How to Tell Your Boss You're Quitting (6 Easy Steps) [+ Resignation Tips]
When deciding to resign from a place of employment, the first step is to speak with the manager, supervisor, or boss that oversees your work. This conversation should be a constructive and heartfelt discussion where the employee and the manager set goals for the transition period (usually two weeks of time).
Before writing a resignation letter or formal notification, the employee should speak with their supervisor. Inside a resignation letter may contain details of the transition plan or transition period as well as a final end of employment date. This information should be agreed upon between the employee and the manager (or boss) during the discussion about the resignation.
A frequent mistake is to write a resignation letter first, then request a meeting with the manager (boss) and provide the resignation during that meeting.
Before the Meeting
Before meeting with a supervisor, manager, or boss about deciding to leave the employer. An employee should have some of the following in place:
- A good reason for leaving the company. Good reasons include a new job, a job with a better salary and benefits, needing to relocate, and family health issues. A bad reason would be poor management and a decision to leave the company. Explaining the “reason for quitting” is often a great way to make sure that the employee and the manager depart on good terms and maintain a professional relationship.
- A transition plan. The manager (or boss) will decide the transition plan goals and objectives with the employee during the upcoming meeting to discuss the resignation. Though, it’s great to have some idea of a plan. For example, knowing which colleague might be able to replace the job duties and responsibilities of the role.
- A request. It’s always best to know what the manager (or boss) can provide to the resigning employee. Asking for a reference, recommendation letter or LinkedIn recommendation can be beneficial to a future employer or prospective employers (during a job search). Asking the manager (or boss) to provide this during the final two weeks of employment can be beneficial.
Whenever possible, a resigning employee should attempt to “quit” their job in the most professional way. The “right way” to quit may be determined by the manager, boss, or employer. It’s best to follow company protocol, the employee handbook, and the verbal guidance that’s being provided on the best way to resign or “quit”.
Tip: It’s best to wait to schedule a meeting to resign until after a job offer has been made for a new position. A frequent mistake is to “quit” or resign after the first job interview. A job interview does not guarantee employment.
How to Tell Your Boss You’re Quitting
Here are the steps to telling a boss about an impending resignation.
- Schedule a 30-minute meeting with the manager during a low-stress time of day, attempt to schedule the meeting early in the week so two weeks lines up to a Friday (end of the workweek).
- Be heartfelt in the discussion and inform the manager of the decision to leave and why. This may include a new job or needing a career change.
- Ask the manager to be a resource going forward, desiring to have a professional relationship with them. Which includes being able to ask about career advice in the future.
- Decide on the transition period (two weeks by default), transition period goals, and transition period objectives. Lastly, decide the final day of employment.
- After the meeting, write the resignation letter (formal letter of resignation) with the agreed-upon details inside the letter (end of employment date, the resigning job title, and transition period goals).
- Submit the formal resignation letter to the HR (human resources) department acting as an official letter of resignation or “formal notice.”
A manager or boss will never shun a good employee for deciding to pursue a new opportunity and leaving their current job. Especially if the employee is a high performer. During this discussion, it’s best to simply state the decision to leave the current position for a new position, and then decide on the next steps. Keeping the conversation short, impactful, and constructive.
Tip: If you’re a senior executive who holds an employment contract, you may want to refer to this contract regarding resigning. A transition period (usually longer than two weeks) may be defined in this agreement.
Avoid mentioning anything negative in this discussion. Anything about the company culture, work environment, the new opportunity being a “better job”, needing more “work life balance”, the new opportunity being a “dream job”, or other pieces of constructive feedback about the manager.
An exit interview is normally provided to employees on their final day of employment. This exit interview allows the manager to learn from the employee. The employee should prepare three to four bullet points on how the job function can be improved within the company. This is not an opportunity to complain about the company culture, work environment, management, or a coworker. This upholds the professional reputation of the resigning employee by showing business etiquette and performance until the very last day.
When resigning, here are a few tips to consider:
- Show respect to colleagues, coworkers, managers, and bosses until the very last day. Many employees decide that once they submit a formal resignation, the company is no longer important. This isn’t true. Resigning from a current employer with grace is going to be beneficial for the employee’s career and their professional reputation.
- Drive home results. Many employees decide that during their final two weeks of employment that they won’t work as hard as they normally would. Try not to do this. Driving home results can be a great way to uphold a professional relationship with the manager or boss and turn that relationship into something special in the future (for example, using a previous supervisor or manager as a type of “career coach”).
- If resigning due to low salary, be prepared to discuss compensation. If a “good employee” is leaving the company due to a low salary, the manager or boss might decide to increase the salary or benefits during the resignation process. If this is the case, be prepared to negotiate terms of the salary increase. An 8% increase is average in terms of the employee receiving a salary increase while resigning.
Below are resignation letters and free templates.
By Job Title
- Maternity Leave
- Board Resignation
- Personal Reasons
- New Job
- Better Salary and Benefits
- Hostile Work Environment
- Unhappy with Management
- Unfair Treatment
- Immediate Resignation Letter
- Two Weeks Notice
- Short Notice Resignation Letter
- 24 Hours Notice
- Part-Time Job
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