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Five Tips on Leaving Job When Your Boss Wants You to Stay

Moving on in your career when your boss does not want to let you go can be a risky situation. Here are five ways to handle a challenging situation and come out on top.

Giving a resignation notice at a job is never a comfortable situation, but it can be more challenging when your boss does not want to accept your resignation. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you deal with this unique challenge.


1. DO Give Your Boss a Chance. Though it may be the last thing you want to do, giving your boss the opportunity to explain the reasons he or she wants you to stay can be valuable for a variety of reasons. Even though you intend to leave, you still show respect by listening to what your boss has to say, and this will keep you from burning a bridge. After all, you never know when you might need a recommendation, or your boss might know someone at an organization where you are hoping to find employment. Remember the old saying: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. More importantly, you might encounter your former boss at conferences or events after you resign from your position. The deaf and hard of hearing community can be small, and many ex-employees in the same field often cross paths and you do not want to feel awkward seeing them if you leave your job on bad terms.


2. DO provide reasons, but DON’T over-explain. If the reasons you have decided to leave are related to salary or lack of promotional opportunities, it might be worth explaining that, especially to a boss who does not want you to go. After all, your boss may be able to counter the job offer from the other location, which can give you a real choice in your situation. If you have decided to seek a new job because you feel your current job position does not provide the tools and support you need to succeed as a deaf or hard of hearing employee, telling your boss that could result in them making needed changes. By doing this, it can do some good for the next deaf or hard of hearing employee. If you believe you have genuinely been disrespected or discriminated against on the job, it might be better to save that discussion for an official exit interview with the Human Resources Department rather than with your boss, especially if your boss was the cause of the issues. And remember, you do not owe anyone a detailed explanation for choosing to move on in your career.

3. DO offer to do what you can to help ease the transition. Again, you do not want to burn bridges if you can help it or abandon your duties to your co-workers and burden them. That said, offering proactive ways that you can help complete projects or transition them to others will be much appreciated, and mark you as a valuable employee to your boss or co-workers should a reference check ever occur. And unless you truly have no choice in the matter, do what you can to provide your current employer with a solid notice time for your departure, so there is time for a positive transition.


4. DON’T feel obligated to provide details on your new position. Sometimes bosses who are reluctant to lose an employee will attempt to find out the details of your offer to try to counter it or to find out what competitors offer in an employment package. You are required to provide that information, and sometimes doing so can end up backfiring on you should your boss knows anyone at your new company or organization. This statement is especially true in the deaf and hard of hearing community, which can be small even in other states. If your boss pressures you for details and you are not interested in a counteroffer, simply explain this is the direction you want to take your career and be firm. If your boss continues to pressure you, it is a good idea to say that you are not at liberty to share details on the offer, or that the details have not been finalized yet.

5. DO send a thank-you note. Sending a thank-you note a week or so after you have moved on is always an appreciated gesture. Clearly, you were an asset to the company or organization, and they were reluctant to lose you, so let them know you appreciated the experience of working there as well. It will leave everyone involved with a positive outlook on your employment there, and should you ever want to return to the same company or organization, and it will show you are a courteous and grateful employee.

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