The ultimate Ooops! – how to retract a resignation

What if in a hot-headed moment, you quit your job and then, a few days later, changed your mind? Maybe it was the promise of a better job which never progressed to a proper contract. Or perhaps a change in your personal circumstances means that you can no longer take that sabbatical or return to the world of study. Whatever the reason, if you’ve ever found yourself needing to retract a resignation, you are not alone.


Fortunately, it’s never too late to issue a retraction. It may of course fall on deaf ears, and your employers are well within their rights to deny your request. But there are tried and tested steps to recover from this incredibly awkward situation, as recommended by HR Digest:


Submit a written request to retract your resignation as soon as you decide you want to stay. Inform your boss and/or HR in writing and in person.


Make your letter professional and serious. Follow a business letter format and be precise.


The first paragraph should read along the lines of, ‘As discussed today, due to a change in my circumstances, I wish to formally retract my resignation from [Company Name]. Please accept this letter as a retraction of my resignation letter dated [date of your letter of resignation].


The second paragraph could read, ‘I look forward to continuing work with [Company Name] as it has given me a lot of opportunities. In return, I offer my full commitment and will continue to carry out my responsibilities to the best of my ability to support the goals of the company. Please be assured that by offering the benefit of my skills, knowledge, expertise and network, I will soon make up for any inconvenience my resignation may have caused. Please accept my heartfelt apologies.’


End the note with an expression of gratitude for your employer’s understanding and consideration before signing off in a formal manner.


Regardless of your employer’s response, perform your role to the best of your ability. Even if your request is initially refused, a great performance during your notice period may serve to reverse that decision. Be mindful that you’ll still need a glowing reference for your future job too.


If your employer rejects your request for retraction, it might put you in a tight spot, especially if you don’t have another job lined up. In that case, you need to accept the situation with grace and promptly contact a trustworthy, reputable recruitment agency such as ABL Recruitment. We are the UK’s number multilingual recruitment agency and we will quickly find you your next dream job and help you nail the interview. Please email us at or call us on 020 7092 3939 to brainstorm the options.