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How to Tell Your Boss You're Resigning

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Even the best jobs must eventually come to an end. For whatever reason you want to leave, you will have to face your boss to tell him about your decision to resign. Proper and professional notification of your intent to leave not only gives your supervisor ample time to fill your position, but also enables you to use this supervisor as a reference for future job opportunities.

Write a letter that includes your intent to resign, and include the date you wrote the letter and your final day at work. Although you should tell your boss in person that you are resigning, it is also important to leave a paper trail. A letter will protect you if your intended resignation date comes and your boss says, "you never told me you were resigning today." Give a copy of the letter to your boss and keep a copy for your own records. The letter need not be lengthy and can simple state, "I have chosen to resign and my last date of work will be July 12."

Meet with your boss in person to tell him you are resigning from your current position. Schedule a meeting or drop by his office. If you work at a different location than your boss, a telephone call is preferable to an e-mail or text message.

Give only the minimum amount of notification possible. For example, if your position requires two weeks notice before you leave, don't give your boss a month's notice. While it may seem kind to give your boss extra time to fill your position, realize that the longer you stay at your position, the more tense and anxious your relationship with your boss may become once he knows you intend to leave.

Offer few details about your decision to leave. Your boss doesn't need to know that you didn't get along with your cubicle mate or that you hate the cafeteria. Offer a simple response, such as "I found a better opportunity" or "I've decided to move to a position that is less of a commute." If your boss asks you what he could do to change your mind, avoid jumping on the chance to tell him everything you think is wrong with the company. (See Reference 2.)

Prepare yourself for the possibility that your boss may offer you an increase in pay, a better position, or different hours. Remember your decision to leave and avoid jumping at the chance to make a few extra dollars by remaining in a position you dislike.