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Quitting - polite (but vague) responses to the inevitable questions

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Dyathinkhesaurus, Oct 21, 2018.

  1. Dyathinkhesaurus

    Dyathinkhesaurus New commenter

    How might a fed-up teaching assistant* who's quitting, but who has only vague plans for the immediate future, respond politely, but honestly, to the following questions from colleagues and managers?
    1. Why are you leaving?
    2. What are your plans?
    (*yes, 'tis I)
    agathamorse likes this.
  2. install

    install Star commenter

    1 Because I can afford to
    2 None yet :cool:
  3. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Not sure that there are any better answers than that @install

  4. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Well, until you have another job, assuming you want one at some point, your best answers are going to be a bit brown nosey, because ultimately it's all about your future, not their understanding. You never know how the impressions you leave in your wake are going to influence a reference, if at all.
    "Why are you leaving"
    "I'm really grateful for everything I've learned so I'm very sad to have to leave, but I need a little time to focus on my personal life"
    "What are your plans?"
    "I'm unsure at the moment because of my commitments, but I will be looking for something at some point which will build on all the positives I have gained from here"

    When you are saying this, you may find it helpful to have both hands concealed with nur nur n' nur nuuur doesn't count crossed fingers.
    O, and when you're done, try not to skip when you leave the room...
    s10327, les25paul, lizzyshep and 8 others like this.
  5. BioEm

    BioEm Occasional commenter

    I left without anywhere to go (as a teacher however, not a TA) and had similar questions thrown at me. My responses were:

    1. Looking to try something new/different
    2. Not sure, but excited to see what is out there

    Vague, positive and no negatives about the current workplace. My truth would have been more along the lines of:

    1. Because this place is a hellhole and I'm treated like sh**t every day, despite trying hard to do my job well. Management suck and if I have to stay here much longer I'll probably go insane.
    2. To get my health and sanity back (and stop crying every day)

    I guess the response depends on how honest you want to be and who you're speaking to. I found being polite, somewhat vague and positive stopped extra questions being asked though and kept everyone happy. No need to bring in my issues when I was halfway out the door - onwards and upwards and all that. Well done OP and good luck - the future is exciting and bright for you :)
  6. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Vague but polite is definitely the way to go.
    I hope you have a wonderful last few weeks, @Dyathinkhesaurus and then find a job which makes you very happy - and maybe even rich, but that may be asking a bit too much...;)
  7. Dyathinkhesaurus

    Dyathinkhesaurus New commenter

    I'll settle for happiness over wealth, anyday :D
  8. Dyathinkhesaurus

    Dyathinkhesaurus New commenter

    Sounds about right :(
    agathamorse, Alice K and phlogiston like this.
  9. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    Pretty much a rehash of the answers above:

    1. I have ambitions in other fields.
    2. I am considering my options.
    Dyathinkhesaurus likes this.
  10. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    I have decided to take a break for a while and consider my options.
    Thus you have made it obvious than you can afford to take time off and don't have to stay in a dreadful job. This will really annoy those who can't afford such luxuries. Your true friends will congratulate you and say that they wish that they could do the same.
  11. Dyathinkhesaurus

    Dyathinkhesaurus New commenter

    I can't afford to stay in a toxic environment: my health is a necessity, not a luxury.
    henrypm0, agathamorse and mothorchid like this.
  12. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    Yes I think if you say this to your colleagues and managers, they'll understand very well, and won't bother you for further clarification.
  13. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Presumably people will have noticed you aren't happy and thrilled to come to work each day, so won't bother asking why you want to leave.
    So all you need to do is smile and say "No idea...I'll think of something." when they ask what you are planning to do next.

    It isn't likely to be that big a deal.
  14. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    In an exit interview, I would say something like I wish to broaden my career experience by going elsewhere. To nosy people who aren't giving me a reference, I would tell them that it's either none of their business or that I don't wish to discuss it (choose the suggested response that you feel is most appropriate).
    agathamorse and Dyathinkhesaurus like this.
  15. Hican1980

    Hican1980 New commenter

    I don't know if there is any better answer other than that
    agathamorse likes this.
  16. Dyathinkhesaurus

    Dyathinkhesaurus New commenter

    Not sure I'll have an exit interview, but just in case, I've mentally rehearsed what I want to say, so that I can stay calm and professional. I'm quite happy to leave questions unanswered: sometimes, it's what we don't say that offers the clearest message.
    agathamorse likes this.
  17. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    @Dyathinkhesaurus Or you could have fun by playing dumb! 'I don't have any plans. Got any suggestions?'
  18. Dyathinkhesaurus

    Dyathinkhesaurus New commenter

    agathamorse likes this.
  19. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    1. I won the lottery
    2. Spend, spend, spend
  20. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    @Jesmond12 I like your thinking! :) @Dyathinkhesaurus My new suggestions are therefore:

    1. Conflict of interest: To take up my new position as proprietor of the school/college. Did no-one tell you that I've bought it with my lottery winnings? :)

    2. Carry out an organisational restructuring, so you'd better be nice to me until my current contract finishes if you want to keep your job! ;)
    s10327, henrypm0, agathamorse and 4 others like this.

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