I am aware that it's more polite to give your employer notice in person, however the office I work in is not the same as my Line Manager. In order to give notice in person I would have to travel some hours during working hours at the companies expense. As such I have decided to give my notice via a phone call, after which I will email my resignation letter.

My Line manager has themselves arranged a phone call with me, so I will tell them during this call. However, I am aware that my LM is fully expecting this call to be about work that I have and will do, and even possible plans for the future. With this in mind I feel I should start the conversation with my resignation, so that they're not talking about plans a couple months down the line. I'm also aware that my resignation will be unexpected and throw off what they had planned (such as future plans).

Since my LM is expecting this to be a catch up call about my work I'm not sure how to bring up the fact that I'm resigning (with proper notice) in a friendly way. Basically, after the initial Hello's, how do I tell my LM I'm resigning in a friendly matter before they start talking about my work?

I'm asking this on IPS and not Workplace because I'm asking how to approach a topic.

If it helps I'm from the UK and I already have another job lined up. There are no hard feelings at my current place of employment, I get on with my co workers and even my LM. I've just found a job that better suits my needs.


3 Answers 3


Something like:

Hi Mary. I'm glad you made time to take this call with me. Before we get started, I am sorry but I wanted to let you know that I've accepted an offer with another company, and that August 10th will be my last day of work here. I've really enjoyed working with you and I wanted to tell you this directly, before I sent in my official resignation letter.

Key points:

  1. Be clear and firm, by explicitly stating your last day on the job.
  2. Express appreciation for the opportunity (even if you didn't enjoy the job)
  3. Keep it short and simple. Don't give details or excuses. State what your are planning to do in general terms, and leave it at that.

Sticking to these points helps avoid an extended discussion which can touch on uncomfortable subjects, such as specific problems you have with this company, or with this person's managerial style. You should not feel you have to justify your choices in any way.

Even if you feel the company has serious problems, they're no longer your problems. Your goal is to leave behind sufficient goodwill so that if any future employer calls for a recommendation, the company won't feel the need to add anything negative. I've heard that actual negative comments from past employers are uncommon (because of the potential liability) but you never know what seemingly innocuous understatement might endanger your employment prospects.

If your manager does want to talk about specific reasons why you are quitting, it's entirely your choice if and how you want to answer. If you don't feel like going into detail, then a simple:

I just feel it better suits my needs

is completely fine.


I would suggest doing a Skype conference call, if you can.

This way, it's both a phone call and a meeting where you can see each other.

If you can't, then proceed with the scheduled phone call and here's what I would recommend:

Start the conversation by thanking your manager for their time, and immediately proceed to tell them of your plans to resign your position. I think this works best, since if you wait until after a long, exhausting catch-up phone call about work and future projects, then you risk making your manager feel lead on, or you risk making them feel that they wasted their time on the phone call.

Honesty is the best policy here - do tell your manager sooner rather than later.


Even though you already have an arranged call, I would suggest setting up an additional, earlier call specifically to discuss your resignation. In setting up you don't have to say exactly what it's about, other than it's an important work-related issue that you need to discuss before having any other discussions.

The times that I've resigned to move on that's what I've done. I think it's a good way to go because it gives your boss a heads up that something significant is going on, so they aren't completely blindsided. It makes it clear to your manager that you are running the call on a specific topic, so they don't come in thinking about the next few projects to work on.

It also lets you think about and structure the meeting so you can lay it out the way you want to, and not feel like you are interrupting or overriding your boss.

If there isn't time before the scheduled call for an additional call, I'd suggest emailing your boss to let him know there's an important topic that you need to discuss at the start of the call. Again, this let's him know something is going on, he isn't blindsided, and let's you start off the discussion.

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