Answering the Why Are You Leaving Questions

Cartoon from:


As word spreads around the office, there are going to be the inevitable questions. I suggest being positive and honest, again without being cruel. 

The most common questions I’ve encountered recently are: 

Why are you leaving?
Where are you going?
When is your last day?
Why didn’t you tell me you were looking elsewhere? 

Make sure you can answer at least this in a professional, encouraging way. 

If you have followed the previous advice (here) for how to best give your two weeks notice, then the core people who need to know already know. If you haven’t and they’ve heard it through the office gossip mill, try and pull them aside and have a one on one conversation with them. 

Now is the chance to say, I am so sorry you didn’t hear it from me. I was waiting to tell you until everything became concrete. I am sad to be leaving you, but I’m excited for this opportunity to take my career in a different direction. 

You will likely have lots of these one-on-one conversations and if you are lucky. This is a chance for you to tactfully explain your reasons for leaving, but I urge you to remain positive. Don’t complain and don’t air dirty laundry. 

You may be asked questions about who will be taking over your responsibilities and projects. If you don’t know, find out as soon as possible. Reassure our co-workers that you aren’t abandoning them and value them even though you won’t be working side by side anymore.

Giving Your Two Weeks Notice

Comic from:
As cat’s now out of the bag and I’ve officially announced my new position (if you missed it click on yesterday’s PRBreakfastClub post here), I thought it might be a good time to refresh how to appropriately give two weeks notice to your employer.

Even if you hate everything about your job and the people you work with, you still must be professional. If you have a position already lined up, good for you! Make sure as soon as you’ve signed on the dotted line at the new position that you let your current employer know you will be leaving.

Talk to your immediate supervisor. Tell him or her in person as soon as possible. Be respectful. If you are lucky and are like me, then your supervisor will understand. I was able to explain that I have greatly enjoyed working with her and have learned a great deal during my time at the company. This new opportunity will offer me growth opportunities and the ability to use all of my skills. Just be truthful and honest (not cruel, you never know when you might need something from your previous employer). In this conversation, make sure you find out what the official process is for submitting your letter of resignation.

As for this letter of resignation, keep it short and simple. There are lots of examples online. Once you know what your company requires to be in the letter and who it should be address to, you’re set.

Reiterate in the conversation with your supervisor and any additional bosses that you will wrap up any current projects and do your best to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

Giving notice can be stressful, but as long you remain professional and honest you can maintain the good relationships you have worked hard to build.