Today I'm going to sign for a job that I really like. It's pretty different from the one I have now and I've negotiated for more or less the same salary, plus some benefits.

When I'll notify my current employer about this job offer I'm pretty sure that he will ask me why I want to change and probably how much they offered me.

I'm not sure that telling him I'm accepting basically the same salary is a good idea. I feel I'm worth more (I was even going to consider to ask for a raise before this offer) but it's an offer that will give me much more possibility to grow and a more enthusiastic work.

What should I say? Just that it's a good offer, mention that I'm quitting for something different or maybe saying that they're giving me more?

  • What is your goal in this? For example, are you looking (or hoping) for your current employer to make you a counteroffer? Or do you just want to leave the current place on good terms, etc.
    – Brandin
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 9:46
  • Just tell them that you felt that you needed to try something different and leave it at that. Don't discuss or mention salary. If asked, just say that you are happy with it. Don't offer any more, deflect when asked. Its no one else's business.
    – Jane S
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 9:48
  • 1
    Well, I was hoping for a counteroffer, but just to understand how much they're willing to keep me, but I guess I wouldn't accept it. And obviously I would like to leave the place in good terms, it was a good experience and you never know!
    – Enrichman
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 10:00
  • I hope this job is worth it. Because you're squandering the main opportunity (job change) to get a raise. If you're entering at a salary you feel is below what you're worth then you're not establishing a good basis for a long term relationship with the new employer. It may be worth it for the different work, however.
    – Nathan
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 10:33
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    @Enrichman: Never hope for a counter, never consider a counter. A counter is just an effective way to appease you temporarily until the company itself can find a more convenient time to end the employment relationship. Once you've made the choice to leave, stick to it. Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 18:22

3 Answers 3


What should I say?

There's no need to say anything substantive nor is there a need to lie. Simply saying that you are leaving for "better opportunities" is virtually always true.

Remember, you don't owe your current employer any explanations, and you certainly aren't required to talk about the details of your new company, job or salary.

Since you will have already accepted the new position, I'll assume you don't want to get into a negotiation about staying with your current employer. Thus, there's no benefit to you to reveal any details about the new job. Just be thankful for the opportunity you got in your present job, give an appropriate notice period, be professional during your transition out and end things on good terms.


Firstly don't tell any lies, these things have a way of finding you out.

When I quit my last job for one with a very similar salary I stuck very much to the truth. I was leaving because my new job was far closer to home, this would give me a better lifestyle and more family time. I didn't volunteer any information about my new position but I wanted them to understand it wasn't a financial decision.

In your case I would just say you're leaving because the new role excites you and you feel really enthusiastic about it. If they ask you about money just say that it meets your requirements but don't tell them your new salary. If they want to then come back with an offer to convince you to stay that is their decision but I would be very wary of accepting an offer in those circumstances.

  • Saying that you accepted because you are excited about the growth prospects on the job and then turning around and accepting a counter offer that's based solely on money - that would say something about how your excitement about the growth prospects of the job can easily be contained. Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 10:52
  • I didn't say he should accept a counter offer or use this as leverage to get one. I mentioned they might come back with one, especially if they agree with the OP that he is 'worth more'.
    – Dustybin80
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 12:07

Completely independent to the workplace, if you are asked a question and you don't want to answer it, the best reply is "I don't want to answer it". And for any follow-up question, the best reply is also "I don't want to answer it". If you are asked why you don't want to answer, the reply is "because I don't want to".

Consider the alternatives: Saying the truth is exactly what you wanted to avoid. Lying has the bad habit of being found out eventually, or having potentially bad consequences if the lie is believed. Giving excuses why you are not answering, other than the straightforward "I don't want to answer", makes the questioner peck at your excuses, until eventually they find out that you are just giving a lame excuse and then you are worse off than to start with.

The only situation where you may say why you left is if the reason has nothing to do with what the company has been doing or could be doing in the future. For example, if you need to move away for personal reasons, completely unrelated to the company, then you may say that.

  • 5
    I'd suggest that "I would rather not say" may be less confrontational than "I don't want to answer it." If, as the OP indicates, that he wishes to not burn the bridge, then it's wise to be a little diplomatic in how you don't answer their questions :)
    – Jane S
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 11:24

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