I got a new job! Oh, I have to tell them I’m quitting this one?

resignThat euphoric feeling of accepting a new position can quickly leave when you start to think about the prospect of having to go to your current boss and give notice. Mostly because you probably have a decent relationship with she or he and your co-workers, so it will be a bittersweet departure. Even if you absolutely despise everything about your job, it still can be tough.

The best way to approach this is head on. Make sure you are giving proper notice time of at least 2 weeks. Schedule a meeting with your boss the very next morning from when you finalize the new job if it is going to be just 2 weeks notice with not a lot of time to spare. Let them know when you ask for the meeting it is time sensitive and that you need to speak that day.

When meeting with your boss, keep it professional and upbeat. Explain that you have accepted an offer with another company and will be leaving on said date. Be unequivocal in your tone (I have accepted and I am leaving, this is my final decision.) Don't dance around it to soften the news of you leaving: "I am thinking taking this offer",or "I got another job offer and it looks pretty good." This leaves the door open for them to try and convince you to stay, or worse yet that you are not actually giving an official notice just "thinking out loud." I will talk about that in the next post (counteroffers.)

There is no real need to give any more explanation than that. If they ask, you can decide what you want to divulge. I usually kept it vague. The new company is giving me a better opportunity to reach my career goals, the hours are flexible, commute is more desirable. Do not make disparaging remarks about the company you are leaving, co-workers or boss of any kind. Do not reveal salary information. If you have things you want to share that are negative, that is a separate discussion with HR in an exit interview or a one on one with them.

If you feel your boss is putting you off or taking too much time to schedule a meeting, then you should compose a resignation letter and give it to HR. You should do that anyway, but I usually give it to them after the discussion with my supervisor. You can email your boss and explain that time was of the essence in order to do the right thing and that you had no choice since you couldn't meet with them. Your resignation letter again should be short and sweet:

Dear HR Person,

I regret to inform you that I am resigning my position as Sales Representative at Acme Widgets, effective xx/xx/xxxx.

I have truly enjoyed my time here and wish Acme Widgets the best of luck in the future.



That's all you need to write. After you give notice, your boss may try to convince you to stay. I will talk in the next post how even entertaining that discussion is a bad idea.

Views: 127

Comment by pam claughton on April 21, 2009 at 12:09pm
Agree with you. I usually advise people to keep it all positive and not at all about them, but about you and a great new opportunity....

"You've been great to work for and this has been a fantastic experience. However, and I hope you'll be happy for me, I am giving my two or three week notice as I've accepted a new position that offers a growth opportunity I simply couldn't pass up."

By adding in that you've valued your time working there and for this manager, and especially saying "I hope you'll be happy for me as this is a great growth opportunity." You make it clear that it's not you leaving them so much as you going to the next great thing...and most managers can understand that, even if they don't like what the impact means to them.
Comment by Bill Meirs on April 22, 2009 at 7:29am
I like your approach, Pam. I think focusing the conversation on the positive (your great new opportunity) rather than the negative event (you leaving) will definitely bring everyone on board for you quicker and also maintain the relationship for the future.


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