I would like to resign from my current employment. Of course I will work my necessary two weeks notice. My problem is based on what I have observed with previous employees who have quit, the current company will be very interested to find out the reasons for my resignation, however I'm not inclined to tell them. Simple fact is, I don't like working there any more, and today, for reasons I'm not going into in the interests of preserving internet anonymity was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I can't tell them I'm moving jobs as they will expect to be asked for a reference, and I'm not moving jobs, just leaving. How to word this in my official letter of resignation, and how do I succinctly answer any questions without having to give away my feelings about why I'm really leaving, which would make working the notice period unnecessarily more unpleasant than it has to be?

  • 3
    Does this answer your question? How do I say nothing in an exit interview?
    – gnat
    Apr 12, 2023 at 19:35
  • Just keep in mind you are under no obligation to use anyone as a reference from a company you are leaving. While you should make mention of your time at the company to highlight your experience on your resume, if it's not relevant to your next position, you don't actually have to mention it.
    – Donald
    Apr 12, 2023 at 19:48
  • 2
    "they will expect to be asked for a reference" What negative thing do you think will happen if they end up not being contacted to provide a reference? I'm also hard-pressed to consider this as an automatic assumption on their part, I tend not to move jobs until I have a signed contract in hand, at which point my next employer will no longer be looking for references since we've already signed the contract.
    – Flater
    Apr 12, 2023 at 23:38
  • So what are you going to do next if it's not a new job elsewhere? Whether you're going self-employed or retiring,both are perfectly valid reasons,so why not tell your employer the truth? If the reason is more private like becoming a full-time carer for a family member,nobody is expecting you to share all the details anyway.
    – TooTea
    Apr 15, 2023 at 10:39
  • You might state what country you are in. It could influence answers. But just food-for-thought, usually exit interviews are to help management figure out if there's something wrong in the company that they should fix, so even more people don't leave. Not really something that helps you at this point, but could be a chance to help the other people who are still there if your complaints are things that impact them (or soon will).
    – JamieB
    Apr 19, 2023 at 20:56

2 Answers 2


Just hand in your standard resignation letter indicating the current date you are resigning and what your last day will be. Thank them for their time and make no mention of any reason for your resignation.

If asked about your reason later, if you don't want to give them one you just say something like "it's personal" or "it's something I am not willing to discuss". If pressed on the matter, just reply with "my decision is final".

Whether or not this would cause complications depends on the person asking and how far they will go to extract information from you or their willingness to retaliate for you not giving them the information they want. Only you would have an idea of where they fall with regards to that. As an alternative to avoid those potential complications, you can always give the generic "a better opportunity presented itself" response and hope for the best.

Good luck and remember, even if your notice period is unpleasant it will only be two weeks compared to however long you have been with the company.

  • Dunno which coutry you are at, but in my field in my country, it usually is... three months ! Apr 14, 2023 at 8:54

Just don't say anything.

Dear Manager,

I am resigning my employment with Company Name today, Wednesday, April 12th, 2023. After working my two weeks' notice, my last day of employment will be Wednesday, April 26th, 2023.

<your signature here>

James Surname

If you're asked why you're resigning, say "I'd rather not answer that question". If pushed, say "I'd really rather not answer that question, thank you. Could we discuss something else please?"

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