14 Things To Do Before Giving Your Two-Weeks Notice
Congrats! You just got a new job, but before you say "goodbye" to your old one, there are a few things you need to do first.
14 Things To Do Before Giving Your Two-Weeks Notice
Saying "sayonara" to a job is never an easy task. While you might be excited to start on your new journey, you also want to make sure you leave on good terms with your soon-to-be ex-boss without adding oxygen into the flame and throwing deuces up, no matter how cool it sounds.
In today’s work world, not a lot of people stay in a job for more than two years. It’s actually advised to jump ship when you can — so you can get more money, meet more people, and gain new skills.
However, before you set sail, there are a few things you should do before you give your two-weeks notice to make sure you leave on good terms. Even though you know you’re leaving, it doesn’t mean you can say "screw it" to everyone else who is still staying at the company.
So whether you’re thinking of saying goodbye or want to hold on to this article for the future, here are 14 things you should do right before you give your two-weeks notice to your boss.
Practice Your Speech for Why You're Leaving
Bottom Line: Practice Your Speech for Why You're Leaving
Whether you’re leaving because your boss sucks the life out of you or you just want to try something new, it’s always a good idea to think about what you’re going to tell your boss and colleagues so you don’t say the wrong thing.
Remember: You want to be thoughtful and positive when you discuss your exit with people who work at the same company as you do. There’s no need to critique anyone.
Just because you’re leaving this job now doesn’t mean you won’t work with these people in the future.
Be mindful of your words, thank your boss for the opportunity and pat yourself on the back.
Create an Exit Plan
Bottom Line: Create an Exit Plan
When you put in your two-weeks notice, this is a great time to show your boss exactly how you’re going to leave. Make them sorry to see you go.
Show them a transition plan of what you want to do for the next two weeks so you can leave on the right foot and not stress anyone out (ahem, your boss). Not only will this make you look extra professional, but your boss will appreciate your transparency because it shows you care.
Type up your transition plan and print it out so you can give a hard copy to your boss. This will save your butt just in case any fires come up, and it’s a great base of reference whenever you or your boss needs it.
Prep Your Projects to Succeed
Bottom Line: Prep Your Projects to Succeed
While some people might say "screw it” to their projects, you want to be mindful that your "carefree" attitude could affect everyone else in your team.
Instead of not communicating to anyone about your portion of your projects, prep emails that you can send to your coworkers to inform them that you’re leaving and the next steps you’ll be taking to help move the project forward.
Ideally, you want everyone on your team to be on the same page and a straightforward email about the status of your projects will do just that.
Draft Emails About Your Departure
Bottom Line: Draft Emails About Your Departure
Before you give your two-weeks notice to your boss, draft an email to everyone on your contact list to let them know that you’re leaving and direct them to someone who they may be able to get in touch moving forward. Send this out same day or the day after you give your notice.
This will allow you to focus on finishing up your old work without having to waste time answering emails about your departure.
However, if for whatever reason you need to still be in communication with a few people, refer them to your new email address so they know how to connect with you in the future.
Be careful when drafting the blast email. Don't accidentally hit "send" before you've spoken with your boss.
Transfer Personal Files
Bottom Line: Transfer Personal Files
When you know you’re going to leave, if you have a work computer, begin cleaning out your computer and/or transferring any files onto your personal drive that you may need that pertains to your personally.
This may take a couple of hours to do, so the sooner you begin the process, the easier it will be to just clean up your desk and leave.
Unfortunately, you never know if your boss will just want you to leave right then and there when you give your two-weeks notice, so this extra step will prep you for the unknown.
Save Your Contact Information
Bottom Line: Save Your Contact Information
If you’re staying in the same industry, but just switching jobs, you may still need to be in contact with the same people you usually communicate with on a daily basis.
If your current company allows this (some will consider your contacts the property of the company, so ask) — create an Excel sheet and fill it with everyone’s emails so you don’t lose any of that information.
Then, email that document to your new work email address, and you’re good to go.
Be careful not to take any proprietary information, trade secrets, or intellectual property of the company.
Choose Your Preferred Last Day
Bottom Line: Choose Your Preferred Last Day
Just because you know when you’ll begin your new job doesn’t mean you’ll automatically know when you’ll last day will be at your old one.
Some people like to give themselves a break in between jobs, while others prefer to jump right into their new job to begin that new chapter.
Either way, figure this out before you give your two-weeks notice, just in case your boss throws you a curveball with another date that’s not the one you’ve provided.
Read Your Employee Manual
Bottom Line: Read Your Employee Manual
Remember that little book you got when you first got hired that has all the information you’ll ever need as an employee of your company? Well, if there’s ever a time to blow the dust off this bad boy, it’s now.
To prep you for what’s about to come, open the manual to the section about quitting and see if it says anything about what they expect from their employees.
Does your job actually prefer a month’s notice? Do you also need to communicate to HR about your decision? Any information that you read will help prepare you before you talk to your boss so you don’t feel confused if anything unexpected comes up.
Figure Out What Your Benefits
Bottom Line: Figure Out What Your Benefits
If you have a job that provides amazing benefits, figure out exactly what you’re entitled to keep when you put in your two weeks notice.
Sometimes you’re able to collect unused vacation/sick days and figure out how to transfer your 401(k).
Also, be mindful about your health insurance if they provided one for you. Call your health insurance provider to see what happens to it or the next steps you may have to take so you don’t go a day without it while you transition jobs.
Review Exit Interview Questions
Bottom Line: Review Exit Interview Questions
Most jobs that have an HR department will require their employees to do an exit interview. This means your company wants to gain feedback about the work environment, the role, the culture and the organization.
To prep yourself, look up sample exit interview questions.
During your exit interview
While this is a great opportunity to give them your honest feedback, you want to be polite and respectable when you do so.
Return Company Property
Bottom Line: Return Company Property
Depending on the type of job you have, you may have accumulated a few things at your desk or your home that may belong to your company.
Gather these things beforehand so when you put your two-weeks notice in, you can easily return those things the same day and never have to worry about it again.
Write Recommendations for Coworkers
Bottom Line: Write Recommendations for Co-workers
If you want to leave on a super high note, opt to write recommendations on your soon-to-be former coworkers’ LinkedIn profiles.
Be honest, polite, and thoughtful about how you feel about each employee. It’s a nice gesture to do and also a nice way to say goodbye (even when they don’t know that you’re leaving just yet).
Plus, they may even return the favor once they realize that you’re leaving. Essentially, it could be a win-win for everyone.
Save Work Samples and Positive Feedback
Bottom Line: Save Work Samples and Positive Feedback
Before you put in your notice, this is a great time to gather any work samples you want to save so you can update your resume or online profile.
While you may have already acquired a new job, that doesn’t mean you can’t update your resume now. It’s also a good idea to search through your emails or Slack messaging for any positive feedback.
All in all, having this information will help you with future jobs, and instead of doing this after office hours, you can save some time by gathering these things in advance.
Prep Your Goodbye Letter
Bottom Line: Prep Your Goodbye Letter
Saying goodbye is never easy. Whether you’ve been at your job for years or only a few months, it’s always best to send a goodbye letter to everyone that you’ve worked with during the duration of your employment.
If you want to, give them your personal email and write a small paragraph about how much you’re going to miss everyone and how much this job meant to you.
Don't leave on a negative note. Keep things short, sweet, and positive so you won’t regret how you leave.