Leaving a job on good terms is very important even if you can't wait to move on to greener pastures. How much notice you're required to give the employer depends on factors such as company policy and past practice. Most employers appreciate or require two weeks' notice, as often codified in the employee handbook or a union contract.
However, in some situations, a two weeks' notice is unnecessary or negotiable depending on how quickly a replacement worker can be hired and trained. Leaving abruptly due to safety concerns or other serious workplace environment issues is also appropriate. Research your options and then act accordingly to sever ties without burning bridges.
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Importance of Two Weeks’ Notice
Giving notice is a professional courtesy that affords an employer time to reassign another worker to the job or advertise for a replacement. The more difficult the job, the more advanced notice an employer will desire. Government workers in a critical role, for example, may be asked to give three months' notice.
An employee's unexpected departure can have a ripple effect on the rest of the department. Morale and productivity may suffer as coworkers struggle to pick up the slack. In some situations, an employer may ask a resigning employee to stay as long as possible to ease the transition. On the other hand, some employers prefer to quickly bring in a new person, especially before a looming busy season. Gauge how your employer is likely to react to the news of your leaving. You may be able to quit that same day if there are lots of eager and capable applicants in the job pipeline.
How to Give Two Weeks’ Notice
Review the employer's handbook, website, collective bargaining agreement or job contract for information on what, if any, policies and procedures apply to resignations and retirements. If you're on good terms with any former employees, you may wish to reach out to them for tips on how and when to give notice. Tell your coworkers and immediate supervisor in person, and then contact the human resource office to inquire about a possible exit interview, voluntary termination forms and options for cashing out benefits like unused vacation.
Writing a Two Weeks’ Notice Letter
Writing a two weeks' notice letter is a straightforward process. Start your letter by identifying the job you're leaving and the intended date of separation. Offer to help with the transition, if desired by the company. End on a positive note by thanking the employer for the time invested in your training and supervision. Federal Pay indicates that reasons for leaving are not typically included in a resignation letter. If you want your employer to know why you are quitting, it's better to do that in a private meeting.
Two Week Notice Letter Example:
Please accept this resignation from my job in sales effective two weeks from the date of this letter. Please let me know how I might be of assistance during the transition. Thank you for the opportunity to work at this great company and learn new skills.
Quitting Without Notice
Federal law does not require employees to give two weeks' notice, according to Business News Daily. Most employees serve at will, meaning the employer can fire workers without warning and the employee can quit without giving notice. Employees working seasonal or temporary jobs are more likely to quit without notice if something better comes along.
Indeed Career Guide reports that employees often leave without giving two weeks' notice in the event of a family emergency, chronic illness or exciting new job with a non-negotiable start date. Most employers are understanding of employees choosing to leave the organization for whatever reason, but some retaliate and fire workers when they get wind of a pending resignation. Other reasons that would justify quitting without giving notice include being subjected to an unsafe or hostile work environment that management is not taking seriously.