How to Give Notice

Career Blog

People quit jobs in even the tightest of markets. And while there are countless reasons for saying, “So long,” the catalyst for the decision often boils down to either a competitive pull or a company push. Whether you’re moving toward something positive or away from a bad situation, how you say good-bye says a lot about you.

Professional courtesy calls for direct communication, ideally via a face-to-face meeting. A video or telephone call is also acceptable. This should be followed up with a short, direct letter of resignation. Such letters typically have three parts as outlined below:

  1. Notice and Timing: Please accept this letter as formal notification that I am resigning from my position as (Insert role) with (Insert Company). My last day will be (insert date). 
  2. Thanks: I enjoyed my (insert time) at (Insert Company) and appreciate the opportunities I’ve had for growth and development.
  3. Transition: During my last two weeks, I’ll do everything possible to ensure a smooth transition. I wish you and the company continued success.

You manager or HR might ask, but you do not have to provide a reason for your decision or reveal where you are going next. That said, your relationship with your manager and any special non-compete agreements could affect your level of disclosure. 

Even if you are leaving under less than ideal circumstances, it’s important to end on a high note. This may not seem important at the moment, but how you act in your final days can have big implications for your professional brand, especially if you work in a tight knit industry. So be sure to quit in style.

If your manager counters, you can always consider the offer, but it’s important to remember why you decided to leave in the first place. For example, more money doesn’t fix a lack of career growth. A better title doesn’t help a lackluster salary.  

Also, most employers understand that counteroffers only delay the inevitable. A job search takes a lot of time and energy. Chances are, if you’ve gone through the process and secured an offer, you already have one foot out the door. In most cases, it’s best to keep walking.

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Check out my latest book The HR Guide to Getting and Crushing Your Dream Job and follow me on Twitter at @timtoterhi or LinkedIn

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