How To Tell Boss I’m Quitting?


How do you inform a boss that you won’t be renewing your contract? I am in a 3-month probationary period and in light of recent events, I’ve not been doing well at work because of my depression/apathy (I’m still in the lookout for therapists). I think I also lost my coworkers’ trust and thus I feel I’m not contributing my best at work. My 3-month probationary period will end in 3 weeks and I’ve decided not to renew (Also, I’m pretty positive that I will not be asked to). However, the company is very busy preparing for some events during those times and my bosses might forget to do the evaluation. How do I tell/remind them that my 3 months are over? Also, if the event preparations are ongoing, they might ask me to work for some days after the end of contract date. I’d like to help out even if the contract does not state that I should keep working after not renewing the contract. But I would be sending out resumes and attending interviews (hopefully) at that time.

Can I say “no” without burning bridges and salvage my friendship with them? Thank you.


On The Way Out


DearĀ On The Way Out:

Unless your business is much different than others, there is an expectation that if you’re not planning on staying you should let them know in a reasonable amount of time. Two weeks is minimally reasonable and you’re coming up on that.

If you don’t notify your boss or HR they may go through all the trouble of either planning on your renewing and getting things settled for that or figuring out ways to tell you they want you to leave!

You could save them and you a lot of hassle by writing an email in which you say you have appreciated your time there but have decided to pursue other opportunities.

To paraphrase the song, there must be fifty ways to leave your workplace! However, most of them start with, “This has been a good place to work and I appreciate your support, but I’ve decided to pursuse other career opportunities.”

If they ask you to work a few more days past your contract date, you can tell them that you will need to flex your schedule because you’ll be involved with interviews and travel for those.

The important thing is to make sure you keep working at your highest level until you leave and that you leave with a spirit of goodwill for those you work with.

Don’t delay about notifying your employer. They need to be getting someone else lined up. If you leave them in the lurch you can bet they will be very upset–and you don’t want to leave under a cloud.

I recall your previous question to us, in which you discussed your difficulty in staying at a job for long. I hope you will continue to look for someone–a therapist, counselor or trusted person–who can help you find solutions to the problem of you becoming repeatedly dissatisfied and discontented at work. I know you have the desire to move forward in a more positive, focused way, so I want you to find a way to make that happen.

Best wishes!

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.