How To Tell Your Boss You’re Quitting (With Example)
In this video, we analyze the resignation process from start to finish, providing key tips at each stage. You’ll learn strategies for providing verbal notice to your employer, composing a resignation letter and preparing coworkers for your departure.
There are several reasons you may want to quit a job, ranging from a change in location to career advancement. Regardless, when quitting your job, it’s important you do it in a way that preserves your professional relationships. Understanding how to tell your boss you’re quitting can help you maintain your professional image while transitioning between jobs. In this article, we discuss how to tell your boss you’re quitting, provide a template of a resignation letter, and give an example of a resignation letter.
How to tell your boss you’re quitting
1. Have a meeting with your boss
Setting time aside to meet with your boss before you quit shows you respect them. When you’ve decided to quit a job, it’s important your boss knows before it becomes public. Similarly, a meeting allows you to have cordial dialogue with your supervisor and end your relationship professionally. Ensure you set a meeting well in advance of your resignation date.
You can reach out to your boss via call or text and schedule a comfortable time for a meeting. If you work at a physical office, the best approach is to meet your boss in person. Individuals who work remote jobs may have the meeting over teleconferencing software. Lastly, ensure the meeting is straight to the point yet cordial. During your meeting, you can discuss the details of your resignation.
2. Explain why you’re quitting
When discussing your resignation with your boss, it’s normal they want to know your reason for quitting. It’s important you identify the reason so you can provide a confident answer. There are various reasons you may leave a job. For example, you may be leaving because you’re relocating to another city or country. If you’re leaving because you found a better opportunity, you can tell your manager that the new role aligns better with your career goals. Ensure you mention how what you’ve learned under your employer has helped you grow as a professional.
If you’re leaving due to a negative experience in your current role, you can start by acknowledging the positives of the role. Next, discuss its shortcomings and how they affect your ability to be productive. If possible, now is a great time to renegotiate your contract. Finally, you can mention what improvements in your working condition can make you reconsider your move. For example, you can negotiate more flexible work options if you’re leaving an employer due to a poor work-life balance.
3. Give reasonable notice
Giving reasonable notice is a form of professional etiquette that’s essential when quitting your job. A notice of resignation allows your employer to make the necessary arrangements to fill in your position after you resign. The appropriate amount of time to give an employer notice varies according to the location and nature of your work. Generally, two weeks is sufficient time to give notice of your resignation. Providing sufficient notice shows you’re concerned about the company’s affairs and you respect your employer and colleagues. If possible, leave sufficient time for you to assist with the transition.
4. Offer to assist with the transition
To further foster a positive relationship between you and your colleagues, you can offer to help prepare for your absence. The transition process can be tough for companies, and your manager is likely to appreciate the help. Also, your experience and knowledge of the role put you in the best position to oversee a transition. There are various ways you can contribute to a smoother transition process. For example, you can recommend candidates that have the qualifications to replace you. This is particularly relevant for individuals who’re quitting leadership roles.
Furthermore, you can help with the transition by organizing your pending tasks, training a new employee, or apportioning your pending tasks among willing colleagues. Helping your employer with the transition demonstrates concern for the company’s welfare and can strengthen the relationship you have with your colleagues. It also allows you to transfer your knowledge about the company’s work processes before you leave. The process of teaching another person about the role can help you develop a better understanding of it. This knowledge may assist you with future opportunities.
5. Show gratitude
As an employee, you’ve likely enjoyed certain benefits from your company. This can be in the form of access to development opportunities or the experiences you’ve gained through the role. Most likely, these qualifications helped you secure your new role. It’s important you express gratitude to your employer. This demonstrates professionalism and can strengthen your relationship with your manager. You can thank your supervisor in person and include an appreciation paragraph in your resignation letter.
You can also thank your colleagues before leaving. You may want to express your gratitude to colleagues in your department, team, or those who are close to you. For example, you can write an appreciation note or email to all your colleagues. This can improve your professional relationship with them, which helps build your network. Lastly, remember to exchange contact details with your colleagues.
6. Provide constructive feedback
Many organizations have interviews for employees who are leaving their company. These exit interviews allow outgoing employees to talk about their experience and what the company can improve. If the company you work for doesn’t hold exit interviews, you may discuss it during the meeting where you notify your employer of your resignation. This is because feedback is essential for your employer to improve its working conditions. Examples of areas you can discuss are the work environment, schedule, work benefits, and access to training opportunities. Additionally, you can give suggestions relating to the company’s corporate culture.
4. Don’t disclose too much
Whichever way the conversation goes, it’s particularly important that you don’t feel guilty about moving on — or feel like you need to over-explain. In this way, you won’t feel under pressure to reveal everything about your next move.
Keep any negative feelings to yourself. Building bridges takes time, but you can burn them in a flick of a moment. Don’t destroy your connections and valuable friendships. It would be the dumbest thing to do when quitting.
Finally, if you really feel that your boss is open to criticism and you’d like to give some feedback, do so face-to-face and in a constructive manner. But if you want to be safe, instead of bringing up any negative reasons, focus on the positive aspects of your new position:
8. Don’t breach any confidentiality and non-compete agreements
Last but not least, make sure you’re not under the obligation of a non-compete agreement that could prevent you from breaking free from your current employer and starting your own business.
- “Leaving now” scenario. Chances are your employer will ask you to pack up your things right away and cut off electronic access to any documents you worked with. Be also prepared to say farewell to your company-owned equipment and turn in things like a company car, phone, laptop, pager, or tablet immediately after expressing your intentions.
- “Staying longer” scenario. Even if you’re already thinking of your next job, it might still be feasible for you to stay a couple of weeks longer than you originally intended. Be smart and consider asking your employer for a positive reference or recommendation letter in return.
- “No quitting” scenario. What to do when your boss wants you to stay? If you’re still undecided, ask for some time so that you can sleep on it. Stay rational and weigh all the pros and cons. If it makes sense to stay, do so. But bear in mind that even if you decide to stay on board, your attempt to quit is very likely to affect your relationship with your boss in the future. You also shouldn’t forget to decline your new offer in a polite way.