It is immensely important to leave on good terms when you are resigning from a company, and you need to control your emotions upon any impulse to act from resentment. You could run into the same people again at some point in your career and at that time it might pay off to have maintained professionalism with them. Leaving on good terms would also enable you to get a letter of recommendation without any difficulty.
Now, a big part of extending professional courtesy to your company while leaving is to provide a two-week notice. From the organization’s point of view, it is the most valuable document, even more so than your resignation letter, as it allows them to arrange your replacement in time so that the work is not interrupted and the company doesn’t incur any avoidable losses.
In this post, we will explain how to go about serving your notice period and cover everything from writing your two-week notice letter to helping train your replacement.
There are two main reasons why you should give a two-week notice even if there is no contract binding you to do so. The first is that it is the courteous thing to do and the second reason is that it makes for a smooth transition. This smooth transition helps in maintaining productivity and avoids sudden disruptions in ongoing projects, deadlines, or client relationships. You don’t want to be that guy who just ghosts the company. That kind of behavior should be reserved for situations where things have gone bad between you and the company or you really hate your job.
The two-week standard is accepted in most industries and work cultures. This is because two weeks seems to strike a balance between allowing the employee enough time to wrap up their responsibilities and providing the employer sufficient time to find a replacement or distribute tasks among the team.
In some cases, the two-week notice period may be specified in employment contracts, company policies, or labor laws. Employers often outline this duration in employment agreements to set clear expectations and obligations for resignations. So, there you go if you’ve been wondering why is 2 weeks notice required.
Before you go ahead and disclose your intention to leave to anybody, make sure it is really what you want to do. Go over all the implications of your resignation on your career path in your head and visualize your future after the resignation.
Make sure you are not acting out of anger or frustration as we all sometimes do. You might also want to check out the job market in your industry before you go ahead as getting a new job might actually be harder than you expect.
As a general rule, you should try to keep it discreet, even if you are leaving because of obvious issues with the company. It may be hard but you must resist the temptation to go on social media and rant about how horrible your company is, especially on platforms like LinkedIn. It could hurt your chances of getting a new job as employers wouldn’t like to hire someone who could bad mouth the company in the future.
Once your decision to leave is final, consider these points to plan your departure timeline:
Letting your supervisor about your decision to leave is one of the most crucial parts of serving the notice period. The dialogue you have with your supervisor while breaking the news is really important as it sets the tone for your departure. Here are some points that can be helpful to make the conversation smooth:
Schedule a meeting: If possible, request a private meeting with your manager to discuss a personal matter. Choose a time when you know him/her to be least busy so that they can give you their undivided attention.
Prepare your points: List all the things that you would like to say to your supervisor so that you don’t miss anything during the meeting. Also, remember to express your gratitude for the opportunities and experiences you gained working with them. Be clear about your decision to resign and highlight your reasons succinctly without speaking negatively about the company, colleagues, or the job itself.
Discuss the transition plan: As a token of goodwill, you should offer assistance in making the transition as smooth as possible. You could propose a plan for handing over your work, training team members or assisting in finding a suitable replacement.
Formalize your resignation: At some point, you are going to need to provide a resignation letter. Take the meeting as an opportunity to do it and hand your manager your resignation letter at the end of the meeting. Keep the letter concise, mentioning your gratitude, your last working day as per the notice period, and your willingness to assist in the transition.
Even if you are at liberty to simply inform your supervisor verbally about your decision to leave two weeks in advance, it is still preferred to give your notice in writing. There are many reasons for this the most important being that you’ll have evidence that you gave notice on time in case any issue arises.
Follow these steps as a template while drafting your 2-week notice letter/email:
Now that you have a rough 2 week notice template, here are some tips to remember while composing your notice letter:
Crafting a 2 week notice letter requires a delicate balance of professionalism, gratitude, and clarity. It's an opportunity to express appreciation for the experiences gained while ensuring a smooth transition for both you and your employer. Here is a sample:
Subject: Resignation - Two Weeks Notice
Dear [Supervisor's Name],
I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign from my position as a [Company Name] at [Company Name]. My last working day will be [Last Working Day, typically two weeks from today's date], and I intend to ensure a smooth transition of my responsibilities during this period.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at [Company Name], and I am grateful for the opportunities and experiences I have gained during my tenure. I appreciate the trust and support provided by you and the entire team.
During my notice period, I am committed to completing my ongoing projects, assisting in the transition of my responsibilities, and providing any necessary support to ensure a seamless handover. Please let me know if there are specific tasks or projects you would like me to prioritize during this time.
I am available to discuss the transition process and address any concerns or questions you may have. Additionally, I am more than willing to assist in finding a suitable replacement or offer guidance to any team member who will be taking over my responsibilities.
I want to express my gratitude to [Company Name] and the entire team for the valuable experiences and growth opportunities. I am confident that this decision aligns with my career goals, and I look forward to staying connected with the team in the future.
Thank you once again for the opportunities I've had at [Company Name]. I wish the company and my colleagues continued success in the future.
[Your Full Name]
[Your Email Address]
[Your Phone Number]
A counteroffer is when your current employer makes an offer to convince you to stay after you've submitted your resignation. This offer could include a salary raise, improved benefits, or a better position within the company.
The offer may be lucrative but, you need to consider the counteroffer in light of your reasons for resigning in the first place. Try to overlook the positives of the offer and ask yourself if the counteroffer addresses the issues that led to your decision to leave. Also, remember to evaluate the long-term benefits and whether they align with your career goals and aspirations.
If you decide to decline the counteroffer, do so respectfully and professionally. Express gratitude for the offer and reiterate your decision to leave. Make it clear that your decision is final and has been well-considered.
And if you're considering accepting the counteroffer, seek clarity on the terms and conditions. Discuss any concerns you have and ensure that the changes align with your career objectives. And don’t forget to get the offer in writing.
If you have decided to leave the company, it is a good opportunity to provide feedback. Constructive feedback can be immensely valuable for the company, allowing them to understand the reasons for your departure and potentially improve the workplace for future employees. Here’s some tips to do it right:
You could organize a small farewell gathering with your colleagues to bid a proper farewell. This could be a casual gathering or a simple lunch, providing an opportunity for everyone to say their goodbyes and share well-wishes. Curate a playlist of songs that remind you of the good times and shared experiences and play it during your farewell gathering.
Prepare a heartfelt speech that expresses your gratitude and fond memories. Share your journey, the lessons you've learned, and your hopes for the future. Try to make it personal and genuine.
You could also write personalized thank-you notes to people who have had a significant impact on your career at the company. Handwritten notes are a great way to show thoughtfulness and leave a lasting impression.
Here’s a quick recapitulation of the most important points elucidated in this article:
Q1: Is two weeks notice required?
Ans: Sometimes, an employee is bound by the employment contract to give 2 weeks' notice before resigning. Other than that, it is also taken for granted that you would give a notice before resigning as a courtesy. Although 2 weeks is taken as the standard duration, some workplaces may also require a longer time than that. And some cases, you may not need to serve any notice period at all. Ultimately, it varies from workplace to workplace.
Q2: What is a two-week notice?
Ans: It is a formal notice of your intention to resign that you provide the employer in advance, typically two weeks before your intended last date of work.
Q3: Does two weeks notice include the day you resign?
Ans: Yes, the date of your intended last day at work is an important element of the document. It is supposed to be two weeks after the date you hand in the notice letter.
Q4: What happens if you don’t give two weeks notice?
Ans: There can be various repercussions for not giving two weeks notice. It can lead to a damaged professional reputation and can negatively impact your reference check. The company may also forfeit benefits or pay and you may face a financial loss.
Q5: Can I use sick time during my two weeks notice?
Ans: Generally, there is nothing wrong with using your sick time during your notice unless it gets in the way of you handing over your responsibilities properly. Taking a long leave would defeat the very purpose of giving notice if you are not available to make the transition smooth. However, it varies greatly from case to case. Whether you can use sick time during your notice period largely depends on your company’s policies, employment contract, and applicable labor laws.