How to Properly Give Your Employer 2-Weeks Notice
If you’ve recently got a new job or are thinking about it and you want to quit your current job, you’ll have to tell your employer. While that may seem like a big and daunting task, it really isn’t.
Each job and organization are very different for the proper protocol for issuing your notice, so look at your contract or employee handbook you should have received upon hiring. Depending on your employment terms and conditions, it should outline how much notice you should give your employer should you wish to terminate your employment with them. Usually, employers ask for 2-weeks notice to allow sufficient time for hiring a replacement or figuring out logistics after you leave.
Now, depending on how you see your job and employer, you may want to get one final jab by leaving them high and dry at a time when they need you most. However, if you’re looking to get a glowing employee reference for your new job, maybe that’s not the best idea.
Make sure you think this through and you really do want to quit your job. Doing it at the right time and for the right reasons will make the transition to your new job so much easier.
After you’re comfortable with your reasons for leaving, think about how you will let them know.
You can think of your employment as a relationship with your employer. You’ve been going steady for 12 years now but after a while, you both start to change and you’ve had enough. Just like breaking up with a girlfriend/boyfriend, there’s a right and a wrong way to do it. Here are the cardinal rules for giving your 2-weeks notice:
Make sure you have the offer of a new position and signed contract in-hand before completing cutting ties with your current employer. You don’t want to cause a scene if you decide to stay. You may receive some unwanted cold shoulders if you serve the notice and take it back. Avoid the awkwardness for everyone and make sure you’re 100% sure before submitting.
The best way to give your notice is to do it at a time where you won’t burden the employer. Obviously this method won’t always work out due to time restrictions or other reasons, but if it’s an option you should consider it.
You should also always aim to leave civilly and respectfully. Trashing your office and being obnoxious during meetings will leave a sour taste in the mouth of your previous employer. Everyone gossips. If you leave on a negative note, people will talk about it and it will receive a lot more reaction than if you left peacefully.
That being said, you never want to do something to spite your employer and potentially burn a bridge in the future. The world is small and people talk. You never know when someone is going to know Fred who working with Alicia who knows Patrick who went to school with Janet who is now your boss. You really never know who you will be working with.
Tell your boss before anyone else. If your boss ends up hearing the news from someone else, your chances of having a good reference in the future may go out the window. Be respectful and inform your boss first, regardless of how much you trust your work colleagues with a secret.
Have the conversation in-person. Yes, that may be intimidating or uncomfortable, but it’s the best way to approach the situation. Remember, your employer is like your girlfriend, you shouldn’t break up with her via text or email. An in-person conversation will allow you and your boss to ask and answer any questions either of you may have. Obviously this method won’t work if you work remotely or out-of-office. In that case, set up a Skype or telephone call to break the news.
Be upfront with your questions. In a situation like this, be upfront and confident about the questions you have regarding the end in employment. You may want to ask about your unused vacation, end to health insurance and benefits, what happens to your retirement savings or when your access to the building will run out.
Be prepared for anything your boss may ask during your conversation. It will most likely come as a surprise to your employer that you are terminating your employment. They will probably have questions and offers for you to make you consider staying. After all, it is more expensive to re-hire and train someone than to give you a raise. Be prepared for questions and comments about your transition plan and the option of part-time work. They may give you a counteroffer of more money and holidays. Have an answer prepared if they do ask you this. Think about the amount you’d need to stay. Perhaps your new position is something you just can’t pass up. Either way, let them know you’re appreciative of their offer, keep it light and stay positive.
Thank your boss for the opportunities from the last X number of years. Chances are your boss has made a big impact on your life for however many years you’ve been working there. Whether positive, negative or neutral, you should thank your boss for the opportunities the company has given you for as long as you’ve been employed to show your appreciation.
Write a formal resignation letter. After your conversation with your boss, write a formal letter acknowledging the conversation you had and your final decision. Let them know the date of your final day and let them know you are happy to work out a plan for transition of ongoing projects.
Don’t be “that guy”. No one likes the guy that puts in his 2-weeks notice and immediately starts trash-talking colleagues, stops caring and won’t do any more work. Avoid trashing the employer on social media, too. What is posted on the Internet lives there forever even if you think you’ve deleted it.
Ensure to personally say goodbye to colleagues. Before the end of your time at your job, make sure to take the time to individually say goodbye to your colleagues. Whether you worked with them only a few times or every day, saying bye shows your employer you’re still a team spirit and will help for references in the future.
Author: Amy Richardson, Contributor
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