(posted under podcasts originally, but I doubt anyone saw it)

When is it okay for me to tell my coworkers I've resigned? The podcast advice is to let my boss break the news and control the message about my resignation, but after a week I find myself having awkward conversations with coworkers. I work for a small company (12 people). Last week, I used the Manager-Tools method to resign. At the time, my boss said "I think we'll break the news to the team next week, after we've come back from [Trade Show]. I don't want to pull attention from that now." I agreed, and went back to work. The trade show was two days ago, and as far as I know, only my boss knows I'll be leaving at Christmas. I want to follow his lead, but I worry that if I don't say something, I'll give co-workers, vendors, and clients the impression that I left abruptly. 

I sent my boss an E-mail two days ago, asking if he still planned on telling the team soon. I haven't received a response. He's busy with some big deals and year-end paperwork, so he hasn't been in the office much this week. My boss and I have vastly different communication styles. I think this miscommunication is emblematic of my difficulties at this company.

At some point, I'll need to take control of the message, right? Wrong? Please advise.


peterddw's picture

I see no personal benefit to informing your associates nor are they owed advance knowledge. You agreed to let your boss manage the news so it would best to not burn that bridge. You can always speak to your coworkers after your departure and there is never any need to bad mouth the boss. As you mentioned you have differing styles and I am sure your coworkers are already well aware. This will be one more experience that demonstrates this.

You can write a nice departure letter to have ready to post or email on your way out. Best wishes on your new venture.


afmoffa's picture

Thank you, Peter!

I'll avoid telling anyone, per your advice. I wouldn't dream of bad-mouthing the boss; no worries there. I suppose it's possible that people do know I'm leaving and are simply playing it very, very cool. I hope that's the case. I'm writing my boss (and BCC'ing my personal E-mail) to let him know the following steps I'll take on my last day:

1. I'll set my office E-mail account to auto-forward all messaged to [[email protected]] effective 6PM on my last day, so clients and vendors aren't left in the dark.

2. When clients/vendors/coworkers call, I'll direct those calls to voice mail. (We use our personal cell phones; there are no office lines.) For the first week or two, I'll E-mail my boss transcripts of any urgent-sounding messages; after that I'll delete them unheard.

I'm not sure how my boss would feel about my leaving a departure letter, so I think the right move for me is not to write one. The transition packet I handed my boss contains my contact info, so my coworkers will (in theory) know how to reach me if they have questions after I've left.