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Giving Notice

Career Resource Center

Giving Notice

Giving notice and making a good lasting impression at your current employer is as important as starting off successfully at your new employer. Inform your supervisor that you plan to leave the company with a letter that indicates why you are leaving and shows appreciation for the good experiences you’ve had. Also include the length of notice you are giving. Depending on the position, a period of two to four weeks is appropriate, but they may need you to stay longer. Be honest in giving reasons why you are leaving.

Take it upon yourself to finish what you started in terms of projects and, if applicable, prepare a guide for the new-hire that will take your place. You may be asked to help train a new or interim person and you should be willing to do whatever you need to do to leave the current employer in the best way possible.

Don’t let emotions get in the way with your manager. If you need to offer constructive criticism, do it in an exit interview with a HR representative. You never want to diminish your chances of getting a good reference at your current employer, which could affect you down the road. Always be positive with your co-workers, and be sensitive to your manager if he wants to tell the other people in the company of your departure. You never know whom you will end up working with in the future, so act professionally.

Tips for giving notice

  • Before giving your notice, make sure you get your new job offer in writing and accept it. An oral offer can be disputed or withdrawn much easier than a written one.
  • Don’t resign until you have passed any physical, drug test, and your references have been checked.
  • You don’t have to wait until a Friday or Monday morning to give your resignation- the sooner you resign, the sooner you can wrap up your current employment in good conscience.
  • You may want to take off a few days or possibly a week for yourself before starting your new position. Factor that in when designating your start date.
  • Be ready for your supervisor’s reaction. They may be disappointed and frustrated, as your resignation can be seen as a reflection of their competence as a manager.
  • Many employers keep your exit letter on file and pull it out when they are asked for a reference. Be prepared to make the best impression that you can with your letter.
  • If you think that you will be escorted to the door and asked to leave, make sure you are prepared ahead of time, deleting personal information from your workstation and gathering your personal belongings.
  • After speaking with your manager, go to your HR department and make your plan for continuing health care and retirement investment management when you leave. You can use COBRA for health insurance for up to eighteen months after you leave your company. (You are responsible for the premiums.)
  • Your 401k/403b rollover will happen after you have left your employment.
  • Keep in contact with people to maintain good relationships and add them to your professional network.
  • Be humble when describing your new position, obviously people know you are leaving for a reason.
  • People will always think highly of you if you act professionally and leave on a professional note.

Your Manager’s Mindset

Some things that may go on in the mind of your manager after you give notice

  • You’re quitting at the worst possible time.
  • I just lost a valuable team member.
  • Who will do the job after you leave?
  • I don’t look favorable in my manager’s eyes because I lost a valuable employee
  • I have to go through the advertising/interviewing process again, in addition to my job’s responsibilities.
  • It’s easier to make you a counter offer than to replace you.

Counter Offer

Some things to consider
  • Any situation in which an employee is forced to get an outside offer to be given a raise or promotion is suspect.
  • No matter what the manager says when making the counter-offer, the candidate who stays will almost always be questioned in terms of loyalty. They will usually be considered first when the company needs to let someone go, on their terms, not yours.
  • Will you need to threaten to quit anytime you want a raise or a promotion?
  • Counter offers are nothing more than stall devices to give the employer enough time to find a suitable replacement.
  • A candidate’s reasons for wanting to leave an employer still exist, but are just a bit more tolerable because of the conditions of the counter-offer.
  • Decent companies don’t make counter-offers, as they won’t subject themselves to blackmail.
  • Statistics show that if you accept a counter-offer, the probability of voluntarily leaving in six months or being let go within one year is extremely high.

Managers who make counter-offers say things like

  • This raise was supposed to go into effect next quarter, but we’ll start it the first of the month instead.
  • The VP has had his eye on you and has really had you in mind for some expanded responsibilities.
  • I’ve been meaning to tell you about our plans for expansion but it’s been confidential until now.
  • The President & Vice President want to have dinner with you tonight before you make your final decision.
  • You’re going to work for Who?
  • I’m really shocked. I thought you were as happy with us as we are with you. Let’s discuss it before you make your final decision.
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