How to hand in your notice

How to hand in your notice

Things to be aware of when giving notice to an employer

Very few people stay in the same job for life. If you are considering quitting your job, think carefully about whether it is the right thing to do, and talk it over with family and/or friends before reaching a decision. However, once you have decided to resign, here are some simple tips about how to handle things with your employer:

Draft your letter of resignation. This should be a short document that states the position you are resigning from, and which confirms your intention to leave. It is also good practice to thank your company in the letter, even if you aren’t feeling remotely charitable towards them at that time.

Don’t tip off colleagues about your intentions, or write about your intentions on social media. Your line manager should be the first to know that you are leaving, and s/he may not be impressed to find out from a colleague before you tell them officially.

Tell your line manager verbally before handing over the letter. Start by asking for a one-to-one with your immediate superior, and simply tell them you have decided to move on. See how the conversation develops from there. Once the conversation has reached a natural end point, you can hand over your letter.

Think carefully before giving any reasons for resigning. You are under no obligation to say why you are leaving, and criticising the company and/or your colleagues could backfire. Remember firstly that you will need a reference. Then consider that you may end up working with some of your colleagues again in the future at another company. Finally, it is also not unheard of for someone who has resigned to return to the same company later in their career.

Consider asking for your notice period to be shortened or waived. If you are especially keen to start the next chapter of your life, or a new employer wants you to start as soon as possible, then ask politely if it will be possible to leave before the end of your contracted notice period. However, if your request is refused, don’t just walk out, as this will be a breach of contract and may lead to your employer refusing to provide a reference. They can even take legal action in these circumstances.

Check the arrangements for obtaining a reference. Who within the company should any future employer write to for a reference? Should these requests be made by post, email or another method?

Consider any counter offer carefully. Your company may react to you trying to give notice by offering you a pay rise. If you suggest you are leaving because you have been unable to progress within the company, you may even be offered a different role. If you genuinely think you’ll be happier by staying and accepting the new terms, then consider withdrawing your notice of resignation. However, also think about what your working relationship will be if you do decide to stay, given that your colleagues will know you wanted to leave.

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