How to Tell Your Employer You Are Leaving Your Job

how to tell your employer you are leaving your job



Some people give a two-week notice when they leave a job. Others give a two-minute warning, and just  take off. Which group of people do you think will get the best reference from the employer?

Obviously, it will be the former, but that is not the only thing an employer needs to do right when it comes to leaving a job. Here are some other tips of what you should do when it is time or you to move on:

Tell your boss in person

Unless you work a type of telecommuting job where you never actually see your employer, it is a good idea to tell your supervisor in person that you are leaving. This shows that you respect your boss, and that you are a professional. Leaving a Post-it note on their desk, something others have actually done when resigning, would be a little tacky.

Write a formal letter, but keep it simple

Most employers will want you to have a written formal resignation notice, with your last day listed. Keep it simple – and classy – though. Now is not the time to say how glad you are to be leaving. This letter could be in your personnel file, so just say that you are leaving, and give your exit date and a thank you. That’s it.

Give an even longer notice when appropriate

In some positions, like if your replacement needs to be hired before you are gone, or you have big projects to finish, you may want to give more than a two-week notice that you are leaving.  Your supervisor will most likely appreciate it if you can do so.  It is not necessary to give more than two weeks’ notice, though, but it may be nice to do, depending upon your individual situation.

Finish what you need to get done, and leave things in order

You don’t want to be the kind of employee who mailed it in for his or her last few weeks and left the company with a lot of incomplete projects. So get things done as much as you can. Writing down instructions for the next person is also something that will be appreciated. You want to follow the old adage about camping – leave things better than you found them.

Don’t mail it in

You owe it to your current employer to work hard until the end. Nobody wants to see you spend your last few weeks with the organization mailing it in and counting the minutes until your last day.

Get a written reference

You should make it a point to get a reference from your boss in writing for your future endeavors. You can get it on letterhead, or via a LinkedIn reference. Sure, you may not need it now for your current job, but what about your next job? It is good to keep it on hand.

Don’t burn any bridges

You may think you’re cool in sticking it to your employer, telling him or her how much you hated the job, and denigrating them. Don’t.  Living well is the best revenge. Whatever great things you did in the job will be marred by the way you left, with you being remembered as an unprofessional clod, instead of a great worker. Show some class, even if the people you worked for don’t have any themselves.

When in doubt, talk to a career coach

If you are not sure how to leave gracefully, and want some advice, a career coach can give you some guidance on how to say farewell. Click here for more information on what a career coach can do.