Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

How do I tell my boss I'm leaving? (nicely)?

199 Answers
Last Updated: 03/25/2021 at 9:07pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Lindsay Scheinerman, MA, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

My work with clients is to help them recognize and build on their strengths to find solutions for the conflicts presented in their lives.

Top Rated Answers
September 27th, 2019 6:25pm
Honesty is key. Don't put it off for too long. the longer you wait the worse it gets, because youll have to serve your notice period. Keep it curt, keep it professional and refrain from getting into too many personal details.
October 23rd, 2019 4:58pm
It can be very hard to tell your boss that you are thinking to leave your job. The best thing to do is have a quiet word with them to give them a heads up, this shows them respect and will make you look professional. You will then need to follow this up with a notice letter providing them the reasons for your decision and how the date of your final day. Usually, depending on your contract you will usually give them a weeks notice if you don’t have a contract. I have a look at your contract and state how many weeks you will work your notice before your last day.
February 1st, 2020 11:06am
Making the decision to change the organisation you are employed by can leave you feeling extremely anxious. Transitioning to a new job is stressful enough without having to worry how you boss is going to take the news of losing a team member. It is not an easy conversation to have, especially if the company has invested a lot of time in training you. However, you need to do what is best for you and what is going to make you happy. Whilst we all like to think we are indispensable, we are not. Your boss may initially unhappy but they will find a replacement for you soon enough.
February 5th, 2020 6:01pm
tell him/her that you will be taking up a new job opportunity or you will be leaving and that you enjoyed working with him/her. don't be rude, but just hope that he/she will understand, it is not your fault for leaving. let them know it not their fault you are leaving, make sure they know you enjoyed working at the company/ in their business, but you can not continue in the future. just do your best to be kind, and don't lay the news down the second you're leaving, let them know maybe at least a week in advance preferably a month.
February 10th, 2020 10:38am
Had a same problem when I decided to quit. It was hard for me, to be honest. Because my boss was a cool guy. But I wanted something bigger. I opened my own office at Coworking platform and started to earn money. My boss was not only a cool guy, he was also a smart one. And so, after I left, we met again and become something like partners. We have a cooperation right now: if he has too much work to do, he gives a part of it to my guys and I do the same stuff with his people.
March 8th, 2020 1:46pm
The best way to leave your current employer is with dignity and do not burn your bridges as that could come back to bite you later on! simply ask your boss if you could speak to him at the end of your shift and out of ear shot from other colleagues and tell him/her its time for you to move on and try something else although you have enjoyed working there (whether you did or not) and you have learnt a great deal which your very grateful for as well as the opportunity to work there, by the time you deliver this message to the said boss its best to follow it up with a polite written resignation stating the length of time you intend to work your notice and always leave on a positive and a handshake.
March 21st, 2020 12:42am
You can ask for an in-person meeting with your boss, and thank them for the opportunity that you got to spend with them as part of the team however a new offer presented itself and after much consideration with myself (and my family) I ended up going with the new position. However I will look fondly upon the time I spent here. And I definitely want to keep in touch. If they wrote your reference letter thank them for that as well. Then be sure to tell them when you're leaving and that you're willing to help train your replacement in the meantime. Also be sure to say goodbye to the rest of the office and leave on good terms.
March 28th, 2020 5:02am
You could try explaining to your boss that you are interested in pursuing another path to develop some different skills that your current job can't provide. It provides some closure for your boss to know that you want to try something else, but does not make your boss feel like they are the ones at fault. Sometimes, you've just got to spread your wings and try something new! It can be nice to share with your boss some good memories or things you learned from your time with them, and to let them know that you will take these skills you developed with them into the future with you. :)
April 4th, 2020 5:36am
Be sure you know exactly what your message is before you approach your boss. Even if you are leaving on good terms, the conversation is likely to be awkward and difficult. You don't want to stumble over your words. At the same time, you want to be firm in your decision and prepared for any potential questions or objections your manager brings up. Are you prepared to say no to a counteroffer? What if your manager asks you to reconsider and suggests picking up the conversation in a few days? What if he or she gets emotional? (It could happen, especially if you're a key member of the team, or you have a close relationship with your boss.) Keep the meeting professional and, above all, don’t give in to the urge to vent about your job. Just some things to consider IMO ;)
April 5th, 2020 5:01am
Just be polite and respectful. You can give them further notice if you can so they can prepare for you being gone. Some places consider it customary. Just be sure to explain everything out in detail and be nice about it. You do not ever have to share more details than you feel comfortable with to your boss. But that individual does have the right to know why you are leaving, what date and the fact that you are leaving in the first place. You owe them that much at the least. Even if you do not like the job or the person, it is best to leave on decently good terms.
April 5th, 2020 9:39pm
I think you should explain to your boss why are leaving. Reinsure them of your relationship with each other and just be honest. Express your opinions, feelings and emotions. Your tone and choice of words is also very important in the situation. You should establish what you're going to say and how you are going to say it before you decide to talk to your boss. It's important that if at any point during the conversation, you say something you think has been misconstrued, that you apologize and explain yourself. You should also tell your boss that you needed to do this for your own well-being and that if at any point during the conversation that they are hurt, upset, or disagree with something you have said, that they make it known to you. It's important for you and your boss to have an understanding during this situation. The most important part of relationships are communication and reciprocation. I hope everything goes well!
April 8th, 2020 10:56am
I would ask to speak to my boss and have a face to face meeting. When she is available to sit with me privately, I would proceed to tell her that I have enjoyed working for her and that it is time for me to move on to another job. I would thank her for everything she had done for me and what a great boss she has been. I would ask if we could stay in contact in the future because I appreciate and respect her as a boss as well as a person and would like to maintain a connection.
May 2nd, 2020 8:57am
If you've decided to leave your job for a new opportunity, its always a good idea to do so gracefully. If possible, give your current employer sufficient notice and if you're willing and it's relevant to your employer, let them know if you're happy to help with creating interview questions or assisting in finding a replacement. In terms of telling them you're leaving be sure to thank them for your time and the opportunity to learn and develop skills. A tactful way to explain why you're leaving might be that the new role allows you to learn a new skill set or fits your personal circumstances/lifestyle focus better at this point in time.
June 3rd, 2020 8:48am
First, dont let them hear from elsewhere. But regardless of that, once you have finalised your move, have a meeting with them. 1 on 1. Sit down and let them know that you have come accross this wonderful opportunity and you think that it will benefit you in so and so way. And that you have decided to take it up and pursue it. Tell them thanks for all their support and help in the development of you career. Give them honest appreciation for anything they have done. If you were dissatified with your job for some reason, tell them in the nicest way you can possible. Then offer to work with them to ensure your transition wouldn't affect their team/plans. You will give all necessary knowledge transfers and transition meetings. Train some people in what you have been working on. Work out this plan with them and say that you're committed to help them out with the transition uptil your very last day. Ask them for their feedback on you as well.
June 14th, 2020 5:13pm
Leaving a current workplace is almost never easy. This can be especially difficult if you have a more personal relationship with your boss. Leaving someone that you enjoy having lunch with or joking with everyday can really feel like an emotional loss. One way to overcome this is to take a step back and examine what you are really leaving: your job. This job is not your entire life and should be treated as such. This does not mean that you need to leave the relationships you've made during your time at a specific job. Once you've made that distinction, the best way to leave a job is with a professional resignation letter in advance. If you want to maintain a relationship with a boss or coworker, you can tell them in a personal conversation along with the letter.
June 20th, 2020 4:00pm
It's never really easy to tell these things. But in my experience, it's always better to be straight forward. Tell them why you are leaving. Help them understand the situation. They might be shocked, taken aback, maybe even angry. But just talking to them calmy will help make things so much better. Most of the times they are very supportive. Also, just a heads up some of them might try to convince you to stay back. But again if you tell them your reasons they will understand. Also, it'll be nice to mention how much you learned from where you worked. And how much you appreciate the help you received. All the best!
June 25th, 2020 12:59am
Let them know that you need to have a conversation and that you have no hard feelings, but you will be leaving your job as of (date). You can choose whether you want to say that you found another job, are advancing your career, etc. whatever the case may be or just a basic answer that you are needing to leave, but parting on amicable terms is also fine. It may still be difficult, even though you don't have hard feelings, your coworkers or boss may still show upset at learning you are going to be leaving. Keep this in mind, it's not your fault if they do.
June 27th, 2020 4:57pm
It is a matter of telling your employer that you enjoyed working for them, appreciate the skills they taught you in your current job, but that you have outgrown the workspace and want to move forward in your career. Employers understand that some of the jobs they oversee are just stepping stones for people who need to make enough money to improve their education and financial standing. It is okay to grow, change and need more from your work - both intellectually and financially. The best thing you can do to make that break and gain closure is to review what you appreciated most about the job and what skills you will take with you as you move forward.
July 1st, 2020 3:42pm
Personally, I would say "Hi boss, I am so sorry to disturb you, but unfortunately I have to make the right decision for myself and that is to leave." I would explain to them in a short matter what reasons compelled you to leave without getting too emotional and using any negative language as that can be taken as offensive. I have had to leave my job as well in the past, and my boss didn't appreciate it, but my tip would be to tell him or her as much advance notice as possible. Although I know it can be hard as you might fear that this will influence their treatment towards you, just tell them that you wanted too let them know in advance so that they can properly prepare. The worst thing for a boss is to have someone leave and be short of workers all of a sudden. I think as long as you show respect and thoughtfulness towards them, they will be understanding. Also, be confident when you speak! Good luck!
July 9th, 2020 10:59pm
I would recommend talking to them privately, preferably face to face. Explain to them the reason that you will be leaving for and make sure it is understood that your decision is final and while you will be parting ways, you do appreciate the time that you spent and the things and experience that you've gathered during your collaboration. Make sure that they know you wish them all the best and success and you will think of your time there very fondly, but you are taking things a step further in your journey and sometimes it just means that you have to let go of certain circumstances, places and people.
July 15th, 2020 4:58pm
It's difficult to tell an employer when you're ready to move on, but it's also important to do it in a professional way so that you are able to maintain a positive connection if you ever need it in the future. A great way to tell your boss that you're leaving is writing them a letter of resignation thanking them for the time and experience that you have had while working for them and then explain that you feel that it would be in your best interest to move on to something else. It's tough to leave a position that you succeed in, but it's important to remember that you're growing and you need to be able to do so.
July 26th, 2020 2:28pm
Sometimes talking to your supervisors or managers can be intimidating, so it is really important that you keep everything professional and avoid any indications of blame. It might be a good idea to first provide a couple examples of how your current position has given you valuable skills you can use in the future, but it is now time for you to move on. Also, maybe giving a couple of reasons why moving to a new position will help your career plan could be helpful. Lastly, consider mentioning that you will keep in touch with your boss. Our old connections can end up being useful in unexpected times, and this shows that you are looking to maintain a strong, working relationship with your boss.
August 1st, 2020 12:04pm
Like with any confrontation or potentially negative interaction, I use the sandwich approach. I start by highlighting the experiences and opportunities that helped make me become a better professional. Then, I list down areas of improvement, discussing about what my concerns and issues are. In the end, I will tell them that the overall experience has made me become a better individual and professional. Then, I end it by thanking them for the chance I was given, regardless of my feelings. Sandwich helps "tone down" the sting of the "areas of improvement" which is usually taken as an offense :)
August 5th, 2020 1:16am
Be sure to tell your boss in a timely manner. Part of being tactful about this is giving them time to prepare for your departure. If you feel comfortable, explain why you are leaving (focusing on the new opportunity and not the deficits of your current position). It would probably also mean a lot to your boss if you thanked them for what you've gotten out of your time in your current position and let them know what you will miss about being there. Most people will be happy for you moving onto a new chapter in life with new opportunities! Good luck!
August 19th, 2020 6:52pm
Hey boss, I want to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to work here. I’ve learned a lot about this field and myself. I think that I have learned and done all I can here and think it’s time for me to pursue other challenges. I appreciate the time and opportunities that have been given to me. I want you to know while I always have my best and I hope that I was as good of an employee as you were my supervisor. I wish you and the rest of this staff nothing but the best.
September 3rd, 2020 2:40am
In a situation like this, respect and appreciation is key. I would start that difficult situation by thanking my boss for providing me with a job for however long my employment duration was, and by saying how much you learned while you were with that company. I would then explain that I felt it was best for me and my future to seek other opportunities and explore new paths and that although I have been fortunate to work with the company, that I feel my skills or abilities or talents would be more beneficial elsewhere. I would end the conversation with again thanking my boss for the opportunity, the new skills I learned, and allowing me to grow with the company.
September 11th, 2020 12:47am
It can be difficult to be authoritative sometimes, especially when speaking to a boss. First, you should decide when you are going to tell them... Are you going to call them? Are you going to set up a meeting in person? Are you going to give them notice during your next shift? It is vital to prepare yourself for this conversation emotionally. Relax, it is normal to be nervous or angry or sad, etc. Create a "mental outline" of what you would like to say. Take a deep breath, and remember you need to do what is right for you! Because at the end of the day, the only person that matters is YOU.
September 17th, 2020 4:50am
Leaving a workplace can be difficult, especially when you feel like you have developed a relationship with your co-workers. A nice, professional "notice" letter or "notice" email can be drafted to let your boss know that, even though you have enjoyed your time working at this job, the time has come for you to explore other opportunities, and that you are thankful for all that you've learned. Be sure to mention how much you've grown while working for him. You can find several templates online for different "2 week notice" letters. I hope this helps and you enjoy your next opportunity
October 4th, 2020 8:35pm
I think a simple letter to report that you are giving a notice should be all that is needed! Usually 2 weeks what people give. Maybe tell them why you are leaving and thank them for all the did for you and your time working for them. Tell they what you liked about your time there. Make sure you leave things on good terms you never know when or why you may need to use them later in life. Whether for other job or to go on to school. Had the letter to you HR personally don't leave it in a mail box!
October 9th, 2020 9:37am
You should be straightforward and honest with your intentions, while expressing your gratitude for the opportunity they gave to you. You can talk a little about how you've enjoyed your time at the company and how you've learned and grown during your employment. However, firmly and clearly state your intention to continue your personal path apart from the company to prevent any confusion. Leaving a job shouldn't lead to hard feelings- ending your employment on a good note definitely helps with referrals later on!