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Don’t Turn Your Two-Week Notice in Just Yet

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Summary: Don’t turn in your two-week notice until you have done these 14 steps to prepare and finish tying up loose ends.

We know you are super excited to finally hand in that two-week notice so you can be on your way to bigger and better opportunities, but don’t get too excited. Before handing in your notice and thinking you can give up your responsibilities, there are a number of things you should do first if you want to leave on good terms with your employer. Consider these 14 things before moving on.

  1. Discuss your departure with careful thought and positivity so no bridges get burned or feelings hurt.

No matter the reason(s) for leaving, don’t go around bragging about how all these negatives things made you leave. You already have a job elsewhere so there is no need to dwell on the negative. Focus on the excitement of a new opportunity to learn and grow.

  1. Carefully plan your exit, making sure your boss will miss you.

You want them to be sorry you are leaving instead of quietly jumping for joy that you will be gone. Layout a transition plan so that at the end of the two weeks, nothing will be left unresolved.

  1. Prepare emails for your co-workers with the details they need to know on the ongoing projects they will be taking over from you.

Some may have the instinct to be indifferent to their co-workers who will be taking over their unfinished projects. However, remember that just because you will no longer be working with your co-workers right now, there is always a chance that you may end up working with them again in the future.

  1. Inform any contacts that you are leaving and how they can contact you.

Have an email prepared to send out to your contacts on the same day or day after you hand in your two-week notice. Let them know in the email who they can contact going forward unless you are in a situation where your contacts will still need to communicate with you, then give them your new contact information.

  1. Be prepared in case your boss would rather have you leave right then.

Sometimes your boss may not take your notice happily and may prefer that you leave right then instead of continuing to work for another two weeks. If this is the case, you need to make sure you have everything taken care of, such as having all your emails to co-workers and contacts already written so it will just take seconds to push send. This also includes having everything that you want of your work computer already transferred to a personal drive.

  1. Keep your contacts

If you still will be working in the same industry and are able to, keep your contacts. Just make sure the company does not consider the contacts as their property.

  1. Decide beforehand if you want a break between jobs.

You may want to take a week or a few days off of work so you can wind down from your previous job and prepare for the new one. Once you get the start date for the new job, figure out when you want your last date to be so you can calculate when to turn in that two-week notice.

  1. Some employers expect a month notice.

Look through your employee handbook to find out what the proper procedure is for quitting. There are some employers that require a month notice. Others require communication regarding quitting to go through HR.

  1. Find out which benefits you are still entitled to after you quit.

There are usually some benefits that you can keep for a length of time after you quit such as vacation/sick days and 401k.

  1. Give feedback that is polite and respectable.

Quite often you will be asked to complete an exit interview with HR. They want to learn about the work environment, culture, organization, and role of the company. Keep it professional.

  1. Give back any items from your home and desk that belong to the company.

You may find that there are items that have made their way to your home and mingled into your desk. Separate out those items to give back to the company, even if it is just a stapler.

  1. Write recommendations for your co-workers.

If you want to leave on a really high note, offer to write recommendations for your soon-to-be former co-workers on their LinkedIn profiles. Give them honest, thoughtful and polite feedback. Doing this may also prompt them to return the gesture.

  1. Update your resume.

Now that you have a new job lined up, update your resume so that it is current and ready to go should you need it for something. Organize your work samples so you can use them to update your resume and online profile.

  1. Write a goodbye letter.

No matter how long you have been at your current employment, leaving can be hard. Send a note to each of those you have worked with, even if your relationship has not always been pleasant. Thank your co-workers for their friendship, help, and support.

Have you ever turned in your two-week notice early, before preparing, and regretted it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about how and when to quit your job, read these articles:


Don’t Turn Your Two-Week Notice in Just Yet by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin