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How would you go about resigning as a Junior Developer?

yokim profile image Yokim Pillay ・2 min read

Preface

So this isn't necessarily a topic that I'm in desperate need of help with, I just thought it would be an interesting thing to discuss!

Scenario

You are a Junior Developer, and you've been going for some interviews, and one of the companies you applied for has just sent you an offer that outweighs anything you've gotten thus far. You accept.

Your initial reactions of excitement and joy are quickly overcome by the thoughts of having to break the news to your boss, as well as having to remain at work for another 4 weeks or so, since that's what is stipulated in your contract.

Being the developer, how would you approach this situation from a written and verbal standpoint?

My thoughts

I think being direct and straight to the point will alleviate any kind of hesitation I might have about handing in my resignation, but the one thing that keeps me held up is the thought of having to openly and honestly tell your boss why you're leaving, telling them why you were so unhappy as to look for another job etc.

The thought of having to open that up for my boss to listen to I feel could hurt the relationship and could come back to bite me in the future, for example:

If you took the offer from the new workplace and they contacted my boss to see what kind of an employee I was, I'm afraid that either the previous boss tells my soon-to-be employer qualities that aren't true or straight up defamation of character.


These are just a small collection of thoughts.

What are yours?

Discussion

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yechielk profile image
Yechiel Kalmenson

but the one thing that keeps me held up is the thought of having to openly and honestly tell your boss why you're leaving, telling them why you were so unhappy as to look for another job, etc.

As someone who recently made the jump, I hear you. Telling my previous boss, I would be leaving was one of the things I dreaded most about the process. That said, you don't need to tell him all of your grievances and every little thing you hate about the current job.

There is an expression I heard "The difference between a wise person and a fool; the fool always says the truth, the wise person never lies." In other words, you don't have to say everything, just mention the objective parts (or some of them). In my case, my boss asked what it would take to keep me, but as soon as I mentioned how much of a salary bump I was getting that was the end of it.

We ended off our relationship on a great note, he even wrote a whole moving goodbye to me on LinkedIn and we still interact often.

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agrothe profile image
Andrew Grothe

Wise words, this.

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yokim profile image
Yokim Pillay Author

That's awesome to hear! Really powerful advice, you've given. Thank you!

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damcosset profile image
Damien Cosset

Well, that is a tough question. Is honesty always the best policy in this case?

I would advise to be honest with your boss if he/she asks for an explanation concerning your departure. As you said, lying right now would make things go smoothly. But you never know what might come in the future.

How others deal with your honesty is out of your control anyway. Saying the truth is the right thing to do. If they can't handle it, fuck them, there are enough quality jobs and quality people out there for you.

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yokim profile image
Yokim Pillay Author

Hey, Damien! You’ve got some good points, I appreciate them! Honesty I feel is a very important policy, and I appreciate the point of not being in control of the reaction of others. Cheers mate.

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monknomo profile image
Gunnar Gissel

In all the cases where I have experienced, the direct and honest route has served me well. I typically tell the boss verbally first, "I've accepted an offer at BlahCo, I start in 4 weeks" and then follow up shortly in writing, via email.

In terms of honesty about the "why", I think it is best to be politic. Burning bridges is seldom the way to go, even if it is very satisfying. Something along the lines of, "I'm looking for new frontiers and new challenges. I think I've grown as far as PresentCo can take me, and BlahCo offers the exciting challenges of working in a different cubicle"

Or, you know, people understand "BlahCo offered me double what I make here, and I can't afford to pass it up," or "BlahCo offered me a fully remote position, and I'm going to move to a cheap town and live like a king".

I remember the first time I quit anything. I was a teenager, working retail, and I needed to quit because I couldn't balance homework with evening work. I was very nervous, and spent the whole shift composing a story and how I wanted to say it. When the time finally came to tell my manager, I got one sentence into the story, "I need to quit because I have too much homework," when she said, "That's just fine, you can apply again for a summer job." I was worried about tanking their schedule, and leaving them in the lurch, but it turns out that is what managers are paid to handle!

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yokim profile image
Yokim Pillay Author

Hi, Gunnar!

Thank you so much for your insight. I totally agree about the point of burning bridges, I’m definitely not looking for that.

My biggest concern is that I’ve had a fair amount to read into and understand how my current boss is not a very good people-person, so with me possibly resigning, a worry of mine is that he’s going to be completely against the idea, but as Damien’s said, it’s not in my control on how others react.

I appreciate your input, thank you!

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monknomo profile image
Gunnar Gissel

I see you are in South Africa, so this is likely not relevant, but in the US, employers typically limit themselves to confirming an employee's role and time at a company when asked for a reference. This is to limit their liability both from employees and whoever is asking for the reference.

I wonder what's on the books in South Africa?

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yokim profile image
Yokim Pillay Author

Ah okay!

Well here in South Africa, there's no real procedure to follow, unfortunately. Many things like this are pretty up in the air.

But as far as I know, some organisations follow the US method of doing certain things.

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dusan100janovic profile image
Dušan

I had similar situation recently. It all depends of personality of your boss.

I was working for the current company almost 2 years when I got mind blowing offer from the other IT company. I just asked myself what to do, and I have been very scared what could happen. I decided to talk with my boss and to be honest with him.

He organised a meeting and I told him everything: That I got much better offer in other company, with more interesting projects and better salary. The boss was very happy that I told him enough time (1 month) before my leave and congrats me because of that. Then, he offered me to stay in the company, he raised my salary 100%, and offered me to work on more interesting projects. I accepted it and I must say that I am happy now.

So, the conclusion is that you never know what could happen, and if you believe in yourself everything is going to be good at the end.

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devcamilla profile image
camilla

As someone who is determined to quit, I would say I am gonna go for being honest. Its hard to debunk the truth afterall. Sugar-coated reasons are hard to defend. Managers will ask you why why why. Being derailed from the reason you initially said will present you as a confused, unsure, coward employee who can't stand for his own decisions.

If your potential next employer asked you about it. Again, bring honesty. It is for them to decide. You will know if they are worth your service or not if they judge by that single reason.

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yokim profile image
Yokim Pillay Author

I resonate with this on so many levels. Thank you so much!

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laraneedscoffee profile image
لارا.

From personal experience, if your boss is reasonable and honest who wouldn't do anything to hurt you. After all his/her work environment weren't suitable for you and this should not be taken personally. Employees come and go after all.

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yokim profile image
Yokim Pillay Author

Totally agreed!