Handling a 3 Month Notice Period

You have decided to look for another role, but you have a 3 month notice period, you naturally don’t want this to spoil your chances of securing a new role, so how do you handle this?  Below is advice in the best way to handle a 3 month notice period successfully.

The challenges a 3 month notice period presents
Due to companies being worried about key employees leaving their business, many are locking candidates into 3 month notice period in order to protect their business in the event that a key member of staff decide to leave. Candidates on a 3 month notice period can be concerned that this could put off potential employers and often hope they will be able to negotiate an early release from their contract.  Our view is that 3 month notice periods if handled correctly should not stop you from securing your dream role. Handling your resignation professionally will ensure a smooth transition and may offer an opportunity to re-negotiate your notice period down.

First Step – Understand your contractual obligations before start your job search
People often think that you need to understand your contractual obligations when you resign, in fact we feel you need to understand them before you even look for a new role. The likelihood is that if you have a 3 month notice period you will be in a management role, therefore you cannot go to an interview without knowing your notice period, and you certainly cannot promise an early start with a new employer if you are contracted to a 3 month notice period, you can however set things in motion within your team to ensure that the likelihood of you being able to negotiate an early release from your contract is possible.

Most companies will be willing to wait for the right person
It is very important to be honest at the interview stage about your notice period, however you can also say that you will endeavor to have the notice period reduced and that you have plan in place that will hopefully enable you to start your new role sooner.

Your current employers stance
Remember your current employer wants a 3 month notice to minimize disruption to their business, however given your decision to leave, in reality your employer probably wants to find your replacement quickly as your leaving will be disruptive to the team.

How to broker an early release

  • Before you leave your role, start a confidential search for your replacement or
  • Have a succession plan in place so that your company can promote a team member into your role or
  • Re-organise your team to be able to deliver the goals of the business without you being in place
  • Do it in writing and include your planned release date
  • Check how many holidays you’ve got left and also use them to reduce your notice period

The more detailed the plan and help you can give to ensure a smooth transition for your replacement the more likely you’ll be able to negotiate leaving sooner.

Best practice if you are asked to complete your 3 month notice period
Keep your manager up to date with how the plan is going to either find your replacement or to ensure your existing team is in a position to carry on with your role. It may be still be possible to re-negotiate an earlier exit when your bosses see that they can in fact manage without you.

If you do have to complete the 3 month notice period, remember to be committed and professional after all they are paying you to do a job and you did make the commitment to provide them with a 3 month notice period.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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