My boss and I have a love/hate relationship. He’s a good guy and smart but rough around the edges.
I plan to resign tomorrow, but don’t want to burn a bridge, as I need a good reference. How can I leave goodwill on the table?
Craft a well-written resignation letter, thanking your boss for the opportunity to work with and learn from him. Mention two or three things about him that you particularly value.
Before you deliver the letter, let your boss know you plan to resign, in person, and before you talk to any of your coworkers. If he asks why you’re leaving, explain what intrigues you about the offer you’ve taken, and don’t air current or past grievances.
Provide your boss two to four weeks of notice, and let your boss know that if he wants you to leave earlier, you’ll completely understand.
Outline for your boss how you’ll hand off any work that you haven’t yet completed. Also, offer that your boss or replacement can call you in the future with any and all questions.
If your coworkers ask you why you’re leaving, mention what interests you about your future job or employer. Remember, anything you say may ultimately be reported to your boss even if you ask for confidentiality. After all, if you talk about a problem with a coworker who has a similar issue, that coworker may use your discontent to buttress his issue when he later presents it to your boss.
Finally, don’t slack off. Work up until the last minute, so that the final impression you leave is that of a highly committed employee.
© 2020, Lynne Curry
Lynne Curry, Ph.D., SPHR, is the author of “Beating the Workplace Bully” (AMACOM, 2016, https://amzn.to/30V5JO6) and “Solutions”, https://amzn.to/2GYlnAN (both books are rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com). Send your questions to her at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit her @ www.communicationworks.net or follow her on twitter @lynnecurry10.
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