Two Weeks Notice Tips

Published: Jul 13, 2015

While landing a new job is exciting, the thought of giving notice to your current employer can be anything but. Our experts outline 5 tips to help this sometimes tricky conversation and resulting transitional period go as smoothly as possible.

Don't Jump the Gun
Denise Dagostino, president of leadership coaching firm Possibilities + LLC, says it is imperative to keep quiet about a new opportunity until all paperwork is taken care of and the new job is official. "It is best not to provide notice to your current employer until you have received and signed the new company's written offer letter," Dagostino warns. Dagostino also says that many job offers today are contingent upon passing a drug test and background check, and cautions job seekers about giving any kind of notice until all ducks are in a row with the new employer. Speak to Your Manager Directly
Dagostino recommends that employees call a meeting with their manager to communicate the news of their departure in a clear and concise way, making sure that this news does not get leaked to leadership or spread throughout the organization through the grapevine. "Let your manager know directly - don't tell others and have them find out in a non-direct manner," Dagostino says. She also warns that it should be management's decision as to how the news is communicated to the rest of the firm. "Discuss with your manager how, when, and what they would like to say to the others in the department and the company," Dagostino advises. Save the Dramatics
According to career coach Roy Cohen, employees should limit the theatrics surrounding giving notice, and communicate their plans in a calm and direct way. "A dramatic exit may feel good in the moment, but once the dust has settled the reality and magnitude of the decision will hit home. In general, it is always better to navigate a separation with dignity and patience. What feels good now may come back to haunt you when you are back in the job search," Cohen warns. Jennifer Bevan, founder of California-based JCB Coaching, agrees, saying it is critical that employees leave a job on good terms, and this means approaching this sometimes difficult conversation both positively and diplomatically. "You want to approach your transition thinking long term by building goodwill and maintaining your reputation and relationships. The world is small and you want to maintain a good reputation in your professional network, as you never know when your paths will cross again," Bevan advises. Be Prepared for the Worst
According to Jackie Ducci, president of New York-based boutique recruitment firm Ducci & Associates, two to three weeks is the standard notice most employers deem respectable, but employees should be prepared to depart immediately after communicating the news that they are leaving. "Once you break the news, be prepared for any range of reactions," Ducci cautions. "Most of the time these conversations are businesslike and go pleasantly enough, but sometimes a negative reaction simply cannot be avoided," Ducci says. Katie Donovan, salary negotiation specialist and founder of Equal Pay Negotiations, LLC, agrees. "Be ready to be out of the office the very day you give notice," Donovan advises. Donovan says companies can view employees who have resigned as a liability since they are no longer invested in the company, and as such want them out of the office immediately. Don't Burn Bridges
According to Jamal Salim, manager of HR and administration for NYC-based Boombox, Inc., it is critical that employees refrain from speaking negatively about their former employer. "If you had a bad experience at a company, you may have the urge to bad mouth the firm or your boss. This may come back to haunt you, especially in the era of social media, where your words live on forever. You never know when you will need a reference," Salim warns. Lauren Milligan, owner of career management firm ResuMAYDAY, agrees, and says that this advice applies to the exit interview as well. "Too many employees have burned bridges by complaining or acting disgruntled in an exit interview. Fight the urge to use this time to air grievances. Instead, thank the HR rep/supervisor for the career opportunity," advises Milligan. All of our experts agree that it is best to remain positive and diplomatic during this transitional period, keeping all relationships in good standing. After all, these experts say you never know when you will run into these contacts again.

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