Getting another job offer can be thrilling. Some may even be tempted to accept it right away, especially if it seems like an excellent opportunity for your career. However, telling your current boss about it can be tricky.
So, what should you do if you ever find yourself in this situation? What’s the best way to approach the issue?
According to experts, here are the ways to tell your boss you got another job offer.
Toni Runci, SHRM-CP, PHR
Co-Founder and Co-Owner, BlueLion
Getting another job comes with some excitement and, of course, some trepidation about the unknown, but it also comes with the anxiety of telling your boss you are leaving.
Some of us may not have an issue sharing with our boss we are leaving for brighter pastures, but some of us do!
If you like where you currently work but, for one reason or another, need to find another opportunity, sharing that with your manager may be daunting.
Depending on how long you have been at your current job and the relationship you have built, you may feel like you are leaving your boss in the lurch or that they will take it personally.
Here is an “easy” (or more straightforward) way to tell your boss you got another job:
Speak to your boss in person
If you have a good relationship with your boss and want to keep it that way during your resignation period and after, always tell them you are giving your notice in person.
This allows them to ask questions and for you to provide feedback if necessary. This could look one of two ways. The first is providing your boss a heads-up to connect.
You can send an email that may read like this, “Hi Boss, I would like to schedule some time with you today or tomorrow. It should take less than 30 minutes. Do you have any availability?” If your boss gets this email, they will likely already incline what is to come.
The second way is to knock on the door and say, “Hi Boss, Do you have a few minutes for me?” If they say yes, you can close the door, sit down, and share your new position.
Be honest but tactful
There is a likely good reason you decided to look for another position, whether compensation, benefits, more opportunity, or something else. It is essential to share this information with your boss.
Maybe you are leaving because of something personal, such as you don’t get along with your boss, or the business culture is unhealthy, be honest here as well.
You can tactfully share information about why you are leaving a possible toxic environment. Share concerns and specific examples of why you are leaving.
Businesses take this information and share it sometimes, and it can create change for the next person in the position or the people still at the organization.
Send them your notice in writing
Once you have had the in-person conversation with your boss, send them your notice in writing. Let them know you are providing your resignation and the last work date.
This is an excellent time to ask questions about benefits, returning company property, or payout of vacation time.
Provide a two-week notice
Hiring someone for the open position within two weeks is slim in this talent shortage market. However, what you are providing them is enough time to develop a contingency plan.
Who will get your emails and phone calls? Where are you with the projects you are working on, etc.? This gives them enough time to know what to do on that first day without you.
Related: How to Give Two Weeks’ Notice
Don’t talk trash
In your two-week (or longer) notice — do not speak poorly of the company, the co-workers, or the boss, even if those are all the reasons you are leaving.
This also reduces the chances of it being a hostile environment while you are about to leave. On your last day, wish everyone the best and move forward with your new opportunity.
Employment, Learning and Skills and Careers Information Expert
Consider whether you want to accept the job offer before speaking to your boss
Consider whether you want to accept the job offer and your career goals before speaking to your boss. Do you want to leave your current employer? If so, are you leaving for higher pay, better benefits, better working conditions, a new challenge, or a promotion?
Alternatively, do you desire to leave your current company due to issues with your boss, colleagues, poor working conditions, dislike of your work, or other reasons? Is there more than one factor in play?
The answers to these questions should be clear in your mind before you book a meeting with your boss, as this will guide your conversation with your boss if your boss makes a counteroffer or tries to convince you to stay.
Consider if you would accept a counteroffer
Following the “Great Resignation” and the difficulty recruiting managers have with finding staff to fill their roles, now is a better time to negotiate with your boss.
Consider what an acceptable counteroffer would be and what you would like to get out of a counteroffer. What are you seeking?
Are you seeking:
- better pay
- better working conditions
- the ability to work remotely
- flexible hours
- a promotion
- new challenges
Alternatively, would you prefer not to accept the counteroffer, no matter how good the offer is? You should know the answers to these questions before booking a meeting with your manager.
Consider the risks of accepting a counteroffer
Consider the risks of accepting a counteroffer. Even if the counteroffer is acceptable, would getting a counteroffer be wise based on your knowledge of your boss and how the company has managed these situations previously?
Would it create hard feelings or cast doubt on your loyalty to the extent that it would affect your work and future with the company going forward?
Is it possible the boss is providing you with a counteroffer to keep you with the company until they find a suitable replacement? You should be confident to know the answer to these questions.
If the risks are too high, I would advise you to leave the company no matter what the counteroffer is or never mention it to your boss if you decide you want to stay with your current employer.
Book a face-to-face meeting with your manager
Book a face-to-face meeting with your manager as this shows professional courtesy and is a significantly more effective way to discuss leaving arrangements or negotiate a counteroffer.
Face-to-face meetings almost always produce better results than conversations over email or phone. If a face-to-face meeting is not possible due to remote work, meet with your manager via video conferencing.
Prepare a letter before the face-to-face meeting
Prepare a letter before the meeting which outlines everything you will say in the face-to-face meeting. Even though you have a face-to-face meeting, you should give your resignation notice in writing.
Do not give your resignation letter to your manager until the end of the meeting in case you decide to stay with the company. By the end of the meeting with your manager, it should be clear whether you will be staying with your current employer or not.
Ensure you maintain positivity in your letter and your face-to-face meeting
Ensure you maintain positivity in your letter and your face-to-face meeting with your boss. You may need a reference from your employer in the future, so it is good to leave it on a positive note.
Also, some people return to their previous employer when new opportunities arise after gaining experience with another employer. As a result, you must not cause irrevocable damage to your professional relationship with your current employer.
Thank your manager for the support and guidance they have offered
Thank your manager for the support and guidance they have offered and the skills and experiences they have helped you gain. Offer to support the transition of responsibilities to a colleague or new staff member.
Say that it was a pleasure working for them and the company. Whatever you decide, you must carefully consider your decision, make a decision that is right for you and then communicate this positively to your boss.
CEO and Co-Founder, Qooper Mentoring & Learning Software
When you’ve received an offer from another company, it can be a difficult decision to tell your boss. You want to make sure that you handle the conversation in the best way possible so that you don’t burn any bridges.
Here are a few tips on how to tell your boss you got another job offer:
Be honest with your boss
The first step is, to be honest with your boss. Tell them that you’ve received another job offer and that you’re considering it. Be sure to explain why you’re considering the other opportunity and what it is that’s appealing to you.
Be respectful to your boss
Even if you’re leaving for a better opportunity, it’s essential to be respectful to your boss. Thank them for the opportunity they’ve given you, and express your appreciation for their guidance.
Maintain a professional demeanor
Remember that this is a professional conversation and, as such, you should maintain a professional demeanor. Be calm and collected throughout the conversation and avoid getting emotional.
Remain calm and professional
Be prepared for your boss’s reaction. They may be disappointed or angry, but it’s important to remain calm and professional. Be ready to answer any questions they may have about the other job offer and why you’ve decided to accept it.
Schedule a meeting with your boss to explain the situation
After scheduling a meeting with your boss to explain the situation, you can start the discussion by saying something like this:
“I wanted to let you know that I’ve been offered a new job. I’m really excited about it, but I wanted to let you know so that we can talk about what this means for my current job.”
HR Professional, Adaface
Have an honest conversation with your boss about the opportunity
It is always a hard decision to tell your boss that you got another job offer. You don’t want to disrespect your current employer, but you also don’t want to be taken advantage of.
It is best to have an honest conversation with your boss about the opportunity and see what they have to say about what would happen if this were to happen.
If the company doesn’t have any other opportunities for you, it is time to discuss the future. Gathering your thoughts on this ahead of time can help make things easier when it comes time to meet with your boss.
Give notice in person and hand-deliver your letter of resignation
When it comes to resigning from your current job, it is always best to give notice in person and hand-deliver your resignation letter. You can thank your boss for the opportunity and let them know that you have appreciated their time and guidance.
If you have another job lined up, it is also appropriate to mention this during your meeting. You can say, “I have been offered another position that I feel is a better fit for my skills and goals.“
Send a handwritten letter if you cannot meet with your boss in person
If you cannot meet with your boss in person, then the next best option is to send a handwritten letter. This shows that you are willing to take the time to sit down and write out your thoughts rather than just firing off an email. It also allows you to be more concise and thoughtful in your words.
To ensure that your letter hits all the key points, we’ve included a sample below that you can use as a guide:
“Dear [Boss’s name],
I am writing to let you know that I have accepted a new position and will be resigning from my current role effective [date]. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your support and guidance over the past.”
Your resignation email should be brief and to the point
Your resignation email should be brief and to the point. You should include:
- Your name
- The date you’re resigning
- A short explanation of why you’re leaving in the email
- You may also want to express your gratitude for your opportunity at your current job
If you’re not sure what to say in your resignation email, here are a few samples to give you some ideas:
“Dear [Boss’s name],
I am writing to let you know that I have accepted another job offer and will be resigning from my position as [Your job title] at [Company name] effective [date].
Thank you so much for the opportunity I have had at this company. Working here has been a pleasure, and I have learned a great deal.
I wish you and the company all the best in the future.”
HR Consultant | Owner, Patterson Consulting Group
Do it politely and professionally
It’s always a difficult conversation, but sometimes you need to tell your boss you got another job offer. You want to do it politely and professionally, so here are some tips on how to go about it:
Always tell your boss that you’re considering other opportunities
First, you should always give your boss that you’re considering other opportunities. They’re not blindsided when you come to them with an offer.
You can say something like, “I’ve been approached about another opportunity, and I wanted to let you know before anything else happened.“
Sit down with your boss and explain the situation
Then, sit down with your boss and explain the situation. Be honest about why you’re considering leaving, and emphasize how much you value their guidance and support.
Thank them for everything they’ve done for you, but explain that this other opportunity is something you feel strongly about pursuing.
Ask for your boss’s blessing
Finally, ask for their blessing. It’s important to remember that your boss is ultimately looking out for the company’s best interests, so they may not be happy to hear that you’re leaving.
But if you can explain how your departure will benefit the company (e.g., training your replacement or helping with the transition), they may be more understanding.
Maintain a positive relationship with your boss
At the end of the day, it’s essential to be respectful and professional throughout this process. If you handle it well, you can maintain a positive relationship with your boss — even after you’ve accepted another job offer.
Buy your boss lunch
If you’re looking for a recommendation, end on a good note. Offer lunch and tell them why you’re leaving. The more honest you are about leaving, the more likely they will accept your decision.
You can say something like this:
“I’m excited we’re having lunch because I have an announcement: I’m leaving to pursue employment elsewhere.
I wanted to talk with you precisely because we’ve been so close, and I want to remain that way. I’m hoping this is the first of many lunches we have together.”
Tell your boss that you’re looking for a new challenge
Unchallenged work is one of the top reasons people leave their jobs. They’re looking for passion in their work, and giving their time to people who won’t advance their passions is depressing.
Many employees seek remote and flexible work, especially after the pandemic. If you’re not getting enough flexible time to work on your own pursuits, you’re stifling your creativity. Mentioning this to your boss is a great way to leave on good terms.
For example, you could say something like this:
“I’ve appreciated what I’ve learned on the job here, but I’m not getting the creativity I need. I’ve found my passion, but I don’t think I can express that here. I wish you all the luck in finding someone meant for this position.”
Explain that you’re getting the recognition you need elsewhere
Some businesses prefer outside hires for management-level positions. Explain that you’re working elsewhere to improve your chances for advancement.
You can say something like this:
“_____ has done a lot for my success and has taught me excellent skills. Unfortunately, it’s a dead end for many employees, and I feel the same way here.
I’m not allowed to advance here, which has led me to seek employment elsewhere. I’m hoping we’ll remain on good terms.”
Co-Founder and Chief Operative, LaunchPad
The best way to approach this situation is to be honest and direct with your boss. Tell them that you’ve received another job offer and consider leaving your current position.
Be sure to emphasize that you value your current job and team, but you’re considering other options because you’re looking for new challenges or more responsibility.
Explain your reasoning
Once you’ve broken the news, it’s essential to explain your reasoning for wanting to leave.
This will help your boss understand where you’re coming from and why you’re considering other options. Be sure to emphasize that you’re not looking to leave because you’re unhappy with your current situation.
Ask for their advice
After explaining your reasoning, it’s time to ask for your boss’s advice. This shows that you respect their opinion and value their input. It also gives them a chance to voice their concerns and offer their counter-offers.
Be prepared to negotiate
Once you’ve had the conversation, be prepared to negotiate. If your boss is open to the idea of you staying, they may be willing to match or exceed the salary offered by the other company.
They may also be willing to give you more responsibility or additional perks, such as a flexible work schedule.
Thank them for their time
Before you leave, thank your boss for their time and advice. This shows that you appreciate their input and are grateful for the opportunity to discuss your future with them.
Here is my best sample script for how to tell your boss you got another job offer:
I wanted to let you know that I’ve received another job offer and am considering leaving my current position. I value my current job and team, but I’m looking for new challenges or more responsibility.
I was wondering if I could speak with you about it? I respect your opinion and value your input.
Thank you for your time.”
Senior Editor, Tandem
Leave on good terms and leave a positive lasting impression
There are many ways you can tell your boss that you are leaving your job. There is no one right and one wrong answer, but rather how you inform your supervisor that you are leaving depends highly on the circumstances.
As a business professional with 25+ years of experience, I have had my share of experiences in telling people that I have gotten another job offer.
You found a better paying job
If you found a job with a higher salary, benefits, or other items which make it a better fit for you, you can tell this to your current employer. Telling them details will allow them to counter if they choose to do so.
If you have already made up your mind that you are leaving, remember that you do not have to accept their counter.
You found something more closely related to the field you want to be in
Often, people will accept positions that aren’t their dream jobs. Maybe they took the jobs because they needed the money or wanted more experience.
Not all jobs will become our careers. Whatever the reason for starting the position, sometimes jobs become available to us that closely match what we want to do long-term.
Most employers will respect you for leaving your job to go into the field you have dreamt of.
Your commute will be shorter/you can work remotely
Many companies have made remote work available in today’s work environment, while others require you to be on-site.
If you find a position closer to home or that you can work remotely, thus saving money on travel to and from work, explain this to your supervisor.
They might offer you a similar agreement. Just like if they were to counter offer you more money, you aren’t obligated to stay if you feel it’s time to move on.
You were headhunted
With the need for employees on the rise, it’s not uncommon to be headhunted.
If this happens to you, you can explain this when you resign, which will let your current job know that you weren’t actively seeking alternative employment. Instead, you were sought after.
The most important thing to remember when you tell your boss that you got another job offer is that the terms you leave a company can be important later if you want to use that experience as a reference.
Suppose you leave without giving notice, without completing assignments, without communicating the status of projects to your supervisors, or otherwise leaving on bad terms.
Doing this would be a poor reflection of you. Do what you can to leave on good terms and leave a positive lasting impression.
Ensure that you have your latest written offer
Ensure that you have your latest written offer as an official job offer before speaking with your present employer. Then, you may consult with your boss before deciding whether to accept the new offer.
Plan a one-on-one meeting with your employer
The most professional approach is to plan a one-on-one meeting — which maybe during your regular 1×1 if you have one.
Then bring this up immediately:
“I received another offer for an amount considerably higher than the current one. I enjoy my position here, but I have a decision to make by X and wanted to inform you.”
You can next discuss the contents of the compensation package and non-compensation elements that influenced your decision — for example, 30%-40% of your job is monotonous and below your skill level.
That leaves them with two options:
- Either put up with a competing offer before X does
- They let you go
Avoid discussing your contributions
Additionally, avoid discussing your contributions. Your management should be aware of your contributions. The new offer has sufficient information for them to determine how to respond.
Distribute information in person rather than by email
It is preferable to distribute information in person rather than by email. You should not anticipate an immediate response/reply from them.
I would hold the initial meeting to break the news and let them process it and debate it with his supervisors. Then you may schedule a follow-up meeting in which your manager can attempt to convince you to stay with the firm.
Owner, SD Garage Doors
Book time on your supervisor’s calendar
Once you’ve decided whether or not you’ll accept the offer or plan to use it as an opportunity to debate your value in the market with your boss, it’s time to set up a meeting.
Give your replacement at least two weeks’ notice
A videoconference is an acceptable alternative if you’re working from home, but face-to-face meetings are preferable. You should give your replacement at least two weeks’ notice before completing and delegating your projects and training them if necessary.
Let your manager know how much you appreciate the experience you’ve received while working for them, but don’t detail why you’re resigning or your new employer’s name. Notify your manager of your upcoming departure.
Prepare for a counteroffer
You may get a counteroffer from your supervisor once you tell them about your plans. Your boss may question you about your new income and offer you a raise to keep you at your current work.
Think about what your career aspirations were
Back in Step 1, think about what your career aspirations were. If you were hoping to use the job offer as leverage for a pay increase, you’d be overjoyed to receive a counteroffer.
Although the counter offer may pay more than the new position, if you are eager to move on, you may choose to decline it.
Co-Owner, Throw Deep Publishing
Handle the situation with delicacy
The subject of informing your boss that you have received another job offer can be a difficult situation to handle. It could potentially cause a rift in your relationship, so managing this situation with as much delicacy as possible is crucial.
Be transparent as possible
The response that you receive from your boss could have a wide range of outcomes, so it’s essential to be as transparent as possible.
Trying to withhold this information until the last minute could result in your boss accidentally finding out the information from a 3rd party and feeling betrayed, resulting in your unforeseen release from your current position.
Additionally, it is generally perceived as respectful and professional to inform your boss with reasonable notice that you have received another job offer that you are considering taking because it allows your current employer to begin preparing for their transition plan if you accept the other offer.
Do not try to conceal information from your boss
Overall, it’s best to be upfront and honest and confront the situation professionally. Do not try to conceal information from your boss, and do them the courtesy of keeping them in the loop with your decisions as an employer.
This will help both parties avoid conflict and keep your working relationship intact for the time being.
Related: Building Strong Work Relationships
Head of People, PhotoAiD
Outline the reasons why the other job is a better fit
If you receive another job offer and feel it is a better fit for you than your current position, it is appropriate to tell your boss. You can explain that you received another offer and outline why you feel the other job would be a better fit for you.
Go for a retainment negotiation
If your boss is interested in retaining you, they may be willing to counter the other offer with a higher salary or additional benefits. Schedule a meeting with your boss and explain that you’ve received another job offer.
Thank them for the opportunity you have at the company and say that you appreciate their support.
Mention the financial details of the other offer and why it’s appealing to you. If possible, present a request in which you give your employer a deadline to match or exceed the salary from the other company.
A written sample:
I would recommend you do these things in person and verbally. However, here’s a written example that can be used as an inspiration for your talk:
“Hey there, [boss’s name],
How are you?
Look, I wanted to give you a heads up on some news. I really appreciate the opportunity you have given me at this company. It’s been quite the ride thus far, and I owe you thanks for that.
That said, I need to share the following news with you. Another exciting project has got in touch with me and offered me a great position that would potentially better fit my current professional ambitions.
Furthermore, they also offer a very competitive salary and benefits.
Now, I would ideally like to stay on the team. If you feel the same way, I would love to hear whether you and the rest of the management can get back to me with a better offer [add details if necessary].
It would be great if you could get back to me within the next ten days. And, whatever the outcome, thanks for hearing me out.”
HR Director, Mullen and Mullen
Directly talk to your boss before they find out from a colleague
When you receive a new job offer, you should make it a point to directly talk to your boss before they find out from a colleague. Make sure you have an open conversation with them and show gratitude for the opportunities they provided you.
Moreover, if you are leaving due to financial reasons and not the company culture, you should let your boss know about this. Usually, employers appreciate it when their employees tell them openly and even thank them for their contributions.
Assist your boss in hiring a replacement
One way you can help your boss before leaving in a short time is to assist them in hiring a replacement. The company will need someone to fill your position once you leave it.
To ensure that is done swiftly, you can notify your current company beforehand so they can start recruiting other people for your position. You can also assist them in this process as you know your current job responsibilities better than the HR department.
Founder, Networks Hardware
Approach with professionalism and keep emotions out of it
Start by assessing your situation. Ask yourself, do you want to leverage this situation to get a promotion, want to keep the door open for future references, or don’t want to have to do anything with this company?
Evaluate your position in your company, if you are replaceable easily or not. Once you have a firm decision, find the right time to talk to your boss. Even if you are frustrated, try to approach with professionalism and keep emotions out of it.
Don’t do it over email or text
Don’t do it over email or text; it is better if you can do it face-to-face. Plan all the possible scenarios and have the answers ready in your mind. If you have some time to decide, you can give this news to your boss in multiple phases.
When I used to share the news with my bosses, they would mostly try to find out how much the other company was offering and come back to me with a counter offer. My goal is not to burn any bridges.
Even if I am done with a company, I always have my answers ready. I used to show problems on my end rather than pointing any finger at them. Due to this, I am still in touch with most of my previous clients, who will help me by providing positive references.
CEO and Co-Founder, Yarooms
Don’t beat around the bush
I’ve yet to meet anyone in a hiring or management profession that appreciates anything more than a straight and unambiguous message that you are dissatisfied in your job and got a better offer.
After that, it is no longer a guessing game based on performance, timeliness, or any other factors that might indicate an employee is getting ready to leave, but a more straightforward game of “What will it take to keep you, and am I willing to do what it takes?”
Sometimes the answer is that there is no way to keep you or that I am unwilling to make the changes required, but often bringing an ultimatum to the table makes life easier for both parties.
Be honest with your new salary/benefits
It probably isn’t a shock that many people use a competing job offer to negotiate for more money, but all too often, we see people toss in an astronomical number for their current company to try and match.
We know what our competitors are offering most of the time, so this tends to come off as a more roundabout way of saying that there is no chance of you staying regardless of the offer.
Founder, Daily Profit Cycle
Keep your tone upbeat
To my mind, the best way to tell your boss that you’ve been offered a new position is to keep your tone upbeat.
Whether you aim to earn more money at your current job or to depart on a high note with an excellent recommendation for your future career, the manner you explain your new opportunity can set the tone for a positive experience.
Refrain from speaking negatively about your current employer, coworkers, or boss
Even if you’re eager to leave your current job and start a new one, it’s crucial not to appear anxious to leave. To maintain the possibility of future favorable references, you must refrain from speaking negatively about your current employer, coworkers, or boss.
If you’ve received an outside job offer and want to tell your boss if you’ll accept or if you’d prefer a raise, keep your message brief and straightforward.
Co-Owner and Chief Marketing Officer, Nolah Mattress
Make sure you accept the offer before telling your boss
If you wait until you get the offer before informing your boss that you’re in the market for a new job, you’re likely leaving it too late. Your boss probably values honesty and feedback and sees them as the bedrock of any working relationship.
They don’t want to be left in the lurch — especially if you did valuable work for the company.
Telling your boss beforehand could push him to offer different internal opportunities to retain you or offer a referral otherwise.
However, if you already have the offer, and intend to leave, make sure you accept it before telling your boss so that he doesn’t think you’re just trying to strongarm him into giving you more pay.
Be direct and don’t go into too much detail
Be direct. Tell them you’re putting in your notice and explain why. Don’t go into too much detail and stick only to the facts instead of emotions. Just say you’ve accepted another offer and will be moving on.
Founder and Hiring Manager, Great People Search
When you want to tell an employer that you have a competing job offer, you are in a good and bad situation. The first question that arises is, “Should you do this?”
The second question that comes to mind is whether you are putting both of your job opportunities at risk. This can be a trying time.
Below is a way you can tell them:
Send an email informing your boss
An email will be the most convenient for you because it eliminates many of the potential sources of stress. It also gives you plenty of time to think about your communication before sending the email.
- Make your email subject line friendly.
- Please address your manager by their first name.
- Inform the manager of the additional offer.
- Mention that you would prefer to work with them, but that the other Company’s offer has unique benefits for your career.
- Check if you have a potential request that the employer can fill.
“Hello [First name of your boss],
It has been an honor to work with you. There are a few significant advantages to signing an employment contract. Working for [Company] will help me advance in my career.
I have another offer from [Company] that allows me to advance in skill sets that I haven’t used enough.
Is there any way you could assist in developing those skill sets in this role?
Thank you very much.
[Enter your name here]“
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