How to write a termination email

Several of us are saying goodbye to our jobs. In September, more than 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs, setting a new record, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Once you decide to quit your job, the next step is how. Dismissal can be done on the spot if you have reached a toxic breaking point, but if you want to maintain working relationships, a heads-up gives the company and your boss more time to prepare for your departure.

In a world where you have a relationship worth maintaining with your boss, you should share your termination face to face and then follow up with an email that is more a formality of human resources.

In these cases, the conversation is a chance for you to share specific feedback on how the job or your boss benefited you, so you helped them walk away and feel like it was a conversation that strengthened your relationship and makes it easier. for them to be an advocate for you when you go, said Phoebe Gavin, a career coach who specializes in supporting professionals early and mid-career. After that interview, you can ask your boss to whom you should address the formal termination.

“In an ideal world, this is a conversation you take up in your regular check-in with your manager, and not a sudden statement slipping in the door,” he said. Gorick Ng, a career counselor at Harvard University and author of “The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Properly. “

“It also means that your immediate manager must be the first to hear about your departure. You do not want them to hear about it through some rumor mill or from their boss. ”

No matter where you stand with your boss, a resignation email will be needed to inform the company of your impending departure. How to write it tactfully, including what to say and what is better to omit.

Share your last day. Other details are a courtesy.

Victorio Milian, a human resources consultant at Humareso, sees the email as a short formality. “I really just need to have an understanding of when you declare your resignation and when your last day is,” he said. “Often I already know the reasons behind the dismissal.”

Milian said the email also lets human resources know how much delivery time they have to recruit. Send it to key people in the organization who need the information, such as your boss or HR, and let your other colleagues know face-to-face.

Career development coach Jessica Hernandez also recommends stating your willingness to help transfer your responsibilities to others while your replacement is being found. If relevant, you could mention one or two things that meant a lot to you while working in the company, she said.

Although it’s just a formal resignation email for human resources, it’s good to throw a thank you to prevent the email from seeming contradictory, Gavin said.

You never want to make HR an enemy, even if your direct supervisor is awful, ”Gavin said. “There are a lot of things from an offboarding perspective that you really need HR for, and you may have to come back with them afterwards because you have questions.”

“If you want to put emotional energy into thinking about how you travel, put all that energy into shifting your relationships from being colleagues to being members of your professional network.”

– Career coach Phoebe Gavin

Remember that it is standard to give a notice of termination of two weeks, but it is a courtesy to your boss, not a binding requirement. If you want to ask for less time, talk to your manager in person before sending the resignation email, recommended Danny Speros, vice president of people at software company Zenefits.

You can say something like, “I want to help make the transition smooth. I think we can achieve that in two weeks or less. Should we set aside some time to talk a plan through?” he previously told HuffPost.

Layoffs are usually disruptive to teams, but you can make them smaller by timing it right for colleagues you want to stay on good terms with. Consider submitting your notice when colleagues will not feel like you are cheating on them, rather than just before a big deadline where everyone is counting on you, Ng said.

DO NOT SHARE why you are leaving and what you are doing now.

The dismissal email is to provide the logistics for your departure; it should not be a room for you to ventilate.

“Many people feel compelled to explain why they chose to leave or where to go next. These are not necessary in your letter of resignation and can be discussed in a one-on-one meeting afterwards,” Hernandez said. “Sharing this information is a personal choice.”

Gavin recommended reserving these insights for an exit interview or for a one-on-one conversation with your boss if they ask you for more details directly.

“The big conversation about why you’re leaving, where are you going, what can we do better – that kind of is an exit interview. That’s not what a termination email is for,” she said.

In the end, it may not be the best use of your time to torment yourself over whether to choose between “Notice of Termination” or “Thank you for the opportunity” as your email subject line. Gavin’s advice is not to overthink it.

“If you want to put emotional energy into thinking about how you travel, put all that energy into shifting your relationships from being colleagues to being members of your professional network,” Gavin said. “It’s a much better use of your energy than stressing over a termination email.”


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