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Two Weeks’ Notice Done Right

By Cynthia Cole, AgCareers.com

 

 

Quitting your job can create a lot of anxiety. Basically, it’s firing your employer. And like ending any relationship, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Here are six tips for two weeks’ notice done right:

 

  1. Notify your boss first and in person. No matter how much you trust your co-workers to keep a secret, this kind of news spreads quickly through the grapevine. Once you’ve decided to quit, inform your supervisor first and your colleagues second. Have a conversation with your boss in person, unless circumstances make that impossible. At a minimum, have a phone conversation with them. E-mailing or texting the news to your boss is not considered a respectable way to quit your job.
     
  2. Write a resignation letter. After the conversation, give your boss a formal resignation letter. Keep it brief – tell them you are leaving their employment, when your last day of work will be, and thank them for the opportunity. Your contract or employee handbook may specify how much notice you need to give, but if not, two weeks is considered the standard. Do not feel obligated to explain your reason for leaving or what your next career move will be.
     
  3. Be prepared for what might be next:
     
    • Transition plan – You know best what projects need to be wrapped up and what responsibilities need to be taken over. Come up with a plan to offer to your boss and pledge your support.
       
    • Employer asks why – If your employer asks why you are leaving, keep it vague. You can respond with, “My new opportunity aligns better with my career goals.”
       
    • Employer asks you to stay longer – Is this a possibility for you? And if so, is it something you are willing to do?
       
    • Counteroffer – It is rarely a good idea to accept a counteroffer. Click here for some good advice on this topic.
       
    • You may go home today – Some employers ask you to leave immediately. Have you gathered your personal belongings?
       
  4. Ensure a smooth transition. Resist the urge to mentally check out. Tie up loose ends and communicate about where you left off on any open projects. Leave the company in as good a shape as possible.
     
  5. Don’t burn the bridge. You never know when someone may reenter your life, so remain positive until the end. Exit interviews should not be considered an opportunity to unload about the company or throw difficult colleagues under the bus. Your feedback will likely be shared at some level, so a better idea is to offer constructive solutions to challenges you faced, if possible.
     
  6. Show gratitude. Say a warm goodbye. You have likely made some important connections at your job, and your network is extremely valuable! Write a personal thank you note to colleagues you connected well with and mention a project or two that you collaborated on as a lasting reminder of the work you did together.

 

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