I work for a small team. There are only 26 total employees. In the past year I'd taken on major management responsibilities and put in a huge amount of overtime.This gave me the impression that it was a good time to ask for a raise. However when I went to do so I was informed by the CEO that although he believed I deserved a raise, due to a major client leaving earlier that year and an extended project that was mismanaged the company had taken a substantial loss and he himself took a pay cut in order to avoid layoffs.

This really scared me as later this week he had said yet said mismanaged client was unhappy with how long things were taking to ship and was considering cutting ties. I really hate to kick him when he's down but feel like for my own financial well being I need to take an offer that was recently extended to me (which I'd previously declined). Would it be a common practice to include this reasoning in a resignation letter or would there be a more tactful way to approach it?


3 Answers 3


The resignation letter doesn't have to include anything more than the minimum information. It is added to your employment file, and they use it to start the out-processing.

Assume that multiple people besides your manager will see the letter. There is no benefit to include your reasons for leaving. Just include your name, your employee number if the company is large enough, and the relevant dates. If you were retiring vs quitting that would also be relevant becasue that can kickoff a different set of steps.

The CEO told you they almost had layoffs, they lost a customer, and that at least one other customer is unhappy. It is likely that the CEO knew that by telling you this he was giving you advanced notice that more belt tightening or layoffs are coming.

Some places offer or require an exit interview. It is a different set of issues regarding how specific you should be in the exit interview.


Would it be a common practice to include this reasoning in a resignation letter or would there be a more tactful way to approach it?

Who would be helped by saying that you are leaving because you have lost faith in the company finances?

Clearly nobody would be surprised by the news. It's not like you are going to change anyone's mind. But the folks who are sticking around might feel bad hearing that.

Instead, find your next job. Get and accept an offer. Give your notice and work out your notice period. If you are asked, use the generic reason "I'm leaving for an opportunity I couldn't turn down." or something like it.


I wouldn't mention it. You don't want to leave unnecessary hard feelings in your wake. You never know if you're going to encounter these people again after their company crashes. It's even possible that the company will survive and you'll want to come back sometime. Everyone will know why you're leaving, but it's more tactful to not accuse the company of being mismanaged (no matter how true it is).

If you feel you must include a reason, say something like having more potential for growth at the new company or something.

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