What is Two Weeks’ Notice?
There are many reasons why you may want or need to leave your current job. When you leave, it is customary to give at least two weeks’ notice to your employer about your coming departure.
This period gives you time to complete your current work obligations, inform your managers and coworkers how to perform some of your job duties once you’re gone, and to say goodbye to your colleagues professionally and positively. It also gives your employer time to open a role to fill your job or to make other arrangements.
It is important to review your employment contract before giving notice in case your company has other guidelines around resigning. Depending on the terms of your contract, a two weeks’ notice letter may be required to formally resign your position.
Why Should You Write a Two Weeks’ Notice Letter?
There are two main reasons why you should write for two weeks’ notice letter. First, this letter is a respectful way to inform your employer that you intend to leave your current position. It’s normal for people to leave jobs and move on to new ones.
During this process, make sure your employer will be able to speak positively about your exit. For example, quitting your job suddenly and without notice could leave your employer in a difficult situation. This could limit your ability to use your current employer as a reference for future jobs or risk a new employer learning about your unprofessional exit.
In many cases, your notice will give your employer time to settle any accounts in your name or ensure you receive final financial information, such as for retirement accounts or back pay. Your employer may also need the time to post your former job and find the right candidate as a replacement.
The second reason you should provide a two weeks’ notice letter is so you have a written record of your decision to resign. This document can be used for various purposes, such as understanding why employees choose to leave or for legal records.
How you leave your job could also have an impact on your future job success. No matter your reason for leaving, you should avoid leaving a bad impression throughout the resignation process.
Putting in Your Two Weeks’ Notice
If you find yourself in the scenario of having to write a resignation email, and you do not know how to begin or what to do here are a few tips, as well as a resignation letter template.
1. Tell Your Boss First
Even if you’re close with your other co-workers, you must tell your boss first. Others at work might know you were interviewing, especially if they were your references, but the professional thing to do when quitting a job is to tell your boss first, in-person.
It is nerve-wracking to have this conversation but keep the tone simple, complimentary, and professional. Depending on your relationship with your boss, either set up time on the calendar or simply pop over to their desk and tell them you’d like to speak in private today.
After some brief small talk, have your one-sentence ready: “I’ve so enjoyed working with you here, but another opportunity has presented itself and I’ve made a decision to move on.”
He or she might ask you if you are interested in a counteroffer, so decide before the meeting whether that’s something you might entertain. Also, have the date in mind for your last day (two weeks from when you put in your notice is customary), so you can provide it when asked.
End the meeting by thanking your boss for his or her guidance and time. I also always advocate shaking hands, regardless of how informal the office culture is. Figure out the next steps (talking to HR? telling the team or clients?), and bring a letter of resignation with you to give to the appropriate party, usually either HR or your boss. Keep the letter brief and professional.
2. Tell Close Co-workers and Mentors Personally
Once you’ve met with your boss, you’ll want to tell your work friends, special co-workers, and mentors yourself, ideally face-to-face (or if you can’t in person, via a goodbye email).
You don’t want someone influential or important in your growth to hear through the office grapevine that you’re leaving—these relationships will likely transcend your current employment, and you want to preserve them even as you move on to your next position. After that, you can tell other people as you see them.
3. Have a Transition Plan
Spend the next two weeks planning for your departure and tying up loose ends. Work on a plan to layout your responsibilities and provide suggestions for others who could assume these tasks once you’re gone.
This will help your current boss to start the reassignment process, plus give you time to train others on your responsibilities. If it’s appropriate, offer to help find your replacement or write your job description.
Be as helpful as possible. You can also offer to be available for questions via email after you leave if anything comes up, giving your current team reassurance you won’t leave them in a bind.
4. Have a Story for Why You Are Leaving
Once you put in your notice, be prepared to be asked by almost everyone, “Why are you leaving?” or “Where are you going?” So have a story prepared—something to the effect of “I have so enjoyed my time here, but this opportunity presented itself and will allow me to grow my skills in a new way” will help you paint your decision in a positive light.
5. Say Nice Things
Finally, remember that this is not the time to share war stories of working at your current company or to loudly proclaim “This is what I won’t miss! Finally, remember that this is not the time to share war stories of working at your current company or to loudly proclaim “This is what I won’t miss!” when something’s going wrong.
While you are leaving, everyone else is staying—and these are people you’ll likely cross paths with someday, especially if you work in a small industry. Remember to tell everyone how much you enjoyed working with them and how you hope to keep in touch in the future. And then do! Make sure to add your colleagues on LinkedIn or save their contact info before you go.
A Two Weeks’ Notice Template
This is a template for a simple two weeks’ notice email. Make sure you adapt it to your circumstances. This isn’t a time for copy and paste.
Subject: Joe Bloggs – Notice of Resignation
Dear [Line Manager],
As we discussed earlier today, I am writing to tender my formal resignation from [XYZ Company] as my family is relocating. My last day at [XYZ] will be Friday 27 January 2023.
Please let me know if there is anything I can do to assist you with the transition. I will be glad to offer any support I can during my remaining time with the company.
[If you are moving, include a paragraph such as this:
As you know, I will be relocating to Newtown to start my new role. If you need to contact me, you will be able to reach me at [email protected], or on 01234567890.]
I have copied in HR for their information and will liaise with them further if necessary.
Thank you for the opportunities and support you have given me over the last [x] years; I wish both you and the company every success for the future.
Although following the steps I’ve outlined gives you a good chance of leaving on the best terms, nothing is perfect. No matter how your employer reacts to your resignation, take it in your stride. And remember, in 14 days you will start your next adventure. Share this article with your friends, and you will be surprised you ended up helping someone.