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Friday Forum – How Do I Give My Notice?

Happy Friday and Welcome to the Friday Forum!

Every Friday we take a question submitted by one of our users and have our professionals field it and provide advice.  We then encourage members of the Need a New Gig community to comment below and give their take!

Here is This Week’s Question:

Sandy asks:

“I received some great news this week as I was offered and accepted a position that I was interviewing for.  They would like me to start as soon as possible so I need to give notice to my current employer.  I have worked there for a good amount of time so I am nervous and I am not really sure how to go about telling them.  Any advice?”

Giving notice can be a whirlwind of emotions especially if you are moving on from an organization that you have been with for a good amount of time.  It is somewhat bittersweet as you are excited about the new opportunity, but dreading the weeks ahead until you transition.  Although it can be a very awkward phase, it is important to handle it correctly so you do not burn any bridges.


First things first you need to be prepared.  Giving your notice can be a stressful conversation as it will probably catch your Manager off guard.  They will be sad to hear the news, but they will also go into desperation mode since they will need to quickly find a replacement.

Most company’s require that you provide your resignation in writing.  My suggestion is to craft this prior to speaking with your boss.  This way you can deliver it during your conversation.  It should be concise and to the point.  Be sure to list your reasons for leaving and offer to help with the transition.  If you have never written a resignation letter or need help be sure to check out our piece How to Write a Resignation Letter or download our free 60 Second Resignation Letter template .

Aside from putting it in writing you want to make sure that you are giving the proper notice according to your company’s policy.  Most companies require that you give at least two weeks, but some request more.  With that being said, make sure that you give your notice with enough time to meet these requirements.  In certain cases if you do not give enough notice you may lose out on vacation time, bonuses, and other benefits that could be paid out when you leave.

Other Things To Think About

After basic preparation is complete there are a few other things that you need to consider.  It is unknown how your Manger will respond so you want to be ready for any questions they may have.

Have a transition plan in mind.  Ensure that current projects will be completed before you leave.  Let your Manager know that you are on board for a smooth transition and that you are willing to help in any way you can.

Think about if you can potentially stay longer then your given notice.  Some employers may ask you to stay on longer for a deadline or for training purposes.  Have a good sense of a firm last day in case this question comes up.

Be prepared for a counter offer.  This doesn’t always happen, but it is a good idea to think this through just in case.  Some Manager’s may extend a counter offer as a band aid to temporarily stop the bleeding.  This will buy them more time to come up with a plan in case you decide to leave after they throw a little money at you.  It is important in this situation to remember your initial reasons for looking.  Chances are that a counter offer may temporarily make you happy, but majority of your reasons to look will still be there.  Not to mention you will have an “x” on your back since they know you were looking to leave.  My advice is to stick with your gut and go with the new opportunity.

Finally be prepared to go home today.  There is always a chance that your Manager may get heated or may not feel it is worth your time to be there if you are departing.

Get it scheduled

Once you have your letter crafted and have decided on a transition date, it is a good idea to set up a time to speak with your manager.  It is important to note that you should always tell your boss before anyone else.  Even if you trust your co-workers, you do not want it to reach your manager from anyone else besides you.  This goes for social media too!

When giving notice you should always try to do it in person.  If for some reason you can’t make that happen then a phone call is a good back up plan.  You should never send your resignation via email or text message.

Send your Manager a note and schedule a time to meet.  Let them know that you just needed a few minutes of their time to discuss something.  Make sure that you are prepared because there is a chance they may tell you to stop in at that moment or they could swing by your office when you aren’t expecting them.

The Conversation

It is important that when the conversation begins that you get right to the point.  There is no sense dancing around the issue as it will just make it more difficult for you.  Remember to be professional.  Now is not the time to complain about their poor management style!

Let them know that you appreciate everything that they have done for you and that you enjoyed working for them.  Explain that this is an opportunity that you can’t pass up and that it aligns with your career goals.  Once you have broken the news be sure to talk about the transition and offer any help you can provide.

Don’t forget to make sure your last day aligns with the company’s policy and be sure to inquire about any benefits or salary you are entitled to upon leaving.


Now that the conversation is over you can breathe a sigh of relief!  The hard part is over.  Make sure that you finish strong in your last few weeks.  Tie up any loose ends and offer help where it is needed.  Don’t quit before you actually leave!

If feedback is requested in an exit interview be sure to stay professional.  Even if it is tempting to bash your old employer, it will not help you in the long run.  Say your goodbyes and get ready to start your next challange!

What are Your Thoughts? Comment Below!

Dan Metz is the Director of Executive Search and Employee Development at the Resilience Group, LLC, and Co-Founder and Contributing Author for Need a New Gig.  Follow his blog for more great tips like this!

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