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How to Give Two Weeks’ Notice the Right Way


Written by

Leah Richards

Leah Richards




Quitting a job can be a difficult time. An angry employee could quit by leaving a note on a manager’s desk saying they quit and won’t be back. Another employee could get mad, yell at the boss, and walk out the door. Neither option, of course, is the best way to resign if you can help it. It just makes a difficult situation even more difficult.

The employee who resigns professionally gives two weeks’ notice, writes a polite resignation letter, and thanks the employer for the opportunities they had during their tenure at the company will be appreciated even though he or she is moving on.

The Resignation Letter

The formal way to quit is to write a resignation letter and to tell your supervisor in person that you’re leaving. However, depending on circumstances, you may need to quit over the phone or to quit via email. Regardless of how you resign, write a resignation letter or send a resignation email.

A well-written resignation letter can help you maintain a positive relationship with your old employer while paving the way for you to move on. You never know when you might need your previous employer to give you a reference, so it makes sense to take the time to write a polished and professional resignation letter.

The One-On-One Talk

If possible, schedule an in-person or virtual chat with your boss. Don’t say much more than you are leaving. Emphasize the positive and talk about how the company has benefited you, but also mention that it’s time to move on. Avoid being negative.

Regardless of why you quit your job, be sure to say the right things in your resignation letter: offer a brief explanation of why you’re leaving, thank them for the opportunity, and let them know when your last day will be.

Moving Forward

If you’ve kept things polite and professional, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for a letter of recommendation from your manager. With a letter in hand or a LinkedIn recommendation online, you’ll have documentation of your credentials to share with prospective employers.

Don’t Skimp on the Details

Find out about the employee benefits and salary you are entitled to receive upon leaving. Inquire about collecting unused vacation and sick pay, and keeping, cashing in, or rolling over your 401(k) or another pension plan.

Return any company property you have, including keys, documents, computers, phones, and anything else that doesn’t belong to you. The company doesn’t want to chase you to get it back, and you don’t want to be held responsible if it’s not returned in a timely manner.

Also, offer to help with any transition that your resignation may set off. The offer may not be accepted, but it will be appreciated.

It’s important to remember, your company does not have to accept your two weeks and they may terminate your employment on the day you hand in your resignation. It may be a good idea to prepare for this scenario by cleaning up your computer. Before you turn in your resignation, delete personal files and email messages, but make sure you have the contact information for everyone you need to keep in touch with after you’re gone.