Giving Notice – The Right Way

Giving Notice – The Right Way
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About the Author

Laura Machan

Laura Machan

Laura Machan is a Partner, Recruitment Solutions for a major human resources consulting firm based in Toronto, Ontario. Although she has been recruiting for quite a few years, she still gets a big thrill from calling someone to set up an interview and an even bigger thrill when she hears a happy dance as she tells them when their new job starts. Laura lives with her family in Oakville, where she has lived for over 25 years, and is a significant contributor to the Canadian Federation of University Women - Oakville and Women in Nuclear, Golden Horseshoe Chapter.

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You are beside yourself with glee. You have just accepted a fantastic new job. It checks all the boxes: people, scope, location and money. Yippee!

What to do next?

It is important to plan your next steps with care and respect. Leaving a job nicely is a pretty big part of managing your career and your reputation.

Think about how much notice you need to provide to your current employer. Check your employment agreement. Many stipulate two or three weeks. You may think you are being magnanimous by offering four weeks but in most cases, it is not necessary.

Then, write a letter of resignation. Make it formal but friendly. Thank your manager for providing such a great opportunity to learn and grow. Lay out the details of your last day and offer to do anything they need for a smooth transition.

Be prepared for anything and everything when you sit down and hand over the letter. Managers do not like it when someone resigns. It catches them by surprise and then they look bad to their bosses. That’s where counter offers come in to play.


When faced with an unplanned gap in the team, suddenly there is more money to give you. Maybe they really were thinking of promoting you but the fact is, they didn’t and you have chosen to go somewhere else.

Be firm and resolute. Think about (but don’t share) all the reasons you are going to a new and better place.

Once the initial shock wears off, they will figure out who will take over your tasks and life will go on. That’s why a couple of weeks is almost always fine. It’s not like you can get involved in long term planning. You also get left out of a lot of conversations that might be proprietary. No one wants to feel like their secrets might be walking out the door.

So you go. Your colleagues and managers will wish you well and hopefully, some of them will buy you a beer, some nachos and wish you the best.



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