New! Fishbowl by Glassdoor. Dive into authentic, anonymous conversations with a community of professionals like you. Learn More.

Changing Careers

What Is a Notice Period?

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Guide Overview

What is a notice period?Why is a notice period important?How long do I need for a notice period?How to submit your notice

Guide Overview

Notice period meaning

Throughout your career, there may be times when you're ready to leave your job for a better opportunity. Even if you are eager to move on right away, it's professional to give your employer a few weeks' notice. This way, they can prepare for your departure and delegate your tasks. Here we discuss what a notice period is and how to go about submitting yours.

Learn more: How to Quit Your Job

What is a notice period?

A notice period is the length of time your employer is aware of your departure from their company before you actually leave. Essentially, it starts when you submit your letter of resignation and ends on your last day of work. When you quit a job, it’s standard to give your company a few weeks to prepare before you leave.

Learn more: The Best and Worst Times to Job Hunt by Season

Why is a notice period important?

A notice period ensures that you and your employer are on the same page. If you were to quit a job without proper notice, your team may have to scramble to take over your tasks and fill your position. By giving proper notice, you are being respectful and courteous.

Giving your employer your end date in advance helps them prepare for you to leave. This way, they can begin to write a job posting, look over applications, and start interviewing candidates to take over your role. It also gives them a chance to delegate your tasks to other colleagues to take over in the meantime. Once you give your notice, begin to help your team transition. Whether it be making training materials or showing a coworker how to do your tasks, this will help you set your team up for success.

It’s best to leave an old job on good terms, and giving your notice is one way to do so. When your team feels prepared for you to leave, they may be excited for you rather than resentful. You never know if you’ll need to ask an old coworker or employer for a favor. By leaving in the kindest way possible, you can continue to keep these professional connections, which often comes in handy when you need a reference.

Learn more: How To Revive A Job You’re Not Quite Ready To Quit

How long do I need for a notice period?

The most common length for a notice period is two weeks. This should give your team enough time to take over your duties. Your length of notice can also vary based on your position and level of seniority. For example, if you were an executive of a company, you might let your team know months in advance. This way, you can help the company find and train your successor. Likewise, a manager or supervisor may give more than two weeks as well.

Overall, use your best judgment when submitting your final notice. You want to consider any ongoing projects and what your coworker’s schedules look like. Remember there may not always be the perfect time to quit a job. Although it’s important to give your team plenty of notice, you can also consider what’s in your best interest. After all, it’s exciting to start the next chapter in your career.

How to submit your notice

Follow these steps when submitting your notice:

1. Determine your final day of employment

Give your employer a minimum of two week’s notice so they can prepare for you to leave. If you are considering additional notice, reflect on your role in the company and how many responsibilities you have. Make sure to also communicate with your new employer to set a start date. Consider if you want to give yourself some time off in between jobs or jump right into your new role.

2. Talk to your supervisor

Before actually submitting your letter of resignation, give your notice in person. Schedule a time to talk to your manager or supervisor to let them know you are leaving the company. Although you don’t have to give all the details about your decision, you could give them some general information. The most important thing to include is your final date of employment. During this conversation, you can also discuss how you will delegate your work.

3. Put it in writing

Writing an actual letter of resignation is helpful for your employer and human resources department. This way, they have your resignation on file and can reference it if needed. When writing your letter, format it like a formal business letter. In it, include the following information:

  • Your contact information: This includes your full name, job title, address, email, and phone number.
  • The date: This helps your employer remember when exactly you submitted your final notice.
  • A statement of resignation: In this section, include your final date of employment. You can also share why you are leaving the company. This is especially true if you’d like to give your manager some constructive feedback. Just keep in mind, your letter of resignation will make a lasting impression, so be careful with your words.
  • A line of gratitude: Write a sentence or two expressing your gratitude for this opportunity. You could even share how you’ll miss your team. Overall, it’s professional to wish your old coworkers and employer well.
  • Your signature: Along with a closing and your typed name, physically sign your name.

4. Let your team know

Upon submitting your final notice, you can let the rest of your coworkers know about your decision to leave. If you work closely with a handful of people, you might want to tell them in person. You can let the rest of your coworkers know with a company-wide email or a thoughtfully written message.

5. Set your team up for success

Now that everyone knows how much time you have left at the company, start to get your team ready for your departure. Ask your manager how you can help. You may need to train your coworkers on how to do your tasks, make how-to guides, and get your files organized. Likewise, you may want to schedule some kind of get together before you leave to get closure.

Related Career Guides