How to Resign From a Job for Personal Reasons

Leaving a job
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When you need to resign from a job for personal reasons instead of professional ones, it can be difficult to know how to tell your employer, and how much information to share.

Sometimes you do not need to provide the details to your employer. For example, you can simply state that you are leaving for personal reasons or family reasons.

In other cases, you may want to give a reason. For example, if you are leaving because of family illness or you are going to be a stay-at-home parent, you might share this.

Read below for tips on how to resign, how to tell your boss, and how to remain on good terms with the company after you leave.

How Much to Share

It can be hard to know how much to share with your employer about why you are leaving. If you are at all uneasy with sharing your reasons, simply say that you are leaving for "personal reasons." This will demonstrate to your boss that you are not leaving because you are unhappy with the company, without giving too many details.

If you think you might reapply for a job at the company once your personal issues are settled, you might provide a bit more detail. For example, if you are resigning because you are going to be a stay-at-home parent for a couple of years, you might tell this to your boss.

If you are actually resigning because you are unhappy with the job, do not go into detail about this. You want to maintain a good relationship with the company no matter what.

In this case, you can use the vague language that you are "leaving for personal reasons."

How to Tell Your Boss

When resigning for personal reasons, the first step is to talk to your boss in person. You can choose whether or not you want to provide him or her with personal details as to why you are leaving.

If you want to keep it vague, simply say you are leaving for personal reasons or family reasons.

Talking to your boss first is a professional, courteous way to begin the resignation process.

How to Write a Resignation Letter

After speaking to your boss, follow up with a resignation letter to your boss and to your human resources office. Restate that you are leaving for personal reasons, and include details on when you will be leaving. Also offer to help during the transition, if feasible. 

Like your in-person conversation with your boss, you can choose how much to share about why you are leaving. You can either simply state that you are leaving for personal reasons, or go into a bit more detail. However, do not go into too much detail. You want to keep the letter brief.

Read here for a sample resignation letter for when you leave for personal reasons.

Be Positive

When discussing the company and the job in your resignation letter and in your conversation with your boss, keep it positive. There’s nothing to gain by being negative, even if it was a difficult work environment. You’re leaving, so it’s over.

Your employer might have to be a reference or write you a letter of recommendation in the future.

Therefore, you want to remain on good terms with the company. You don't want what you say about your employer to jeopardize your future job opportunities.

When resigning, you might even say you are leaving for personal reasons (or no specific reason) when the reason is in fact that you are unhappy with the job or company. This helps you avoid being critical of the company in your resignation.

If you hate your job, hate the company, or the pay is terrible, you shouldn’t mention that in your letter or your conversation with your boss.

Other Ways to Resign from a Job

Again, the best way to resign from your job is to tell your employer in person, and then follow up with an official resignation business letter. However, sometimes personal issues come up quickly, and force you to resign in other, quicker ways.

When there are extenuating circumstances, you might need to resign on the phone or send an email message. However, remember that these are less professional ways of resigning, so only use these methods in emergency situations.

Ideally, you want to give your employer at least two weeks notice when you resign. This is professional and courteous, and will help you stay on good terms with your boss. However, in some circumstances, you will have to resign sooner. Again, only do this when it is an emergency. Give the company as much time as possible.

Resignation Letters for Personal Reasons Examples

Here are sample resignation letters, including general letters that cite personal reasons for resigning, and others that specify in more detail the reasons for your leaving.

Read More: How to Quit a Job | Resignation Letter Writing Tips