Two Weeks’ Notice: 6 Steps To Follow

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Giving Two Weeks' Notice

The vast majority of the working population takes on several jobs and careers throughout their lifetimes and will experience giving a two weeks' notice. While you may experience numerous changes throughout your professional career, it is imperative that you maintain professional relationships with former employers and coworkers.

Giving your two weeks’ notice when leaving your job is one way of accomplishing this objective.

Professional relationships you have built can lead to positive references and future opportunities. Two weeks’ notice ensures that the transition goes as seamlessly as possible without leaving your employer to deal with performance gaps. Speak with an attorney if you have legal questions about giving two weeks’ notice.

What is Two Weeks’ Notice?

When leaving an employer, it is customary to give your manager or human resources department at least two (2) weeks’ notice of your resignation date. Ensure you include this date in your resignation letter . This period allows your employer to transfer your job duties and train your successor.

Here are the definition and example of two weeks’ notice in practice, including:

  • You have found a new position, and your new employer is expecting your arrival in two weeks
  • You are encountering health issues and want to leave your position permanently while still giving two weeks’ notice
  • You want to leave your position on a positive note by offering two weeks’ notice, although you may prefer a faster exit

Depending upon your types of employment , review your employment contract with labor lawyers before giving your manager notice in case the company has specific resignation guidelines. While there are several benefits of employment contracts , you may have to sign a severance agreement , which means that it is vital to seek legal advice before doing so.

When to Give Two Weeks’ Notice

The ideal time to give two weeks’ notice is when you:

  • have secured new employment with another company
  • have true intentions of leaving the job

You should only give two weeks’ notice to your boss if you are sincere in your intention to leave. Never use two weeks’ notice as a bargaining chip to remedy conflict since your employer may move on and leave you without a job.

You should also review your company’s resignation policies, employment contracts, and various state laws applicable to your situation. While most states follow an at-will employment doctrine, there are always exceptions to the rule.

Why give Two Weeks’ Notice?

There are several legal, financial, and professional benefits associated with giving two weeks’ notice. Ultimately, two weeks’ notice is a standard courtesy to your current employer so that managers can find and retain you replace before leaving if possible.

In addition to a more seamless transition, here are a few other reasons to give two weeks’ notice:

  • Your coworkers will have an opportunity to prepare
  • You will leave your position on a positive note
  • You potentially leave an opportunity to return in the future
  • You will not jeopardize your benefits

Depending upon your industry and position, two weeks’ notice may also be required under your profession’s Code of Ethics . Speak with an employment attorney to help you navigate this situation’s complexities if it applies to your position.

Contractscounsel How To Give Two Weeks Notice

Image via Pexels by Christina Morillo

How To Give Two Weeks’ Notice

Considerately giving two weeks’ notice is much different in practice. While it may seem frightening to take the next step forward, follow these steps to provide two weeks’ notice professionally.

STEP 1: Review Your Employee Handbook or Employment Contract

Before submitting your formal resignation, ensure that you review your employment contract or employee handbook. At-will employees run the risk of being told to leave upon resignation. You should also note any applicable non-compete clauses with labor attorneys if you are unsure how to handle your situation.

STEP 2: Tell Your Boss Before Anyone Else – In Person

While it is tempting to confide in your coworkers about looking for a new job, it is wise to keep that information to yourself until you secure new employment. It is also smart to not share the news that you are leaving with them first before speaking with y our manager. Otherwise, the situation can become contentious and appear less professional or transparent when you exit.


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STEP 3: Come Prepared With A Plan

Two weeks’ notice to your boss certainly makes your departure more professional. However, timing and planning are two often overlooked components. Come to your boss prepared with a plan for your resignation, including how you plan to announce your departure and make the business transition smooth.

Contingency planning is also helpful if your employer wants you to leave the worksite immediately. Additionally, there is nothing wrong with removing yourself from a toxic work environment as soon as possible. Make sure you do what is most practical for your situation and according to the terms of any employment contracts in place.

STEP 4: Consider Drafting a Resignation Letter

Although a verbal resignation is sufficient for many employers, a resignation letter is more formal. It creates a record of your intent to leave and a confirmation of dates that you are officially providing to the company. Keep your two weeks’ notice resignation letter polite yet brief.

STEP 5: Tell Clients, Colleagues, and Mentors

Once you have told your boss, you are then permitted to inform clients, colleagues, and mentors that you are leaving. You should time this step well since you will want to let them know before news spreads. Doing so will prevent potential disputes and preserve professional relationships.

If you work in a department or team, discuss how your manager would like you to handle telling them. Those who want to share the news online, maintain a professional and positive outlook to avoid creating any negativity at the job you are leaving.

STEP 6: Make the Business Transition Smooth

While you may be excited to exit, it is vital that you tie up any loose ends before leaving, including hiring, retraining, and leaving instructions for projects in progress. These actions will give your manager a chance to avoid performance gaps and business disruptions. Try to remain as helpful as you possibly can to ensure that the business transition goes seamlessly.

What happens after you give Two Weeks’ Notice?

Whether you love or loathe your manager, letting them know that you are leaving your job is challenging since there is uncertainty around the events following your resignation. There is an infinite range of possibilities of what could happen, but it helps to sense what you may experience.

Here are several things that could potentially happen after you give two weeks’ notice:

  1. Your coworkers and bosses might congratulate you on your new position and offer you letters of recommendation for the future
  2. Your coworkers and bosses might also treat you negatively and make things awkward on your way out
  3. The company may try to retain you with a counteroffer
  4. Human resources will want to conduct an exit interview
  5. You will need to address employment contracts and may need to sign a severance agreement

It is also possible that your employer may ask you to leave immediately upon providing two weeks’ notice. It is a standard operating procedure for some organizations, so be prepared that this situation could arise.

Handling employment contracts and other legal issues around quitting your job is a challenge. If you need advice from employment lawyers in your state, post your project at no-cost to ContractsCounsel today.

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