Provisional Blog

How Much Notice Should I Give Before Resigning?

May 10th, 2011

As a Northwest employment firm, we know that changing jobs is a stressful time in your life. Not only will you be starting a new position where you’re the new kid on the block, but you must also take the difficult – and sometimes uncomfortable – step of resigning from your current position.

However, if you think all you have to do is walk into your supervisor’s office and announce “I quit,” you may want to think again. There’s a proper way to go about handling a resignation and the last thing you want to do is burn bridges, even if you don’t like your job, or your boss, very much.

So if you’re about to resign from your job, here are some tips to help you handle the situation:

Prepare a resignation letter.

You should prepare a formal resignation that states you are resigning and the date your resignation is effective. Don’t include any negative comments in your letter about your position, your boss, or your employer in general. The letter will likely be placed in your employee file, where managers or board members might read it and so you want to leave behind a positive impression. Also, you never know if you’ll need a reference from your employer in the future.

Give an appropriate amount of notice.

Typically, workers give 2-4 weeks notice, depending on their position. However, if you have a contract the states a different time period, then you must abide by that contract. However much notice you do give, be prepared for one of three things to happen:

  • Your employer accepts your resignation and notice;
  • Your employer asks you to stay on longer (you are under no obligation to do so unless you have a contract stating otherwise);
  • Your employer asks you to leave immediately (don’t take it personally; it may simply be company policy due to things like security issues).

Give notice in person.

Don’t email your resignation letter to your manager. Schedule a meeting with him or her, or stop by their office at a time you know they’re not too busy to share your news and give them a copy of the letter.

Inform your co-workers.

Depending on how big the company is, you may want to inform your co-workers about your resignation in person or via email. Keep it simple and don’t brag about your new job. Remember, you’re trying to leave a favorable impression behind. Also, don’t tell any of your co-workers ahead of time that you are resigning until you tell your manager.

If you’re ready to resign from your current position, but need to find a new job first, please contact Provisional. Since 1994, we’ve been the Northwest’s leader in employment services, employing over 14,000 contract worker and placing over 6,000 direct-hire professionals with area companies. Contact us today to learn about how we can help you.