Quitting a job because of bullying is traumatic enough, but having to admit this to your boss can make you feel like a failure or a tattletale. When informing your boss of your departure, help him see why the behavior was so harmful and let him know that you’re not taking the decision to leave lightly.
If your boss hasn’t witnessed the bullying, he might think you’re overreacting or that the problem is simply a personality conflict rather than harassment. This can damage your reputation and potentially cause your supervisor to give you a bad reference. Help your boss understand that the bullying was so severe that it forced you to quit. Describe specific actions and how they undermined your credibility in the eyes of colleagues or customers and how they interfered with your ability to fulfill your job duties.
Be as calm and objective as you can when discussing the situation with your boss and don’t get emotional or angry. Don’t resort to name-calling or personal attacks on your bully and don’t imply that you blame your boss for not recognizing the behavior or intervening. This is also crucial if your boss is the bully. Resist the urge to lash out at him; instead, explain that while you value your job, you can no longer work in that environment and think that changing jobs is best for both you and the company.
As miserable as you are, you probably like at least one or two things about your job. If your boss didn’t participate in the bullying or wasn’t aware of it, preserve your relationship with him by thanking him for the chance to work at the company. Discuss anything you’ll miss, such as the opportunity to conduct useful work or your strong relationships with your customers. Tell him you wish things had worked out differently but that you’ll always value your time there.
Write a Resignation Letter
While it’s often better for your professional image to handle difficult conversations in person, you’ll also need to write a letter of resignation. Some companies require official notice from departing employees, but even if they don’t, a resignation letter gives you the opportunity to succinctly state your case. It also goes into your permanent file, so if questions arise later, you have proof you told your employer about the bullying. Give a copy to your immediate supervisor and to the human resources department, and keep one for yourself.
- Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images