Job Offer From a New Company: How to Talk to My Boss

Though you're beaming inside, be mindful of your boss' feelings.
i BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

Congratulations on your new job offer. But now, the hard part. You’ve got to tell your boss that you’re leaving. Depending on how important your role, your boss might not want to let you go easily. Try to frame the offer in terms of its potential benefit to your career, not its detriment to your current position. Tell your boss that this is what you’ve been working so hard for and top it off with a compliment: “This position will give me the opportunity to mentor other women the way you’ve mentored me.”


    Before you speak to your boss about any job offer, make sure it’s written in stone. You don’t want to jeopardize your relationship over anything that isn’t nailed down so get the new job offer in writing. Once the offer is assured, keep your mouth shut until you officially give notice. Don't let news of your leaving reach your boss through office gossip.

Face to Face

    Telling your boss you’re thinking about leaving is a tough job, but you’ve got to be woman enough to face it. Schedule a meeting so you can give her the news in person. Before you utter the words that start you on a path of no return, ask if you really want to take the new job or do you just want the boss to know that another company wants you, so you'll get more money or additional benefits. If you’re really leaving and can’t be convinced to stay, be firm. Don’t say you’ll consider a counter offer when you know you won’t. By using another job as a bargaining chip, your boss might question your loyalty. Try asking for what you want without throwing another job in your boss' face. If that doesn’t work, tell her about your other offer, but make it clear that you will stay if she offers a compelling enough counter offer.

Do It Quickly

    Don’t beat around the bush. Prolonging the inevitable only makes the conversation more uncomfortable than it needs to be. Stay away from negative sounding phrases, like “I quit” or “I’m leaving.” Make your boss feel like you’re going toward something, rather than leaving her behind. Simply say, “I’ve decided to accept an offer with another company.” Let your boss know that your decision didn’t come easily (even if it did). Show some remorse about leaving suddenly, and express gratitude for the experience and all that you’ve learned.

Give Two Weeks' Notice

    Tell your boss about your job offer at least two weeks before your intended last day, since she will need some time to find your replacement or distribute your work load to colleagues. Offer to help find and train the “new you,” or at least offer to help your co-workers adjust before you go. Be prepared for your boss to ask you to leave as soon as you tell her you’re leaving. She might not want you to stay on another two weeks. Protect yourself by removing all personal documents from your computer and personal items from your desk before your meeting.

Put It in Writing

    Get it on record that you’ve leaving voluntarily. That way, if there are any hard feelings, your boss won’t be able to spin the scenario that you were fired. Bring two copies of a typed, signed letter of resignation. Ask your boss to sign as well. Take one copy of the letter to Human Resources and keep a copy for yourself.

the nest