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How to Give Written Notice to Your Employer

Change positions while maintaining your professional reputation. Demonstrate class and dignity when you give written notice to your employer.


  • Step 1: Draft the letter Draft a resignation letter when you're ready to leave. Make sure the tone is either congenial or neutral, but not negative. Have a friend read the letter objectively and suggest any changes.
  • Step 2: Calculate what they owe Calculate the final check to be paid, including accurate accounting about sick and personal days owed, and include your final calculation in the letter if you don't want further conversation once you've given written notice.
  • TIP: Management will almost always act surprised that you're leaving, even when they're pleased or saw it coming.
  • Step 3: Offer to finish work Add proud moments at work in the letter, and offer to complete assignments still in process or provide detailed reports on where everything stands. Show cooperation -- the world is smaller than you think, and word about an attitude gets around.
  • Step 4: Write it short and factual Make it a short and professional note sticking to the facts without explaining the details of why you're leaving. Conform to the company policy on notification periods in picking your last day.
  • Step 5: Deliver the letter Deliver the letter personally. Suggest replacements to your position if your management is receptive. Then get on with your new life.
  • FACT: Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Mark Hurd, was sued in September 2010 for taking another job with a competitor, Oracle. HP insisted he couldn't perform his job duties without disclosing trade secrets from HP.

You Will Need

  • Pen and paper
  • Preparations to leave
  • Cooperation

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