Giving Notice: How to Do It Gracefully?

When the time has come and you’re ready to leave your current position and move on to another there are a few things we need to remember about how to do it well. Everyone at work is going to have their own personal opinions about why you’re leaving, where you’re going, what the new role entails.  This week’s blog post is part 1 of 2. Next week’s examines navigating your last two weeks.

We’ve all heard it before and it’s in most employment contracts. Provide two weeks notice.

Here are some tips on how to do this well:

When do I it?

If your last day is a friday tell your boss in person… two fridays prior! People often think telling your boss on the Monday, but in fact it’s not a full two weeks. Make sure others don’t know prior to your boss finding out.

How do I have this conversation?

Have this conversation in person if possible, if not schedule a phone call and try never to use email. I’ve seen people wanting to avoid this conversation and simply sending a resignation email. This is really unprofessional and doesn’t bode well for continued a professional relationship.

What do I say?

In this conversation be factual about the new position and grateful for the role you were in. Tell your boss when your last day is and whether you’ll be taking any vacation during the two week period. I’d advise not taking the entire two weeks and work with your boss on what’s best for the department. Offer to help with the transition, potential recruitment if feasible and assure him/her that you’ll have everything from your position organized when you leave. Discuss with your boss how they would like other team and department members to find out.

How do I follow up?

Follow up with a pleasant email summarizing what you said in person and provide a formal resignation letter as an attachment. There are several online templates for this.

Side note: Be prepared, depending on the industry, you may be walked out immediately or asked to leave that day. Make sure before you have the conversation that you’ve cleared your computer of all personal files, browser history, and any other sensitive data.

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