Quitting your job is always nerve-racking, no matter how many times you’ve done it or how great your boss is. But when you have a Nightmare Boss, it’s downright terrifying.

Your boss might be intimidating, manipulative, unreasonable, or abusive. She might yell. He might blame and exploit. She might not have boundaries. He might lie. You need a plan for how to quit when you’re scared of your boss.

How to Quit When You’re Scared of Your Boss

Follow these simple steps to stay calm:

1 | Prepare What You’re Going to Say

Learn what to say when you quit your job.

2 | Practice What You’re Going to Say

Say it out loud to a friend first. You need to say it out loud, not just in your head. If you practice with a real person, it will make the real thing easier.

3 | Decide the Day and Time You’re Going to Tell Your Boss

You’ll feel better knowing when The Talk is coming up.

4 | If There’s an HR Department, Speak with Them First

Tell them if you are worried about your safety, and follow their advice for giving notice, not mine.

5 | Release Tension

Before you talk to your boss, go to the bathroom or somewhere private, and tense every muscle and hold your breath for as long as you can. Do that about 3 times. This will help discharge nervous energy and keep you calm.

6 | Focus on Your Breath

When the time comes, focus on your breathing. Take deep, slow breaths. Your breath is your lifeline. If your boss gets angry or tries to be manipulative, put the focus on your breath. Do not participate in any drama. If she yells, is mean, etc, you just breathe.

7 | Say What You Rehearsed

Do not ramble. Err on the side of not saying enough.

8 | Be Prepared For Push-Back

If she tries to talk you into staying, your line is: “My decision is final.” You say it as many times as you have to.

9 | Exit If Necessary

If she is verbally abusive, you can just calmly walk out of the room.

10 | Celebrate

Take a shot, eat a Snickers, call your mom. You did it!

Laura Simms is an expert in meaningful work who challenges conventional wisdom by asking people to ditch their passions and start with purpose.

If you have too many passions, zero passions, or can't seem to combine your passions, try her purpose-first approach to find a career you love.  


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