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Two weeks' notice?

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So you want to quit your job.

Before you hand in your resignation letter there’s one thing you need to decide – how much notice are you going to give your current employer? It’s ideal to decide this before having ‘the talk’ with your boss, as your resignation letter will need to include your end date. 

So how much notice is required?

Unfortunately there’s no single answer to this question as it usually depends on a number of variables. Having said this, it’s best to check your employment contract as it should include the amount of notice you are obliged to give. You may find that this timeframe depends on how long you’ve been with the organisation.

For example:

0 – 2 years = 2 weeks’ notice
2 – 3 years = 3 weeks’ notice
4 + years = 4 weeks’ notice

If you are still in a probationary period, you may not be required to give any notice. However, don’t confuse the amount of notice you need to give with how much notice your employer is obliged to give you upon termination. If you are unsure, you can contact the human resources department of your organisation for clarification. Whatever the timeframe, make sure you put it in writing.

Apart from the notice you are contractually required to offer up, there’s another consideration to make. What projects or workload are you leaving behind and is there ample time for you to hand these over to someone else? While leaving a role can be an exciting time of change and growth, it’s a good idea not to burn your bridges as you cross them.

If you are leaving to take up a new role elsewhere, it can be difficult to find the happy medium between giving enough notice and starting as soon as possible. Even if your new workplace is looking for someone to fill a role immediately, they will understand that you need to close things off in your old role – a good handover will mean your old workmates are less likely to contact you down the track, too.

At the end of the day, as long as you are meeting the requirements of your contract, the decision is yours. Just remember that no matter how much you want to move on, try to be considerate; one day you may need a reference from your old boss!

If you need help with your resignation letter, check out one of our helpful templates