Quitting one’s job is not always something desirable. However, when it comes to it, we would have to make the decision. The standard, most acceptable way of quitting a job is by sending an official resignation email, submitting a letter of resignation or simply by a face-to-face conversation with your boss. Using any of these methods or using them in combination can get the job done depending on the setting you find yourself. However, you may have to quit your job via phone call under some circumstances.
If You Need to Quit Your Job via a Phone Call, Think Again
This is clearly not the best way to sever your relationship with a company. As already noted earlier, the ideal ways of quitting your job are through a letter, email and in person. However, if for whatever reason these methods are not feasible, the phone call option can be explored. Usually, quitting your job via the phone will imply you do not intend to give any notice. If you still have the luxury of giving two or four weeks’ notice, then quitting through a phone call is not ideal for you. The other methods would be preferable.
It is important to note that when you choose to quit your job via a phone call, you may forfeit the company’s obligation of providing you any reference in the future. We will be looking at the reasons why one may choose to resign through a phone conversation and the proper way to do it.
Reasons for Quitting via a Phone Call
A personal tragedy is not something anyone hopes to experience. However, if one finds oneself in a situation so pressing and serious that it hampers one’s ability to continue working, it is ideal to quit your job. A phone call could be ideal in this situation. An example of a personal tragedy could be a criminal trial in which bail is not an option. In this case, while in detention, one could quit his or her job through a phone call.
You may find yourself in the middle of a family emergency requiring your immediate attention in such a way that you have to quit your job to attend to it properly. In this type of a scenario, an email, a letter or a face-to-face would not do. Because of the intense nature of the situation, one may not be composed enough or have the opportunity to do any of those. Therefore a phone call would be the ideal way to quit your job. An example of a family emergency is the abduction of a close relative on a foreign soil, in which your physical presence is demanded. The question would be, why not take a casual leave? The issue with such challenges is its intensity and the uncertainty of how long it would take to resolve. Besides, many companies would not appreciate you running off and expect them to still maintain your seat.
Physical Harm at the Workplace
If your physical well-being or life is in imminent danger at your workplace, then an urgent call to talk things through with the management is ideal. We may not be able to predict the outcome of every situation, but when life-threatening danger is lurking, there is no excuse to walk into it. Immediate resignation is the right thing to do. Your life is more important than your job.
It is possible that you just secured your dream job or a new position and had been asked to resume within a short period of time or even immediately (for example, the following day). In this case, you can resign from your job through a phone conversation with your boss. You may decide to send an official resignation email (notice cannot be included in this case) after the phone conversation. But, the phone call is necessary so that your sudden absence from work would not be misinterpreted.
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Guidelines for Resigning via a Phone Call
Prepare Your Speech
The first thing to do, no matter how tense the whole situation feels, is to prepare yourself for the conversation. Think through the right person to call, the way to approach the person and what to say to the person. The phone call should be handled as a formal conversation between the company management and you. If you wish, you can make a note on the salient points.
Who to Talk to
The best person to call is your immediate boss. That is, your supervisor or manager. If this is not possible for any reason, you may call the human resources manager or anyone in his department. It is important that you speak to the right person so that your resignation will be treated as a formal action.
Avoid unnecessary details during the phone call. State the fact that you are resigning and the reason(s) for that action. Also, indicate why you had to resign over the phone (which should also cover why you are not giving any notice). This conversation is an official one. Therefore avoid emotions and unwarranted sentiments.
Be Polite and Positive
Be polite while on the phone. First, say an opening greeting like, “Good morning”. Next, introduce yourself to your boss; it does not matter whether you are certain that he knows you are the one on the phone. The next thing is to say “Thank you for receiving my call”. This is followed by mentioning your resignation.
You may say, “Regrettably sir, I would like to tender my resignation today, this is because…” Give a brief description of the situation which should include why you had to quit your job over the phone. Never mention anything negative about the company as a reason for quitting. When it is your life that is threatened in the workplace, indicate that though you feel so, you may be wrong (you may actually be wrong), however, you and your family think it is best you quit immediately.
Be Liberal with Apologies
Immediately after mentioning your main points, offer your deepest apologies for the suddenness of the information and the difficulty you are putting the company through. In case your boss gets cross with you, avoid saying nasty words, just keep apologizing until he calms down.
Before ending your conversation, remember to appreciate the management for the time you spent in the company. If possible mention a specific thing you truly feel grateful for.
Finally, ensure you sort out how your personal belongings would be removed from your desk or office. You will also need to copy and/or delete personal files or emails from the company’s computer(s). Ensure you make inquiries regarding your benefits, health insurance, pension fund etc. Please note that all the inquiries you need to make can be resolved in subsequent phone or email conversations with a company representative. Therefore, do not spend so much time trying to get all the answers at once.
Ideally, your phone call should be followed up with a resignation email. You may also send a resignation letter. You can maintain communication with the company via emails or phone calls until you have resolved every query.
Deciding the right phrase to handle different situations can be very tasking. As a correspondent, you are directly involved in critical day-to-day interactions via email. This makes your ability to craft good email messages, using the perfect phrases and clauses, tangential to your business success.
There is a book by Meryl Runion that will help you to a great extent:
Perfect Phrases for Office Professionals: Hundreds of ready-to-use phrases for getting respect, recognition, and results in today’s workplace
Overall, this book will greatly improve your communication skills. It will also help you easily clarify assignments with your manager or projects with your clients as well as guide you in handling the inevitable complaints that sometimes follow sales of products or services.