The time has come to leave your job.

It's taken hours of thought, debating the pros and cons, and talking to mentors, coaches, and friends in order for you to come to this decision.

Now what?

Despite being clear that you're better off leaving and going elsewhere, departures can bring on a lot of stress. After all, you don't want to burn bridges, but you also don't want your team or organization to think you're open to staying. Often, telling your boss you're leaving can be an invitation for them to give you a counteroffer for more money or a different opportunity.

That's why, when you definitively decide to leave, you need to communicate that message--and its finality--succinctly. Confidence in your delivery is essential.

Here are a couple of messages you can use as a jumping-off point:

  1. I Have Another Opportunity: I've really enjoyed the opportunity to work with you, but I have another opportunity that I just can't say no to. It's exactly what I've been seeking for my next career move. At this time, I don't believe this kind of opportunity exists here, but I'd love to keep in touch and explore ways to work together down the road. 

  1. I've Given All I Can: I'm leaving because I've given this organization all that I can and, rather than give you anything less than 150%, I want to pivot to another opportunity. I have loved my experience here, but it's clear that going somwhere else is important for my own growth.

  1. I've Maximized My Potential: I'm leaving because it's clear to me that I have maximized my potential in my role and I need a new opportunity in order to really take my career to the next level. I don't think that opportunity is here at this time. I've really enjoyed working here and would love to keep in touch.


  2. I'm Seeking My Zone of Genius: I have loved how much I've grown with this team and this organization. However, I'm really focused on doing the work I'm best at, and I currently don't see how I can be challenged and fulfilled any longer. I'd love to keep in touch and I'm open to exploring further opportunities down the road.

  3. I Want to Get to the Next Level:  Thank you for providing me with a great opportunity to learn and grow and expand my horizons with you and this organization. However, at this time, in order for me go to the next level in my career, change is necessary. I'd love to keep in touch and, as things evolve, I'm open to working together in the future.

  4. I Need a Change of Direction: Thank you so much for the opportunity to grow and learn for the past few years. At this time, it's clear that, in order for me to do my best work, changing directions is what I need to do. I've so enjoyed working with you and would love to keep in touch. 


Start with these six openers and remain resolute. If you're a superstar, get ready for your company to offer some enticing carrots to get you to change your mind--usually external things, like more money. But these offerings won't actually change your ability to grow and learn in a way that works for you. Keep steady and remember: Saying no to jobs that are wrong is the only way to get the ones that are right.