I had lunch today with an employee on the last day of her two week notice. We were joined by a former employee on our team, and had invited a third who was unable to attend. It made me realize that these three people all have something in common. Their two weeks notice was drama-free, organized, and a positive experience. How did they do it?
The Art of Two Weeks
While it’s not required, offering your employer a professional two week notice is often expected as a way of transitioning your role to other people within the organization. (For the formal act of providing notice, check out our resource of sample resignation letters.) Sure, it may be awkward at times, however there are a few easy things you can do to make this successful for everyone involved.
- Step 1. Review your job duties and projects so you can list out for your manager to review and reassign. By helping your manager organize your work you make it easy for both manager and co-worker to pick up where you left off. It also ensures a positive lasting impression of you as an employee; you never want to burn a bridge!
- Step 2. Remain positive as you train your co-workers on those newly assigned tasks. Your departure may be scary for them, and your attitude can give them confidence and courage to take on new responsibilities.
- Step 3. Remain professional about your employer. You may have built some friendships within your current team, and they may have no intentions of leaving. Your professionalism will help ensure the resignation will not have a negative impact on the culture of the company.
Always assume positive intentions of your boss, manager, and company and remember no organization is perfect. We all do the best we can and there’s no reason working out a two week notice needs to be awkward or negative.
Finally, remember if your notice is not accepted there may be legitimate business reasons for this. Confidential matters often warrant an immediate departure from the company. Other times workflow may be easily reassigned leaving nothing for you to do for the remaining two weeks. There is no need to take it personal, just smile and thank them. After all, you’re leaving with new skills, new relationships, and off to a new career.
Ben, Lauren, and Kiley were with us two, six, and eight years and all left many lasting contributions and fun memories. I was sad to see each of these individuals leave our organization. When they left I was also excited for their new career opportunities that lie ahead. They all made a difference to our company and they made an impact on me as their Manager. Now, I am proud to count them as friends.