Hi, Anita. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, and many of your tips helped me to land a job about a month ago. I was so thankful to finally get a job, but as it turns out, I’m not really happy there. I’m not fulfilled by what I’m doing and want to get out before I get entrenched. I also want my boss to be able to go back to the other candidates she interviewed before they accept other jobs. Is it okay to email my boss this weekend and let her know I won’t be coming back on Monday?
Dear, Rapid Resigner,
No! It’s never okay to email your boss your resignation, no matter how good your intentions. Not only is it disrespectful and unprofessional, but you are putting your boss in the really bad position of finding herself an employee down without having any notice to create a transition plan. Finally, it’s hard on the team you leave behind because they will have to pick up the slack you just dumped in their laps.
If you are unhappy in your current position, you have every right to make a change. Just be careful in the way you go about it. First of all, if you feel you can talk to your boss about what is making you unhappy, do so. Make sure you’re clear about specific grievances, and give your boss a chance to understand what you would like to see happen going forward. She doesn’t have to change anything, in which case you are justified in your resignation, and she won’t be surprised. However, you may be surprised yourself! If she respects the work you’ve been doing and wants to keep you on the team, she may be able to adjust some things so you feel better about them.
If you don’t feel like you can talk to your boss about your issues, or if you simply don’t want to go through the hassle of trying to work through them with her, at least give her the courtesy of 1-2 weeks’ notice before your last day. That way, she can transition you out and find a replacement for the position. By not giving proper notice, you are truly burning a bridge that may come back to haunt you later on. After all, it’s a small world; you never know what future employer may know your boss and ask her about you. Read more about professional resignations in my post “Building, Not Burning, Bridges.”
I know things may seem bad at your new job, and you may not think you can take it a second longer. In that case, if you really feel you need to give less than two weeks’ notice, you still need to approach your boss in person and let her know when your last day will be. Most bosses will understand that it’s not a good fit (as a matter of fact, dollars to doughnuts, they had realized the same thing already) and wish you well – so long as you don’t let YOUR door hit THEM in the behind on your way out.
Thanks for being such a loyal reader, Rapid. I hope you’ll take this piece of advice to heart as well.
Readers – have you ever known of anyone who simply emailed in their resignation and gave their boss no notice? What was the fallout – on both the manager’s and former employee’s sides?