Giving Notice Without Burning Bridges

Many candidates are interviewing for new positions these days and have an influx of emotions. Nervousness, doubt, confidence and enthusiasm often play a role as a person prepares for the initial meeting. And sometimes, all feelings seem to occur at the same time. However, what happens when the role is offered and accepted? As the excitement sets in, so does the reality of giving notice.

If a person has been truly unhappy, this may not be a difficult task. Some even feel it is a great time to volunteer all the negative aspects of the company and be extremely forthright in their frustrations. For many who have been satisfied or even fairly happy, the idea of giving notice leaves an unwelcome feeling in the belly. Candidates often feel torn because they are leaving a place they have enjoyed and don’t know what to say.


Here are some quick suggestions:

  • First, start by saying you have appreciated the opportunity to work at their company and with the staff. State you asked for the meeting because you have accepted a new position that is a good fit for you at this time. Express you wanted to share this personally and would like to extend a 2 week notice. Lastly, reiterate that you will continue to do your best during the 2 weeks to help with any training, updating procedure manuals, etc. (You can also present a written letter of notice at the end of the discussion.)

  • Keep it professional, short and positive. (Remember, you may need a reference in the future so you don’t want to leave a negative impression by offering the 10 reasons you are leaving.)

  • Follow up within the 2 weeks on final details… health insurance coverage, collecting unused vacation if that is an option, rolling over a 401k plan, etc.

  • Thank everyone on your last day and take the time to be genuine.

Giving notice can be a stressful time so be sure to do it with professionalism and grace. Then, you can focus on your new position and be truly excited for the future!

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