How To Give Your Two-Week Notice

Unless you’ve got a fulfilling job with a great boss and reasonable compensation, it’s likely that you’ve considered leaving your current job behind at some point or another. Leaving one job to find one that suits you better is a great way to challenge yourself and find fulfillment within a long-term career. Just as there’s a right and a wrong way to complete your responsibilities at your current job, though, there’s also a right and a wrong way to move on to something else. In order to help you have the smoothest transition possible, here are some crucial tips to giving your employer your two week notice.

See What’s Out There
Long before you leave your current position, and give your two week notice, it is vital that you first investigate other opportunities that may be available. You will want to set up your job seeker profile on AshevilleJobs.com. You can make your profile private and just send your resume to the companies of your choice. Even if you don’t have something else lined up when you leave your current position (which isn’t recommended), you absolutely need to know that opportunities exist that line up with your expectations. To be sure, everyone wants “the perfect job,” but for some people, “the perfect job” may not exist. Make sure your ideas line up with reality to avoid ending up in a major money emergency.

Land Another Job
Another step to take before you inform your current employer of your intention to leave is to actually land another job. A new job, especially one you actually want to have, can be quite difficult to come by, requiring a major time commitment. If you leave your current job without another one in place, you may find yourself without work for weeks or months on end, requiring you to settle for a job at any place that’s willing to hire you, thus putting you further behind in landing the job of your dreams. The best way to find that perfect job is to do a self-assessment before you make the jump. Take time to get to know yourself.

Of course, there are rare situations where it’s acceptable to leave your current position without having something else lined up. At the same time, the satisfaction you get from leaving your current position is likely to be short-lived unless you have something else to fall back on after you’re gone.

Get Everything in Order
One last thing to do before you finally explain your intentions to your manager is to get everything in order. Even if you take the step to officially offer a two week notice, your employer may not accept this offer, and immediately ask you to leave the premises. If this occurs, you’ll typically only be given a limited amount of time to get all your possessions together before being escorted out.

Once you’re out, you may not be allowed back in, meaning you need to know exactly where all your belongings are so that nothing gets left behind. Additionally, you may want to consider taking this step even before you start seeking out a new job, as some employers will fire you on the spot if they catch wind of you looking for a different position. So, empty out your desk of all non-essential items and make sure your favorite coffee cup is no longer in the break room.

Let it Be Known
When you finally have everything ready, it’s time to tell your manager of your intentions to leave. This is not a process that you should be coy about, dropping hints here and there to cause drama among your co-workers. Once you’ve made your final decision, you should go directly to your manager and tell them, in person, that you are putting in your two week notice.

Telling your manager first ensures that they hear the news directly from you, rather than from a co-worker or through social media. Hearing this unpleasant news second-hand will typically only cause more frustration and strife between you and your manager. Show your manager some respect, even if you don’t feel they deserve it, by approaching them and handling the situation in a mature manner.

Bow Out Gracefully
There may be a thousand reasons why you’re leaving your current position, but none of those need to be made known to your manager. Especially if, and this may surprise you, those reasons are mostly or entirely negative. Your meeting with your manager, as tempting as it may be, is not the time to air your grievances in any way. Though the concerns you have may be completely valid, you will do nothing but harm to yourself and your future by unloading on your manager and/or co-workers.

It is your responsibility to bow out as gracefully as possible so that you don’t burn the bridges you’ve built, unsteady though they may be. If nothing else, remember that you may be depending on this manager for a reference in the future, and you want to be able to have reasonable certainty that the reference they provide is going to be positive.

Write it Down
Assuming the meeting with your manager goes well and you’re not fired on the spot, it’s important to follow-up your verbal intentions with a written letter providing basic details about your departure. This includes your specifically stated intentions, the date of your expected last day, and your official position within the company.

This, also, is not the time to write a treatise regarding the myriad problems you discern within the company. It’s not the time to explain how great your new position will be or what you will be doing in that new position. It’s simply a quick, official, written notice that will become part of your employment record, an important inclusion should you ever need to ask for a reference.

Keep Working Hard
No matter how much you dislike your current job, it’s important to keep working hard at it until you clock out for the last time. It could be easy to get into a “coasting” mindset after the adrenaline release of putting in your two week notice. However, any lack of effort will surely be doubly noticed by your manager, which could make it very difficult to get any type of positive recommendation in the future.

Besides, it’s important to remember that until the end of that last day, your current company is still paying you for the work you’re doing, so it’s important to give them an honest day’s effort for an honest day’s pay. At the same time, while you should be giving forth a good effort, your last two weeks is not the time to go into overdrive and begin a bunch of new projects to try and make your current boss jealous, realizing just what they’re “losing.” This will only result in extra work for your co-workers when you leave with a bunch of unfinished projects.

Acknowledge the Impact
Even if there’s very little you appreciate about your current position, there are likely a few aspects of it that you enjoy. Perhaps you had several good co-workers who made the days more bearable. Perhaps there was a specific project your boss assigned to you that really stretched and grew you. Whatever the case may be, your last two weeks is a great time to acknowledge these positives in an open and honest way.

Don’t adopt the mindset that admitting your job has positives means it’s not worth leaving. Even bad things can have moments of good. Be willing to acknowledge and celebrate these positive aspects of your job and you’ll leave a much better taste in the mouths of everyone you’ve worked with.

Consider the Alternatives
When you have the meeting to announce your intentions to leave, your manager may do something surprising: they may offer a sweetened employment offer in order to convince you to stay. While this scenario isn’t terribly likely, it’s important to consider what you’ll do if it does occur.

Is there any level of compensation that would convince you to stay? Is there any extra vacation incentive that would make the misery you’re experiencing worth it? Think about what would have to change for this to be the ideal position, should you suddenly find yourself in a position to negotiate. Also consider that, if you do accept this new deal, you’ll then have to fall back on your commitment to your new employer, potentially burning another bridge in the process.

Final Thoughts
Putting in your two weeks notice can seem like a daunting task. After all, no matter how miserable you’ve been at your current job, letting your boss know you’re leaving is a little uncomfortable. Keep in mind, though, that hundreds, if not thousands of people take on this task every day and come out of it just fine.

Though there may be temporary pain, the ultimate reward will definitely be worth it. Just be sure to make the proper preparations before, during, and after you give your notice, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving success in the final days of your current position and set yourself up for success in the first days of your new position.

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