Adulting: How to Put in Your Two Weeks Notice

Like most young kids, I looked forward to growing up. Now, with both feet firmly in the “adult” stage of life, I find myself thinking the exact opposite. I wish I could go back to days with nap time, science projects, and fewer responsibilities! As adults, we often find ourselves facing hard decisions and painful conversations. For example, I recently had to turn in notice at a job I’d had for almost five years. It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, but I made it through mostly unscathed! I did a lot of Googling for advice and motivation articles, but I had a tough time finding exactly what I was looking for. In this post, I’ll talk you through some of my tips for preparing for, tackling, and recovering from turning in your notice.

Adulting: How to Put in Your Two Weeks Notice | Katie Actually

1. Figure out the logistics

Once you’ve made the decision that you’re going to turn in your notice, you’ll need to get the nitty-gritty details lined up. Figure out who you’re supposed to give your notice to and when you need to do it. Typically, two weeks is what you should aim for, but it’s not unheard of to give more or less. For example, I gave almost two months notice at my previous job. I worked at a fairly small company and realized that it might take longer than usual to wrap up my projects and fill my position. Also keep in mind that your employer doesn’t have to give you two weeks. They may decide to ask you to leave that very moment.

Adulting: How to Put in Your Two Weeks Notice | Katie Actually

2. Practice

Figure out what you’re going to say before you go in. I came up with an opening line that was short and to-the-point, made sure I included a phrase expressing my gratitude, and then went through possible questions I’d have to respond to. Here are some of the phrases I came up with that might be helpful:

Opening line:

“Hey, do you have a second? I wanted to let you know that I’ve made the decision to leave (company), so I’m giving you my two weeks notice.”

I didn’t want to build up anything, so I decided to just go right in and say it. I also used the phrase “I’ve made the decision” to suggest I had thought about it and had come to a firm conclusion. Sometimes your boss might ask you if you’d stay for a pay raise or something. If you won’t, be sure you express that. I also included my “two weeks” phrase in there, so my boss knew when I was leaving.

Phrase of gratitude:

“I am so grateful for my time here. I’ve learned a lot with your guidance, and I really appreciate everything you and the company have done for me. I’m willing to work with you to make this transition as smooth as possible.”

You definitely don’t want to burn any bridges when you leave. Even if you weren’t happy at your old job and can’t wait to get out of there, being gracious is 100% the way to go. Express your gratitude for the time you had at the company and then offer to make the time before you leave as easy as it can be.

Prepare for some questions like:

Why are you leaving?

Is there something we can do to make you stay?

When is your last day?

Adulting: How to Put in Your Two Weeks Notice | Katie Actually

3. Rip the bandaid off

I’m one of those people that stresses and stresses about something the more I think about it, especially if it’s something I’m dreading. I accepted my new job offer on a Monday, prepped for my exit conversation Tuesday, and gave my notice before lunch on Wednesday. I knew that if I put it off until later in the day, I would just be super awkward and it would be really hard. Doing it in the morning got it out of the way quick. I just kept telling myself that the sooner you did it, the sooner it would be over.

4. You’ve GOT this

Right before I went into my boss’ office, I pulled up motivational, kick-ass quotes on Pinterest to psych myself up. Here are a few of my favorites:

Adulting: How to Put in Your Two Weeks Notice | Katie Actually

Just remember: giving notice is a normal part of life. It’s something you have to do to leave a job, and once it’s over you’ll feel SO much better. In fact, I saved a screenshot of my heart rate from the day I quit, and you can see the exact moment it happened. You can see I was super stressed right before, terrified during, and then 100% fine the rest of the day.

Adulting: How to Put in Your Two Weeks Notice | Katie Actually

You are a strong, independent, confident person and you are so capable of this! Now go out there and kick some ass! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them below or reach out to me on Twitter or Facebook!