If you have an illness or medical condition that prevents you from adequately performing your job responsibilities, it's only fair to you and your employer that you have a direct and honest discussion about your professional limitations. If your problem is severe enough that you have to leave your job altogether, try to make the transition as smooth as possible for your employer so you maintain a good relationship, in the event you can return to work in the future.
Write a Resignation Letter
Make an appointment to talk to your boss and to deliver your resignation letter. Talk to your boss in person about your decision to leave the company because of health reasons, write an official resignation letter to take with you into the appointment. Express your appreciation for the professional opportunities and tell your employer that, despite how much you enjoy your work, health reasons are forcing your resignation. You may or may not choose to divulge the specific type of problem you're facing. This is a personal decision.
Have a Private Conversation
Don't tell anyone in the company you're planning to resign due to health reasons before having this discussion with your supervisor. When speaking with your supervisor, propose a transition plan out of your role. If your health permits, offer to complete projects, train a new individual and/or help the company find ways to cover your responsibilities effectively in your absence.
Ask for Confidentiality
While confidentiality about resignation terms and health matters are expected, emphasize to your boss that you want to keep your health issues private. Have another conversation with your human resources manager regarding your health insurance coverage. You might be eligible to continue coverage through COBRA. While it is costly, this may be beneficial, particularly if you rely on the insurance coverage to pay for your health issues. Losing work-sponsored health coverage and trying to find private coverage with a preexisting condition is difficult, so investigate all of your options.
Look to the Future
If your health problems are temporary, and you want to reenter the workforce at some point, maintain contact with your former employer and colleagues. If your health improves, explore telecommuting or independent contractor status with your previous employer or with a new company. Stay in touch, monitor changes in your industry and keep your skills fresh through professional development opportunities or online classes. This can help you recover and still position yourself for future employment opportunities.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.