A notice period is the amount of time either an employee or an employer has to give one another before parting ways. Giving notice allows you to complete any work and tie up any loose ends before you leave, so you don’t leave your employer in a tight spot. It also gives them some time to start thinking about hiring someone new.
If you’re not sure how much notice you need to give, then it’s worth checking your employment contract to confirm what’s already been agreed upon between you and your employer. Unless your contract says otherwise, it’s generally best to give at least two weeks notice. It’s also worth keeping in mind that giving notice isn’t just a polite courtesy. If you’ve been in your position for more than a month, then, by law, you’re required to give at least one week’s notice.
When you’ve decided you want to leave your role, it’s nearly always best to let your employer know by writing a letter of resignation. This way, your decision is made as clear as possible, and there’s less likely to be arguments about it. A written letter can also act as evidence that you handed in your notice.
Even if you’re leaving your job because you can’t stand it any longer, it’s important to be as respectful as possible throughout the entire process – from when you hand in your letter of resignation to the time you leave. You might want to use your boss as a reference when applying for new roles, or you may even end up working with them (or some of your other colleagues) in future if you plan to stay in the same industry.
And if you’re leaving a job that you’ve enjoyed, then letting your boss and colleagues know this and expressing your gratitude for the opportunity will probably leave you feeling better about the situation.