5 steps to kindly tell your boss you got another job offer

Updated on January 28, 2023
how to tell your boss you got another job offer

The excitement of a new career opportunity can be overshadowed by the daunting task of informing your supervisor about your resignation due to a job offer you’d like to take.

Especially if you’ve worked with the person for quite some time and you’ve come to know them on a semi-personal level. So…

Should you tell your boss you got a job offer?

You should tell your boss about the job offer you got if your true intention is to take it. The sooner you do it, the better.

This way, they will be able to make arrangements for your resignation, such as deciding who will be taking on your responsibilities or start looking for a new hire.

But if your sole objective is to leverage this new job offer that you’ve got in the hope of getting a pay raise or a promotion, then you should maybe approach your boss more openly about this.

In other words, there are better ways to negotiate your role with your current employer than twisting their arm into presenting you with a counteroffer.

Your boss is likely to see through your hidden agenda, which can easily damage your reputation at work.

That said, there’s always the scenario where you genuinely share with your boss your plans to move on and try a new job opportunity while staying open to possible negotiations regarding your current employment.

When to notify your employer of your new job

Notify your employer that you would like to resign and take a new job when you are 100% certain that this is your final decision.

You have to be sure that this is the right move for your career and employment situation and that you are prepared to take all the associated risks of a job switch.

If you’re pretty certain about accepting the new job offer, it’s only fair to inform your employer of your decision right away.

It’s respectful and professional to do this in person if you are somewhat close to your boss. However, in some cases, a polite email before an official letter of resignation will also suffice.

It is customary (although not officially required) to give your employer at least two weeks' notice, so the sooner you have that preliminary conversation with them, the better.

Also, it’s not a good idea to notify your supervisor about quitting your position at the end of the week. No one appreciates disconcerting news just before the weekend.

Monday is also usually a bad day to hold an important meeting with a superior at work as they might be quite busy.

Instead, ask your boss to meet them on a Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon, for instance, and share your news in the most positive and courteous fashion.

How to tell your boss you have another job offer

Should you tell your boss you got a job offer

Here are 5 simple steps that you can follow to tell your boss that you will be taking another job.

Follow this approach with confidence, as it will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect every step along the way.

1. Evaluate your objectives and be honest with yourself

To navigate smoothly through the delicate situation of telling your boss that you’ve got another job offer, you better clarify to yourself why you want to make the change in the first place.

Are you after a more responsible and better-paid position? Is your boss unbearable to work for? Or perhaps you can’t put up with the company culture of micromanagement anymore?

Knowing your future career goals will make it easier for you to plan your strategy before you talk to your employer.

After all, the last thing you want is to be lost for words when you suddenly get an offer for a substantial pay raise if you stay, but at the same time, for example, you can’t stand your toxic coworkers anymore.

2. Arrange to meet your boss in person

Although not always possible, try to schedule a meeting with your employer or direct manager to inform them of your intention to take another job offer.

This will give you the opportunity to explain the reasons for your decision to leave your current position in more detail.

A one-to-one conversation gives better scope for negotiation (if that’s what you hope for) or offers you a greater opportunity to leave on amicable terms and keep the door open in case things with your new job don’t pan out as you’ve expected.

If you are unable to meet your boss, then texting them is also fine. Of course, if you haven’t been that long in the company and you’ve really made up your mind about quitting, you may prefer to just hand in your written notice of resignation.

Your boss might be a bit sad to see you go, especially if they liked you a lot. But this is no reason not to further your career.

3. Prepare mentally for the meeting

Attending a potential resignation meeting with your manager unprepared can turn out badly for a number of reasons.

You may get so anxious that you say the wrong thing or get “starstruck” all of a sudden and forget to mention important points you wanted to make.

So jot down on a piece of paper everything you wish to say to your boss, whether it’s about how you’ve come to the decision of moving onto another job or you want to tell them that you’re still sitting on the fence because such a decision is so hard for you to make.

4. Stay confident and respectful

No matter how sure you are about resigning from your current position, your approach and demeanor are important when telling your manager about having another job offer.

You should talk about your new career objectives confidently yet, in a positive manner. Don’t make the mistake of leaving on bad terms, as you never know when you’ll need a positive reference from a previous employer.

Express your gratitude for the opportunity to work and develop your expertise at the company. Leaving a good impression always pays off. And here are the steps that you can take to say goodbye to your coworkers.

5. Don’t rule out a surprise counteroffer

You should also be ready for a more lucrative counteroffer and have a strategy for responding to it. It’s often hard to replace experienced staff, so your boss may be unwilling to lose a valued employee to a competitor.

This is why you need to be clear about your career-related priorities before you have that meeting.

This means deciding in advance whether you’d be open to negotiating your current position if presented with a counteroffer. Or writing your resignation letter will be in view, regardless…

To remind you again, it’s a bad idea to use another job offer purely as a negotiating tactic with your boss.

If you’re after a salary increase, promotion, change of job roles, or transfer to another department, be straightforward about it and request a career advancement meeting with your boss instead.

You will be surprised to find out what an employer is willing to give you if you are able to present them with a clear plan of how you can bring them more value as an employee.

How to tell a company you've accepted another offer example

As things don't always go to plan, let’s explore the scenario of you getting an enticing counteroffer from your current boss that you can simply not refuse. And that is after you’ve already said YES to that new job opportunity.

Check out this example letter of how to tell the company you’ve accepted another offer or in other words, to decline their offer after you’ve initially accepted it. Keep the letter to the point and be sincerely apologetic.

Dear (Name of the manager),

I am writing to let you know that unfortunately I had to change my decision and I am no longer able to take the job position I recently accepted.

Please, accept my sincere apology for any inconvenience caused.

There has been a change in my personal circumstances that led to my decision.
May I thank you for your time and understanding, and I wish you only the best with your company’s endeavors.

Best Regards,
(Your name).

It’s up to you whether you give your true reasons for declining the new job offer. Not giving too much away is a wise move in case you reconsider in the future.

How to tell your boss you accepted another job

How to tell your boss you accepted another job

Talking to your boss face-to-face about your strong intention to accept another job offer is ideal, of course, but not always feasible, especially if you’ve been working for a large company or corporation.

Or maybe, you’ve already accepted the new job and what’s left now is to inform your boss politely and officially in writing.

Then let’s help you with this by offering you a sample letter of resignation, inclusive of an easy-to-follow checklist:

  1. Start with the date and your contact details
  2. State your job title and department
  3. Address your manager by name
  4. Don’t forget to include your resignation date
  5. Explain your reasons for leaving
  6. Consider offering your gratitude for the experience you’ve gained
  7. Offer your assistance with the onboarding of any new recruits

Here’s an example email of how to tell your boss you accepted another job.

Dear (Name of your boss),

I am writing to inform you that I have been offered a new job opportunity, which I have accepted, and I will be resigning from my current position as (Job title) at (Name of the company) effective (Date).

I have truly enjoyed working as part of your team, however, the new employment offer I’ve accepted opens up opportunities for my further career and personal development.

Thank you for the valuable experience and skills I’ve gained at your company. Furthermore, don’t hesitate to count on me if you need my help with the onboarding of any potential replacement for my position!

(Your name)

And here are some useful tips on surviving your last two weeks at work.

Written by:
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co-founder / office worker
Alex has been an office worker for more than 10 years. He is dedicated to helping other office workers to achieve the perfect life-work balance through well-being, effective communication, and building productive habits.

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