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How to behave during your notice period

Posted on 30/10/2020 by Hannah Strauss


People leave jobs every day. It is not uncommon and happens especially frequently in today’s competitive job market. When deciding to leave a job, it is commonplace that you will have to serve a notice period where you will continue to fulfil the same position and carry out your normal duties. It is of course very important to conduct yourself professionally during this time so that you leave the organisation on good terms and with a glowing reference.

How long is a notice period?

This can vary between universities but also depending on your position or length of service within the institution. It should be set out in your contract of employment so make sure to have a look at this and find out. The most common notice period is anywhere between one month and three months, but it can stretch anywhere up to six months or longer. Generally, the more senior the position the longer the notice period.

How should you conduct yourself once you have handed your notice in?

How you leave an organisation signals your attitude towards the job and determines how your employer is likely to remember you. You should have clear and open discussions with your boss about the process and communications once you have handed in your notice, and also ensure that the way you act in your last month is in line with the effort and energy that you contributed in your very first month.

Keeping your motivation up for the role during your notice period is vital and there are a couple of different ways you can ensure you do this:

  • Try and offer help with the hand-over stage by writing and preparing documents you think may be useful to your successor
  • Ensure all work is completed and up to date.

By leaving with a positive impression, you are more likely to retain any valuable contacts you have made whilst at the University – send goodbye emails with a personal touch and always make sure to be complimentary about your current employer whilst doing so. It’s always a good idea to focus on the positive aspects of your new job rather than the negatives of your current one.

If your employer asks you to do an exit interview, give constructive feedback and be honest but avoid complaining or burning bridges with colleagues or managers. The higher education sector is a small one and you never know when you’ll have to work with them again. You may also want to leave a review on Glassdoor about the university to highlight to others why they should consider working there.

If you are planning a career move do get in touch with me on or call on 02071986090. We also have a great employability hub if you would like some more advice and guidance.