Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Giving Notice to your Employer

The time is fast approaching for me to give notice to my employer. I must also let my daughter’s preschool know that she will be leaving at the end of April. For some reason, I feel more melancholy about her leaving preschool than me leaving my job.

In preparation for leaving, I’ve been doing a little research about the proper way to leave your job. I feel like you have to be even more careful when you’re leaving the workforce versus leaving for another job. There are several reasons. You don’t want to leave behind ill will with your supervisors or have them believe that you are leaving because you can’t cut it. You want to have good references and leave open the door to be rehired at some point. So here is what I think is a good course of action to prepare you to give notice to your employer.

1) Determine how much notice you want to give your employer. Although the standard is two weeks, you have the discretion to determine how much notice to provide. I believe that two weeks is far from adequate when you work in a professional environment and if you have unique work assignments. There are cons to providing a longer notice period: you could be asked to leave sooner or your supervisor could make your remaining time uncomfortable. However, I think that providing a month’s notice is a fair amount of time considering especially if you’ve been planning on leaving for awhile.

2) Start putting things in order. Start going through all of your personal files or records. Delete what you don’t want and save others. Update your resume. Save coworker contacts.

3) Keep the news to yourself until you’ve given notice. Human nature is such that if you’ve made this decision your first inclination is to shout it from the rooftops. Not a good idea. I’ve told only three close coworkers of my plans.

4) Prepare a letter of resignation. Keep it short and simple. Thank your supervisor and the organization for the opportunity you’ve been given. Provide your last date of work. And sign and date the letter. You may need to fill out other forms as well.

5) Plan how to convert your retirement accounts. I will need to rollover multiple accounts into an IRA. Start doing some research into where you want to set up your IRA.

6) Plan a date/time to sit down with your supervisor to give a verbal notice. I’ll be setting up an appointment with my supervisor and the manager to give my notice. I’ll plan out some speaking points in advance. I’ll also have the hard copies of my resignation letter prepared to hand over.

7) Prepare yourself for reactions. I haven’t quite figured out how everyone will respond to the news of my departure. My organization has been doing some serious downsizing or the last several years. There may be some relief. A vacancy means that someone else may not lose a job. It may also create a stressful situation for my superiors because there is no one to take over my work and no one can be hired to fill my spot.

8) Be strong and confident in your decision. Before you discuss your decision with your supervisor or coworkers, review all of the reasons that you’ve decided to quit. Granted you won’t want to discuss all of these with your supervisors or coworkers, but it will help to keep you focused on end game.

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