Sometimes we may tender our notice of resignation in a rush without any plan, only to realise we shouldn’t have. In other cases, the resignation may be well thought out but circumstances require you to stay on with your current employer.
Whatever your reasons may be, you might already be thinking of withdrawing your letter of resignation.
Is withdrawal of resignation even possible?
Can you withdraw your resignation request during the notice period?
Whether you intend to take back your resignation request before your notice period begins or during, a successful resignation letter withdrawal depends on your employer.
Your employer has the option to allow or refuse a rehire, says Doris Chia, head of the Litigation, Dispute Resolution & Arbitration Department at David Lim & Partners LLP.
Rejection can be due to several reasons. Perhaps a replacement has already been hired before your retraction statement or the department’s headcount has officially been reduced. If your resignation also burnt bridges previously, the employer may be less willing to take you back.
More importantly, the employer is not obliged to take you in again based on your previous terms of employment or employment contract.
In other words, a new contract of employment may be issued and you would need to serve probation as any new employee according to company policy and your new employment contract. This typically ranges between three to six months. The employer may also revoke your employment during the probationary period with a contractually agreed notice.
In more favourable circumstances, they may simply agree to your withdrawal request by rejecting your resignation notice and let you continue your employment as though you never resigned. They may also come back with the counteroffer which you previously rejected.
Tips to professionally withdraw your resignation request
Now that you have decided that a withdrawal of your resignation letter is the best option for you, you want to ensure you submit a resignation withdrawal letter professionally. These tips will help you take the withdrawal of resignation letter step confidently.
1. Craft a resignation withdrawal letter
Any request made within the professional setting must be documented. Your resignation letter itself is an example.
In your retraction letter, apologise for any inconvenience caused and explain your reasons for taking back your resignation.
Maybe your financial situation took an unexpected turn and holding on to the job is necessary to support your family. Perhaps you had intended to leave to relocate with your spouse overseas but circumstances have delayed or prevented you from doing so.
In other instances, you may have received a counteroffer from your superior during your official resignation which you wish to accept and thus withdraw your resignation, even though the terms of contract may change.
Keep the letter succinct. You may view a resignation letter template towards the end.
2. Schedule a one-to-one meeting with your manager
Offer to speak to your manager in person to explain the matter more cohesively. This way, you can openly discuss the issues you ran into following your official resignation. This is also a convenient time for your manager to understand how to make your work experience better. They will also inform you whether it is possible to have you return and share their reasons.
3. Do not plead or threaten
It is good for you to prepare for worst-case scenarios where your withdrawal of resignation letter is rejected. Avoid pleading or begging your manager, as this appears unprofessional and undermines your positive attributes. More importantly, do not threaten your manager as this would certainly drive a wedge in your professional relationship with them.
It can be difficult to swallow the rejection of your request for withdrawal especially when you need the job due to an irreversible change in circumstances. For instance, your spouse could have been made redundant right after you tendered. A family member may require immediate medical care, which leaves you with additional financial commitments.
You may unknowingly appear desperate to take back the job even when it is impossible, but staying composed is necessary. Consider submitting an appeal through a formal letter to the company’s leaders to explain your challenge. You can also request your boss to direct you to other possible vacancies available within the company.
However, it is important to understand that such actions for withdrawal of resignation letter may not always be in your favour as companies strictly assess such situations on a case-by-case basis.
Nevertheless, you are advised to accept the outcome of no solution, thank your manager for taking the time to consider the withdrawal and bid farewell. Do offer to keep in touch for any potential future opportunities.
How do you write a resignation withdrawal letter?
You can use the following withdrawal of resignation letter template.
[Date of withdrawal]
Dear [name of boss],
I am writing to withdraw my letter of resignation, submitted on [date of resignation]. I no longer wish to resign and request that I be reinstated as [the role you resigned from] with [department you are part of].
I sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused by my withdrawal. I had intended to resign because [state reasons for resignation] but [state reason for withdrawal briefly].
Keeping to the expectations of my role, I will continue to perform and bring success to my team and the company.
Thank you for considering my request. I will be happy to speak to you in person to discuss the above at your earliest convenience.
You can contact me directly at [handphone number].