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Quitting your job can be both exciting and stressful. There are many things to consider. One step you need to take is to write your two weeks notice letter letting your employer know you are leaving.
This article will give you a step-by-step guide to writing your letter and includes free templates you can use.
What is a Two Weeks Notice Letter?
A two weeks notice letter is a formal letter that you, as an employee, use to give your employer notice of your resignation. Employers often require this type of letter so that they have time to find a replacement or make arrangements to cover the workload.
In most cases, it is a requirement of your employment contract. If you do not have an employment contract, or if your contract does not specify how much notice you are required to give, you should give (at least) two weeks' notice when quitting your job.
While a two weeks notice letter is not a legal requirement, giving notice is a common courtesy that employers (and your coworkers) appreciate. It shows respect and willingness to work with the company to ensure a smooth transition. Staying on good terms with your current employer is essential as you'll likely use them as references in the future and never know when you may cross paths with them again.
Things To Consider Before Giving Your Two Weeks Notice
When you leave, it's vital to plan your departure carefully. You need to know what's coming next. You'll also want to avoid burning bridges.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare to give your two weeks' notice.
Have another job lined up.
Unless you will no longer be working, the last thing you want is to be unemployed and scrambling to find a new job. Give yourself plenty of time to job search and line up a new position before you quit. If you do not, it is important to have a financial plan to support yourself.
Now is not the time to vent your frustrations about your current job or employer. Keep your notice brief and to the point, and keep your negative thoughts and comments to yourself during your last few days.
Know the company's procedures.
Your employer may have specific resigning procedures, so check with them before you submit your letter.
If you have questions or concerns, speak with your Human Resources department, a trusted supervisor, or a union representative.
Think about how you'll break the news to your boss and be prepared to answer their questions. They may want to know why you're leaving and where you're going next. Be honest and open, but keep the conversation focused on the future. You are under no obligation to tell them anything if you don't want to.
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If things are bad at work, come up with a brief reason for quitting that keeps things professional. Even if this reason isn't the whole truth, not saying anything might cause more suspicion than you'd like. Something simple like “I'm ready for a new challenge in my career” is more than sufficient.
Give adequate notice.
Two weeks is the standard, but if you can give more notice, a good boss will appreciate the additional time to find and train your replacement.
Consider the relationships you have at your current job. If you have a strong relationship with your boss and coworkers, you may want to give them a heads up that you are planning to leave so that you don't blindside them when you provide your notice.
Be prepared to leave immediately.
Once you have submitted your letter, be prepared to leave the job immediately. Most employers want you to complete the two weeks, but some may ask you to go on the spot. Either way, it's wise to be prepared, just in case. If you are worried that this might happen to you, talk to a union rep or employment lawyer for advice.
Giving your two weeks' notice can be a daunting task. If you plan and handle it with grace and professionalism, however, you'll soon transition smoothly into the next chapter of your career.
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Tips for How to Write a Two Weeks Notice Letter
When writing a two weeks notice letter, be polite, professional, and straightforward. The letter should be short and to the point and include the following information:
- The specific date of your last day.
- A brief explanation of why you are resigning. (This is optional.)
- A thank you to your employer for the opportunity to work there.
- An offer to help with the transition.
- Your contact information, in case your employer needs to contact you.
Remember, this is not the time to air any grievances you may have with the company or your boss. Even if you are leaving because you are dissatisfied with your current job, keep your emotions in check and state that you are resigning and giving two weeks' notice.
Two Weeks Notice Letter Templates
The style and format of your resignation letter will depend on your role and the company culture. Sometimes, a short, simple email is sufficient, while other times, you may need to write a formal business letter. The important thing is that you submit something in writing promptly.
Here are two two-weeks notice letter templates you can use to tailor your letter:
Simple Two Weeks Notice Letter
I am writing to inform you that my last work day will be [date]. Thank you for the opportunity to work with [company name]. I have appreciated the experience and the skills I have learned here.
Please let me know if you need any help during the transition. I am happy to train my replacement if required. You can reach me at [phone number] or [email address].
Formal Two Weeks Notice Letter
[Your name and full address]
[Your employer's name and full address]
I am writing to inform you of my resignation from my position as [job title]. Please accept this letter as formal notice that I will leave my job in two weeks on [date].
I have enjoyed working for this company and am grateful for the opportunities afforded me. However, I have decided to move on to new challenges and pursue other career opportunities.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and guidance during my time here. I have learned a lot and will never forget my positive experiences. I wish the company continued success in the future.
I will do everything possible to make the transition as smooth as possible. I will train my replacement and make myself available for any questions or concerns they may have. If there is anything I can do in these next two weeks to help with the transition, please do not hesitate to let me know.
What to Do After Submitting Your Two Weeks Notice Letter
After you give your notice, you should do a few things to ensure a smooth transition. You want to leave your job on good terms, so take the time to do things right.
Don't start slacking.
As tempting as it can be, don't slack off in your last two weeks. Although you are likely counting down the days and are excited to move on, it's important to finish strong. Your employer is more likely to give you a positive reference if you do this.
Meet with your boss.
Set up a meeting with your boss to review what they need from you in your final weeks. Ask any questions you may have about your transition out of the company.
Tie up loose ends.
Next, start tying up any loose ends. Create a plan to complete unfinished projects, return any company property, transfer your knowledge to a coworker, and let your clients or customers know who they should contact.
Clean your work area and pack your personal belongings, such as pictures, plants, and other knick-knacks, from your space.
Help with training.
Offer to train your replacement or colleagues temporarily taking over your duties. It shows that you're committed to making things easy for everyone, even though you're leaving. Be available to answer any questions they may have.
Start saying your goodbyes.
It won't take long for your coworkers to realize you are resigning, so start saying your goodbyes. Although this can be a complicated process, it's crucial to maintain your professional relationships and network connections.
Save some samples of your work.
Keeping copies of a few work samples or projects you've completed is also a good idea. They may be helpful during your job search, and you can add them to your professional portfolio. It's also a way to record your accomplishments and track your progress over time.
Be mindful of what documents you take copies of so you're not breaching confidentiality agreements or stealing intellectual property belonging to someone else.
Prepare for what's next.
Start looking for a new job immediately if you are quitting without another job lined up! Update your resume, search for job openings, and start networking with potential employers and your professional connections.
If you are moving to another role, start preparing for your new job. Starting a new career can also be stressful, so take a few days off (if you can) to give yourself time to adjust. Otherwise, ensure you have everything you need for your first day, such as your new employee paperwork, directions, and parking information.
What If You Get a Counteroffer?
When you submit your resignation, your employer may give you a counteroffer instead of simply accepting your notice. If they do, consider your reasons for wanting to leave the company and whether the counteroffer meets your needs.
A counteroffer may signify that they value your contributions to the organization and are willing to make an effort to keep you on staff. Negotiating for a higher salary, better benefits, or more flexible hours could be an excellent opportunity.
On the other hand, it may be a way for your employer to buy time while they search for your replacement. You should be cautious before accepting a counteroffer because they may end up firing you anyway.
Ultimately, you need to remember that you are resigning for a reason, so be sure to weigh the pros and cons of a counteroffer before making your final decision.
Can You Quit Without Giving Notice?
Yes, you can quit your job anytime. Giving two weeks' notice is expected in the United States but is not required by law. However, leaving without notice is generally considered unprofessional and can be risky and have negative consequences. If you are considering doing so, make sure you have a solid plan and know the potential legal and financial ramifications.
If you're leaving a hostile work environment, it's tempting to walk out the door without giving any notice. It allows you to avoid conflict or confrontation with a horrible boss or coworkers and gives you a clean break from a job you no longer want. In some cases, this may be the best option, but it's not a decision to be made lightly.
Providing notice is a way to protect yourself. You may lose your benefits such as commissions, bonuses, or unused paid time off if you quit your job without providing notice.
From a legal standpoint, if you have a written contract, you may be in breach if you quit without giving notice, which could lead to a legal battle, costing you time and money. Or, you could end up costing your employer money, leading to them taking legal action against you.
Consider the impact your actions will have on your professional reputation. Many employers may be reluctant to hire someone who has quit without notice from their previous job.
If you don't have another job lined up, you risk being unemployed and facing a challenging financial situation. Finding a job is much easier when you already have one, partially because you won't have gaps on your resume.
If you're considering quitting without notice, ask yourself why. Ultimately, it's up to you, but leaving without notice is usually not the best option.
What If I Can't Give Two Weeks' Notice?
Sometimes life circumstances don't allow you to give your employer two weeks' notice when you resign.
You may have found a new job that needs you to start immediately. Maybe you need to prioritize your health or well-being and can no longer stay. Or you may be leaving due to an emergency.
If you're in a situation where you can't give two weeks' notice, be honest and remain professional. Tell your employer as soon as possible that you won't be able to provide the full two weeks, briefly explain your situation, and apologize for the inconvenience. If you have a good relationship with your employer, they may understand and work with you. Tie up as many loose ends as you can at work and leave things in a good state before you move on.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.
Amanda Kay, Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.