Post # 1
I’ve been reading very helpful posts on how to properly quit a job but I still have concerns. First, some background info: I have been in my current position for 14 months and it’s been… different. I’m an executive assistant for a VERY small nonprofit (there’s only three of us) and I really don’t like my boss. I love our mission but my boss is a micromanager, has never valued me as an employee, and always finds a way to make me feel inferior. I may be her assistant, but I have the same degree she has and I deserve to be treated like an equally valued member of the team!
So, my question: when I tell my boss I accepted a new position, how do I answer when she asks me why I want to leave? I know she will ask that and even though I don’t have to answer, I don’t think I can avoid it. I know not to say anything negative because I would like to leave on good terms, but the job is a parallel shift (exec. assistant to exec. assistant) so it’s not like I’m leaving for a promotion. I just crave a more positive environment and although this is not my dream job, it does offer advancement opportunities which is something I do not currently have. I just don’t know how to properly tell her why I am leaving without it sounding negative. Any suggestions?
Post # 3
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@iheartmarshall: I would hope she doesn’t ask that, it puts you in a very awkward position and I’ve never been asked that when leaving a job.
You could say something as simple as “I think the company/position will be a better fit for me” Or that you’re looking to advance (it doesn’t have to be the truth, that’s terrible of her to ask you!!)
Post # 4
You dont have to tell her where you’re going or what your new position is do you? You can just say you’re doing xyz that looks like it has growth potential and is more inline with youre goals.
Post # 5
I agree… this new position is just a better fit. Is that company larger? Perhaps there’s more room for advancement long term there. Do they have a better/more affordable benefits package?
Post # 6
I am also an exec assistant at a small organization! I would recommend keeping it vague and professional to avoid burning any bridges.
Don’t offer a reason if she doesn’t ask. You do need to give proper notice that you’re leaving ahead of time, especially since at such a small organization you may need to help find someone to replace you or at least leave your workplace in a stable enough condition that they can survive without you until they find someone. Put in writing that you have to give x weeks’ notice that you will be leaving the firm for a position at another organization.
If she asks you to elaborate, simply say, “Another opportunity came up” or “This is the right move for my career at this time.”
Post # 7
I think you should tell her the truth in a constructive way. Someone in her position should be able to turn criticism into a learning experience. You don’t have to be rude or tell her you don’t like her, but if you think there are certain ways she can improve, I think she deserves to know. It will only help the organization in the long run and if done tactfully, you won’t burn any bridges.
Post # 9
Wow – quick responses! Thank you!
This new position is with a state agency and it’s slightly better pay, WAY better benefits, and it’s more involved than my current position. Right now I’m mainly administrative, but with the new job I will also be handling anything communications-related (press releases, website updates, press kits, etc.) and I will also be in charge of our volunteers and summer interns so it’s definitley more responsibilities even though the position title is the same. So, I guess I can just say that if she does ask.
I’ll be starting my new position on February 1st and plan to finish out the rest of January to tie up any loose ends and make sure everything is organized and easy to understand for whoever she hires to replace me. Actually, my boss is out this week so I won’t even be able to tell her I have accepted a new position until next week. I know it’s not appropriate to ask someone why they are leaving and I definitley won’t bring that up myself, but my boss is the type of person who would ask that and I want to prepare myself if/when she does.
Post # 10
@iheartmarshall: Just tell her something short, fairly truthful, and vague. if she wants to do a full on exit interview, then it should be formal with an HR rep leading the interview. The more you tell her, the more difficult it will be to leave on good terms.
“I’m really looking forward to the advancement opportunities this new company offers; as much as I’ve enjoyed my time with this organization I feel that I am making the best decision for the long term.”
Post # 11
New position is just a better fit as a few PP said.
Post # 12
You actually provided your own answer in your original post. You said that you believe that the new opportunity affords you more room for advancement, and that’s really all that you need to say. Also, as you already noted, be sure to keep the entire conversation positive so that you don’t burn any bridges. Since she currently is at a higher level than you are in a specialized field, you may one day find yourself applying for a job in an organization where she could be a major decision-maker.
I do want to respond to one other comment that you made in your original post. You noted that you have the same degree as your boss, and that you “deserve to be treated as an equally valued member of the team.”
As someone who served in senior management for many years, I would like to say that, although I strongly believe an organization’s management should place a very high value on recruiting and retaining good employees and striving to create and maintain a very positive work environment, employees should be careful not to project an attitude that may be perceived as a lack of respect for authority and the established chain of command within an organization. I am not saying that you did this. However, I just wanted to offer some insight from a management perspective that, if you did, it could help to explain why your working relationship with your boss may not be as positive as you would have liked.
I treasured highly motivated and intelligent individuals who focused on fulfilling their job duties, performed them well, and expressed a positive attitude toward their work. They were the ones who, if qualified, generally were promoted to higher positions when those positions became available. However, employees who seemed to be disgruntled with their own job description and who constantly were projecting an attitude that certain tasks were beneath them or who believed that they had more autonomy or authority than they actually had were not viewed as favorably.
I would advise you to try to learn as much as possible from every boss under whom you work, even those who may not value you as highly as you think you may deserve. If you approach your tasks with excellence, consistently strive to make your boss look good to those to whom he or she must answer, and always maintain a positive, helpful attitude, eventually your boss is going to place a high value on you or you are going to be better positioned to find a new job elsewhere.
I wish you much happiness and success in your new role!
Post # 13
I’ve resigned from numerous jobs…ugh. Best method is to walk in, sit down and say. “Name, I wanted to let you that I’ve decided to resign”. Right up front. Then based on their response you can say more. I think telling your boss “I’ve accepted a position that is a great opportunity for me, and I couldn’t pass it up” is a good way to go. Its honest, and simple and if she wants to know more, she’ll ask. Then you discuss your last day and what to do with any projects you currently have, etc.
I ususally end with saying how I appreciate all that the company/boss has done for me, thank you for the opportunity, etc.
Post # 14
You should just tell her you’re leaving to work for a larger company with more room to grow. THERE! perfect reason!
Post # 15
I think what you said in your posts is perfect! Just let her know that this is a better opportunity for you in terms of your career and better benefits. 🙂 Good luck!
Post # 16
@iheartmarshall: I would just say that you want to try something new and/or the new job offers advancement opportunities. Or just keep it really simple and you wanted to “try a new opportunity”.
Unless your boss is totally stupid, she will understand. Most people want to advance in their careers.. it’s not a bad thing if you’re honest in that regard.