Ask the Headhunter: Why it’s risky to give notice when you quit
How to Give Notice
When it's time to leave your job, it'sveryimportant you part with your employer on good terms. Some employers maydemanda notice - usually, this requirement will be written into your contract. In other situations, giving a notice is a mere courtesy - an act that allows an employer adequate time to find a replacement. In both cases, it's in your best interest to end your relationship with tact and respect.
Sample Letters to Employer
Sample Letters to Landlord
Giving Notice to Your Employer
Review your contract / offer letter.Before you leave, make an effort to re-read any contracts and/or offer letters you signed upon your initial hiring. These will often contain specific rules about what to do when you want to leave your job. Often, these will be no more complicated than something along the lines of: "this employment may be terminated by either party, at any time, and for any reason." However, if your employerhasspecified certain rules for your departure, you'll definitely want to know them beforehand to ensure that you don't breach the terms of your employment.
- If you don't still have these documents handy, don't panic. Your employer should have copies of these documents - talk to your Human Resources department, your supervisor, or another similar person in charge of record-keeping at your workplace to request these.
Speak to your supervisor in person.Treat your supervisor with respect (even if you don't think s/he deserves it.) Taking the time to speak to your supervisor in person will demonstrate your respect for him or her as well as for your position. A face-to-face conversation is far, far, more respectful than a notice sent via email or voice mail, so if you want a good recommendation from your employer, it's preferable.
- Play the game. Not every job is a dream job. Still, even if you hated this job, at the very least, you should pretend that you enjoyed your work when you're giving your notice. Don't give in to the temptation to insult your supervisor or your job - the short-term satisfaction you get from rubbing it in your boss's face isn't worth the difficulty you'll experience in the future when trying to explain why you can't provide a reference for this position.
Explain your reason for leaving the position.Though you almost never will technicallyneedto specify a reason for leaving, having one ready will make your farewell conversation with your boss (and, later, with your fellow employees) much easier. There are a variety of reasons for leaving: you may have found a position more suited to your life goals, you may be moving away, or you may have have decided to stop working due to ill health. Onlyyouwill know the exact reason for why you're leaving.
- If you are leaving because you are unhappy with the job, rather than stating this bluntly, you might instead say that "this position is not a good fit" to spare the feelings of your supervisor and coworkers. Whenever possible, avoid burning bridges with remarks like this.
Ask your supervisor about expectations prior to your departure.Before leaving, you may be asked to complete specific projects, train a co-worker to do your work or assist in finding a replacement. Approach these tasks honorably and politely. Don't be reluctant to perform work now that you know you're leaving - if you make the transition process difficult for your employer, it may result in a less-than-perfect reference in the future.
Consider also putting your notice in writing.For some positions in which all communication is typically carried out via phone or email, like, for instance, telecommuting jobs, it's impossible or impractical to meet with your employer in person. In other positions, employers may require a written notice for their files in addition to a verbal communication. In these cases, write a formal, dignified letter of resignation and present it to your employer (or, if you can't give it in person, mail/email it.)
- In your letter, express your regret at having to leave, explain your reasons for leaving, and specify that you will be available to help find and/or train your replacement. Keep your tone curt and corporate - don't waste space on flowery, overly-emotional goodbyes. You can express your innermost emotions in personal conversations and correspondences with your coworkers.
Tell your boss well in advance of when you plan to leave.If it can be avoided, never surprise your boss with the news that you're quitting. Besides being just plain rude, it's problematic both for your employerandfor your future job projects. On the one hand, your employer may be forced to scramble to find a replacement for you - if s/he can't, s/he may have to scale back operations or even close the business temporarily. Even if you hate your boss, this is an unfair, dishonest thing to do. Even worse, it's something that can negatively affect your fellow coworkers (if they're forced to pick up your slack).
- Additionally, if you surprise your boss with news of your departure, you can be practicallysurethat s/he will be discouraged from giving you a good recommendation, which can hamper your job searches in the future.
- Your employment contract may specify a minimum time for giving advance notice. If not,two weeksis the traditional amount of time you should plan to work between giving your notice and leaving your job.
- Note: It's a good idea to make sure your boss is the first person who knows you're planning on leaving. In other words, don't tell your coworkers before you tell your boss, even if they happen to be close friends. Word travels fast in the workplace - it's awfully embarrassing to have your boss approachyouabout your plans to leave, rather than the reverse.
Thank your supervisor.If the job has been a pleasant experience, this should come naturally. If not, however, you should definitely "fake it." Thanking your employer creates a feeling of goodwill with your soon-to-be-ex supervisor.
- At this point, it's appropriate toaskfor your employer for a positive letter of recommendation or to serve as an employment reference in the future. However, realize that your employer isn'tobligatedto perform these tasks.
- When asking for a letter of recommendation or reference, be sure to specify that you're looking for apositiveone - if not, disingenuous employers may give potential future employers less-than-stellar comments. No recommendation is usually better than a negative recommendation.
Be prepared to leave immediately.Understand that, though you have given your notice in advance of when you plan to leave, your employer may plan to dismiss you sooner, or even immediately. This isn't necessarily a sign of disapproval - they may not have any more work for you to do, or they may just want to avoid having you around to demoralize other employees. In any case, try to "wrap things up" before you make your announcements. Finish any outstanding projects and have your possessions at least somewhat in order ahead of time to avoid a messy, protracted exit.
- If you're dismissed early, check your contract - you may be entitled to severance pay for the time you would have worked.
Giving Notice to Your Landlord
Check your rental agreement.In many places, including the State of California, you must give the landlord the same amount of notice as there are days between rent payments. Check your lease for the notice requirement - this document will probably also contain instructions and rules for announcing your departure. Understand these rules before you give your notice, as they will help inform your decision. For instance, if you are on a fixed-term lease, by moving out early, you may be breaking the terms of the lease, and thus may be held responsible for future rent, advertising costs, etc.
Send a written notice to your landlord.Unlike giving notice to an employer, giving notice to a landlord usuallyrequiressome sort of written notification. In this letter, you will want to include important information in the notice, such as the name of everyone who is vacating the property, the address of the property you are vacating, the address of the property you'll be movingto, and the date you intend to leave.
- The tone of your letter should serious and formal, with an eye for proper spelling and grammar.
Talk to or call your landlord to discuss departure requirements.If you can, it's a very good idea to speak with (or, at the very least, strike up an email conversation with) your landlord so that you can go over the arrangements you'll need to make to move out. S/he may require that you drop off the key at a specific location on your last day. S/he may also want the house completely clean by a certain date, even if you're not required to move out until later. It's best not toguessabout these things, so talk to your landlord as soon as you can.
Assure your landlord that you will clean the property before departure.When you contact your landlord, mention that you'll be able to turn the property over in clean (if not perfect) condition. Delivering the property in good, clean condition will increase your chances of receiving back all or most of your security deposit.
Schedule a walk-through inspection.Many landlords will require an in-person inspection (that you'll need to be present for) before you hand the keys over. This is in the interest of both parties. Your landlord wants to make an honest assessment of the condition of the property so s/he will be able to take money out of the security deposit for repairs, etc. You, on the other hand, want to be there so that your landlord can't make false statements about the condition of the property to cheat you out of your deposit. When you talk to your landlord, be sure to ask him or her when they plan to inspect the property so that you can arrange to be there as well.
Make arrangements to collect your security deposit.Usually, when you rent a property, you pay a substantial deposit up-front (traditionally, one month's rent). When you move out, you are given this deposit back, minus the cost of any repairs the landlord needed to make do to damage on your part, etc. Assuming you've treated the property with care, you should get back most, if not all, of your initial deposit.
- Be up-front with your landlord about the fact that you'll want your deposit back after you've moved out and any needed repairs are paid for. Don't leave this unsaid - while most landlords are honest people and will plan on giving you back your deposit, on the off chance youdohave a dishonest landlord, you may need to bring this up yourself.
- Don't let a landlord evade your questioning. Be persistent - don't let a fear of awkward conversation allow a landlord to slink away with your hard-earned deposit money.
QuestionWhat if I'm not quitting?Community AnswerThen you don't have to give anyone any notice. Continue as you were before.Thanks!
QuestionWhat document do I need to vacate tenancy?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerA quit advice or quit notice. You have to accept it and give back an acknowledgement copy.Thanks!
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