Is It Ever Acceptable To Quit A Job Via Email Or Text?

Is It Ever Acceptable To Quit A Job Via Email Or Text?

Quitting your job can be a tricky thing. For most of us, it requires a little tact. So when one reader emailed us asking if it was ever OK to quit via email or SMS, we had to wonder: are times changing, or should those people have shown more professionalism?

Picture: Carey Ciuro/Flickr

Granted, it doesn’t do any favours for our career to flip over our desk, tell off our boss and walk out the front door, never to return. We write a resignation letter, have a face-to-face chat with our manager, give plenty of notice and make a clean break. Still, we want to know what you think. Is it ever acceptable to quit just by email? Or by text message? Do you think it ever will be? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


  • Sometimes it’s the only way you can do it, especially with remote/multi-country roles
    My manager was on leave, and my new job wanted me to start ASAP – so I emailed my manager and her manager (in another country) with my resignation.

  • Probably not by text message unless you’re basically saying “I’m going to leave my position, I’ll hand in my notice on Monday”. Email is perhaps okay if you work remotely or need to get out of a very toxic environment and don’t want to go in to the office to do it.

  • When I have resigned in the past HR have required it in writing via email. That’s how it’s done.

  • As a 29 year old it didn’t really naturally occur to me how email could be considered wrong. Upon further reflection I guess it’s more the email without a chat with your boss element, rather than using email inherently. With a letter you have to take it to your boss thus initiating the discussion.

    As such I think emails will probably be considered more acceptable as people of my age gain more power and more positions of authority.

    I’ve resigned via email before but it was the quickest way to let them know as it was a casual job. I still gave them as much notice as they needed. In my full time job I’d probably go chat face to face with my boss first and then send the email. I wouldn’t write out a letter.

  • I’ve seen a few examples posted on Failbook of people indirectly quitting by social media: they post a critical vent about their boss/ workplace, it gets back to the manager, and they are asked to leave.

  • Email and text message together. 🙂
    If you work remotely and have a good communication rapport with your boss using those methods then there’s no problem.

  • Wow I’m an offender of this.

    One job I was a contract analyst (temp) and I sat next to a weirdo who was extremely unwell. Like zombie infection level unwell. Mental issues too. Had a Russian (I assume bought) wife and was trying to get rid of her dog. Kept asking everyone to please take it. Reminded me of Kramer. Tried to talk to my boss (who had spoken about 5 words to me in the 5 weeks I’d be working there) who said he’d have a word with this weirdos manager, and he wandered over in his direction, then made an exit to the elevator and avoided me. Crazy stuff. So I emailed the agency that hired me telling them I’m not going to work here anymore. It was out of hours and their office was closed. A mate had another job lined up for me the next day. Didn’t care about the half weeks pay I’d lose but they were cool and paid me anyway.

    Had another job for a dodgy mobile phone repairer. They basically had me on the phone for a week to say they were in meetings (they weren’t) to mobile companies they were repairing for. Wasn’t happy doing that so walked out Friday “see ya Monday” and didn’t go back.

    One of my first jobs (1991, I had email but my work didn’t) I stayed back until everyone left and left a note on my bosses desk pretty much like the image above “Steve. I quit. Effective now, I won’t be in tomorrow. Thomas”. Left a note because the boss had a wonky eye. Quit because it was a shit job.

    Hang on, I’m starting to think it’s me, not them.

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