Did You Get a New Job? Here’s How to Give Your Two-Weeks’ Notice at Work

Getting a new job is a lot of work and cause for celebration, but don’t forget that there are still loose ends to tie up at your current job.

The way you deal with your resignation can affect how your supervisor and co-workers think of you moving forward. Therefore, it’s important to give your notice the right way, and be ready for ways it could get messy or awkward.

The Basics:

Putting in your notice should be straightforward: If your business has a formal procedure for resigning, follow it. Usually, you tell your immediate supervisor first, in private and in a meeting that you’ve scheduled. Break the news politely and professionally. Mention a reasonable timeframe during which you’ll stay to wrap up various responsibilities. Offer to help train your replacement.

Even if you work in a relaxed workplace, it’s a good idea to formally lay out your decision in writing. Include your last date and describe the way you want to wrap up your last weeks.

If you’re a particularly valuable employee, you may get a counteroffer. Accepting a counteroffer may make your employer happy in the short-term, but resentments may linger. You may also gain a reputation for being disloyal, which is never a good thing.

Be grateful and appreciative to your boss and co-workers. In your exit interview, be judicious with your criticism. If there are deep-seated problems you have an issue with, hashing them out in your interview won’t solve them, and you risk generating resentment toward you.

Handling Awkwardness

Putting in your two weeks’ notice rarely goes off without a hitch. Maybe your boss is on vacation or people get emotionally worked up when they hear the news. In rare circumstances, you may be asked to pack up your things and leave immediately. What are you supposed to do then?

  • If your manager is away when you must put your notice in but is reachable, send an email that say you need to talk. If they’re on vacation, be sure to apologize.
  • If people get upset or angry when they hear the news, don’t try to take it on. You can acknowledge and appreciate other people’s emotions, but don’t feel the need to manage them.
  • If you believe you may be asked to leave immediately, make sure you get ready. Make copies of performance reviews and anything else you’ll need and take them home before you put in your notice. Make sure you have all your contacts and most important belongings gathered together. Write down any essential information for your supervisor and co-workers. If told to leave, ask if you’re able to finish up what you’re working on, make a transition plan or say goodbye to people. You should consider asking to come back outside of working hours to pack up away from prying eyes.

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