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Do You Need a Resignation Letter? How to Move on in the Gig Economy

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Career advancement is an expected part of every working professional’s life.

As your skills grow and your network expands over time, you may be ready for a new job or new clients better suited to you — and you’re not alone.

Among millennials, 43% of working professionals expect to change careers within two years.

The fast-paced gig economy, where some roles purposely serve as stepping stones for full-time positions, is far from an exception.

The only difference: Understanding how to resign can be a bit more complex.

With the wide variety of contracts and freelance gigs rising in prominence in the marketplace, the nature of a resignation letter is no longer cut and dried.

In this article, you’ll learn about the importance of resignation letters in four different types of gigs and how to best approach them.

Temporary Gigs

Woman typing on computer
When your contract on a temporary job ends, you should provide a formal notification that you will no longer be working with your client, employer, or temp agency.

This is particularly important when the written end date on your contract merely acts as a placeholder.

This is often the case when an employer guarantees a contract to be renewed indefinitely via non-legally binding oral or written agreements.

In any situation, a brief notice is the least you can do.

Writing Your Resignation Letter

Do:

  • Review your contract before sending in your formal notice letter. While many temporary gigs will not hold you to a time frame if you find a new opportunity, you may be required to send your employer a professional resignation letter within a stated notice period, or otherwise pay a fee.
  • Provide your official end date. Documentation is key in a temp position, because you have signed onto a specific timeline.

Don’t:

  • Reach out to your employer last-minute. If your employer hasn’t already reached out to discuss the next steps to closing out your gig within two weeks of your last day, being proactive will positively affect your relationship.

These sample resignation letters can help you resign with grace from your temporary gig.

Ongoing Gigs

Person writing in notebook
Resigning from a contract or freelancing gig with recurring or ongoing work is extremely similar to resigning from a traditional job.

In these roles, you’re a staple in the company, which means the amount of time you provide in advance of your last day of work can determine whether the company can make a smooth transition.

That said, this is a situation in which a letter of resignation and two weeks’ notice are musts when you’re ready to take on a new job or no longer have the bandwidth to continue.

Writing Your Resignation Letter

Do:

  • Have a face-to-face conversation with your employer first. Finding a resignation letter in your inbox is never a pleasant experience.
    Meet in person or jump on a video call before sending your letter to show goodwill and collaborate on an exit plan.
  • Provide your contact information. When working an ongoing gig, there’s a good chance that you’re working on a company email.
    Giving your employer your personal email and phone number can help you receive recommendations or referrals in the future.

Don’t:

  • Forget to thank your employer. In an ongoing gig, you’ve likely spent a significant amount of time working with the company.
    Let them know what you’ve learned or improved on during this time.

This basic resignation letter template can help you get started.

Project-Based Gigs

Person looking at DSLR camera settings
When you have a client who contracts you out for one-off projects, but the relationship is ongoing, it’s recommended to send a resignation letter.

Though a letter of resignation isn’t required, providing a formal notice that you’re no longer open for future projects will help you stay on good terms with the client, especially if you’re one of their primary contractors.

Because this resignation letter is primarily a courtesy, the suggested notice period isn’t strict.

However, providing advance notice ensures your client has a strong safety net, and that you maintain a go-to contact if you’re ever open to new gigs in the future.

Writing Your Resignation Letter

Do:

  • Provide an honest explanation. Your client won’t appreciate being left in the dark, but they’ll likely congratulate you on your new position or even help you in your job search if you let them know.
    If you’re dropping a client, you can omit that fact, but still be honest about changes in your bandwidth.
  • Ask for feedback. Your project-based gig likely provides you with feedback for every project you work on, but receiving a holistic view of your client’s experience can help you improve your stakeholder management skills.

Don’t:

  • Include negative reasons for leaving. This rings true for all resignation letters, but must be highlighted when the nature of the gig is reliant on an ongoing relationship.

This resignation letter example for freelancers and contractors is well-suited for project-based gigs.

Sharing Economy Gigs

Resignation letter: Woman driving with phone mounted on air vent
The sharing economy brings an exception to the long-standing tradition of formal resignations and two-week notices.

When acting as an independent contractor on platforms like Uber and Airbnb, it’s highly unlikely that you have a direct relationship with anyone in the company.

Sharing economy gigs are self-service from start to finish.

How to Resign

In place of a resignation letter, most companies in the sharing economy have simple processes set up for you to move on from your current job.

For example:

Many resignation processes are publicly documented on companies’ FAQs.

If not, contacting support may be the best route.

Worried that you’ll change your mind?

Luckily, you can rejoin with the same easy process you initially started your gig with.

To make the process even easier, you can view our related articles about signing up for DoorDash, Lyft, Uber, and more.

Resignation Letter FAQs

Now that we’ve gone over how to write a resignation letter for four common situations in the gig economy, let’s answer some frequently asked questions to help you round out your resignation checklist and leave your gig with grace.

1. What are acceptable greetings for a resignation letter?

Professional salutations are recommended for your letter of resignation.

The most widely accepted greeting is “dear,” addressed directly to your point of contact, human resources manager, or direct manager’s name.

Great examples of professional sign-offs include “sincerely,” “best wishes,” and “kind regards.”

2. Do I need to send a hard copy of my resignation letter?

With remote work growing across all fields, especially in the gig economy, email is an acceptable medium for your letter of resignation and hard copies are no longer necessary.

However, if you’re able to have an in-person meeting with your employer, providing a hard copy of your resignation letter in a business letter format can help them with documentation.

3. Can I resign from a temporary gig before my contracted last day of employment?

This depends on the terms of your contract.

Some employers allow you to terminate your contract before it ends, given a stated notice period.

If the terms surrounding early resignation aren’t expressly stated, it may be best to discuss with your employer and have formal documentation to ensure you’re not breaching your contract and creating grounds for legal claims.

4. Do I need to send a formal letter to my coworkers?

To leave a final good impression on your coworkers, you can give your team the same courtesies as you would your employer — after sending your formal resignation letter, of course.

You can find a resignation letter sample for team members here, though a friendly goodbye, explanation, and display of gratitude may suffice.

Put Your Resignation Letter Into Action

Moving on from a gig can be bittersweet, but by taking tips from this guide, you’ll be sure to stay in good graces with all the connections you’ve made.

Once your resignation letter is written, all you need to do is set up a meeting with your point of contact and close out your gig.

You’re all set to make the next big move in your career.

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