How Much Notice Should You Give When Leaving a Job?
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 12 April 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
When exiting a company, it's standard to provide your manager with a resignation letter. Submitting your letter with a reasonable notice period shows your respect. It gives your manager enough time to organise workflow and tasks before your departure. In this article, we explain what a notice period is and explain how you can determine the appropriate length of time to give your resignation notice.
How much notice can you give to your employer?
Before you determine how much notice to give your employer, it's important to understand first what a notice period is. A notice period refers to the length of time you continue working between delivering your resignation letter until your final day of work. Notice periods are usually two weeks or longer, but you can determine the needed length of your notice period by considering variables, such as the following:
As of 2021, according to the Employment Ordinance, Cap. 57, if you're still in your probation period, the length of notice is not less than seven days. If you aren't on probation period, the length of notice is not less than one month. Therefore, check your employment contract first to see if you're still on your probation period.
State of your current projects
The appropriate length of your notice period also depends on your outstanding work. If you have unfinished large projects that you're responsible for, consider terminating your employment contract after you've completed it. Therefore, your notice period may be longer than a month. You may also consider training or passing off those projects to your colleagues who have adequate skills and knowledge to handle the projects.
Schedule of your coworkers
You may give a longer notice period to your employer if you know some of your coworkers are taking vacation leave or parental leave soon. If several people are out of the office at the same time, gaps may appear in the workflow and projects may not be able to meet the deadlines. Before you leave the company, make sure that you have enough time to complete your tasks while not adding burdens to your teammates.
Many businesses operate around the fiscal calendar to determine when to close existing projects and set new goals for the following year. If you're considering giving your notice of resignation, it's important to consider the company's financial year. Companies usually have more paperwork to handle at end of the financial year, so you may want to avoid resigning around the end of the financial year.
Why it's important to give notice
When you're planning to resign, submitting your letter of resignation in accordance with the proper notice period is important to you and your employer. Your resignation process may involve several departments and managers before getting approval. Companies also need enough time to hire another employee. Here are several other reasons to provide a notice period:
Maintain a good relationship with your colleagues and supervisors
Regardless of the time you've worked in the position and company, it's important to maintain a positive relationship with your current employer. Whether you're in a position for a few months or a few years, it's beneficial to leave on positive terms. Providing a considerate notice may increase your former employer's likelihood to speak positively about your time with the company. If you inform them within the period, they may be more willing to write your recommendations or referrals letters.
Allow time for your previous employer to hire your replacement
When you decide to leave your current position, your employer may want to hire a new employee to work in your position. They may also assign another individual to follow up on your daily duties and ongoing projects. They can ask you to help with the recruitments and training of your replacement. Therefore, a notice period is important since it allows time for your employer to find someone to substitute in the workflow.
Minimise your resignation cost
You may have signed a contract or agreed to terms of employment at the start of your position. The terms and conditions of employment often state a notice period of resignation. If you fail to act in accordance with the agreed payment, your employer has the right, as of the 2021 Employment Ordinance, Cap. 57, to ask you to pay the payment instead of notice (PILON).
The total amount of PILON is the amount of salary you receive during the notice period. For example, if the agreed notice period is one month and your monthly salary is $23,000, your PILON is equal to $23,000.
How to write a notice of resignation
Here are the steps you can take when writing a notice of resignation:
1. Begin with an introduction and notice of resignation
If you're submitting a hard copy of your resignation notice, consider using a standard business letter format with the date and your contact details of the page. Next, state clearly that you're writing to submit your formal resignation from your job with the organisation and include the date of your last day of work. Although it's standard to give two weeks' notice, your employer may have specific instructions about what your last date of work would be. Once you get this information, indicate the date and weekday of your final day at the company.
2. Include a statement of gratitude
Within the letter, consider expressing your gratitude for the position. You can mention what you've learned in the job and how you may apply it to your future opportunities. Expressing appreciation can make your manager feel as if they provided you with a quality experience at work and might help them feel more supportive of your plan to leave the company. For example, you can say something like, I'm grateful to have had the chance to learn from the best and grow as a designer. I'll always remember the experiences I had working with you and the team.
3. Explain any open projects
Consider informing your supervisor about what projects you've yet to complete. Indicate which projects you can complete within your remaining two weeks. If the list of tasks or projects seems lengthy, list each one in the letter and provide a document stating your schedule or plan to finish all of them.
4. Finish with the next steps and a conclusion
Mention any key information about your transition, as your manager may work these details out ahead of time. If you're not sure about your transition responsibilities, just mention that you're happy to do whatever you can to ensure a smooth transition. Make sure to close the letter with a departing statement such as Thank you or Sincerely and your name.
Notice of resignation template
Here's a template of what to include in your notice of resignation:
[Your job title
[Supervisor or manager name]
[Place of business]
Dear [Supervisor name],
I'm writing to inform you of my intent to resign from my position at [business name] as the [position] effective [last day of work]. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the opportunity to work with the [business department] for the past [time in employment]. I have learned and grown professionally in my time here. The time I spend here is a valuable period of my professional life.
I'm happy to help in the transition process or training of anyone who will fill my position between now and [final day of work] to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.
Thank you for understanding my decision to leave the company to pursue [reason for leaving]. I wish you all the best for continued future success.
Notice of resignation example
Here's an example of an effective notice of resignation:
10th December 2021
123 Cherry Lane
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Dear Mr Chun,
This letter is to inform you of my two weeks' notice of resignation. My last day will be Monday, January 3, 2022.
I've appreciated my time here at TechStar, Inc. and would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn and achieve a lot of things under your employment. I'm very excited to apply the valuable organisational, communication and team-building skills I've learned at this organisation to my future opportunities.
Throughout these next two weeks' notice, I will complete the following open projects: finishing the social media marketing strategy proposal, gathering the monthly marketing analytics and finalising the yearly budget report. My schedule outlining the completion of these projects is in a separate, attached document.
I'll continue to provide the same exceptional work I've given throughout my time at the organisation and will be available for the selection and training process of the person who will replace me if needed.
Thanks again for the opportunity to work with you.
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