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How do I tell my boss that I am resigning to go to another company?


How do I tell my boss that I am resigning to go to another company?



Dear Anonymous

Congratulations on moving on to a better job/situation.

It’s always better if you are the one cutting the tie rather than your boss telling you to move on.  In general, I advise “not burning any bridges.”  Do it professionally and amicably.

I am assuming you are leaving for greener pastures because of better compensation, more responsibility, better working environment, better location, and/or any one of a number of reasons. During your resignation conversation with your boss, stress that you have this opportunity that’s pulling you away.  Cite the pluses of this opportunity that are driving your decision.  Don’t point out you are not getting the same opportunities in your current job.  Just leave it unsaid.  In general, I advise against saying you are leaving because you are pushed away. The more sincere and enthusiastic you sound about the new opportunity the better it will go.  You want to leave your boss with a positive and assertive impression as you head out the door.

In the extreme case you feel you are working in hell, I still recommend you handle the departure with professionalism.  The conversation will obviously be more circumspect, but there’s no need for outright animosity.  Sometimes life moves in strange ways.  You never know when your paths might cross again with your old boss or with your former organization.  So unless you are absolutely sure you want a complete break forever, leave with a possibility of reconnecting in the future.  You never know what your future situation might be.  And it really doesn’t cost anything to leave this option open.

To prepare for the resignation talk, draft a “script” for yourself on how to begin the conversation. Crystalize in your mind the top three “pull” factors you want to emphasize.  If you are highly thought of in the company, you might get a question whether there is anything they can do to convince you to stay? Would you be open to a counter-offer?  This could be a tough question.  While tempting, remember that you’ve committed yourself to your new company.  You’ll be burning that bridge if you change your mind about joining.  If you do change your mind, word will likely get around and you might get a reputation you don’t want and hard to remove.  That happened to me once.  I made an offer to someone who eventually changed his mind on the day he was supposed to start work.  I would never forgive him.  On the other hand, if your current company offers you the moon to get you to stay, you might consider burning that bridge.

Good luck!