Quitting a job may seem like the easiest thing in the world—until you do it. Certainly, there’s been a lot of quitting going on lately. In February, Fortune reported four million people quit their jobs each month for six months in a row during what is now known as the Great Resignation. So, if you’re reading this, the chances are high you are contemplating a move. Here’s how to tell your boss “I quit you” without making it too angry or too awkward.
How To Tell Your Boss “I’m Just Not That Into You”
If you’re about to quit you’re probably thinking how it will go. Wouldn’t it be great if you knew your boss would say, “I’m so happy for you?” We’re going to assume this is less likely to happen, simply because 57% of employees leave because of a bad boss. A good boss would react to your resignation like a champ, sharing praise for your work and saying they’re sorry to see you go. A bad boss—not so much. This is probably especially true in those highly sought-after roles like tech or healthcare, where finding your replacement is going to be a bear.
The Harvard Business Review looked at how bosses respond to the big quit by employees, and they suggest there are five typical emotional reactions from bosses.
- Your boss gets mad. They feel betrayed. It’s personal.
What to do: Give them space. Thank them for their support. Share that you’re not planning on leaving them in a pickle; you’ll stick around for the transition. (Unless you’re the one that’s mad and making a fast exit).
- Your boss criticizes your future plans. Really? Yes, it happens.
What to do: Don’t argue. Don’t try to defend your decision. “Kill” them with kindness by stating firmly, “I’ve decided this is the best course of action for me.”
- Your boss may try to intimidate you in some way. This is a reactive in-the-moment action designed to help your boss regain their footing.
What to do: Ignore it. Move on. Recognize that you’ve made the right decision.
- Your boss may guilt trip you. This is a hard one if you have a close relationship to your manager and really like your team.
What to do: Reiterate the amount of time you’re willing to help during a transition. Maybe you’ll even field a call or two from your replacement. Share how much you appreciated the work and the team but that it is time for you to move on.
- Your boss makes a counteroffer. What happens if the company comes back with more money that goes above even what your new job offers?
What to do: Don’t be tempted by it. There’s plenty of data that shows trust is broken once you’ve resigned. Typically, more money doesn’t address all of the issues that led you to look for another job. Could accepting a counteroffer put a big target on your back? Potentially, yes.
Saying “I quit” may be satisfying but it’s never easy. If you’re ready to make that move, contact Prosum to represent you to top employers looking for talent. We match job seekers with great companies and better bosses. Call on us.