What is a Notice Period? How Long Should It Be?

What is a Notice Period? How Long Should It Be?

If you are leaving your current job to move on to a new challenge, you will need to inform your employer that you will be leaving your position. A notice period is used to make an organization aware of an employee departing, but what else does it entail? In this article, we will explore what a notice period is, how long it should be, and how you should submit a notice to an employer.

What is a Notice Period?

A notice period is the period of time from the date of resignation and the last day of employment. During this period, an employee will continue to work for the organization, and they'll continue to be paid for it. It is common practice to have a notice period, as it allows the person and organization to prepare for life after the employee leaves.

It also means that an employee and employer are on the same page about the situation. During this notice period, you will still be expected to complete your work, but you may have additional tasks such as training the person who will take over your job. This will help you end your time on good terms with your employer, which helps them to successfully transition to a new employee.

How Long Should a Notice Period Be?

In your contract or employee handbook (if you have one) the notice period that you are meant to provide should be specified. Typically, a notice period will be a length of two to four weeks. This should be enough time for an employer to delegate your duties and search for a new employee.

The length of notice for an employee may vary from job to job, however. Often, more senior roles will require a longer notice period as companies will need to find a successor. In director or managerial roles, the notice period may last months as there will be more training required in the handover period.

If you don't give proper notice to your employer, they may struggle to cover your position adequately. You may also leave your co-workers with a larger workload, which can lead you to leave on bad terms with your team. To avoid this, be courteous, and respect the notice period outlined in your contract.

How You Should Submit Your Notice

For all parties to be satisfied, there are steps to follow when you submit your notice. Here are some things to consider if you are thinking about handing your notice in soon.

Decide when your final day will be

Before you hand in your notice, you need to settle on a final day of work. If you have a new job lined up, you can take into account the start date of your employment there when deciding on your final day. You may also align this date with a vacation or big event so that you are free to go to it. Whatever your decision, choose a date that works for you and your company.

Speak to your boss

Schedule a time to talk with your boss and inform them that you are going to leave the organization. During this conversation, you must inform them of your final day of work and discuss how you will delegate your duties during the notice period. You don't have to be specific, but you are free to go into as much detail as you like about your future during the talks.

Write a letter of resignation

After you've informed your boss in person, it's time to write down the resignation letter on paper or in an email. Format this letter formally and send it to your boss and human resources department so that they have your resignation on file. Include your contact information, the date, your statement of resignation, and your signature. You should also express your appreciation and thank your employers for their help in your time in the position.

Inform your co-workers

Let your colleagues know that you will be leaving your position. Tell them what you will be responsible for in the notice period, and how you can help the team transition. You may even want to organize a get-together if you have a positive relationship with them.

Assist in the transition period

It's time to do your job for one last time. Train new workers, advise colleagues, and organize your past work. Do all of this and be ready to transition without leaving behind any unfinished work.

Written by Career Specialist Jan 16, 2023
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