T Nation

How to Leave Your Job Professionally on Bad Terms?


How can I hand in my notice professionally but show Im disgruntled. I donâ??t feel im being given an equal opportunity and have discussed this with my employer many times â?? it falls on deaf ears.

Basically, I have a new job, and I need to no what to put in my notice. I have listed my remaining time period (3 weeks).

I donâ??t want to include the traditional pleasantries like â??thank you for the opportunityâ?? or â??it is with regret that Iâ??

All advice welcomed and appreciated.

And side, potentially silly question, do I just print the letter and envelope it and hand to my manager?! Im new to this. ive only had 1 job.


Ask for an exit interview and dont get emotional on your complaints, just keep it factual.


I have been in a similar situation.

My advice would be just to leave with you head up high. Sounds like you are unlikely to come back, but its best not to burn any bridges as you never know what the future holds etc etc. I wouldn't waste time or energy on getting angry on something that you are about to move on from.

Uncle Bird.



I lie my ass off and keep it positive. It's about the next job and why it's better for you, not about what you didn't like about the one you're leaving.


At my work an exit interview is required because of security issues. We automatically receive a copy of the interview. Make sure you request a copy of your exit interview.


*Disclaimer: I have only done this once, in fact am literally going through it NOW, and have no idea what the next 20-30 years hold for me.

With that said, my feelings are generally aligned with Steel Nation here; I have just resigned my current position for another which is, frankly, a better opportunity, and in the meeting where I informed my current employer it was all about the greatness of the new place. Didn't give much vibe that I was a little disgruntled here and that I'm pretty happy to be moving on.

With that said, if you have a mixture of positive/negative feelings towards your present employer, or care about at least SOME people there and want to see them succeed, it seems that an exit interview where you politely state a couple of key points is in-bounds, as long as you can keep the tone very professional and not turn it into a hatchet job on Person X, Y, and Z that you dislike. But if you can point out a weakness that they might be able to address in the future, I could see your soon-to-be-ex-employer being grateful for the input, and doing them a solid (if you think it will be interpreted that way) could be useful in the future.




Definitely the remarks from theBird and Steel nation. You think your supervisor/employer doesn't/don't know the real reason by now if you've been drawing attention to it as you have described? You'll probably have to list that job on a resume in future , so don't blow it.

Never, ever let them see you sweat/get mad.


This. Nothing to gain, move along.


Steel Nation nailed it, you don't owe your former boss jack shit. Lie, smile, basically play the roll. It was a stepping stone to something better.


all of the above and it's not your job to correct to fix the old company. If you have decided to move on, do that.


3 weeks is a lot of notice, the norm is 2. So it may be a little more uncomfortable until you go. Best to give the notice and not incinerate the bridge.

The last place I left voluntarily, they were tickled pink when I gave notice. They could have not been nicer to me for those 2 weeks.


One thing that we're all glossing over here is the type of job/workplace.

Are you working in sales?
Are you heading to a direct competitor?
Are you working in an academic environment or research?

Because that matters, in the amount of notice required, the general attitude that he can expect when he informs his employer, etc.


"Hi, here's my three weeks notice. By the way, I'm taking your book of business and raiding your key employees. I hope the three weeks is sufficient to continue our good will while I loot your intellectual property. No hard feelings."


I always assumed I would be shown the door the moment I gave notice and moved all my crap out well before notice time, so as to avoid the bankers-box-and-security walk of shame.


^Exactly guys, that's my point. The field influences how much notice is necessary and the type of reception you'll get for the ensuing weeks until you leave.

I'm leaving a job working as a statistician for one research group (women's health) to take a (better paying) version of the same job in a cardiology research group. They're not competitors, and frankly the women's health group desperately needs me to help tie together as much as they can convince me to do before I leave. They want me to stick around and do their work as long as possible, there's nothing for me to "steal" that will be of value at the next job anyway.

The opposite side, as y'all have noted, is someone working in sales (or some other competitive fields), where you can basically expect to be escorted off the premises immediately.

Jewbacca: my circumstances are somewhat different, but I understand what you mean. In my position, though, I was not going to arouse any suspicion by starting to clear items out of the office; I wanted everything to appear business-as-usual until I had my offer and could inform them that I was moving on. So while I see what you're saying re: avoiding the security walk of shame, would you have been letting on that you'd be moving on by starting to clear out the office? Or do you mean you went to the office, cleaned stuff up, and then went in very short order to hand in your resignation?


Add me to the long list of agreeing this is what to do.

Couple things:

1) Most people over value themselves to a fault at work. Very, very rare is there an irreplaceable employee at an established company. (Once you get into management and ownership you start seeing it more often, but even then, it is pretty rare.) So there is a very, very real possibility they don't give two fucks that you are leaving.

2) You said you've complained before. Given the childish need to shit on them as you walk out the door,(I did it in my mid 20's myself, so I'm not judging as much as pointing out the truth,) it isn't a far stretch to say your complaining about opportunity was annoying as shit, they are happy you're leaving.

3) In professional services a hungry employee that asks for more responsibility is only denied that opportunity when they suck. I understand the traditional corporate world is different. If you were denied the opportunity because you sucked, they are happy you're leaving and will laugh at you as you walk out the door all angry.

4) Like I've said, I've done what you want to do. You know what it got me? Nothing. Not a single fucking thing. My next job was 3000x better, and the old place is still going and haven't changed a thing. It was a pointless waste of time and effort to even care. Just... Move on, and put that drive to shit on them into something else. Sure you may get a couple good zingers in and hurt some feelings... But you'd be better off fucking a hot co-worker or two and bouncing, pretending you loved the place.


Well, I moved out stuff brief bag by brief over a week, cleaned up my computer, phone, etc., as well. Then went in on a Sunday and cleaned out diplomas etc. My office had some pens and yellow pads in it when I gave my notice. I didn't get the walk of shame, but it was because my cooperation was needed to transition litigation files, but they were clearly watching me.

And yes, I went from one giant Wall Street law firm to another, and took a bunch of clients. I actually informed my clients a couple hours or days (depending) before I told my theoretical partners (really bosses that were keeping my ass down).


I will add that I have never left a job where they didn't ask about the new job / compensation, and make a counter offer. So do be prepared for that. Just another reason not to burn the bridge. They may just surprise you with a better deal. I've never worked an office / corporate job though, and I hear those folks can be a bit more catty about things.


What would be the point of letting them know how much you hated the job?