Aside from resigning from the middle school band, I’ve never quit anything. (Unless of course you count break ups- I’ve done plenty of those.) When I decided to move on from my company, even though it had been a long awaited parting, I felt a wash of guilt and remorse. I debated how to tell my boss. Do I lie and say an opportunity just sprung up? Do I tell him how unhappy I’ve been? Do I make it long-winded, or short and sweet? And most importantly: WHEN? There is a philosophy behind firing people that suggests that Fridays are best to terminate employees. Does the same tact apply in telling your boss you’re leaving?
Quitting my job was a lot of like finally pulling the plug on a stagnant relationship. My company treated me well and tried to make me feel special and valued, but as I elaborated to my boss the reason behind my departure, I just didn’t love my job. I found myself trying to comfort him that he and my soon-to-be-ex-employer had done nothing wrong. It just wasn’t for me. I couldn’t believe I was essentially feeding my boss the cliché, “It’s not you. It’s me” line. I even bought him a beer and tried to make him laugh, divulging some harmless office pranks and secrets he’d missed out on. As he swallowed down the last of his beer and we moved toward the door where we’d part ways, an awkward tension arose: do we shake hands? Wave? Hug? Does he flip me the bird?
In the end, we reconciled my resignation in an amicable way and shed no blood over the news. (He even admitted he suspected I’d pursue a different route soon.) As elated as I was to put in my two weeks and move on to something I’m passionate about, it was deflating to know I’d let someone down.
A friend of mine once gave me some great advice when I expressed remorse over leaving my job:
“It’s business. Your company keeps you for as long as you fulfill their needs. You only stay with your company for as long as they fulfill yours.”