In most cases, two weeks’ notice fulfills expectations and leaves relationships in good standing. However, sometimes two weeks is not long enough and there are exceptions that your new employer will understand. Here are a few examples:
Your Contract Requires a Longer Notice Period
Before you’ve decided to apply for new positions, revisit the contract you signed when you first began working with your current employer. Search for sections addressing the termination of the contract. Read thoroughly to find out if you are required to give more than two weeks’ notice. If so, consider having a conversation with your current employer to determine if there’s any room for flexibility. Otherwise, it’s crucial to follow the terms of the original contract.
You Can’t Reasonably Tie up Loose Ends in Ten Workdays
Consider whether you can reasonably hand off the responsibilities of your role within two weeks. Perhaps you work at a large company with plenty of redundancy, and you’re confident you can hand everything off to a few colleagues. In this case, two weeks is likely plenty of notice. However, if you’re leading various teams or working on initiatives that require your specialized knowledge and skill set, consider offering to become a temporary contractor. You may need to work a few evenings or weekends but it will help smooth the transition after your final day.
Your Team Needs Your Input to Hire Your Replacement
If you’re the only one who understands the qualifications necessary for your role, consider staying to select your replacement. For example, you might work at a small startup and you’ve been working to build an interface in a coding language that none of your coworkers know. In this scenario, you’ll likely need to conduct tests to find a candidate with strong enough coding skills to fill your role. Without you there to evaluate the candidates’ coding or editing skills, your employer may not be able to fill your position effectively. Again, you might consider making yourself available as a contractor after your final day.
Giving Only Two Weeks’ Notice Will Jeopardize Essential Projects
It’s not always possible to control when the next great opportunity comes along. For instance, you might receive your dream job offer when you’re right in the middle of a critical project. In this scenario, working to balance the critical projects and relationships at your current job with the starting date of your new role is vital.
Communicate openly with your collaborators and managers to determine the best way to hand off your duties. Protecting the status of your current projects and nurturing relationships even as you leave a workplace can positively impact your reputation for years. And, again … as an alternative, you might consider making yourself available as a contractor after your final day!
Part of taking pride in your work is protecting your legacy, even after you’ve made your departure. Facilitating a gradual and smooth hand-off can (and does) go a long way. For additional best practices, please be sure to read Your Guide To Giving Notice, Including Resignation Letter Examples.