Grow Your Business. Grow Your Career.

Contact Us
877.823.3669

Why leaving your job with a professional notice matters, whether it’s been short-term or long-term!

As our society moves more and more toward communicating through email, text messaging and other forms of e-communication where we are not face to face it has appeared to become easier and easier for people to seemingly dismiss the traditional professional notice. We’ve seen candidates resign by sending a text, by leaving a letter on a bosses desk with no other communication, by firing off an email or by simply not showing back up. It’s unbelievable to me what has become acceptable to some people. I would strongly caution anyone from thinking that it’s ok to resign in any of these ways or to not offer a professional 2 week notice.

Why?
Burning a bridge when leaving an organization is never something you want to do. I have seen numerous scenarios where someone has left unprofessionally and it has come back to haunt them years later when they were interviewing for a job they really wanted, but didn’t get because their reputation had been damaged by an unprofessional exit. Lou Holtz, the legendary Notre Dame football coach, has three things he’s committed to doing in all aspects of his life.

  1. Doing the Right thing
  2. Doing everything to the best of his ability
  3. Showing people he cares

I love these pillars to live by and there is a reason his #1 commitment is to “do the right thing.” If you’ve made a decision to leave job, then do the right thing even if the company you’re leaving may not have. Even if you have only been there a few weeks or months it’s not ok to email that you’re resigning without giving a professional 2 week notice. If you have only been in the job for a short time the chances are high that they won’t want or need you to work out the 2 weeks, but again do the right thing and offer to complete that transition period while stating that if they don’t need you to stay your preference would be to wrap up as quickly as possible. The first step once your decision is made should always be to set up an exit meeting with your manager and present an official letter of resignation.

Before having this conversation, take time to think through how you want to deliver the news, and tell why you are moving on. It is important to be honest and constructive while also showing gratitude for the opportunity they gave you and the experience you’ve gained while there.

During this discussion, you will want to present your two-week notice. The reason for this letter is to provide written documentation, which HR typically requires, that you are leaving your current company, as well as confirmation of when your last day would be. Again, convey two weeks and be willing to honor that, but you can discuss a shorter time frame.

How?
Properly organizing this letter is important, so you do not convey too much or too little information. It doesn’t need to be lengthy. Put the date at the top, address it to your boss, make your resignation statement inclusive of your appreciation for the opportunity and then type your name and sign it. If your boss inquires as to why you’re leaving, which they always should, then you can decide whether or not to get in to the details of your decision. There are too many reasons for someone leaving for me to give counsel on that, but always keep your comments professional and give feedback from the perspective of wanting to be constructive. I would also strongly counsel against taking a counter-offer, which is a whole other conversation, but if you think your boss will push on that and you prefer to avoid that confrontation simply include in your verbal statement that you’re resigning that you have put a great deal of thought and consideration in to your decision and you would ask that the company respect your decision and not enter in to a counter offer discussion.

Once this conversation is complete, the hard part is over! You will have successfully resigned with poise and professionalism. While moving on from a job is very common, it is always wise to leave on good terms with your former employer. Remember that your reputation, track record of professionalism and your integrity will follow you throughout your career so do the right thing!