Is it a good idea to withdraw your resignation notice?

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You think you are ready to move on from your current job… or are you?

What happens if you have a change of heart and realise you don't want to leave your current role after you’ve tendered your resignation? Is it a good idea to withdraw your resignation notice?

There can be several reasons why you initially decide to leave your job. Maybe it’s because of the thought of heading to greener pastures, or unresolvable issues in the office that prompted thoughts of an exit.

Related: Should I quit my job? – 8 signs to watch out for

But even after you’ve deliberated over it for months, you might still feel a twinge of regret after turning in your resignation letter.

Are you merely having a case of cold feet, or are you making a mistake by leaving your current job? Here are some steps to take when you’re considering withdrawing your resignation letter.

Related: Download a free resignation letter template

Can you withdraw your resignation letter?

What were the circumstances that led you to turn in your resignation, and how have those circumstances changed?

In some cases, employers may propose additional benefits or revised remuneration to convince an employee to stay.

If you were seeking better prospects but on further reflection, you would like to take up your current employer’s offer, changing your mind is a fairly clear-cut process.

Related: How to resign professionally from your current job

Being on good terms with your employer and colleagues greatly increases the chances that you’ll be accepted back into the job you actually enjoy.

On the other hand, if you have burnt bridges or made a hasty decision to leave at a bad time for the company, withdrawing your resignation now could reflect poorly on you. Tread carefully as you don’t want to appear fickle or disloyal.

Here are some key steps to consider:

1. Write a formal email requesting a withdrawal of your resignation

If your initial resignation was done verbally, putting your withdrawal in writing cements your intentions to stay at the company.

Be sure to apologise sincerely for any inconvenience caused, but otherwise keep the message short and succinct. You should reserve lengthy explanations for face-to-face discussions.

2. Reiterate your desire to stay

Talk to your manager about your plans to stay, stating your justifications for your earlier stance and reiterating your desire to stay with the company.

Think of this meeting as a second hiring interview. Rather than only talking about how much the company has done for you as your reason for staying, take the opportunity to state how you would contribute to the company in the event that they accept your withdrawal of resignation.

Also, take time to listen to what your manager has to say, and address any queries or concerns. Having a second shot at your current role is a valuable opportunity to reignite your passion for your job.

3. Prepare to be turned down

After receiving your letter of resignation, the company is not obliged to accept your withdrawal and may choose to let you go instead.

Even if you have a great relationship with your employer and your colleagues, there’s a good chance that they will still turn you down.

Your supervisor and co-workers would have spent time putting measures in place to handle your workload after you have served your notice period, and may already be in the process of hiring someone else as your replacement.

Related: How to serve your notice period

Above all, be gracious about the final decision

Often in most scenarios, it may not be good idea to withdraw your resignation letter after submitting it to your manager.

Whatever the final decision may be, take the time to think about all the plans you had made after resigning, and work on seeing those plans come to fruition.

This may very well be a learning experience for you, so try to think positively as you close this chapter in your career and embark on a new journey to find an exciting new role that inspires and engages you.

If you need professional help for your new career journey, submit your CV and discuss your options with one of our professional recruitment consultants in Singapore.

Are you looking for more resignation tips and advice? Visit our resignation hub.