Tell Your Employer Where Your New Job Is?


Mel writes:
First may I compliment you on an awesome Website I find the info and articles on your Website very informative believable and real-world based. I have been in my career almost 30 years so I do know the difference between hype and real knowledgeable information.

My question is — If your job search is successful is there any reason etiquette-wise or legally that you have to tell your former employer where you are going.


The Career Doctor responds:
Thanks for the kind words about our site. We’re a small company but we totally believe in our mission of helping — empowering — job-seekers.

You never have to tell your current employer anything about where you are going unless you signed a non-compete clause. That said since businesses involve people most are interested in your plans just to be nosy — so that folks have something to talk about.

In your resignation letter all you need to state is your last day of employment … of course you should also thank the employer to make certain you do not burn any bridges. That’s it; ignore any other requests for information if you do not wish to disclose it.

What exactly should you say in your letter of resignation? Here’s a basic outline:

First Paragraph: State your intention of quitting your job and leaving the company. Give a specific last day of work.

Second paragraph: If you feel comfortable give a reason why you are leaving — relocating better job career change graduate school etc. Or reinforce your value by mentioning your key accomplishments with the employer (though doing so may trigger a counter offer).

Third Paragraph: Thank both your supervisor and the company for the opportunities you had working for them. Be sure to end the letter on a positive note.

Find a sample resignation letter and resignation memo.

If you want to be helpful and help deflect questions about where you are going you could offer to help find and/or train the person replacing you.

Here are some other things to consider when resigning:

  • Timing. Give enough notice. The standard notice has traditionally been two to four weeks but you should consult your employee handbook in case your employer expects more (or less) advance warning.
  • Negotiating. Be sure to get a fair settlement for any outstanding salary vacation (and sick and personal) days and commission payments or other compensation due to you.
  • Leaving. Before walking out the door for the last time be sure you have contact information for key supervisors and co-workers that you want to keep part of your network of contacts — and be sure to thank them again for their support.