Quitting your job over the phone isn’t the most polite way of doing things and it is NOT recommended.
However, there are different circumstances for different people and sometimes this might be the only option.
I know it will be easier for shy people or people that don’t like face-to-face confrontation and that’s why sometimes this is better suited for you.
I’m going to go into detail on this subject so you know whether or not it is okay to quit your job over the phone or the worst thing you could do.
Is It Really Okay to Quit Your Job Over the Phone?
Yes, it is okay but this can have serious repercussions if you don’t go about it the right way.
You need to have a good excuse to do something as drastic as this and that’s why there is a right approach and a wrong approach.
But more on that in a second.
Your future employment can be impacted in a negative way if you just call your boss telling them you quit, you hate them, you hate everyone there and you never liked anything about the job.
This will send the wrong message to your current employer and he won’t hesitate in giving you a bad reference later down the line.
Good Excuses You Can Use
The good excuses that I’m about to mention below ONLY apply and work if they are legit and happening to you.
These are the only 4 excuses that you should use if you’re quitting over the phone.
The bad excuses I will get to later, and they should never be used unless you’re trying to get into the bad books of your current employer and don’t want a reference later on.
If these 4 don’t apply to you whatsoever, then you should not quit over the phone and try one of these methods instead.
Everyone knows that family comes first, well, for most people this holds true anyway.
So quitting over the phone and saying it is a family emergency is a viable excuse and your employer will often let you go.
However, it has to be legit and they might even ask what the emergency is and that’s why it has to be real and not a lie.
They WILL find out the truth eventually.
Your New Job Requires an Urgent Start
Your new job should be your #1 priority in front of your current job, so pleasing your new boss by starting as soon as possible is a great first impression.
This means you might not have time to talk with your current boss about leaving, and in that case, you are giving absolutely no notice but hopefully he or she understands the situation and doesn’t get too upset.
Chances are they will get very upset if you’re in a high position and have been there for years, and if they had no idea you were even looking for a new job.
If you let them know you’ve been looking, they will take it much lightly when you decide to quit out of the blue.
Your Boss Is Out of Town
This is a no brainer and goes hand in hand with the excuse that your new job needs you right away.
If your boss is out of town, then you’ve got no other option but to call them, along with one of the excuses mentioned above.
You can tell them you have a family emergency or that your new employer needs you asap.
Expect some push-back since they might feel like you’re betraying them.
However, do not do this if there are important tasks that need to be completed and/or they’re short of workers.
This is going to make the entire situation even worse and cause more stress on your boss.
Your health is #1 priority.
Most employers agree and will have no problems understanding where you’re coming from, especially if it’s something as serious as depression.
Again, it has to be a legit excuse and a health concern that your employer has known about for quite some time now.
This is a great excuse if you want to quit over the phone but keep in mind it has to be real and not made up.
If your workplace is making you extremely unhappy and affecting your health and ability to cope normally in everyday life, maybe it is time to quit asap.
If it’s REALLY bad and urgent, then over the phone is a completely viable option and you should do it right away.
Bad Excuses You Shouldn’t Use
You Don’t Like Your Job
If you ring up and quit with an excuse like “I just don’t like my job”, it looks unprofessional on so many levels and your employer is not going to give you a good reference for future jobs.
You can’t just tell them you don’t like the job when you’re trying to quit with little to no notice, and might I add over the phone!
That’s why this excuse is very bad and you’re only going to get in the bad books.
You Don’t Like Your Coworkers
Again, another bad idea because you’re talking smack about coworkers and it’s only making you look like the bad person.
There’s always going to be confrontations in the workplace and most of the time it is personal, it has nothing to do with anyone else.
When you blame other people, you’re only making yourself look weak and immature, because a real adult talks it out with the other person and solves issues that arise.
You Don’t Like the Boss
If you really want to burn bridges and look immature, then definitely go ahead with this excuse.
A lot of people don’t like their boss and childish people will blame their boss for doing them wrong.
In actual fact, an alternative approach would be to tell them you found a position more suitable for you and that you are happy for the time and experience you gained while working for that employer.
It is job quitting 101, it does not need to be complicated like so many make it out to be.
The Workplace is Toxic
Do not and I repeat do not say something like this.
Chances are that it’s 100% true anyway, but saying it is not going to change anything now, you should’ve tried to sort things out sooner.
They are not going to believe you anyway, because if it is toxic, they’ll just think you’re delusional and you weren’t worth keeping anyway.
These types of work environments are all one-sided, as in, every man for themselves.
It creates more stress and confusion for you and the boss and you’re going to throw away a good reference in the future.
Apologize If You’re Giving No Notice
Giving no notice, no matter how you do it (even face-to-face conversation), is not the correct approach but sometimes it has to be done.
Apologizing for giving no notice makes it seem to your employer that you are not doing this on purpose and that you have ran through all the possibilities and there is nothing else you can do other than to quit at this point in time.
Saying sorry makes you the bigger man because it takes a lot of guts to apologize, and your boss will see that you truly are sorry for leaving on such short notice and it’ll soften the blow.
They will be more open to listening to you and trying to understand your situation without getting too angry or upset.
Avoid “Smack Talk”
Smack talking about the company, about coworkers and about the workplace only makes you look immature and unsure about yourself.
If it was so bad, you should’ve tried to talk it out like a real adult and made things easier.
If you talk smack about the company and their workers as you quit over the phone, you’re only creating more negativity for yourself and that will carry on to your next job if you don’t change the way you think asap.
Not to mention that you’re asking for a bad reference!
Leave a Message on the Phone
This is a great way to quit only IF you aren’t on good terms with your boss.
If you’re already not going to get a good reference then quitting via phone message is not going to change that.
So keep this in mind if you’re on bad terms with the boss and that you have all your belongings so you never have to go back there.
Don’t Burn Bridges
Instead of burning bridges and making an absolute fool of yourself, be positive and use this time to your advantage by thanking them for your time in the workplace.
The benefits for the future of being kind in this stressful time far outweigh the bad that comes when you just quit while saying bad things about everyone.
Leave Out the Details
You don’t have to tell them your entire life story.
You only have to tell them a few short sentences on why you’re leaving and that’s it!
It could be something as simple and effective as:
“I need to move on with my career and have found a great opportunity”, or “It is an offer I cannot refuse.
If they ask for details – even though chances are they will not – you just have to say you would rather not say but you are thankful for the opportunity and wish the company nothing but the best.
Don’t over complicate the situation, it really is as easy as being thankful and giving a short but effective reason for leaving.
When you can do that, quitting is a breeze and you’ll ease the tension between you and your boss and they’ll gladly let you go without trying to fight you or argue about it.
If You’ve Only Been Working for a Short Period Of Time
If you have ever quit your job within the first week or even the first month, don’t even bother putting it on your resume.
The problems that’ll arise later with potential new jobs may actually impact the decision on the person hiring you.
Quitting within the first month is not a good sign and you need to have a good excuse to justify your decision.
I say leave it out and you won’t have to explain yourself when you’re getting hired for a new job.
Is it being dishonest? No it is not, it’s you ignoring the things that do not matter and will not benefit you in any way, shape or form.
Quitting your job over the phone is not the most professional thing to do, but as I mentioned in this article, sometimes it has to be done.
I’m not saying it is right but not completely wrong either.
Each individual has their own personal reasons for doing things and if you feel that this is the best approach for you and you’ve got a good enough excuse, then go for it.
It is your life and you’ve already read what will happen if you take the bad route.
So make the right decision and your future self will thank you for it.
Thanks for reading this article and have a great day 🙂
Brandon is from New Zealand and does affiliate marketing full-time. This is his job and loves every second of it. He hated the typical 9-5 and found a way out of the rat race. The reason he created this website was to help and inspire others who also want a way out.