I work in a small department where it is just me and my coworker and our boss. Both my coworker and I have issues with our boss and we have brought it to management's attention and have had meetings and try to work things out. Nothing really ever changes though. Needless to say my coworker and I have both been looking for positions elsewhere. She just got offered an opportunity and will probably be resigning today. I am also in the process of getting an opportunity and anticipate receiving an offer next week. This is boss is fairly new and will probably be completely lost without either one of us. I feel bad but I have to do what is best for me and my future. Is There anyway to do this on good terms??

  • 2
    You could negotiate with your boss a longer resignation notice. Aug 15, 2014 at 12:14
  • Similar: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/20357/… . Aug 15, 2014 at 12:21
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    You have made mangement aware of your problems. I assume nothing or very little changed in an reasonable amount of time. If thats the case you should feel nothing leaving a company that does nothing to address serious personel problems.
    – Donald
    Aug 15, 2014 at 12:55
  • The fact that you feel bad means that you are a nice person. But this is business, and as you say, you have to do what is best for you. You can't stay in a job that isn't working for you just because it will make life difficult for your manager if you leave. Aug 16, 2014 at 23:55

5 Answers 5


Is There anyway to do this on good terms??

As they say "timing is everything".

Unfortunately, sometimes things just work out this way, and it might be tough on the company and your boss. That's not really your problem, although it's nice of you to be concerned.

When you give your resignation, just be as professional as you can be. When you talk with your boss, you might offer something like "I know the timing is rough, but it was just a coincidence..."

If it works out for both you and your new company, you could offer a bit longer notice period, as a way of easing the transition. You could also offer to help train contractor replacements during that period.

Of course, you'll offer to document everything you've been doing as an aid to future workers, if that will help.

It's unlikely to matter that all that much. Acting professionally and offering help is always your best bet as far as leaving on good terms.

  • You could also offer to do some moonlighting for the old company to help them through the transition (i.e. hourly contractor who works in the evenings and weekends). This can be beneficial for both you and the company.
    – Jared
    Aug 20, 2014 at 14:00

The only way you are leaving on good terms is by not leaving. But even if you choose not to leave, being on "good terms" with your boss is a very relative expression, given that your co-worker's and your own attempts at achieving some sort of co-existence with your boss have all so far ended in failure.

Given that leaving your boss on good terms is an outcome that won't happen, I suggest that you collect your references from your boss previous to your current boss and any current management that you have a good relationship with before you leave.

Your decision to leave is made. Keep any recriminations between you and your current boss to an absolute minimum, because - who knows, you might return to the company at some point in the future. And recriminations at this point are irrelevant anyway.

You need not concern yourself with what happens to your boss. She may survive your co-worker's and your departure - that's no skin off your nose because you are no longer working for her anyway, or she may not. If she doesn't, consider going for her job. Or recommending to one of your friends that they apply for her job. Your boss's survival in her position is out of your hands - if you still feel a twinge, give your hands a good washing :)


They will almost certainly offer you an incentive to stay. Work out now dispassionately exactly what it would take in terms of raise, promotion, responsibility or other changes.

If it's a simple matter of a pay rise then ask for it. Right now. Don't give any ultimatums, don't say what you will or won't do, don't explain the reason. Just ask for what you need to stay. You probably wont get it - that's fine. Just resign when your job offer arrives. Now it's pointless them asking 'Is there anything we can do?' - you already asked, they said no.


I completely understand the conflict you have here; even given the troubles with your boss, you undoubtedly have some personal connection to the company and to the work, and don't want to see it fall apart.

If you're not able to negotiate a longer resignation period (or don't want to), and if your new company permits and it doesn't create a conflict of interest, you could consider offering to do some consulting to train whomever they find to replace you - come on on a Saturday, something that wouldn't interfere with your present position but would both make it easier on your current company and make you some extra money on the side. Alternately, you could also offer to do a small amount of project work on the side until they find someone and bring them up to speed, again assuming it doesn't create a conflict of interest.

Either way, be very careful in offering this - both in ensuring that it won't cause a conflict of interest at your new position, and in ensuring your boss understands the limits of the consultancy, in terms of time and in terms of scope. You may not want to offer it right away, as you will not fully understand the culture of the new company you're working for.


It's admirable that you're thinking of the welfare of your company and I can see how you would be wary of it impacting on your future career prospects but I believe you're actually in a strong position.

The biggest concern is in future recommendations. Most companies will be looking for confirmation that you did work for company X, that you were in position Y when you left and that you weren't sacked. Beyond that, the reference isn't all that important.

With that in mind, you need to think about what you want to do. Do you actually -want- to leave, or would you be happy to stay if things changed?

If the latter, it might be worth trying to rectify the situation. Your boss will (prbably) not want you to leave as it'll leave them short of resource and experience, plus look awfully bad on -their- record.

Go to them and lay your cards on the table. The best, and most professional, approach is to say "Our work relationship isn't good and it's got to the point where I'm looking to leave. We need to work out a compromise solution or I'm handing in my notice."

Give your boss time to handle this as some people, especially those who're lacking in experience and/or confidence, find it difficult to admit that they've made a mistake.

Whilst it's common practice for bosses to define what they expect from their employees, it's equally valid for employees to have requirements, too.

Bear in mind that the worst that can happen is that you change job. In today's climate, you should be expecting to change job occasionally, anyway. It's not always a pleasant experience but it's the way things are today.

You have power in this situation, don't be afraid to use it.

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