Needing Resignation Letter Advice
July 28, 2013 8:32 PM   Subscribe

I currently have two different jobs, with two different bosses at the same community college. I have been offered to work at one of them full time and it happens to be the one that I like more and is more fitting for my goals. I have already made my decision, I just need to avoid burning bridges.

My "old" boss also happens to be a former professor of mine. I developed a good rapport with him and it's how I landed the position to begin with. The "old" job basically entails me sitting in on a college algebra class four times a week and conducting study sessions with students outside of class. Scheduling is kind of crappy as I have to drive crosstown for only 3 hours of work every day.

At the "new" job, I provide tutoring on a walk-in basis for subjects ranging from high-school level algebra to ordinary differential equations. As a math major, I find this job most enriching as it keeps the fire lit under my ass to stay sharp on a very wide range of material while not taking any math classes. Also, the scheduling is a lot more flexible.

Many of my coworkers at this new job have gone through a similar transition, but not without some amount of perceived resentment from the "old" boss. I want to minimize the possibility of this happening, not only because he is a good guy, but because I'm still going to run into him on campus periodically. Another thing worth noting is that he is the single best source for a recommendation letter for when I start applying to four-year schools.

Tomorrow is the end of the semester and it's highly possible that I will not get to meet with him personally until the fall term starts, so in case I don't have the opportunity to tell him face to face, I want to write a resignation letter that takes care of the matter as painlessly as possible.

Should I mention that I've accepted the other position? If so, how should I describe my rationale for doing so? Anything aside from the usual "I tender my resignation from this position on this date"?
posted by triceryclops to Work & Money (7 answers total)
Yes, definitely mention that you've accepted the other position. He's going to find out anyway.

I'd approach writing the letter as more of a Thank You letter, first and foremost, if it were me. Say that you've been offered a full time job in a position you'd love and spend most of the rest of the letter sincerely thanking your old boss for investing the time, energy and trust in you to get you to that point.
posted by ferdinandcc at 8:53 PM on July 28, 2013 [5 favorites]

In the letter, I'd keep it simple, but mention the scheduling issues if asked to elaborate in-person.
posted by xingcat at 8:53 PM on July 28, 2013

Dear Doc Brown,

I have accepted another position that better matches my schedule. My last day with you will be .

Thank you for the wonderful opportunity. Hopefully we can work again in the future.



posted by inturnaround at 9:03 PM on July 28, 2013

I once wrote a resignation letter that was overwrought. That's my only resignation-letter regret. It wasn't a big deal, no bridges were burned, but if I had it to do over again I'd write something short and simple. Just a couple sentences, exactly as other people have suggested above.

Good luck with your new job.
posted by cribcage at 11:10 PM on July 28, 2013

If you can't deliver the news personally I would call him and tell him your news, as a matter of courtesy. I think, at a human level, you owe him that and if he's a sensitive sort then the old send the letter and disappear approach might not play well.

Then write a polite letter formalising the resignation and telling him, briefly, how much you have enjoyed working with him and have valued the opportunities you have been afforded, and that you are accepting another position on campus. Brief and sincere is good.

It's part of working life and anyone who has been managing for any length of time should understand that. If he takes it badly, that's his issue, not yours.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:56 AM on July 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

All resignation letters should be brief and classy: it doesn't matter if you're actually leaving because you've found another job or because the boss is scum..... never burn bridges in writing!

If you feel the need to do a little sucking-up with Old Boss, try something like "Thank you for the opportunity of working with you; I have learned a great deal that will serve me well in the future. Unfortunately I must resign, effective [date], as my other job will be taking up all my time." And yeah, if he's touchy about things, then hand him the letter (instead of mailing it or simply leaving it on his desk), and reiterate your apologetic resignation in person.
posted by easily confused at 4:44 AM on July 29, 2013

Brief and thankful are key:

Dear Dr. So-and So;

I have accepted a full time position with Dr. Thus-and-So, My last day will be X. Thank you for the opportunity to work with you.


Nothing more than that is necessary.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:10 AM on July 29, 2013

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