How to write a 'personal reasons' resignation letter (with examples)

How to write a 'personal reasons' resignation letter (with examples)
SEEK content teamupdated on 23 November, 2023

It’s rare these days to hear of people spending 40-plus years in one workplace. In fact, in Australia only 10% of people stay at the same company for more than 20 years. In most cases, the reason for leaving is simply that it’s time to move on and seek opportunities with a new employer. 

Alternatively, there may be a personal reason for leaving your job – in which case you’ll need to craft a personal reason resignation letter. This article covers everything you need to know about writing a personal reason resignation letter, when to write it and how much detail to include, so you can enter the next chapter of your career with all your workplace relationships intact.

Reasons for writing a resignation letter for personal reasons

There are many different personal reasons behind why people resign, but the one thing they all have in common is that they’re not directly related to the job. Here are some common situations where someone might need a personal reason resignation letter.

  • Health issues: an illness may require extended treatment and time to focus on recovery
  • Family reasons: resigning to take care of children or parents
  • Pursuing further education: taking time out to develop skills or get qualifications
  • Relocation: relocating to a different city or country often brings with it a change of job 
  • Personal growth and development: to travel or enjoy hobbies
  • Burnout: leaving to find a better work-life balance 
  • Ethical or moral conflicts: when your values don’t align with those of your workplace
  • Retirement: entering the next chapter of life

When to write a resignation letter due to personal reasons

To leave your job on good terms, it’s important to consider the timing of your resignation letter, so your employer can prepare for your absence. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Provide plenty of notice: most jobs require a minimum notice period between when you hand in your resignation and your final day on the job. Typically between one and four weeks – unless you hold a senior role, in which case it could be longer. Check your contract to see how much notice you need to provide.
  2. Plan to leave in a quiet period: although there might not ever be an ideal time to resign, it’s considerate to set your last day during a seasonal lull or after completing a big project.
  3. After your face-to-face meeting: if you told your manager in-person that you plan to resign, you still need to submit a formal resignation letter. You should do this as soon as you can after your announcement to leave. 

Tips for writing a personal reason resignation letter

While the vast majority of people will write a resignation letter at some point in their careers, it can still be a daunting task. Here are a few points to keep in mind when writing your resignation for personal reasons:

  • Keep it brief and professional: keep your letter to one or two paragraphs and don’t forget to proofread it before you submit it.
  • Provide context without oversharing: it’s worth touching on your reason for resigning, but there’s no need to go into detail.
  • Show gratitude: don’t forget to express your appreciation for the opportunities you’ve had and the relationships you’ve developed.
  • Offer to help with the transition: offer to help with onboarding and complete any projects you’re working on.
  • Avoid negativity or criticism: omit any ill feelings if you’re hoping to leave on positive terms.
  • Use a respectful and polite tone: as with all your work-related emails, a polite, friendly tone is best. 

How to format a personal reason resignation letter

There’s no single correct way to write a personal resignation letter – in fact, the best type is one that’s personalised to you and your workplace. Note that while you can write your resignation in the body of an email, it’s better if you craft a complately separate letter and send it as an email attachment. Here is a general outline of how to format a resignation letter.

  • Date and contact information: start your letter by including the date and your contact information, including your name, address, phone number and email address. You should also include your employer’s contact information.
  • Salutation and opening paragraph: begin your message with a polite salutation addressing your manager by name. In the opening paragraph, detail your intention to resign and provide the date of your final work day. 
  • Main body paragraph(s): in the main body of your letter, you can provide a little more context behind your reason for leaving. You can also express your gratitude for the opportunities you’ve had during your time at the organisation, and offer to help onboard your replacement. 
  • Closing paragraph and next steps: thank your employer and express your appreciation for your workmates. 
  • Name and signature: sign off with a closing valediction and your full name and signature. 

Example personal reason resignation letters

Need help crafting the perfect personal reason short resignation letter? In this section we provide a range of examples to start you off. Fiind the example that best suits your circumstances as a base for your own letter – or use a resignation letter template for some extra guidance on formatting.

Health-related resignation letter example

Dear [manager’s first name],

Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from the position of [job title] at [company], effective as of [date of last day of work]. Due to health challenges, I have decided to step back from my work commitments and prioritise my recovery. My time at [company] has been a valuable experience and I'm genuinely appreciative of the opportunities that have come my way.

I’m committed to helping you and the team with a seamless transition during my remaining time at work. Please don’t hesitate to let me know how I can help in the recruitment and training of my replacement. 

I deeply appreciate your understanding and support during this time. I’m profoundly grateful for all that you and the company have provided me.


[Your signature]

[Your typed name]

Family reasons resignation letter example

Dear [manager’s name],

Please accept this letter as my resignation from the position of [your position] at [company], with my last day of work to be [date]. Due to family commitments, I’m unable to continue in this role.

This has been a difficult decision, as I’ve enjoyed my time at [company] and have grown close to my colleagues. I'm genuinely grateful for the opportunities I’ve had working here and the mentorship you've provided.

Please let me know what I can do to assist an easy transition for you and the team.  


[Your signature]

[Your typed name]

Pursuing further education resignation letter example

Dear [manager’s name],

Please accept this letter as my resignation from the position of [your job title] at [company name], with my departure scheduled for [date of your last day]. I'm excited to share that I have been accepted into [programme name] and have decided to pursue further education.

My time at [company] has played a pivotal role in shaping my career and I'm deeply appreciative of the invaluable experience and knowledge I have gained here.

I’m committed to ensuring a smooth transition during my remaining time with the company and am fully prepared to help in the process of recruiting and training a suitable replacement. Please let me know how I can best facilitate the transition.


[Your signature]

[Your typed name]

Relocation resignation letter example

Dear [manager’s name],

Please accept this letter as my resignation from the position of [your job title] at [company], effective as of [date of your last day]. I’ve recently accepted an exciting opportunity in [country/city/state], where I’ll be moving in the near future.

It’s with mixed emotions that I say goodbye to a team and company that I respect so much. However, this new opportunity is a huge step in my personal and professional journey. I’m committed to ensuring a seamless transition for you and the team, and happy to help find and train a replacement.

I want to express my sincere appreciation for the opportunities and experiences I have had at [company].

Kind regards,

[Your signature]

[Your typed name]

Personal growth and development resignation letter example

Dear [manager’s name],

Please accept this letter as my resignation from the position of [your job title] at [company], with my last working day to be [date]. I’ve made the decision to focus on my personal growth and development, prompting my departure from the role.

My experience at [company] has been immensely valuable and I'm deeply appreciative of the experiences and knowledge I have accrued during my time here. This decision has not been an easy one, but I believe it’s in my best interest at this time. 

I can’t thank you enough for your guidance and for the unwavering support of the team.


[Your Signature]

[Your Typed Name]

Burnout resignation letter example

Dear [manager’s name],

Please accept this letter as my resignation from the position of [your job title] at [company], with my last working day set for [date]. After thorough reflection and consideration, I have decided to take a step back from my career and refocus on personal wellness.

My journey at this company has been both rewarding and enriching, and I’m genuinely appreciative of the opportunities and experiences I’ve had.

I’m grateful for your support and understanding as I finalise my current projects. Please let me know how else I can help to make this a smooth transition for you and the team.


[Your Signature]

[Your Typed Name]

Ethical or moral conflicts resignation letter

Dear [manager’s name],

Please accept this letter as my resignation from the position of [your job title] at [company], effective as of [date of last day]. Due to recent workplace changes, I feel that the company’s values and my own no longer align. 

I want to express my gratitude for the opportunities and experiences I’ve gained during my time with the company. During my remaining time here, I'm dedicated to ensuring a smooth transition and am happy to assist in the process of finding and training my replacement.

If there are any additional tasks or projects you would like me to complete before my departure, please let me know. I appreciate your understanding and wish you and the team all the best.


[Your Signature]

[Your Typed Name]

Retirement resignation letter

Dear [manager’s name],

I’m writing to let you know that I am planning to retire – please accept this as my formal resignation from my role of [job title] at [company], effective [date of last day]. This marks the end of a fulfilling career, and I’m profoundly appreciative of the opportunities, experiences and relationships I have cultivated during my time here.

Your guidance, along with the support of the entire team, has made my journey here exceptionally rewarding. I take pride in our collective accomplishments and hope that my contributions have had a positive impact on the company.

Please let me know how I can assist in the handover of my responsibilities to my replacement. I extend my best wishes to you and the entire team for continued success in the future.

Kind regards,

[Your Signature]

[Your Typed Name]

Resigning from a job is not always easy. Leaving a role can be challenging and emotional, but it’s important to remain professional throughout the resignation period. Craft a clear, concise and polite letter and remember to express your appreciation for the opportunities and experiences your employer has provided. 

By following our tips and examples of personal reason resignation letters, you’ll be in a good position to write a professional resignation letter in your own voice, so you can leave your employer and your teammates on a positive note.


What should I include in a personal reason resignation letter?

While it’s important to tailor your resignation letter to your personal circumstances, there are a few key elements that you should include, like:

  • The date
  • Your official title
  • Your last day
  • Your reason for leaving
  • Appreciation
  • Offer of support
  • Contact information
  • Full name and signature

How much notice should I give when resigning for personal reasons?

As a general rule, you should provide your employer with two to four weeks' notice as part of your resignation. With that said, it’s worth checking your contract of employment for the minimum notice period that you’re required to give.

Should I explain my personal reasons for resigning in detail?

It can be worth providing a brief explanation behind your decision to resign, but it’s up to you how much detail you’d like to provide. It’s generally best to keep your resignation letter brief and professional rather than delving into too much personal detail.

Should I speak to my employer before submitting a resignation letter?

It’s often a good idea to chat with your employer before handing in your resignation. Being upfront about your plans helps minimise misunderstandings and lets your employer prepare for your departure, helping maintain a positive relationship before you leave. 

How should I handle my remaining work responsibilities after resigning?

After handing in your resignation, it’s important to continue to work as normal during your notice period. This demonstrates your commitment and professionalism while also helping to provide a smooth transition. Here are some things you should do during the notice period:

  • Offer training
  • Complete unfinished work
  • Provide handover notes for the person taking over your job

Can I rescind my resignation if I change my mind?

In some cases, it may be possible to take back your resignation during your notice period. If you’ve already finished up, it is most likely too late to change your mind, especially if your old workplace has already filled your position. 

If you decide to retract your resignation within your notice period, contact your HR or supervisor to discuss your decision as soon as possible. They should be able to give you a good idea about what the next steps would be.

Should I mention my reasons for resigning in my exit interview?

It’s important to be honest about your decision to resign, but if you’re resigning for personal reasons, there’s no need to go into detail in your exit interview. It’s okay to provide constructive feedback on your employer and your old role, but if you wish to leave on good terms, it’s best to avoid being overly critical. The ultimate goal is to end things on good terms with your employer so you don’t impact any future professional opportunities. 

How can I maintain a positive relationship with my employer and colleagues after resigning?

By following our tips, you should be in a good position to maintain positive relationships with your previous employer and workmates. Be sure to:

  • Provide an adequate notice period
  • Maintain quality work during your final weeks
  • Express your gratitude
  • Offer assistance and training to ensure a smooth transition
  • Keep in touch with your old colleagues after you leave

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