It’s bound to happen. You’re sick and need to call off work. You’d like some extended time off to care for a family member. You accepted a new job and want to give a letter of resignation to your current employer. Whatever the situation, there will come a time when you’ll need to give notice of some kind to your employer or employment services agency.
So just how much notice is acceptable for these different scenarios? There are exceptions, but here are some general guidelines to follow when it comes to communicating your needs in a professional – and timely – manner:
Calling Off Sick
Contact your employer as soon as you know you’re too sick to work. Follow up first by phone, and leave a voice message if you don’t speak directly to someone. It’s also a good idea to send a follow-up email.
Taking an Extended Leave
If you’re requesting an extended leave of absence, your employer might need to find someone to fill your shoes during your time off. Whenever possible, give several days to several weeks’ notice of your situation.
Handing in a Resignation
When resigning from a position, an employee should give as much notice as possible – at least two weeks’ notice is recommended as a minimum. This rule also applies to an employee who is leaving a temporary assignment.
Some people view temp assignments as unimportant, but it’s quite the opposite. The employer needs you! That’s why you should always give reasonable notice – a week to two weeks, depending on the assignment. Leaving a job without notice is unprofessional and can affect your chances of finding future work. Whenever possible, give your notice in person and follow up with a formal letter.
Last but not least, work with your employer to finalize the details of your exit plan.