Voluntarily leaving a job can be stressful and confusing, so it’s important to map out a plan and know what to say when giving notice at your current place of employment. For modern professionals, there are numerous questions about the process. The wisest way to leave a job is to follow a specific plan that covers all the pertinent details.
What’s the plan for leaving your current position? First, realize that lots of folks drop the bomb on their employers every year. That means you’re in good company and are not an outsider. But, seriously, follow this recipe for maximum effectiveness, minimum nervousness, and a good result:
- Construct a detailed plan of action
- Deal with the possible questions, the meeting, and the official letter
- Be ready for differing reactions to your news
- Plan the out-going transition and good-byes
So, if you want to find out how to say I quit professionally or know what to expect when you give your two weeks’ notice, review the following points:
How Often Do People Quit Their Jobs?
In 2022, more than 50 million US workers quit their jobs. While that number was an all-time high, COVID-related effects had much to do with it. Still, quitting is common in the 2020s, so there’s no need to think you’ll become a pariah for doing so.
You may be at a loss for what to say when giving two weeks’ notice, but apparently, millions of others found the right phrasing for the situation, if those stats from 2022 are any indication.
Making Your Plan
A big part of knowing what to say when giving two weeks’ notice is having a detailed plan to use as a roadmap for navigating the process of leaving a job.
To get started, create a short “cheat sheet” that contains all the action points for your departure plan, like the exact words you’ll say when giving notice, how to break the news to coworkers, the calendar date that will mark your final work day, when you will be giving notice, how to handle final projects, and a day-by-day schedule for the several days after leaving.
The Meeting, Questions, & Resignation Letter
There’s more to quitting than knowing what to say when giving notice. But, if you prepare for the inevitable meeting with the boss, anticipate the main questions, and compose a simple resignation letter, the departure debacle will be a blip instead of a bomb on your emotional Richter scale. Knowing what to say when giving two weeks’ notice is the crux of the whole challenge.
Start by scheduling a meeting with your boss. While you could initiate the conversation via email or direct message, it’s most respectful to do this in person or over a video call.
You might say, “I’d like to schedule a time to discuss an important matter regarding my role. Could we meet at your convenience?“
When it’s time to share your decision, keep it short, with something like, “I’ve enjoyed my work here but have received an offer that I don’t want to turn down, so my last day will be _____.“
For more templates on what to say when giving notice in person, check out “Resignation Conversation Templates “ section below 👇
Simple and direct is always better than long and convoluted. Make sure to include the crucial step of writing a formal 2-week notice letter. Sign, date, and copy it before handing it to your boss and perhaps someone in HR.
Don’t Worry About The Legal Aspect
Pro tip: There is no law that says anyone must give notice before leaving a job. But most companies have written policies, so check yours. Then, follow it closely to maintain an ethical and professional reputation.
While knowing what to say when giving notice at your job is a significant part of the transition, it’s essential to understand that “notice” is an ethical concern, not a legal one.
Here’s What To Expect When You Give Your Two Weeks’ Notice At Work
There’s another facet of leaving a job. Besides knowing what to say when giving notice, it’s crucial to have a decent idea of what will happen next. You’re not alone, by the way.
Most people have at least a dozen jobs in their lives, so there’s plenty of notice-giving going on out there in the real world. Expect employers to stop giving you sensitive or proprietary information.
Once they learn the news, most coworkers will have 101 questions about your plans, so be ready with a brief response. Some governmental or high-tech employers in competitive industries might ask you to empty your desk and leave the premises immediately.
Be prepared for a wide range of reactions to your big news.
Transition, Finishing Projects, & Saying Farewell
Once you’ve made the official announcement to your boss, be ready to complete undone projects. If you thought knowing what to say when giving two weeks’ notice was the end of the line, think again.
You should finish assignments unless they let you off the hook and transfer the obligation to someone else. Likewise, say goodbye to coworkers and exchange personal contact information with people you want to see again.
Resignation Conversation Templates
Here are some helpful templates you can use to break the news to your boss in person:
Template 1: New Job Offer
“Hi [Boss’s Name], I wanted to discuss something important with you. I’ve been offered a new job opportunity that aligns closely with my career goals. I’ve decided to accept this offer, and I plan to leave at the end of my two-week notice.
Template 2: Health Issues
“Hi [Boss’s Name], I need to talk to you about a personal matter. Due to some health issues, I’ve made the difficult decision to resign from my position. My last day of work will be [Date]. I will send a formal resignation letter to you after this meeting.”
Template 3: Toxic Work Environment
“Hi [Boss’s Name], I wanted to discuss something that’s been on my mind. I’ve been feeling increasingly uncomfortable in our work environment, and after much consideration, I’ve decided to resign. My last working day will be [Date]. I’m thankful for the experiences I’ve had here, and I’m ready to help ensure a smooth transition.”
Template 4: Relocation
“Hello [Boss’s Name], I have some news to share. I will be relocating for personal reasons, and therefore, I’ve decided to resign from my position. I plan to leave at the end of my two-week notice. I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had here, and I’m committed to helping with the transition in any way I can.”
Want to learn what to say when giving notice by email? Check out this article. 👈
Will You Ever Be Able to Come Back To Your Current Job?
For most working people, knowing what to say when giving notice to an employer is a central question in the departure process. Still, there are many other things to understand, like how to start a resignation conversation, how to say I quit professionally, what to expect after giving notice, and the company policy about how to leave your current job.
What if you want to make a possible return in the future, just in case the next position doesn’t pan out? It’s an open question because there are no laws that govern the decision. It’s up to each employer. But, if you leave without giving enough notice, you’re unlikely to be rehired in the near or distant future.