and finish on a positive note.

Starting a new job can be intimidating and leaving a place where you understood the culture, your role and built long-lasting relationships can be difficult. But as much as you are trying to make a good impression when you start a new job, it is just as important to make a good impression when you leave your old.


Olena’s passion for working with people has led her through a successful career in human resources and now into recruitment. After graduating from the University of Winnipeg, Olena took on a number of roles in human resources, including recruiting for various positions and coaching new hires. In a previous HR role she made presentations to hundreds of entry level candidates on topics such as ‘How to Write a Resume’ and ‘How to Prepare for an Interview’. Olena now specializes in the recruitment of top sales and marketing professionals, and is a firm believer in the adage “people hire people, not resumes”. She believes finding quality candidates requires more than just looking for a set of qualifications that match a job description. To ensure a complete match, Olena invests time in understanding both clients and candidates to find out who they are and what they are looking for, as companies and as people.

You can reach Olena at 204.515.0800 or email okuzemczak@theheadhunters.ca