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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
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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
October 16th, 2020 3:06pm
Dear Boss, Just to let you know I have been offered a new post at (blah blah post at blah company) which I have decided to take. I have always enjoyed my job working here (this of course can be a massive lie or not...but either way it’s good to be polite) but am looking forward to a new challenge. I want to thank you for looking after me (again, this could be too kind but think of the good reference you will get) I just hope I will receive the same warm welcoming at my new job. Thanks again, Bye and thanks
October 28th, 2020 6:47pm
Leaving a job and letting your boss know you've made your decision can be a difficult task, even if you know it's what you want and you want to leave on good terms. Good communication is super helpful for maintaining professionalism and warmth during such transitions. First, it's important to choose your time and place wisely for letting them know. You want to make sure your boss isn't busy or distracted or tending to a pressing matter when you decide to tell them. You also probably want to break the news somewhere private, so they are not "put on the spot" in front of other people. If you are leaving non-urgently and have the ability to do so, best practices recommend that you give your boss or company two weeks notice, at a minimum, so that they can arrange for a replacement to enter your position or can at least change the employee schedules until a replacement can be found to fill your position. In terms of a formal resignation letter, if you're not sure whether one is needed, you may want to ask them if they will be requiring one, and assure them that you can have one ready. If you know one is needed, you can just let them know you have prepared one (if you have) or that you will have one as soon as they need it. Another aspect to consider is that in Human Resources, it's considered best to give news of firing or leaving on a Friday, so the person has the weekend to think it over and adjust. In terms of breaking the actual news itself, after arranging for the proper environment and timing, you want to state it in a professional and considerate way. Ahead of time, plan a way of discussing it that reassures them that your decision is not personal against them or the company, that you've enjoyed your time there (if that's true) and that it has been a positive experience for you--and this can be said even if the work was not enjoyable but the position put you in a better position in life or gave you valuable experience or even just work experience. Personally, I like to use the "oreo technique" for breaking hard news. The oreo technique is when you say something positive, followed by the hard news, then follow that up with something else positive. For example- Positive: "You've always been so kind to me and I have the utmost respect for you as a boss. Working here has been great, and I'll always remember it fondly." Hard news: "But I feel my life is pulling me in another direction. I've decided to [make a career change/change my path in life/address matters at home/pursue a new opportunity/any other delicate and considerate way of saying why you won't be staying]." Positive: "The opportunities and experience I have had here will always be regarded with gratitude and a deep appreciation for the time I was given here. Thank you for everything." After that, you might want to address any questions they might have by saying "I can stay for another two weeks and help interview replacements" or "I can stay on another two weeks if you need me" or "I'm willing to stay until [a specific date/the completion of a project/the finding of a replacement/whatever your stipulation is]". You can also think of questions they might ask and practice answering them in a kind, professional, and compassionate way before breaking the news. Best of luck on your new journey!
November 5th, 2020 9:11am
If it was me, I would start with thanking the company for having you for those years, thanking your boss for giving you opportunity to explore your talents and let you do the jobs with freedom while having him/her as a coach who is always supportive. I would also mentioned that it has been a great year full of experience and friendship and you really appreciate to receive such a warm welcome. However, as you never stop improving yourself, you would like to learn some new things (or explore the new field) about the kind of work you find interesting. Unfortunately, this company cannot provide what you are looking for. You would like to grow in your career as far as possible and hope to receive support and good wish from your boss and hopefully to maintain this friendship for as long as possible. Hope it helps.
November 11th, 2020 3:19am
Personally, I have used an approach in which I have asked my boss to set some time aside (on their schedule) in which they would be able to speak to me. At the time of the conversation, I start off by letting them know I am leaving, and then I proceed to thank them for the opportunity they have provided me with and for the experiences I have had with them. This way, I am able to be direct and avoid any potential persuasion from them to stay, and am able to let them know that I acknowledge and am appreciative of the opportunities and experiences I was able to take advantage of while working with them. I hope this helps!
November 22nd, 2020 9:59pm
Request an in-person meeting. ... Outline your reasons for quitting. ... Give at least two weeks' notice. ... Offer to facilitate position transition. ... Express gratitude. ... Provide constructive feedback. ... In person, by handing your boss a simple letter of resignation. Address the letter to your boss. First line: “I should like to resign my position with XYZ Company.” Second line: “My last day will be (date).” That’s all. Wordprocess your letter, print it on plain paper, sign it, fold it up and place it in a plain business size envelope you have addressed to your boss. Walk in your boss’ office. If s/he is in, tell him/her you are resigning and hand him/her your letter. If s/he is away, place the letter on his/her desk. It was suggested elsewhere that you copy your signed letter and keep it for your files. It would be a good idea to pack up your office before resigning - you may be told to leave and be perp-walked out the door and not be allowed to work out your notice period. Do NOT let them escort you out before you receive your final check and COBRA paperwork. Same goes for your check and paperwork if you are allowed to work out your notice period - do NOT leave before you receive both.
November 25th, 2020 2:39am
Hello there. Leaving a job can be difficult, I totally understand that, and we always want to leave kn good terms so that if we ever need anything we can reach out to that former employer for help or guidance, or even as a reference. What I have done at every job is set up a meeting with the manager or my superior and I have had a conversation with them on why I am leaving and I have given them a 2 week notice, and I have completed my job fully until the last day of work. As long as you communicate to your employer that you are leaving, and you do your job in full until the last day, you should be fine.
December 9th, 2020 6:23am
Thank them for the opportunity to allow you to grow in the work place and inform them that you will be putting in your notice to leave as you have been offered another opportunity to grow. I have grown as an individual in the work place but want to see myself grow. Take the time to appreciate what they have done for you regardless if you weren't as happy that way you leave on good terms. Give your boss enough time notice in case they have to find your replacement that way they don't feel overwhelmed in getting someone.
December 18th, 2020 12:24am
I recently had to do this at a company I had been with for five years. I felt a lot of guilt and worried about how they would respond. My suggestion would be to be open and honest with your boss. If you can, maybe consider giving them more than a 2 weeks notice as a sign of respect for what you have built there. Also, I'm not sure your reasoning but you should never feel bad about leaving a job. If your boss truly cares for you, they will have no issue with you leaving. Honest, open communication is always the best policy. It can feel uncomfortable but if possible, I would address this in person.
December 31st, 2020 1:12am
I am pretty sure this means that you are going to quit this job so the most important thing to is thank your boss for the time you were there but be truthful and let them know the reason why you are leaving. A lot of times I had to tell my boss that I had to leave because I did not like the job and I told him " Thank you for everything and you were a great boss, I currently have a personal situation so I will have to quit. The best way is to be truthful and show your compassion and thankfulness. And your boss will understand for sure!
January 2nd, 2021 4:29pm
In order to informing your boss about your resigning from the organization is to take a professional way with a pinch of personal touch. Write a nice formal email mentioning the reason you want to leave and after sending the email call/meet your boss and tell him the same thing politely so when he sees your email he doesn't feel surprised or offended. Every boss wants you to grow, either he will make a better offer or he will understand the situation. Is not, then just work as he says in your notice period and get done with it. That's how you say NO nicely
January 14th, 2021 5:32am
I think it depends on the reason you are leaving although I don't think you are under any obligation to share why. It is always best to leave on good terms, you don't ever want to burn bridges. You should tell your boss that you have enjoyed working for them and have appreciated what you've learned and the experience you have gained (it would be best to insert some personal experiences here) but you are giving a two week notice to terminate your employment so that you can pursue another opportunity (or whatever your reason is). Thank them for the opportunity and move on.
January 28th, 2021 4:39pm
Just explain to them that you have found a better opportunity elsewhere and you feel it would be a better idea for you to move on to new things! This way, you’re showing that there’s no hate or harsh feelings on your end and you will come off more professional and considerate c: he shouldn’t have an issue with you explaining it this way! Everyone has theyre transition periods in life, and this is just one for you! I hope all goes well!!! We at 7 Cups are always here for you 💕 I wish you all the best of luck c:
February 20th, 2021 11:12pm
Hi (boss's name)! Do you have a minute? I would love to talk to you about something. I'd just like to start off by thanking you for this job and the opportunities that have been presented to me. I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to work for you (however long you have worked here). My colleges have been nothing short of wonderful. I felt so supported and cared for here. You did a great job of maintaining a professional work environment and keeping the atmosphere pleasant. I'm grateful for everything this job has taught me and I hope to work with you again sometime in the future.
February 24th, 2021 11:45am
Announcing your quitting a job is never as easy as it may seem. I have come to realize that even if your boss is not your favorite person in the world, it is still quite the task. But there is also never a perfect way to do or a perfect time to do it at. It is more of a "rip the band aid" kind of thing and to gently rip it, I would say start a little further back - lay out how you have been feeling at your current job, list some positives, list some irritations you've had, explain that this has lead you to decide that it would be in your best health and career development interest to pursue a job path elsewhere. I actually recently quit my job at a place where I quite loved working with my colleagues, and what I reminded myself was that at the end of the day, I am responsible for my happiness, my healthy work-life balance, my development and success.
March 4th, 2021 5:12am
Let them know in advance, usually the policy is to give about a 2 weeks notice. Simply explain to them the reason you are leaving, whether it be a better opportunity, an offer for money, or even that you just want to gain some new experience. They should understand, and if they give you a hard time about it, kindly ask them to respect your decision, and don't let them guilt you into staying. Your boss will find another employee, and you should not have to feel guilty about leaving to better yourself. Always remember to put yourself and your needs as your first priority!
March 4th, 2021 10:29pm
It can be REALLY helpful to think through and plan out what you want to say before having the conversation. Start by letting your boss know you would like to speak with them and ask to schedule a time to sit one-on-one (face-to-face, ideally) where there are little to no distractions. Keep the conversation as positive as possible, or at least keep it neutral. Going into detail about the reasons you didn’t like your job/the company can result in losing the ability to use them as a reference or get recommendations from them in the future. You also want to keep in mind that they may be contacted to verify your employment, so ending on a good note will be of more benefit to your future and your career growth. You are not required to explain why you are leaving, but the question is often asked. Try thinking about your time there and finding what you have learned and what the positive aspects have been. Be sure to review the company's policies regarding resignation prior to having this conversation and try your best to honor them. It is standard to give at least two weeks’ notice before your last day unless the company policy states otherwise or waiting that long would have a negative impact on your well-being. Offer help with training a current employee to take on some of your tasks and with finding a new candidate for your position, if possible. Be sure to express gratitude for the opportunities, experiences, and trainings that you had working there (remember, they likely helped you grow professionally and contributed to your skill set). If you have any projects you are currently working on, let your boss know what you feel can be completed before you leave and offer to leave some notes on where important files/documents are and other information that is important to know for your role to help make the transition easier.
March 13th, 2021 8:35pm
Calmly & nicely tell them how you are feeling about the work place or if you have found something better suited to you. Always remain calm even if you are frustrated or mad. You still want to leave on good terms and get your point across. Yelling or being hostile will not get you anywhere 7 will only make the situation worse then it has to be. Always leave your 2 weeks notice. This is polite & respectable. You never know if you will need to use them as a reference or if they can offer you a better position.
March 14th, 2021 11:50pm
Assuming you are talking in person, tell them you have a decision you need to share with them. Ask if now is a good time. When you are able to talk, get more-or-less straight to it. Tell them you are moving on. Focus on sharing where you are headed and what the new situation means for you. Don't talk about why you are leaving. If they specifically ask for feedback on things they could do better—and if you decide to give that feedback (feedback is a gift to the person or organization who really wants to improve, but it is a waste of your time and energy if they do not want to improve)—keep the discussion about situations and conditions rather than people. If you have multiple things to give feedback on, order them from the one you believe will be easiest for them to hear to the most difficult. If you reach a point where they aren't responding well, stop. You will want to spend some time thinking through how you will say things before you get to the conversation. Practice in the mirror if you are nervous. Maybe bounce some ideas off a trusted friend if you are struggling to frame things positively. Let's be honest, sometimes your reason for leaving is that your current job sucks. Even then, you can frame your decision in terms of positives. Your employer's inept and erratic scheduling can be reframed as your new opportunity has more consistent scheduling. Too much overtime expected can be reframed as a better work/life balance. Basically, reframe your complaints in terms of the positive benefits you will be enjoying at your new place. I've also found that these conversations go better if I can talk about bigger changes or goals I am pursuing. An opportunity to grow through pursuing a new leadership opportunity, a job that's more in line with what I want to be doing with my career, a schedule that allows me to better support my child's school or community involvement. There are lots of possibilities. But the basic idea is to give them a reason that reflects making a change to progress toward career or life goals.
March 25th, 2021 9:07pm
Thanks for reaching out! I can sense you are worried about leaving a good final impression in your soon to be former organization. It's completely natural to feel this way! Most people in this world have gone through multiple jobs and have had to quit their jobs at some point in life. Although it is never easy putting in your notice, it's something that most of us have to go through and experience. Ask yourself your reason as to why you are leaving your job? Is it simply because you are unhappy there or you found a new job? You can professionally and maturely state that in your two week notice. You can express your gratitude for the opportunities your company gave you, the colleagues you worked with. All you can do is speak from the heart! Did you feel you grew or learnt a lot from the company? What memories will you take from the company? What are your hopes and goals for your new job? What do you look forward to? It's ok to say you are excited and look forward to a new career or move to a different direction. You are welcome to reach out to one of our listeners or member's on our site for further support!