Quit Your Job

Can You Take Back A 2-Week Notice?

If you just quit your job but are having second thoughts, one of the questions that’s probably rattling inside your head is, “Can you take back a 2-week notice?” Everyone gets cold feet before resigning. That’s human nature. But it’s not all that common to want to revoke your resignation after you give verbal and/or written notice at a job you intend to leave.

After the mental dust settles and you more accurately formulate the question, chances are that you’ll be thinking, “Can I withdraw my resignation during the notice period?” Much depends on your timing, how fast you can move with revoking the decision to quit, how amenable your boss is to take you back, and many other factors. Consider the following points to gain more insight into how, when, and whether you can attempt to revoke a resignation.

Timing and Technique for Retraction of Resignation Letter & 2-Week Notice

Timing is a core element in a successful reversal of a resignation. Work quickly to deliver an official letter of rescission to your boss or the HR department, whatever the company policy dictates.

If there is an official employee handbook or an employment contract on file, you should check to see if those documents mention any policy guidelines. If they do, then follow them to the letter. If they don’t, then you need to do two things.

One, write a retraction letter that is short but states the reasons you want to return to the company and negate the resignation that you already gave. Two, clearly and directly mention that you wish to retract the initial decision to leave and that you want to remain in the employ of the company, preferably in your original position.

From there, the decision is out of your hands. The company and your former manager will make the decision about whether to take you back. At this juncture, you will likely be wondering whether it is good to withdraw a resignation. Once you decide to make an attempt to return, don’t second-guess yourself. Move without haste and act decisively to rescue your old job, regardless of what the circumstances are that led you to decide to change your mind.

Remember, there is no law that forces employers even to consider your request to rescind the resignation. Can you take back a 2-week notice? Sure, you can, but that does not mean any company must honor your desires. If they do take you back, consider yourself lucky and plan to do top-notch work to show your gratitude and demonstrate your commitment.

Related Article: How To Calculate 2 Weeks’ Notice?

Tactics For Delivering An Effective Retraction Of a Resignation Letter

The road map for successfully retracting a resignation includes techniques that can maximize your chances of getting a job back.

Commonly called a “rescission letter,” the document is the centerpiece of your strategy for regaining a job you recently quit. By this point, you probably are not concerned about is it good to withdraw a resignation. You just want to go back to work for the company. To get the most out of your efforts, do the following:

  • Research the legal aspects, handbooks, and on-file contracts: Double-check any hiring contract you may have signed, as well as an official employee/company handbook. Likewise, investigate local labor regulations about protections you might have under employment contracts.
  • Remain open to multiple options: Some supervisors are understandably a bit wary of “boomerang” requests. Be ready for a curve ball like an invitation to return to the company in another position, at a different location, or at a lower pay rate. Anything is possible.
  • Reach out to your manager BEFORE submitting a rescission letter: Give your boss a heads-up in order to get a feel for what might happen. Sometimes they’ll say, “You can forget about coming back,” which will inform your rescission letter’s tone and format. If they seem open to the idea, that can help you move forward with confidence.
  • Gather written proof of your situation, if possible: If you have any written documentation about why your situation changed, include it in the letter. Perhaps you were headed to a Ph.D. program, but the state canceled funding for the educational program. That’s an example, but any written proof makes your claim look better.
  • Work hard while waiting for the decision: Be a diligent, conscientious employee while waiting for the decision. Don’t give them a reason to say no.
  • Only inform coworkers after the decision is made: Don’t compound the confusion by letting coworkers know you are “trying” to keep your job. Wait until the decision is made, one way or the other, before telling others.

Related Article: Should I Give 2 Weeks’ Notice Before Background Check?

Essential Elements Of a Convincing Rescission Letter

There are various versions of sample letters for rescinding a resignation, but no matter which one you use, be sure to include the core components in the document.

One of the most delicate nuances of the situation is whether your original resignation letter has been formally accepted. That begs the question, “Can a resignation be withdrawn after acceptance?” Yes, it can, but if you move quickly, it’s always to your advantage to submit a rescission letter before the original resignation is formally accepted. Be certain to include the following:

  • Get Details Right: Use SBF (standard business format), and be crystal clear with your wording.
    The addressees should be both your own supervisor as well as the human resources department
  • Retract: State your retraction clearly and succinctly
  • Request: Be clear that you want to remain with the company and are flexible about the role you will play
  • Apologize: Don’t grovel, but make a sincere, businesslike apology for causing confusion related to your retraction, particularly if you know that the management team has begun to search for a replacement or train a replacement
  • Explain: Be precise and honest about why you changed your mind. This is an appropriate place to include documentation if you have it
  • Persuade: Be convincing about why you will be a dedicated and excellent employee if you are allowed to return. Point out that you understand the resignation caused extra work for everyone and that you are thus incentivized to be diligent in all future assignments
  • Explain More: Add a few pertinent points to back up the fact that you are not likely to quit again in the near future. Perhaps you and your spouse decided to make the city your home instead of relocating. Try to allay the company’s understandable fears that you’ll jump ship again
  • Thank: Again, no groveling, but just a sincere thanks that the company is hearing your side of the situation and considering letting you return
  • Transmit ASAP: Get the letter to the appropriate recipients as quickly as possible so they won’t waste time trying to find your replacement.

When Is It Good To Withdraw a Resignation Letter, And Why Do It?

Whether you officially gave a verbal notice or accompanied it with a formal, written resignation letter, you’re probably wondering, “Can resignation be withdrawn after acceptance or even before?” Depending on the circumstances, you can withdraw the resignation, but be ready for an employer to refuse. It’s their right. After all, you did resign, and they have zero legal obligations for taking you back. Can someone rescind a 2-week notice? Yes, but the rescission might not be successful.

But in the real world, there are plenty of reasons someone might retract a resignation. If a planned job offer fell apart or an educational opportunity didn’t pan out, you might be in a tough position. It’s always smart to have a solid reason for wanting to return to the job you just quit, so have a compelling rationale when you speak with the supervisor. As for timing, aim to make the request as soon as possible, hopefully before the company starts looking for your replacement.

Putting All The Pieces Together

Anyone who wonders, “Can you take back a 2-week notice?” or “Can i withdraw my resignation during the notice period?” should stick to a formal, detailed strategy for getting their job back after changing their mind. Life is uncertain, so never feel guilty about reversing a major decision, even if it involves your career trajectory. Embarrassment is counterproductive. Just do it and hope for the best. The worst that can happen is the company will think it over and say, “Sorry, but no.”

About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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