While a 2-weeks notice isn’t required, it is strongly encouraged and is considered common courtesy to let your employer know ahead of time that you’ll be leaving. Depending on your role and industry, once you announce that you’ll be leaving your current position, you may be walked out the door on the spot, or you could be asked to stay the full 2 weeks and work on a transition plan for your current role. If the latter is likely the case for you and your company, here are a few steps to ensure you handle the departure effectively and courteously.
Plan what you’re going to say
Before any big announcement, it’s always a good idea to practice your speech ahead of time. Think about what you're going to say and brainstorm answers to possible questions your current employer may ask. You are not required to tell your employer where you’re going or even why you are leaving; only share what information you are comfortable with. Have the conversation center around what you have envisioned for your final 2 weeks and your transition plan to make sure your role and responsibilities can continue on as smoothly as possible once you're gone.
Book a meeting
Once you know what you’re going to say, get a meeting on the calendar with your manager. It’s ideal to meet face-to-face or via Zoom instead of sending an email. Depending on your role, you may want to write a resignation letter, even if you do meet in person. During your conversation find out if they do expect you to stay the full 2 weeks and if during that time you’ll be training someone to take over your role. Find out if you’ll be the one to inform your co-workers that you’ll be leaving or if that is something your manager would like to announce. You want to leave the conversation feeling like you are both on the same page and know what is expected of you for your transition plan.
End on a positive note
During your final couple of weeks, remember to end things on a positive and grateful note. Don’t talk negatively about your current company to your co-workers. Be professional and express your gratitude for the opportunities your current role provided you. Change is hard, so the co-workers you are leaving behind may have a hard time with the transition. Be mindful and as helpful as you can during your final time with the company. If you do have an exit interview with HR, this is the time you can be more open and transparent about why you are leaving. While it’s smart to remain positive overall if there are things you feel the company could improve upon let HR know during the exit interview.