In The Workplace

I’m no longer happy with my job. My boss doesn’t care about my career success. I wish I could stay longer with this major company, but I can’t be patient, especially now that I’ve already secured a lucrative job with a prospective, new boss who appears to be caring and helpful, judging from the feedback of his workers. Is it advisable to list down all of my complaints in my resignation letter so that I can get back to my toxic boss and let the fact be known by the Human Resource Department and other managers? — Feeling Nasty.

A man died and left his great wealth to his long-time secretary. Naturally, his wife was furious. She went to have the inscription on his tombstone changed, but was too late. To change it, she would need to buy another expensive stone. She thought for a moment. She certainly didn’t want to spend any more of her little money, so she went to the craftsman and requested:

“Right after ‘Rest in Peace’ I want you to chisel in these additional words – ‘Until We Meet Again!’”

That story sums up what I’d like to tell you upfront. No! Don’t even think about taking revenge against your former boss. You’ll never know when you’ll meet again. And when that happens you may need his help for something else. You need to be strong and resist the temptation of taking revenge. Don’t be a weakling as most bitter people are.

Mahatma Gandhi was right: “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Instead of hate perpetually consuming your body and soul, think only of all the good things about your boss and the organization. It’s difficult, but somehow, you can find greatness in him. If the only reason for your resignation is that you’re not being helped to achieve your ambition, then take it with a grain of salt as you may not know what’s keeping your boss from helping you.

Go ahead. Write that resignation letter using only the most positive approach. The following tips should help you minimize the emotional let-down for you and your boss:

One, your resignation letter must be business-like. Now that you’ve made a decision to resign, write your resignation as if you’re already an outsider. It should not be like a corporate memorandum complete with a “To” and “From” salutation. It must be addressed to your boss, complete with his job title, company name, and complete address.

Start with the usual salutation “Dear Mr…” and close it with either “Sincerely,” “Yours Truly,” or “Yours Sincerely” which are basic, simple, and profound way of concluding a letter.

Two, state the main point of your resignation and its effective date. The legal and professional approach is to give an advance 30-day notice to your management. Your new employer would surely understand that. Explain why you are leaving. “Greener pastures” is obsolete and over-rated. Instead, simply inform your boss that you are joining another company.

You don’t have to identify the name of your new employer. You can’t be forced to reveal it, anyway. Whatever approach you take, don’t dwell on the higher pay and perks package you would be receiving. Don’t rant. It’s too late for you to do that. Otherwise, you can be blamed for bringing it too late in the day.

Three, express appreciation for the assistance given to you by your boss. Remain positive and optimistic after you’ve terminated your employment. You can identify many things out of his goodness, including the early years of your working relationship. Man is basically good and life is too short to dwell on all the negative things in this planet, especially now that you’ve decided to leave them behind.

Four, offer any assistance to look for your replacement, if needed. Continue focusing on full collaboration and cooperation as much as practical. Make it easy for your boss to get a ready replacement as a sign of goodwill. If he doesn’t feel like accepting your offer, then leave it at that. Don’t be offended. We live in a small world and chances are you’ll bump into each other again, not necessarily within the same industry.

Fifth, volunteer to train your replacement up to a certain extent. Your offer may not be accepted due to your boss’s ego or pride. Just the same, leave the door and all windows open for future collaboration. Indicate your contact details in your resignation letter where you can be contacted for help. Who knows? It could open business opportunities for both of your respective organizations. Or you may be offered a different but lucrative job in the future.

Sixth, complete all your pending projects before you go. It’s an act of professionalism that you can’t afford to ignore. Commit this in your resignation letter, unless your boss is not interested. You may dislike your boss, but do not let your pending projects be another reason for your poor work relationship with only one person. After all, your boss does not represent the whole organization.

Last, send a copy of your resignation letter to HR. Require them to acknowledge your file copy. It’s your protection in case your boss fails to act on or even accept your resignation. Do everything shortly before the end of office hours. Timing is also important. Your honest feelings about your situation with your former boss and the bad time when you submit your resignation can be a painful combination.

Even in your exit interview, don’t burn the bridge no matter how much light it gives you in the dark. Be practical. Badmouthing your boss and your organization could compromise the release of your terminal pay, clearance and certificate of employment.

ELBONOMICS: Don’t burn the bridge, even if it gives you the best light in the dark.


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