Military Transition: Giving Two Weeks Notice

Making the Transition

The Most Important Skills

You Must Learn

In Order to Succeed In the Civilian World


(Part 10)



When an Opportunity Knocks – It’s Best to Answer


Learn how to give your two week notice, while remaining on good terms with your soon to be ex-employer



When you are in the military, you are given orders to a billet or job assignment within a certain command for a certain time-span. When it is time for your next set of orders, you simply organize your departure date with the chain of command and get on your way to the next assignment.


There is no reason for you to give your notice that you are leaving, because everyone already knows that your assignment is completed and now it is time for you to leave to start your next assignment.   Just like the TV show the “UNIT”!


There is no need for you to feel uncomfortable because you have to explain why you are moving on.  There is no need to communicate that you enjoyed working there and that you are not being disloyal by leaving.  In the military, it is expected.  It is the norm.


The main reason why most civilians leave their jobs is that they want to pursue bigger and better opportunities.   Most individuals are looking for good jobs and promoting employment practices that improve job quality—better wages, benefits, advancement opportunities, flexibility, and workplace health and safety, not just for those at the top of the list.  If you ask me if it was not for the blue-collar workers, those big CEO guys would not be there.  It the blue collar workers and the small businesses that make the big guys at the top rich.   If it were not for us, they would not be there!


It can be intimidating the first time a military soldier has to give their two-week notice on a civilian job. Sometimes the thought of giving notice can be so stressful that some people find it easier to just stay in the job.


To me that is insane!  Do not let your emotions and fears hold you back from bigger and better opportunities.  In today’s economy, people change employers every 2-5 years.  Employers realize that a majority of their workers will eventually leave after so many years, but if they value your work and can afford to give you, a raise so you would stay- trust me they would. 


Because so many people leave their jobs to achieve better opportunities, giving notice to an employer is not a secret. Your specific situation will have a bearing on the correct way for leaving so that everyone is happy and there is no negative impact on either side of the barrel.


Here are some tips to help you move on to bigger and better opportunities:


  1. Do your homework: Make sure you read every piece of paper you signed when you accepted the job. You could have a real or implied contract, a union collective bargaining agreement, or some other type of agreement. Does it state that you must give notice? If so, it probably outlines the procedure. There may be penalties incurred or loss of benefits if you leave before a certain timeframe. For example, if a penalty is non-compliance of contract, you may be burning bridges and sacrificing references. Take time to understand what will happen to your benefits, such as 401K employer matched contributions, when you leave. If you do not have a contract, you could be working under ‘employment-at-will’, which means you can leave anytime without notice. You may want to give verbal and written notice anyway in order to maintain a professional relationship for references in the future. It is best to give a common reason for leaving such as, “It’s a career move.”
  2. Get connected: It is more about who you know than what you know. That is why more and more people are turning to professional networking sites like LinkedIn, to meet colleagues, expand their rolodex and get info about possible jobs. These sites also offer offline events where members can mingle and hear directly about job opportunities. If you are a business executive, check out If you are in advertising or marketing, check out On these sites, you will be able to talk shop and get the real dirt behind potential future employers.
  3. Be Google-able: Boosting your visibility online is more and more important, and there are companies out that can help. Check out where you can post a free professional profile on the site. If a recruiter is looking for a job candidate online, your name may just pop up at the top of a Web search. You will even be sent an e-mail alert if someone clicks and views on your page. Sometimes, your professional profile is already online, without you even knowing it. scours the Web, press releases and business Web sites for your professional information. If your profile is on this site, make sure all your info is correct, and supplement the information that is already there. That is because companies like Sony and Adobe may use these sites to pick out high quality job prospects.
  4. Target your search: you should also search for higher paying job prospects the old-fashioned way: online. Check out where you can search for jobs that specifically offer $100,000 annually.   If you are right out of college and/or you are looking to do some part time work, you may want to check out If you are over 50, check out Here you will be able to view job offers from employers looking for older workers. 

Do not suffer in a job simply because you do not know the procedure for termination. With a bit of research, you can leave tastefully, keep your relationship with you old job on geed terms, and move on to bigger and better opportunities. 


Whether you are aware of it or not, you are more than ready to take on some new challenges. Once you like you have climbed up to the top of the ladder and there is nowhere else to go then it is time to move on. You have the ability to make a major step up, why not do so? All that is required is a bit of effort on your part. Figure out what your ideal job would be, and then pursue it. Or, better yet, create it! Isn’t that what America is all about?  

Stayed tuned for next week’s blog on making the transition to the civilian world part 11



Stacey Chillemi, is a highly versatile author, freelance writer and speaker with more a decade of experience. She is an award winning writer, motivational, inspirational, and self-help speaker. She was the managing editor for the magazine UZURI and worked for a major television network. She has been featured in Woman’s World Magazine, the New Jersey Star Ledger, and the Asbury Park Press. Her website is and


Back to Top