How To Tell Your Boss You're Leaving For A New Job (Without Embarrassing Yourself)

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Congratulations, you've just taken a new gig and are progressing in your career path. While exciting, you've now got to do one of the more difficult things—actually tell your boss and put in your resignation letter.

This is no small task, as you've built relationships, trust and, even when you butted heads with your manager, a better understanding of what you do and don't want in a job.

Since telling your boss that you're leaving for a new job is tricky, follow these tips to help ease the anxiety and make it a smooth transition for everyone involved.

Tell Your Manager First

Don't go bragging about your new role to coworkers or the receptionist, because, while they're, presumably, happy for you, the last thing you want to have happen is have your manager hear whispers from other people and not from your own mouth. When delivering the news, be confident and not timid about leaving, being mindful that the news will come as a shock.

Don't Say Too Much

In that delivery to your manager, it's important to be as short and sweet as possible. Remember, much like a break-up with a significant other, it's bound to be a bit surprising and disheartening that you've found "someone better," so state a few reasons why you think the new job is a step up in your career and why you're forever grateful of the challenges you and your outgoing employer tackled together.

Give At Least Two Weeks

This is the standard time to give notice that you're leaving, so anything less—unless suggested by the employer—should be considered inappropriate. Giving more than two weeks is OK, but make sure both you and your manager understand the expectations of such a decision, and that getting a bunch of work dumped on you isn't acceptable.

Put Everything In Writing

Now that you've made your choice to move on, have been open, honest and decided on a final date with your manager, don't get burned by forgetting to put everything in writing to make things unofficially official. Here are a few things you should consider when putting together a resignation letter—which should be signed by both you and your direct manager.

  • Final Date: Again, give at least two weeks and make sure it's understood what your responsibilities will be during that time.

  • Explanation: Whether you're on good terms with your manager or not, don't just say that you "hated everything about the role you're about to leave and that you despised coming into the office every single day." Yeah, that's not a solid way to keep relationships with those you spent the majority of your days with.

  • Gracious Words: OK, so you're moving on for whatever reason, that's your call, but now's the time to be appreciative for the opportunity you're leaving and focus on the future. Sure, you may have had a crappy two months, two years or a decade at a certain company, but make sure you praise them and thank them for helping you get to the position you're at in your career.

Finish Strong

Don't be taken advantage of, but make sure they're actually sad to see you go by putting in the same amount of effort you did during your time in the role. This doesn't necessarily mean stressing out and working 12-hour days like you've always done, by be present without being overworked. You both know the situation and, hopefully, respect the process, so now's the time to do what you need to in order to have a clean break.

Never Burn Bridges And Don't Vent

This is, just about, the dumbest thing you can do when resigning. You may have griped about a million different things while working at your outgoing company, but now isn't the time to voice those as a big F you on your way out the door. Remember, you're leaving them for what you hope is a better opportunity, they're not firing you because you did a poor job. Maintain composure, keep emotions in check and make sure you leave that final day with firm handshakes and, maybe even, a few hugs.

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