It’s the final countdown. You’re quitting your job and it’s time to give your two week notice. Your goal is to leave your company as smoothly as possible. It might feel overwhelming and awkward, but Turn2 is here to help you move on with tact and grace by following this checklist:
1. Submit Your Resignation and Letter
Even if you dislike your job, it’s important to submit a formal resignation. If you leave your company in good standing, you’re more likely to receive good recommendations or references in the future. After you’ve told your boss or HR you’re resigning, write a resignation letter. Keep it simple, brief, and positive; include your last day and the necessary information that helps transition your position to the next person.
2. Talk to Your Boss, Then Your Co-Workers
It’s usually a good idea to tell your boss the news before anyone else. Think through a tactful explanation of why you’re resigning and let your boss know in person or through your resignation letter. Once you’ve officially given notice, your boss may want to tell the team about it themselves. Before the grapevine begins, tell the co-workers who you think should hear it from you first. This way they won’t find out through rumors, or from an email that isn’t from you.
3. Check-in with HR
Visit HR to give them a copy of your resignation letter, schedule your last day for two weeks from your resignation date, find out when you will receive your last paycheck, and ask about your benefits. Be prepared to participate in an exit interview and prepare answers in advance.
Depending on company policies and state laws, you may receive your paycheck on your last day or shortly after. Check to see if you’re entitled to accrued vacation, sick pay, or other forms of unused leave time. Sometimes, your unused time is paid out in a lump sum.
If you’re enrolled in the company’s 401(k) plan, profit-sharing, or Roth IRA, the plan may provide a lump sum when you leave. Figure out how you might be able to maintain this plan or transition your savings into another account.
4. Transition, Finish, and Understand Your Responsibilities
The last two weeks are a great opportunity to showcase your work-ethic and generosity; instead of giving up you can help your company make a smooth transition. You could offer to help train a replacement, recommend a replacement, or write the job description for your position.
This isn’t the time to start a new initiative or project, but it may be enough time to complete some of your bigger projects, or at least organize and prioritize them for the next person. Check-in with your boss and let them know what projects you’ll be able to finish, and layout a plan or guideline for the projects you’ll be leaving behind.
Make sure to check your contract, as it may have a “non-compete” clause that protects the company from you stealing their clients. If you’re going to a direct competitor, this is a delicate situation and you’ll want to follow protocol.
5. Clean Up
Over time, you’ve probably accumulated personal items at your office. Whether it’s a plant, Tupperware in the kitchen, or a spare coat, don’t forget any of your personal belongings at the office. It may help to bring home one thing each day instead of taking everything home your last day.
Hopefully, you don’t have personal files or emails on your work computer, but it does happen. Visit the IT department to figure out the best way to turn in your laptop, wipe the drive, and back up any personal data.
6. Relax and Enjoy
If you followed our two week checklist, you’ve done everything you can to leave your job gracefully. Don’t feel guilty, and try to enjoy the last two weeks you have with your team! Handle your time gracefully, finish anything you started, and take a break before you begin your next adventure.
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