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Giving notice to your current employer

When you have your medical results and are handing in your notice, observe how your manager reacts…

  • Surprise,….. “I had no idea!”
  • Inquisitive, “Why are you leaving , where are you going work?”
  • Stall and possible counter offer
  • Ask you to stay on until they can find a replacement
  • Or be supportive ..understand and wish you the best of luck!


You are making a career development change so it’s important to remember it’s an employer – employee relationship and that people change job regularly, every day in fact!

Once you are comfortable it’s the best move for you, just inform them you have made your decision. Managers may try to get you to change your mind and stay. Is this out of concern for you or them?


Giving notice to your current boss can be a mixed experience depending on your relationship with that person. You may find yourself excited, or fearful about handing in your notice. Regardless of the relationship you had with your current boss, there are a few standard do’s and don’t s that are important to follow when handing in your notice (remember you may need them for a reference one day).

  • Ensure you have your new job all signed sealed and confirmed in writing with the terms and conditions laid out.

Key sticking points with regards to contracts generally arise around salary, bonus structure and responsibilities. Remember to negotiate in a friendly fashion, if the answer is no for one of your requests you have to decide if you are going to be flexible with your requirements and accept. Remember once you start work there is no going back on the agreed terms of employment.

  • Be sure to check your notice period carefully in many cases, the longer or more senior you are the longer the notice period expected.

If you have changed roles within your current companies or been with the company over 12 months it is always worth a second look at your contracted terms.  You may find that your new employer needs you to start sooner than your current jobs notice period. Remember don’t just walk out on your current employer to start with your new employer as you may be giving the message to your new boss that if you are doing it now, you might do it to them. You can always politely say that you’ll ask your current employer for a shorter notice period. Odds are that they are already keen for you to work with them and the chances are if you can’t start sooner they will try to facilitate you (they won’t want to start the hiring process all over again).

  • Don’t forget to act professionally

Ask to have a few words privately when they have a moment and advise them that you are leaving. This is the opportunity to negotiate shorter leave if required. Be sure to use this opportunity to also provide you with a reference or be a telephone reference in the future. The key question you need to be able to answer is, “Why are you leaving?” Lots of people will want to know. You don’t need to air dirty laundry or reveal that you hit the lottery – just be gracious. “I have an opportunity to move into …” or “It was an offer I could not ignore to further my career.”

  • Don’t leave on bad terms with your current boss and company if at all possible.

Try and pick your moment appropriately to give your notice. They may be relieved that you are leaving or possibly they are just oblivious to options of career opportunities for the staff. Remember at the end of the day you want a reference, final pay cheque and tax documents sooner rather than later. Down the line if you get in to a disagreement with your boss when leaving this is going to be hard to explain to a potential employer down the line. Keep in mind, you may find yourself working with your current boss/colleagues again in a different organization in the future.

  • Finally, Don’t spend your notice period counting the minutes until you leave.

Be sure to act professionally, offer to train and assist your colleagues in your role and duties once you have moved on. You’d be amazed how this will help your managers and co-workers respect your decision to move on.

If you take the time to plan giving your notice this needn’t be a stressful experience and remember no matter your experience with the company remember to respect your employer.

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