Is there ever really an easy way to tell your boss you’re quitting?

I was dreading having the awkward, “It’s not you, it’s me” talk with my immediate supervisor earlier this week, and I was fearful I’d either start crying or vomit in her office while telling her. I am not good at breaking bad news … at all. I could never be a doctor because I would be the absolute LAST person you’d want delivering the somber news that your loved one didn’t make it out of surgery:

“So, uh, you know that whole heart thing Bob had? Yeah, well … sorry.”

“I know we said there was a 60% chance he’d pull through and make a full recovery, but now we’re finding the odds are more like … 10%. Actually, more like 0 because he just died.”

“Don’t worry about notifying the next-of-kin. I already tweeted them.”

But yes, that was the task I was charged with this week. Staying true to the pattern of everything in my life having the weirdest timing ever, I was approached by a company I had interviewed with right after I graduated from college. They sent me a direct Twitter message (why, hello there, 21st century!) because I had been re-tweeting some of their posts, and they said, “Hey, wanna come apply for this job that you interviewed for a thousand centuries ago? We might actually want you now!” (that wasn’t verbatim). And I responded, “OMG! LOL! YES! TOTALLY! OMG! BEST DAY EVA! TTYL!” (that was more or less verbatim).

Long story short, things worked out this time. I received the blessed news on a Tuesday and broke the news to my current boss on that same afternoon.

I knocked on her door and asked if I could talk to her for a second. “Sure!” she said, smiling (her chipper demeanor making me feel like extra helping of turd casserole). Uneasily, I sat down in the swivel chair next to her and, fighting back vomit, tears, and regret, whispered “I don’t know how to tell you this …”

Then her face went blank. She knew what I was going to say. I considered just assuming she knew what I was getting at and just fleeing her office crying, “I’m SO sorry!” But she looked at me expectantly, and I continued.

“I’m really sorry, like really, REALLY sorry. I was offered a position at another company, and I’m REALLY sorry … like, so sorry. It was a company I interviewed within the past, and I’m really sorry, but they called me and offered me a job, and I’m just REALLY sorry. It’s an advertising job and I’m really sorry because it’s exactly what I’ve always wanted and … SORRY.”

My words didn’t even have time to linger in the air. She immediately smiled again and said, “Congratulations! That is wonderful news! I am so proud of you!” … and she MEANT it.

And we had a lovely chat. Since her and I developed a friendship extending past the confines of our professional relationship, she already knew my heart’s desire was to be in an advertising agency. She said that she would love for me to be able to stay here, but more so than that, she wanted me to be happy. I told her I was so grateful to her for everything that she’s done for me, and I didn’t think I’d ever have a boss half as wonderful as she is. Then she told me I’d always have a place here, and that she would miss me to pieces … and THAT made me feel like a million bucks.

Her response to my news alone perfectly demonstrates why she’s so freakin’ awesome. I worried and fretted over nothing. She didn’t beat me with a stapler or growl, “You know what? Screw the two weeks’ notice. Just leave NOW.” I need to start giving people more credit.

Before I left her office, she asked that I send her an official email announcing my resignation so she’d have something to send to the department manager. “… and do NOT write that you’re sorry anywhere in that email!” she said sternly.

In other news, I just received an email from a co-worker asking me if I could “bang out” a few more projects, and I lol-ed all over my desk. I’m tempted to email him back and say, “Only if you buy me dinner first …”

Gosh, I think I’m gonna miss this place.


  1. I am so happy to hear you got a new job! Congratulations! I know you deserve it!

  2. We are all envious! And we'll miss you. But saying you think you're going to miss this place--now that has gone too far!

    I'm so glad that you found a job in what you want. I've been hearing all over the board stories of people in our department finding their dream jobs coming out of this place (two more are quitting this week).

    It gives me hope, that if I'm diligent I'll eventually find my bliss.

  3. Thanks, Sandy!

    And when I say I'll miss this place, I mean that I'll miss the people. I've formed some really great relationships and had the opportunity to work with so many fun people (and some real characters!).

    It seems like so many people are leaving and moving on to greener pastures. It further proves that our office is full of really talented, motivated people. It's only a matter of time before you're "movin' on up" to where you want to be too! :)


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