How to Say Goodbye to a Boss


There are many reasons for leaving your job. Unless you are certain you will never need another one, the final impression you leave on your supervisor may be important. No matter why you're leaving, saying goodbye to a boss in a professional manner will make the situation as favorable as possible. But be prepared to be asked to leave immediately once you give notice.

  • Decide how long you can continue with the job or review your contract requirements regarding resignation. Dr. Randall S. Hansen, founder of Quintessential Careers and author, suggests writing a resignation letter and giving it to your boss and the company’s human resources officer. Hansen says to keep it short and include that you are leaving and when. Mention your reason only if positive, such as moving or making a career change. Thank your boss for the time you were employed.

  • Give your boss the letter at least two weeks before you leave, or longer, if required in your contract. Ask how long she will need you and show your commitment by staying additional time or training your replacement. Prepare notes on all aspects of your work, including contacts and instructions.

  • Work diligently while you're still there. Collect contact information from colleagues, supervisors and others you may want to stay in touch with. Demonstrate your professionalism by completing all your major assignments and making notes on any work you must leave unfinished.

  • Prepare a list of what you want to discuss with your boss. Elaine Varelas, managing partner at Keystone Partners career management firm, recommends you make only constructive comments and present them in an informal conversation with your supervisor. A positive presentation will earn you respect. Be professional. Emphasize the benefits you have gotten from the job and from his supervision.

  • Keep your exit interview with human resources brief. Do not say anything negative about your boss or the company. According to Nick Corcodilos, host of "Ask The Headhunter," exit interviews can result in bad relations with the company and your boss without any positive results.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be brief and polite with your boss if you are being terminated. You don't have to talk to your supervisor or do an exit interview. Remember that anything you say may be used by your former employer if you take legal action. Corcodilos advises against signing anything in an exit interview and says that “no comment” is the safest response.

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