I have been working for a multinational company in Portugal for approximately 4 years.

My manager is on an indeterminate leave and I have been acting as her back-up, because I am the person with most experience in our small team. I don’t enjoy these additional responsibilities, as I prefer production work, rather than management/administrative work.

I have been planing to leave the company by the end of the year, and start working as a freelancer in the beginning of next year. I would like to leave on good terms, as I hope this company will become one of my clients.

However, I am not ready to tell the company that I plan on leaving, so how should I tell the office director that I should not be considered a replacement and that they should look for someone else?

Note that this is not a duplicate of the following questions, because I am not getting a promotion/additional responsibilities due to merit, and I want to leave the company:

How can I turn down a promotion gracefully?

Decline promotion because planning to change jobs?

I don’t want a promotion

  • "planning", "not ready". See Have to plan international trip for work but might be leaving job soon
    – Nathan
    Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 19:57
  • 1
    Why is this a problem? even if you leave you will be leaving at a higher level and so you can charge more as a consultant - you need to think of yourself first Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 20:26
  • @JoeStrazzere - I have not explicitly told them that. One day I was told I had to act as back-up whenever my manager was away (a few hours/days). But since her leave has become indeterminate, I will be expected to take over all her responsibilities.
    – upzigo
    Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 20:37

2 Answers 2


How to decline additional responsibilities because I'm planning on leaving the company?

If you don't want them to know you're leaving yet, then you can't use that as the reason for declining. So decline on other ground, like you don't have enough time, or you don't want to shift roles.


I would like to leave on good terms, as I hope this company will become one of my clients.

Depending on your current employer to become a client when you quit and start freelancing is a risky move. I don't know anything about your company or the business norms in Portugal, but there may be an internal policy against that. I suggest you check with HR about relevant policies.

As far as accepting additional responsibilities while you are still employed there - why not?? Every responsibility you are given is another strong point on your resume.

Finally, I would not suggest telling anyone at your company you plan to leave before you are ready to go. I have seen people do this and get quietly replaced by managers who don't want to take a chance on getting stuck. If you tell people you want to leave it also affects team morale and team perception of your commitment.

  • Thank you for answering. There will be no problem working as freelancer for the company, as ex-colleagues have done the same, and I will not be telling anyone at the company I am leaving until I am ready. The question is: how should I tell them they should find someone else without telling them I will be leaving soon?
    – upzigo
    Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 20:53
  • 1
    if that is what you need to do then the best way may be to tell them that “for personal reasons” you need to decline. Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 23:18

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