Letter of Resignation


Love your website! I will be retiring on December 31st, and no one is aware of this except my husband and me. I love my boss and my job–my boss really relies on me, and I know she will be shocked when I give my notice. Here’s my dilemma: My letter of resignation will go to the board of directors after my boss reads it, and for that reason, I want it to sound very professional, not overly friendly or casual. I do not want it to sound curt or rude, either; I get along well with each and every board member. Can you suggest an opening line or two–a way to start my letter of resignation without offending my boss, but without sounding unprofessional? Thanks!


Gone By January 1


DearĀ Gone By January 1:

How fortunate you are to have a job and a boss you love. You have several months before retirement; therefore, there is no hurry to submit a letter of resignation. Two weeks is usual except for executives who intend to stay on as consultants and/or in a related capacity such as on their board of directors, or when no one is in line to replace them and a major search will be necessary.

You might want to alert you beloved boss a bit earlier, possibly a month ahead, or if you really think it necessary at a time appropriate between now and late November. What should you consider in resigning? Have you considered that you might be asked to stay on a bit longer part-time or want to return some time later for a spell? Lots of retirees do want to go back to work. Or possibly, you will be interested in recommendations for a volunteer or entrepreneurial venture.

Your letter can speak from your heart. Why not simply begin with a few words of appreciation? Of course in your own words, you might include something, such as:

I have come to a decision that it is time for me to resign so that I might have more time with my husband and family. This has not been an easy decision because I have worked here for _____ years, and they have been good ones. They have been happy and enriching because of those of us who work here are treated as members of the XYZ family. Few, if any, could have a more thoughtful and wise boss than I have had in Bonnie Jones.

The date I would like to leave is December 31, 2007. Until that time, I will continue to give of my best. If I might be of help in acquainting my replacement with the duties of my job, I am available for that. And in the future, should you need me part-time, I will try to arrange for that. Sincerely, Don’t be overly concerned about submitting a flawless perfect letter. What matters is that you are one of the few who love both your job and boss and want to leave with them knowing that. Working with hands, head and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. You are blessed to have had that kind of experience and now can close out that stage with fond memories.

William Gorden