I am going to resign from my firm today. It has been a through and through poor experience w.r.t growth, where the firm is at multiple times knowingly acted in bad faith.

For this reason I do not wish to engage or entertain the question "What would make you stay here?". At the same time I do not want to come off as impolite or impractical. My intuition is to say "I have already accepted the offer from another firm and in the spirit of good faith to them, I do not wish to engage in negotiation". Does this sound OK?

Later, the conversation happened and the management is just not accepting my resignation, even though I sent an email. They still told me "take a couple of days to think about it". What can I do at this point? Is this a tactic?

Edit: They acknowledged the resignation and I'm moving to a much better place. Thanks everyone.

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 8:46
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    What country are you in? In some countries, you don't have to wait for them to accept your resignation, you just leave; whereas in others, you can't start your new job until your old job releases you (e.g. in India, by means of a relieving letter).
    – shoover
    Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 21:42
  • Another question says "I work at a large company in the UK". Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 6:17
  • @shoover India. However my contract states that either party can unilaterally terminate emplyement.
    – user121416
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 14:26
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    Have you actually received a counteroffer and/or a refusal to accept your resignation, or is this question theoretical?
    – stannius
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 17:56

5 Answers 5


If you want to be polite as possible, then just say:

"While I have enjoyed my time here, I have decided to move on, for personal reasons. I'm sorry, but my decision is final and it would not be fair to you to waste your time discussing this matter further."

It gives a reason without leaving any room for discussion. It's firm, polite, and professional. Most importantly, such a response is very unlikely to come back to haunt you.

Diplomacy is the art of telling someone to go to Hell in such a way as to get them to look forward to the trip.

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 6:07

You have made up your mind. There is nothing that they can say or do to keep you there. So everything else than turning down their request is impolite and impractical.

Saying you have accepted another job is fine, but it gives them a point to argue. They can say they can offer you something better, they can say that talking/negotiations are not unethical, or whatever. You want to prevent this. Note that I would only say this if you actually accepted another offer, otherwise you're lying to them which, although they have been dishonest with you, is not necessary.

You don't want to argue/go into discussions, so do not give them anything to go upon. Keep it clear and simple: "I have made my decision to leave, and do not wish to enter any negotiations", and repeat as often as necessary. If they keep insisting, they are being impolite and impractical, not you.

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    This is really all there is to it. Politely repeating that you have made up your mind and are leaving, until the message actually sinks in.
    – Gh0stFish
    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 11:04
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    "I have given my two weeks notice, so my last day will be 31 October" - Make sure you have a line like that in an email/letter. This is a clear deadline without room for discussions Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 14:13
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    +1. Though I'd also recommend that OP (or future readers in similar situations) not tell their current employer who their new employer will be. They'll almost certainly find out eventually, but depending on how bad "bad faith" is, there's a chance they'll try to sabotage OP's next gig as leverage to force OP to stay. I see no reason to give them that opportunity.
    – BThompson
    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 17:23
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    If you feel this is a shade too blunt, you can add something along the lines of "I'm glad you have appreciated my past contributions to [the team, project X, whatever]. However I have made my decision ..." etc. Note that you are already casting your work for them into the past showing you have moved on.
    – Dragonel
    Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 18:25
  • As long as it's a "right to work" region or similar situation, the employer simply can't force someone to stay, and most times can't even if there's a contract, but IANA lawyer. So like @SirDuckduck says, put the date in writing and they can't force you to come into work after that. Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 19:17

There is no way at all that management can "refuse to accept resignation". You want to quit, it's your right to quit, and there's nothing they can do to stop you. They cannot force you to stay in that company.

You did the right and nice thing, by sending an email to warn them. Usually, as a follow up to that first communication (your question does not specify a location so I will refer to my experience in the EU), you are supposed to send an "official" letter (usually in paper, with your signature on it) where you explain in legalese that you quit, that your notice period lasts X, and yadda yadda yadda. That's what you need to do now. Send that official letter. They will be forced to acknowledge it. And if they don't, get a lawyer or talk to a union. And then accept your offer for a better job at a (hopefully) better company.

TL;DR there's no way in hell they can prevent you from quitting, so educate yourself about the correct procedure on how to do it and what your rights are just do it.

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    This is a bit location-specific. There are countries where you are required to get a "relieving letter" before you're allowed to take another job. I don't think this is from such a country, though. Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 16:22
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    @Wesley Yeah, the USA got rid of that in 1865. There was a certain amount of debate on the topic :) Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 19:26
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    "I will refer to my experience in the EU), you are supposed to send an "official" letter (usually in paper, with your signature on it)" Whether or not you're supposed to send it on paper is very location dependent (or even dependent on the company). I'm also in the EU, but here a short email stating your last work day and notice period is enough. Otherwise, I agree with your answer. You handed in your resignation (using email, so there is a paper trail). There's nothing the boss can do about it anymore.
    – Dnomyar96
    Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 6:07
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    @Harper-ReinstateMonica Sure, but like half the questions on this site from India are about what to do when companies refuse or delay giving you a relieving letter.
    – nick012000
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 0:07
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    @Dnomyar96, in the Netherlands your resignation is only legally binding if it bears your signature (the one you put on physical documents, your passport, etc.). There is no requirement that the letter is sent by snail-mail, but only an email without a legal signature is not enough. (I also live in the Netherlands and researched the topic about a year ago when I wanted to hand in my resignation during covid times and a very short deadline to ensure I could make the start date of my new job). Commented Nov 1, 2021 at 14:30

At the same time I do not want to come off as impolite or impractical.

This is the problem right here.

The more you try to control what someone thinks of you, the more power you're giving that person to control you. This kind of two-way control is impractical. You have to be willing to let go, if you want the other person to let go as well.

And please, don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying you should start behaving like an asshole. But this kind of attitude you have is a real problem and it's going to plague you for the rest of your life if you don't try to address it.

Read "When I Say No, I Feel Guilty" by Manuel J. Smith

I know the title of that book sounds weird, but please suspend your judgement and read its Amazon customer reviews before you dismiss that book out of hand.


The next step (aside from keeping a copy of your original resignation email) is to let everyone else know you're leaving. Send out an email. Put it in your calendar. Make an announcement. Or do whatever else you would normally do.

  • +1 for recommending Manual J. Smith's book. Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 19:21
  • The last paragraph is a bit more confrontational than is likely necessary, but there is a point when being confrontational is appropriate. And the OP shouldn't let "professionalism" be used against them. There are times when you can be professional and confrontational at the same time, and degrees of which depend on industry, situation, and many other things. Also, being "non-professional" for 5 minutes isn't going to hurt your career, as long as you aren't doing something illegal or vastly outrageous. Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 19:21
  • @computercarguy, Ok, I've just removed that part. Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 21:37
  • @StephanBranczyk, you didn't have to remove it, just rewording it so it doesn't sound like an attack works for me. "What'cha gonna do about it, chump?" was the sentiment I though was too much. Maybe something like "I've given you the courtesy of handing in my resignation, with my last day explicitly stated. I'm afraid there's nothing you can do to change that, unless you want me gone before then. Please, just stop harassing me about it." It's confrontational and assertive, but without "fighting words". That way, if the manager doesn't like it, they fight "courtesy" and the OP leaving sooner. Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 22:21

Management cannot prevent you from resigning, or even delay it, so them saying "take a couple of days to think about it" should be taken for what it is: a suggestion.

In the U.S. at least, you could say "I've had it, I quit, I'm out of here" and there'd be nothing that management could do to stop you. In fact, I worked at a company where someone basically did that: they announced late on Friday afternoon that they had a job offer that they needed to respond to right away and they were quitting effective that day. Management was unhappy, but there was ultimately nothing they could do about it. (I'm obviously not recommending that you do that; my point is management can't stop you from quitting).

I strongly recommend watching this video in particular on the "Broken Record Technique." If they say something like "take a few days to think about it," simply reply with "I can, but it won't change my decision." If they say "let's negotiate," simply reply "we can, but it won't change my decision." You don't need to be aggressive, but hold your ground regardless of what they do to try to derail you.

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