Some background story: I moved a couple of times always to big cities, due to my last and current job I moved in a small city. My first year here wasn't really a pleasure for various reasons (racism, different cultures, people not open minded, prejudices about other's provenience, poor public services and transports but really expensive).. I improved some of these, but still some of them keep going bad after 5 years.

If everything sucked, I wouldn't even ask this question.. I'd not have any doubts about quitting and leaving. The issue is that the company I'm working for and my current team... I think I've never had such great experience in 8/9 years of employment. EVERYONE so positive, polite, lively and everything you could ask for in a team.. I'm not saying it's perfect but everyday when I wake up I'm happy to go to office and enjoy my job and my colleagues. Not everyone has such a lucky situation as this one.

But, life is not made only by work and office, my colleagues are great but they're not my friends and I prefer to keep it as this way. I really don't want to confuse personal and work stuff, people in particular. I sincerely don't know if they're so positive just because we're in a workplace and we care to keep it a good place to work or if it's in their nature. I'm saying this because other people, outside of my work environment, are terribly and incredibly TOXIC (like I said above), and apart from this the city doesn't offer much in terms of locals, transports and similar stuff.

In short: I don't want to live in this city anymore, I'm exhausted by it. I tried to solve this problem by traveling around during weekends, meet some friends in close (but not so close) cities around.. this solution I think would fit for good in the short period. But I'm starting to thinking in something to build, buy a house, have a family and where I live now (that has been 5 years at this day) I don't feel at home, accepted, safe or whatever positive thoughts a normal person could have about the place where he lives. I'm usually not a person who speaks without trying, I know that things not always go how we want or how we imagine them, I'm not the kind of person who gives up at the first issue... I always try to fight back and overcome bad situations. As I said before, if everything sucked I would quit and leave. My current company doesn't allow any remote work, and as we had some discussions about this topic, it will never do.

Honestly now I'm really afraid of what they'll think of me when I'll soon leave. I've been always lively and smiley and happy with my job, but leaving anyway? I'll sure look weird or fake to them. Maybe lose their trust... I don't like to burn bridges BUT i have to fight for my life/work balance... I have to be happy inside and outside my office and I tried various solutions but none of them is fitting well to my person.

Then, my question is: should I be honest with my team and my boss about what I'm feeling and why I don't see other choice? Or should I just let it go and say that I've received a good offer and i would be a fool to not accept it? Money is definitely not in my interest, I want just to keep my life as healthy as possible. Previous companies were really, REALLY, stressful.. but not this one.. that's why I don't know what to do.

Other colleagues left my current company before me: some were seen bad, some were seen good. This is happening in the UK, but I'm not from the UK.

  • Why were some former colleagues seen bad after leaving? As long as you do your leaving notice, document everything, pass the knowledge to your replacement guy, why would people dislike you?
    – Bebs
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 9:37
  • The majority of colleagues who left and are seen in a bad way, it's because: some of them left to earn more money and then tried to get back cause the place why they left in first place was a hell. some people was not respectful enough to colleagues and work environment, as we try to keep our work place a good place to enjoy. Others were not humble enough (or smart enough???) to understand that we are a team and every one of us has an idea and can be discussed.. we decide together and you can't step and disrespect other people ideas.. especially when you are imposing yours in not pleasant ways
    – user110171
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 9:46
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of How much should I say in an exit interview?
    – gnat
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 10:07
  • it's a different thing, my company has been totally supportive and respectful for me and my ideas... the only thing that they don't allow is remote work from other locations for reasons that i'm not going to explain, but i'm not the boss and i'm respecting their decisions as they respected mine in various occasions. In the question that you suggested as duplicate it's clear that there is a great lack of communication. Definitely not my case.
    – user110171
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 10:14
  • You said UK, mind me asking which city? My answer will remain the same, but I am curious
    – Gamora
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 10:49

3 Answers 3


First off:

Is there a particular reason you don't want to be friends with your colleagues? Some of my best friends now are ex colleagues because we became such good friends on work socials. I'd recommend looking outside your department for people you don't really work with day-to-day. Maybe offer to be social sec?

To answer your question though:

Yes be honest. Explain that you love the role and you've loved working there but that it's just not the city for you. There is no need to go into as much detail as this post has, but I'm sure your boss will understand.

Make sure everything is in order to make it as smooth a transition as possible, maybe offer to train up your replacement? There is no way the company can hold this against you.

  • I'm the kind of person that can't fake things. I mean, i had in my previous jobs some colleagues as a "friend". But you know that people are pretty competitive and can betray your trust by spreading rumors or private stuff, or using them against you when in workplace things become more tedious between us. That's why i don't wat to mix this stuff. If a person is first a friend and then becomes also a colleague i would'nt worry at all.. but in this case they're colleagues... i don't exclude to be friends for real with them but i'm going to pay moooore attention to what i do, say or act.
    – user110171
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 9:54
  • 2
    It is much better to "blame" yourself not being able to adapt to the life in the small city, rather than let them understand that you leave because they were bad colleagues / bosses. Anyone would be angrier to be blamed personally, compared to hearing the city being blamed. If the work experience was great, then you should make it very explicit, and it would be not at all a bad thing to remain friends with your colleagues. This would be a benefit to your colleagues, telling the company that they did great. Just try not to be too hard on the people on the city, it would put you in a bad light.
    – virolino
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 10:09
  • 1
    I, of course, blame myself to not being able to adapt to it. But i'll definitely make explicit that my colleagues were incredibly great people and loved any minute working with them. I'm making treasure of all your suggestions!! (i'm sayin this to every user is replying to my post of course)
    – user110171
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 10:40
  • 2
    Blame yourself to your company sure, but don't blame yourself to yourself. Everyone is different and everyone enjoys different environments and living in different areas. A city that is the absolute dream for one person is an absolute nightmare for another and it's one of those things which is really tough to judge until you live there
    – Gamora
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 10:45
  • 1
    @Bee: we are cool, do not worry.
    – virolino
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 10:47

Then, my question is: should I be honest with my team and my boss about what I'm feeling and why I don't see other choice?

While your reasons for disliking this city clearly affect you deeply, they are personal, and have nothing to do with your work. There's not really anything your boss could do to make your city better, so it probably doesn't make sense to dig into that as you give your notice.

If you were personally very friendly with your boss or teammates, you might wish to express your feelings. Perhaps that would make you feel better. Since you wrote "my colleagues are great but they're not my friends and I prefer to keep it as this way", this doesn't seem the case.

Just find your next job in a city you'll enjoy, give the appropriate notice, and put this all behind you. You don't owe anyone an explanation of why you are leaving.

Opening up about why you hate this city so much is unlikely to make anything better. And it might make things worse, since others likely won't share your opinion and will still live there. You would almost certainly be better off with the generic "I've found a better opportunity for myself" reason.

Find a better, non-toxic locale where you aren't exhausted all the time. And try to make friends both inside work and outside. Having friends you can be honest with can help make things better. I wish you luck.


You don't have to give any reason for leaving.

Giving the vagueish reasons that you have would seem like whinging to some and offensive to others. You're basically putting down their locale and everyone outside the office. In any case it's not a good look. You're not close to anyone so suddenly spilling your heart out would come across as weird.

I've left lots of jobs, best to just leave quietly with a smile and goodwill, thank those that have helped you, ignore anything bad and focus on your future.

  • I guess you're right on the whinging thing. But as far as i know, they're aware that their city is quite "far from acceptable" talking about their society. I've already pointed this out with my colleagues and they totally agreed with me...
    – user110171
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 10:16
  • Doesn't mean they relish hearing it again on your way out the door.... lots of problems in my country but I don't think well of people who feel the need to include me in their rant at it.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 10:33
  • good point, good point.. you definitely right.. i just trying to figure out the best answer to a question that will surely come up like "yes yes, you loved everything working here... so WHY are you leaving then?". Thanks for your precious suggestions and for your edits on my grammar mistakes.. i appreciate it!!
    – user110171
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 10:44
  • Once you leave people remember the negative more than the positive especially at the end, best to just make it positive all around
    – Kilisi
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 10:45

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