What is the best way to tell your team that you are quitting? If I am on a current project and nobody knows that I am leaving, what is the best way to tell them this? My boss already knows.

  • 3
    Have you spoke to your boss about this? Some workplaces prefer you not to tell them, and for them to tell them instead. – Rhys Feb 26 '14 at 8:35

The best way to tell your team you're quitting is to work with your supervisor, HR or manager to iron out a transition plan. Don't worry about telling your immediate team right away. Focus on helping the management group get their ducks in a row so that clients and coworkers both continue to have confidence in you and the company. You may feel like you're keeping a secret from your coworkers, but really, in the long run, you're helping them out.

Once everything is secured, ask your supervisor for her recommendation. Ideally, you would make the announcement together.

Just today, someone in my office did it The Wrong Way. He went from person to person spreading the news in hushed tones that he found a new job. It made things terribly awkward. If he had gone about it the suggested way, management would have set the wheels in motion so that he could continue to be productive while they found a replacement. Eventually, when the time was right, they would have let the entire office know.


How you leave a company can leave an impression that is more important to how you are remembered by management, almost even more than you performed. Nowadays, people tend to remember the last meetings more. Following the steps below can be ideal:

1 - Inform management first, well in advance, giving them enough time to find a replacement and initiate a transition process.

2 – Be cooperative enough to help with any specific things they will like you help out with. It could be some unique skills you possess that you could pass on or some tools you have been using that you could share. This will really be highly appreciated.

3 – Discuss when it is ideal to inform your team and how to go about it. Different managers have different approaches. So it is important not to let the cat out of the bag in a way that doesn't suit them. You do not want to serve your notice period, help the transition and end up messing it up with a simple awkward announcement.

4 - Based on agreement with management, inform your team members...AND continue to be productive.

While all this is going on ensure that you do not act in a way that de-motivates other team members. You have to be professional. Even if you have friends, remember the relationship is between you and the company and not you, the company and/or other colleagues / friends within it.

If you follow these simple steps, not only will you help the company prepare for a transition but also will you leave a good mark, even if you were an average employee.

Thanks, Spencer.


My preferred way would be to tell my boss first, then privately tell those people that I work most closely with, allowing a chance to explain some of the reasons for my choice.

After those that would be most effected by the decision already know (maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of the team) I would mention it in a daily stand-up meeting. I would speak positively about how I will help in the transition, and make sure to express gratitude for the opportunity to work with the current team.

And be brief.

The reason I prefer to leak the information slowly is to take away the emotional impact of a "big reveal."

  • 2
    Hey Eric, would you be able to explain why you would take this approach and not some other? This will help future readers decide whether or not this is the right approach for them. – jmort253 Feb 26 '14 at 5:18

Break the news to your co-workers about your new job during non-work time, such as during a lunch hour or a coffee break. Don't spend your current employer's time discussing your new job. Refrain from long winded stories with co-workers about your job search, the interview process and any other details about your new job, except during a time when you're not obligated to be working.

Don't go round telling everyone that you are leaving... only with co-workers you believe will be happy for you. If you have relationships with co-workers that are strained acquaintances or below, refrain from bragging to them about your new job. If they are unhappy where they currently are then it may make matters worse if you brag about leaving the company.

Personally I would rather tell co-workers about my new job in person. Don't send an e-mail using company equipment, time and a work e-mail address to share your personal news. You need to keep in mind that there may be some questions about how you found the job, why you want to leave the company, how much you're going to be earning and other details that you may not feel comfortable to discuss. Refrain from sharing too many details about your new job. It's best to simply let your co-workers know that you will be leaving and then on your resignation day, exchange information with people with whom you want to maintain friendships with after your departure.

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