Even if you love the work you do, you will leave your job. It may not be due to being let go, but it may be due to a move, your retirement, or even death. While not pleasant to think about, it should provide some perspective for us all: our jobs will not last forever.
Maybe you are thinking of leaving your job, but that always leads to a question: When should you tell your current employer that you are leaving?
Before sharing some tips later, let me start by sharing this obvious tip: If you can get wording in your contract about how much warning you should give, that will solve many problems. For example, where I preach, I must give 90-days warning if I ever decided to leave. Most jobs require less time, but sometimes this can be negotiated. Just remember, if you negotiate for a very short amount of time, it may look like you are only using this job as some type of launching pad and your employer may question your dedication.
If, however, you do not have such an agreement, how much notice should you give? Here are some suggestions.
1. If something unethical is occurring with the business, you should leave as quickly as you possibly can.
While you obviously need to consider providing for your family, you cannot stay where something unethical is occurring and stay true to your convictions. If I may add here, though, you still need to leave with grace.
2. If you are looking to leave, you need to be honest.
This is a very touchy subject, but if you are asked about leaving and you are actively looking for another job, you should never lie. We have probably all shaken our head at people in the world of sports who have said they are staying somewhere, only to sign a contract in the next day or two with another team or school. This type of activity speaks directly to your morals.
3. Be honest about your search.
This may sound repetitive, but if you are only looking at one job or area, you can be honest about that, too. If you are not actively looking, there is no reason to make it sound like you are.
4. Give notice at least two weeks in advance.
Honestly, I do not know why this has become the norm in leaving among many jobs, but it has, so it is a good rule of thumb. But notice I said at least two weeks. If you have a good relationship with your employer, it might be wise to give notice one month in advance. The reason is that you are showing your company or employer a sign of respect. You are allowing them time to begin the process of reviewing your position. Your respect for them may also earn you a kind recommendation from your boss.
5. Leave with grace.
You may be leaving under very difficult circumstances, but you can still be gracious. That place of employment gave you a job and paycheck (and maybe even more). It helped you build experience and provided for your family. You may have very little good to say about it, but find something good. It may be quite difficult, but do not be a jerk as you walk out the door.
6. Keep working right up to the end.
Once you have given notice, it is easy to slack off and have the mindset that says, “What are they going to do, fire me?” Instead, remember that you are to “work heartily, as unto the Lord” (Colossians 3:23). That verse does not give an “out” when you are in the final days of employment. Continue to work right up to the final moment at your job, then enjoy transitioning to your new workplace.
Remember that there are many reasons to leave your job on good terms!
What other tips do you have? How much notice do you think one should give? How should one leave their job? Drop your thoughts in the comments section!