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Handing In Your Notice - The Do's & The Don'ts

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You've been through a thorough and in-depth job hunt, crafted some amazing, tailored, CVs and cover letters and been through a two-stage interview process that you aced. You've got an offer, negotiated and now have a final written offer of employment, so what's next?

Here are our tips on giving notice.

You have to resign.

Handing in your notice can be stressful. Even if you hate your job, detest your boss and can't wait to kick open the doors and escape to a new job, it can be a massive cause of anxiety for some people.

There are definitely some do's, and dont's when it comes to writing a letter of notice and handing in your notice.

DO put it in writing.

As soon as you have an official job offer in your hand, you need to draft up your letter of resignation. But what to say when you're handing in your notice? This letter at the very least should have the current date, the role you are resigning, your notice period and your last working day.

Keep your resignation letter to the point, be nice… even if you don't want to be. It's probably not the best idea to go into detail about why you're leaving. If you have to say something, you could say that you are leaving to take on a new challenge instead of pointing out any grievances you may have. 

Print this letter, don't send it by email.

Looking for some tips on how to write the perfect letter of resignation? Click here to read the blog

DON'T tell your boss last.

Once your letter is finished and printed, make sure you tell your boss first. No matter how tempting it is to tell your colleagues of your escape… it WILL be awkward if you're called into the office to talk about it because it got back to them second hand.

Choose your moment to tell your employer carefully, avoid stressful times like before a big meeting, or 9 am Monday, If you need to, book in a quick meeting with them.

DO be straight to the point.

As soon as you are face to face with your boss, tell them straight away that you want to give your notice and hand over your letter. This may go one of two ways if your boss isn't surprised it will be a short meeting, but that's not always the case…

Your boss may want to discuss your reasons for leaving, make this conversation as painless as possible and be constructive if you have to offer any criticism. Stick to facts, your new job may have a better career trajectory, salary or training, but you don't have to tell them if you don't want to.

DON'T disappear

Work your notice, it should be on your contract of employment, and you are legally obliged to work this unless your employer agrees to waive it. If your new role wants you to start earlier than your notice allows, check your holiday allowance to see if you have any days available to take.

If you are leaving to join a competitor, you may be asked to clear your desk and leave the premises immediately. If you think that this could be the case, make sure that any personal effects and loose ends are dealt with in advance.

DO be professional

Try and give the job 100% during your notice; how you act during your notice is important. If you don't do this, you may be at risk of your current employer not giving your new one a reference. If your new role is reliant on you securing a reference you could end up having your offer retracted.

DON'T leave anyone in the lurch

Once you have handed in your notice and everything is confirmed, make sure that you brief those that you are leaving behind. Bring anyone that you bring anyone who may take over your workload up to speed with what they will need to know and make the handover process as smooth as possible. Don't leave any loose ends and if you have to tell someone about them.

Unless you're entirely changing industry, it's highly likely that you will cross paths with your current employer or colleagues again in the future, make sure that you are missed and not resented when you move on.

Handing in notice during furlough

You might have been away from the business for 6 months or more now especially if you were furloughed at the beginning of the first national lockdown. You might not have even spoken to your boss, although we'd like to think they have checked in with you, everything we have spoken about above still stands when it comes to handing in notice during furlough.

How are you going to go about holding a meeting to hand in your notice?

You could send your resignation letter in the post and wait for a response, but this approach is not likely to land well with your employer and will no doubt lead to some burnt bridges. You want to be able to look them in the eye when having this conversation, so if you cant meet in person, which Lockdown restrictions may not allow, a video call may be the next best option. Being able to have this face to face (albeit virtual) conversation will allow you to discuss your decision and maintain the level of respect and authenticity that the conversation deserves.

If you're looking for a new job and need some advice make sure that you check out our guide to finding a new job, you can also give us a call for a chat on 0161 839 5353.