Is Withdrawal of Your Resignation Letter a Wise Decision?

When we resign, more often than not, we look towards the next step in our career. However, if you feel a little regret or realise the decision was a wrong move, you might be thinking about whether withdrawal is an option. Fret not, we have the answer to your question.

resignation withdrawal

Sometimes we may tender our 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 hang on.

Whatever your reasons may be, you might already be thinking of withdrawing your letter of resignation.

Is this even possible?

Can you withdraw your resignation during the notice period?

Whether you intend to take back your resignation before your notice period begins or during, a successful 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 or the department’s headcount has officially been reduced. If your resignation burnt bridges previously, the employer may not be willing to take you back.

More importantly, the employer is not obliged to take you in again based on your previous employment terms.

In other words, a new contract may be issued and you would need to serve probation as any new employee. 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 reject your resignation and let you continue your employment as though you never resigned. They may also come back with the counter offer which you previously rejected.

Tips to professionally withdraw your resignation

Now that you have decided that a withdrawal of your resignation letter is the best option for you, you want to ensure you make the request professionally. These tips will help you take the step confidently.

1. Craft a withdrawal letter of resignation

Any request made within the professional setting must be documented. Your resignation letter itself is an example.

In your withdrawal 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 counter-offer by your superior which you wish to accept and thus remain in the company, even though the terms of contract may change.

Keep the letter succinct. You may view a 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 resignation. This is also a convenient time for your manager to understand how to make your 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 request for withdrawal is rejected. Avoid pleading or begging your manager as this appears unprofessional. More importantly, do not threaten your manager as this would certainly drive a wedge in your relationship with them.

It can be difficult to swallow the rejection 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 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 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 their time to consider the withdrawal and bid farewell. Do offer to keep in touch for any potential future opportunities.

How do you write a withdrawal letter for resignation?

[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].


Yours sincerely, 

[Your name]

Upcoming events
In-demand jobs
Popular jobs