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The (Almost) Pain-Free Guide to Having the “I Quit” Conversation With Your Boss

By | Adrian Granzella Larssen |

Over the course of my career, I’ve had three “Hey boss, I’m quitting” talks. One involved tears (of sadness), one involved tears (of happiness—though I saved them for after the meeting), and one involved my boss asking if I could take him with me.

All of them, though, involved a gut-wrenching feeling that was equal parts terror, fear, and guilt (and OK, maybe a little excitement). Sound familiar? Whether you’re thrilled to be leaving a job you really love, having that conversation is rarely easy.

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There’s plenty of advice out there on the basics of how to quit your job: Break the news, express gratitude for all the opportunities you’ve received, and show that you’re committed to transitioning your responsibilities. But let’s go one step further and talk about how to make having that conversation a little less painful.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Remember This Happens All the Time

You’re not the first person who’s ever quit, and you won’t be the last. So, if you’re scared your boss will be shocked, throw a fit, or be personally offended, take a deep breath and repeat: This is a totally normal part of the working world. Not to mention, your boss might not be as blindsided as you’d think after weeks of “emergency dentist appointments” and your Monday-morning “Hey, can we chat for 15 minutes today?” email.

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