Once we’ve all gone (or will go) through this situation – we need to quit the job. Yes, it can be scary and challenging, but you can gracefully go through it and say goodbye on a good note.
How does the quitting process start? The first step is a two-week notice letter sent at the right time.
You can wonder – why do you need to write this letter if you’re leaving? In short – you must do it, and why we’ll explain later.
First of all, let’s find out what the notice letter means. It’s the official document that warns your employer about your quitting the job, and generally, it’s sent two weeks before your last workday.
We must admit that the federal legislation doesn’t require any warnings about leaving the job. So, this letter is just a tradition, a cultural practice to inform your boss that you’re quitting and let him get ready for it.
As we’ve said before, workers warn about their leaving two weeks before their last workday. But if you want to be tactful, you should inform about quitting three or four weeks before.
There’s one significant thing about the notice letter – it’s your last possibility to make a point on your soon ex-boss. Yes, it’s a formal method to warn about your quitting, but it can play a very significant role in your future employment. You’ll agree that nobody wants his potential employer to hear – “Oh, he’s a great worker, but he put us in a mess by not informing us about his quitting.” If you want to have good recommendations from your last boss, you need to send a notice letter and warn about your leaving.
A well-written two weeks’ notice letter will benefit you in many ways. First of all, you should mention your gratitude towards the company and let your future employer know how much time and efforts you put into working here. Secondly, it’s a chance to write about your professional skills and accomplishments that you achieved during this work. If you want to be remembered as a valuable worker, you need to highlight your personal qualities. And finally, it’s the only possibility to personally say goodbye to your colleagues and let them know about your leaving. That can boost up your reputation in this company.
Notice letter – the things you should take into account
Quitting is a tough thing; that’s why you must take it frivolously. Before writing a notice letter, you need to question yourself:
- Do you have a backup where to go, or you’re going to look for a job after quitting?
- Your new job – will you earn a higher salary or not?
- Does the new job correspond to your professional career aims?
- How long do you plan to wait before starting a new job?
- Do you have enough money to live while waiting for a new job?
- Are you quitting at the time of the big project?
- How will you control your facilities?
- Do you have to return the organization’s property?
It’s just a few questions. So, before quitting and writing a letter, you need to carefully think about all pros and cons, plus the consequences of your decision. Inform your employer about your leaving only when you’re sure or find a new job. But if you don’t have a solid background, you shouldn't quit. In this case, it will be better to stay or look for another job first.
The notice letter’s components
Generally, a notice letter consists of the following elements:
- Title: It should include your contact information, the receiver’s and the organization’s contacts. Plus, you need to put the date of your letter. It is also a good idea to indicate the name of the person you’re writing to.
- The first paragraph: Here, you should cut to the chase – tell about leaving the job and name your last working day. Try to be straight and friendly at the same time. Don’t forget to say your position in the company and put your last workday date in the paragraph’s end. Also, you need to mention your gratitude and appreciation for the chance of working here.
- The second paragraph: Here, you need to thank your boss and company for everything they have given to you. Even you haven’t liked your job, you should express your gratitude. It’s valuable, believe us. You have the chance to show yourself in a good light on your last working day. You can also mention how many professional skills, experience, and abilities you’ve acquired during this work. It is also a good idea to write about your future plans. If you already have a new job, it’d be nice to put down your possible start date and the name of the company.
- The third paragraph: Now, it’s time to explain the reasons for your leaving. If you leave the job you’ve just started, we advise you to tell your boss that you don’t take offense and you’re quitting because of new, more significant possibilities. You can also say that you didn’t like the job. Try to be as calm and polite as possible, don’t forget about a mutual respect. You need to thank your colleagues and say goodbye. Well, if you’re leaving because of a big project (for example, you were assigned a new position at another company), it is better to inform about that in advance so that everyone would know why you don’t work here anymore.
- The fourth paragraph: After explaining the reasons, you can offer help in the transition. Here, you can also express your gratitude for the experience you’ve got in the company again. The paragraph is good to indicate the mutual understanding, but if you want to add something more – do that. For example, you’re willing to train your successor. It is not a compulsory addition and it depends on you. But still, such an offer looks better than nothing.
- Signing off the letter: In the last paragraph, you have to mention your signature and title. You can just say “sincerely” or “warmly yours” if you want.
Where to send a notice letter?
- If you’ve decided not to work in this company anymore, don't forget about a mutual understanding with all your colleagues. It would be great if you send your notice letter to the company’s management so that they could control all changes. If you want to avoid gossip, it’s better to tell about quitting in person or by phone.
- You can also send an e-mail version of a notice letter by clicking on the “print” button and using the right mouse button to save a draft. The letter can be sent as a professional document or a text message with your personal signature.
- Another option is writing an informal notice letter. In this case, you should indicate “personal reasons” instead of mentioning mutual understanding. The difference between formal and informal notice letters is that a formal one requires a “sincerely” notion at the end, while informal doesn’t need it.
When writing a notice letter, people commonly make some mistakes that are must not be made at all. Now we’ll name them for you to avoid in the future:
- Don’t leave any negative comments about the boss, colleagues, or job. If you have terrible working experience, it’s better not to say about it at all.
- Don’t forget to keep a friendly tone. If you hate everyone, don’t express it in your notice letter.
- Don’t use aggressive words or judge your company or colleagues if you want your future employer to understand that you are a qualified worker.
- Don’t name “salary” as the reason for leaving. If you’re not satisfied with your wage, we recommend discussing it with your boss during a private conversation or writing a letter asking about the wage increase. If you decide to quit the job, never the “salary” as the reason for leaving in the notice letter. Job is not a market to haggle.
- Don’t show your dislike to everything related to the job. If you hate it, it’s better not to work there at all. You can say that you leave because of a wonderful opportunity or a big project.
- It is not recommended to mention the mutual understanding informal notice letter. Only personal reasons are allowed here.
- In the case of an informal notice letter, don’t forget to mention your emotions about quitting. You can say that you really liked it until now or say something more general. It will depend on you and how friendly you want to sound.
- Don’t contact the company after quitting if they haven't contacted you first. If they're in need of your skills, they will contact you. Otherwise, forget about them for good!
- Don’t mention the wage in the informal version of a notice letter if it doesn't suit you. The main reason is that you don't want to do this before getting the salary raise you to deserve. We recommend indicating that you are grateful for this knowledge and experience.
- Don’t handle a notice letter envelope in a rude way or just throw it into a mailbox. You have to put it into an envelope thoughtfully and send FEDEX if the company requires so. It is better to attach your photo ID photo to prove that you're the one to send the letter.
- Don’t write a farewell note as a notice letter if you don't want to be remembered as an ungrateful person. You can say goodbye to all your colleagues and apologize for leaving so suddenly without saying goodbye personally. It is better not to mention future plans in such a situation: you need to show that you're responsible.
- Don’t send a notice letter to the company if you are about to start looking for a new job or accept an offer you've gotten. You can mention it in person, via phone, by e-mail, text message, etc.
- Don’t brag about your job. We don’t recommend using a rude or sarcastic note when writing a notice letter. Also, we don’t advise you to brag about your perfect job and your achievements. Your letter should have a straight and respective note.
- Don’t tell your colleagues about leaving before informing the employer. It is possible only in case you are sure that they won’t mind your leaving or when you have already discussed it with them. Mutual understanding is a must here.
- Don't leave a notice letter without a personal signature if you don't want to be forgotten. Your handwritten signature will highlight your personality and make the employer remember you.
- Don't forget to address your letter to the right person. You can ask your colleagues who is responsible for hiring new workers in case you are not sure about it.
- Don’t forget to write a post scriptum if you want to leave some additional information or thank someone for his/her work.
- Do not forget to attach your full name, address, and copy of the ID you sent if it is necessary.
- Don’t use formal sentences when writing a notice letter for quitting. An informal notice letter will be just fine.
- Do not write too long documents if you don't want them to read it (usually this rule applies to formal letters).
- Do not forget to write the date, your name, and address in case you are sending a notice letter by fax or e-mail.
Now, we’ll give an example of the notice letter.
[Date of the letter]
[Your boss’s contacts]
Dear Mr. Farro,
I’m writing to inform you that I’m leaving the project manager’s post in DGIT Systems. I’ll work for the next two weeks, and October 29 will be my last workday.
I’ll always value the possibility of working in DGIT Systems during the last six years. I want to thank you for all knowledge and opportunities you’ve given to me. Thank you for supporting me during this stage of my life. Especially I want to thank you for the experience I’d got in your company.
I want to offer my help during the transition period. I’m ready to share all my knowledge with the person who will work instead of me. If you need my help, please, let me know about it. You can call or text me by e-mail anytime.
Again, I want to thank you for everything you’ve given to me for working together. I believe that DGIT Systems will only succeed and reach new heights in the future.