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How to Resign by Phone

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There are times when circumstances make it impossible to resign from your job in person and your only option is to resign by phone. Whether your boss works at a distant location or you are faced with the need to resign as soon as possible, a phone call to break the news may be needed. Before you make that call, there are a few things you should consider about tendering your resignation over the telephone.

Try to call when you know your boss will not be particularly busy. If status reports and meetings usually occupy your supervisor's day on Monday, make your call on another day. Avoid making your call just before or after a holiday when the office may be short-staffed and your boss may be busier than usual.

Write down what you want to say and practice it several times before you call. You are less likely to get nervous and tongue-tied if you have practiced your resignation speech. Think about several possible responses from your supervisor and prepare responses for each scenario.

Ask if it is a convenient time to call when you start the telephone conversation. If your boss is dealing with a problem or is expected at a meeting soon, she may not be able to give her full attention to your call. Make sure you have set the volume control for your phone to an adequate level so you will have no trouble hearing or being heard.

Mention that you appreciated the opportunity to work for the company and that you have learned many things as an employee. Even if you hate the job, this isn't a lie. When you began the job, you did appreciate the opportunity to work for the company.

Avoid using the conversation to vent about the things you don't like about the job and company. Stick to presenting the information that you are leaving, a short reason if you wish, and a timetable for your resignation.

Remain calm, even if your supervisor becomes upset about your resignation. Tell him that you feel that this is the best course of action for you and that you plan to make sure that your projects are up-to-date at the time you leave to avoid inconveniencing the company. One advantage of giving your resignation in a telephone call is that your supervisor won't be able to see your expression, enabling you to silently express frustration if the call isn't going well.

Follow up the telephone call with a letter or e-mail reiterating what you discussed when you spoke to your supervisor on the telephone. Send a copy to your human resources department.


Find a private, quiet place to make the call. You will want to make it easy for your supervisor to hear you and won't want to be distracted by noise around you.

  • Find a private, quiet place to make the call. You will want to make it easy for your supervisor to hear you and won't want to be distracted by noise around you.

Working at a humane society allowed Jill Leviticus to combine her business management experience with her love of animals. Leviticus has a journalism degree from Lock Haven University, has written for Nonprofit Management Report, Volunteer Management Report and Healthy Pet, and has worked in the healthcare field.

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