Subject: I want to quit my internship but I feel guilty

In one of our Instagram story Q&As the other day someone asked how should they go about leaving their internship if they are feeling guilty and it made me think: how have we not covered this topic before?

So, maybe you got a new job or maybe you’re just ready to move on from your current one. Regardless the thought of quitting can be quite nerve-racking. How will you tell your boss you’re leaving? When should you tell them? What if they get angry?

Sure, it’s not as easy as going up to your boss and saying, “peace out!” but in all honesty it doesn’t have to be much harder than that.

How to Tell Them?

I was able to leave my job on such good terms that my former boss still reaches out from time to time asking for help with minor freelancing tasks. How did I do this? Easy, I kept my work ethic my number one priority.

There are a number of reasons why you may want to quit your job. Whether it is that you’re unhappy, or you got a better offer, or any other factors. However, my number one suggestion is to be as honest as you can, as early as you can.

When I was unhappy at my job, I took the time to talk about it with my boss, I expressed my concerns (even though I was shaking with anxiety) and I was pleasantly surprise at her support. We agreed that I would give it another chance, but I remember her words clearly: “I don’t want you to do something that is making you unhappy, if it’s time to move on, then that’s ok.”

Of course, this depends on your boss or your own reasons for leaving, if you’re leaving because your boss is a nightmare that might not be something you want to tell them. But being as straightforward and honest as you can is something that will 100% help you end things on good terms. Even if you can’t directly tell them what’s bothering you try to be honest and phrase it in a way where they can see that this move is beneficial for both of you.

When to Tell Them?

My second important tip is to be thoughtful of your employee. During my career so far, I’ve seen a number of people leave with little to no warning. I literally experienced a girl go up to one of my bosses and say, “I am quitting, and tomorrow is my last day.” 

Doing this with no warning whatsoever will definitely leave a bad taste in your boss’ mouth. Whereas voicing your plans/concerns early on might help alleviate the process. The standard is usually a two-week notice, but this can vary depending on what the company is like. My recommendation is that as soon as you know you’re leaving for sure let your boss know.

How Can You Help?

Lastly, be sure to be as helpful as possible with the transitioning period. If they are planning to hire someone to replace you, offer to help with creating training material for them or even to let the new hire shadow you for a day or two. This will show that you still care about your job and about the company, even if you’re leaving.

Remember that quitting doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing and there’s no reason for you to feel guilty about it. Believe me if you’re unhappy or want to move on, it’s for the benefit of both you and the company that you go on and keep making your way through your career.

It’s easy to be afraid of this big “I am quitting” talk but try to look at it in strategic way. If you do things correctly, you’ll leave on good terms and most likely with a reference that will give a stellar review of your work.

Go for it!

Kind regards,






Melanie SpinaComment