Time to hand in your notice? 5 Tips

Maintaining your professionalism


For most teachers, you can’t just quit the job – you have to politely give a full term’s notice notice before the reins of your current school are released, and you’re free to move to the next level of your career – whether that is within or outside the educational sector.

This article originally appeared on our UKEd.Careers teaching jobs website. See more by clicking here.

Whatever the reasons for taking your next step, writing this formal notice to your boss is a major step with little chance to change your mind and losing the financial security you may have enjoyed. Whether you are handing in your notice for your next job, retirement or to spend more time with your family, keeping a good relationship with your current employer is vital, so keep your professionalism and keep the upper-hand with these five tips for handing in your notice:

  1. Be 100% Sure – This is not a small decision, and will lead to some upheaval in your life, so you need to have worked out the pro’s and con’s in making the decision to leave, in discussion with your family and friends. You want to be handing in your notice with true conviction that you have made the right decision. Avoid regret. Write your ‘letter of resignation’ only when you are 100% sure that this is the right thing to do for  yourself and those who support you outside your job. If there is any doubt in your mind, then now might not be the right time.
  2. Keep your resignation letter short – This is not the opportunity for you to vent all your frustrations about where you work, your boss or your colleagues. Your communication should only contain one or two sentences, and be kept to the point. For example: “I am writing to formally give you one term notice for handing in my notice and wish to terminate my contract on [insert date]. Yours faithfully…” That is usually enough.
  3. Letter or e-mail – Even though most of our communications are by electronic means, keeping your notice letter written on paper will ensure that your addressee will receive the letter, allowing you the thrill of handing the letter over and knowing that they read it immediately, rather than getting swamped in a busy inbox which can easily be lost among thousands of other e-mails. You can enjoy the relief and satisfaction of handing the letter over, and knowing that it is done.
  4. The interview, or chat – Unless your boss knew you were intending to make this step, there will inevitably be some sort of interview or chat where you are invited to discuss your decision. It is critical that you maintain your professionalism and keep yourself in control explaining your decision. This is not the opportunity to vent (again), so keep to the point and explain what you are wanting to achieve in the next stage of your career.
  5. Agree reference wording – By maintaining a good relationship during this departure allows you to encourage your current boss to be positive about you in any reference requests. Put together a summary of what you have achieved in your current placement, and hand this to your boss. This can help you guide them into writing a positive reference for you showing your professionalism and how lucky any future employers would be in hiring you!

You don’t have to explain yourself. So if there are underlying reasons for your departure, keep them to yourself and keep them wondering. If there have been issues, then see this as an opportunity to relieve yourself of that stress, and your outlook on life will suddenly be more clear as you embark on the next chapter in your life.



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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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