I'm a junior developer at a small company(about 50 employees) that specializes in a very niche technology. Since there are very few companies using this technology I'm really concerned about my future and I decided to switch to Java development.

My current job contract ends on May 31 and I got myself a job offer as a Junior Java Developer from a very respectable company, starting on June 1. What I'm struggling with is explaining to my employer why I dont want to stay at my current company. He's willing to accomodate all of my needs, i.e. switching me to Java projects(our Java devs barely got anything to do lately, but he says that big contracts are coming soon), he will allow me to work remotely more often, I will get a really big raise, and some other things. The thing is, except for the big raise, I dont trust that he will follow with his promises and I'll probably end up in the same niche technology that I want to leave.

EDIT: Sorry for the confusion. The thing is, I already told him that Im leaving but he's now doing everything he can to keep me.

  • 23
    "I already accepted the other offer, and I'm a person of my word." May 17, 2016 at 20:56
  • 1
    It is not uncommon for companies to try and keep you after you tell them you are leaving.
    – Anketam
    May 17, 2016 at 21:44
  • 2
    Don't ignore your instincts because you're afraid of hurting someone's feelings. That's how you make the mistakes you regret the most. You don't have to explain exactly why you aren't changing your mind, just be pleasant and as @Amy mentioned already, let him know (firmly) that the situation isn't going to change regardless of what he promises you (which is truth if you don't believe that he will deliver on those promises). You need to do what you feel is best for your career, especially early on.
    – ColleenV
    May 17, 2016 at 22:02
  • 2
    If your current contract ends on the 31st May, what reason do you have to give him other than your contract has ended and you've taken a new position?
    – Thomo
    May 17, 2016 at 23:56
  • 1
    Why not just say that you're concerned that the niche nature of your technology is going to narrow your horizons, and that you think this opportunity is a good part of your technical growth. May 18, 2016 at 0:55

4 Answers 4


You simply say that you are leaving for a permanent position, and that while you appreciate everything he's done for you, you need to take a more stable position.

Edit after edit of OP

Thank him for his efforts, but tell him that you have already accepted the other position and that you are a person who believes that a promise made is a promise kept. "Trying" to keep you is not good enough. I made that mistake in my youth when my boss tried to keep me. He was overruled by higher ups.

  • 3
    This is a very bad idea. What if the employer assumes that's a negotiating position and promises him a permanent position? Better to just say "I've already taken the other offer, thanks for your interest".
    – Richard
    May 17, 2016 at 23:54
  • @Richard a "what if" is not a reason for anything. It is a certainty vs a maybe. May 18, 2016 at 12:13
  • The problem seems to be that the OP is beset with offers from his employer and is having trouble telling the guy (or gal) that they don't care. If you add another reason, that doesn't deal with the underlying problem which is that they just want to be left in peace.
    – Richard
    May 18, 2016 at 12:14
  • 2
    @Richard It's not that they don't care, it's that a solid offer is always better than a promise. The OP just doesn't want to burn any bridges or leave any hard feelings. May 18, 2016 at 12:21

Just submit a resignation letter that gives your last date of work on it. No need to specify where you are going or why you are leaving. If they make a counteroffer, simply turn it down. If they ask questions, decline to answer politely but firmly. Tell them you were grateful for the opportunity and you learned a lot, but it is time to move on. You are under no obligation to be more specific than that.

  • 1
    In theory, yes. But it can be quite difficult to say that when your boss pushes for an answer.
    – Martijn
    May 18, 2016 at 14:42
  • @Martijn, if you are resigning, stop thinking of him as your boss.
    – HLGEM
    May 19, 2016 at 13:27

Just tell your boss (in a professional manner) that you are leaving. You do not need to justify yourself to him/her. And as long as you are within the normal period for saying that you are quitting for your location, then thats all you need to do.

However if you do an exit interview I would advise against saying that you think your boss was lying to you - unless you really really really want to burn bridges (and even then - don't do it) Just say that you are pursuing other interests.

Edit after OP Edit

Nothing changes just because you boss is trying to keep you. Short of slavery there is nothing he can do to stop you, and there is still no need for you to justify your leaving. Just stand your ground and keep professional about it and eventually he will get the message.


If he's going to make concessions, and you'd even remotely consider any of them:

  1. Get it in writing, and SIGNED by someone in the company with authority to do so.
  2. Make sure that there's something in the document that says if the company reneges, then you're owed something of value ($$$$)
  3. If you're not comfortable that it's enough, have it reviewed by an attorney.

Otherwise, the other suggestions here are gonna be just fine for you to use to make your exit.

  • While not downvoted, this doesn't answer the question. TS has allready decided to go to the next job.
    – Martijn
    May 18, 2016 at 14:43

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