Reproduction permitted for personal use only. For reprints and reprint permission, contact

Ready to leave? Why you shouldn't give two weeks' notice

Editor's Note: See the latest installment - Two-week notices, nickel beers, and rotary telephones published February 1, 2010. .

The "Exit Stage Right" article on CareerBuilder in Sunday's Chicago Tribune must have been written in a time of nickel beers.

Why? Because giving two week's notice (let alone four week's notice) went out with nickel beers. The article also needs a reality check on some of its observations and assertions of how life is in today's corporate world.

It's funny how the article on CareerBuilder, which, by the way, is owned by the Tribune Company, doesn't tell a company what guidelines to follow. How come articles aren't about laying people off on good terms?

Many people will remember when Ameritech was letting people go several years ago. They would call them in a conference room and say their services were no longer needed. They would then show them to the door. Any coats or personal effects left at their desk would be shipped to them. This is a terrible way to treat 10- to 20-year loyal employees.
What about Amoco, Cellular One and other companies leaving an envelope on your chair telling you that you were no longer needed? What HR expert offered that as a professional approach for "parting a company on good terms"?

How about the accounting firm where the managing partners faxed in a letter telling employees that the company was going out of business and they were all let go? No face-to-face announcement or anything. Just a fax.

Let me highlight the fallacies and follies of the article's four steps of advice as well as some of its out-of-touch experts.

1. Follow the chain of command?

The article says to tell your boss first, which is common sense, but it then goes on to advise you to ask your boss how to inform your co-worker directly or having her deliver the news when she feels it's appropriate. Aside from being sexist (are all managers female now?), that's just bad advice.

It's too often that someone leaves a company and their reasons are smoothed over or changed in order to cover the truth.

Has anyone ever told you that the reason Tom left was because he thought management was bad or he found out a boss was taking kickbacks or bribes? What about Jane leaving because of sexual harassment by her boss? I'm surprised the Tribune printed this article. It's laughable and inaccurate.

Each situation is different. If you want the story told straight, tell it yourself or send an e-mail to everyone you want to tell. Then it's uniform and there are no filters or omissions. Your reason could be better pay, a better work environment or a whole combination of things. Keep it short, and if you don't want to go into detail, don't.

The best way to tell co-workers and your boss is that you are leaving for a better opportunity. Period.

They are all going to know why if the company is experiencing a loss of accounts, bad management or many other reasons. In many cases, you may not even want to tell them where you're going. Is a company obligated to tell you its future strategy when they lay you off?

You're not obligated to give a laundry list of reasons. It's a termination of service that you have initiated. Does the company tell everyone why they are terminating someone? They use corporate mumbo jumbo like having to do a "force reduction" or an "adjustment to resources."

In seeing someone just quit a job, the reasons given to the bosses were not the same ones told later to the person's co-workers. The reasons were changed. The advice from this Tribune article just isn't realistic.

2. Preparing a letter of resignation

The letter should be short and to the point. The day you resign is the day you leave. If you want to share details with co-workers, that's your prerogative. Again, the only way they know the truth is if you tell them.

Management will always paint your departure as a shocking event that comes as a surprise to them. They are never going to admit they overworked you, harassed you or grossly underpaid you.

3. Setting a departure date

The article says that if you are "in a professional or clerical position, two weeks are appropriate. If you are in a managerial position, three to four weeks is appropriate." That's a joke. You could give four week's notice. There is no guarantee of a good reference.

There are critical situations today where the day you announce your resignation is the day you leave. This may not be up to you. The company may not want you at its offices as you are a potential threat to its systems and security.

As head of security, I would not want anyone around who has access to company networks and application systems.

You may want to give two week's notice, but from a security standpoint, you are out the door that day. Locks are changed. Passwords and IDs are terminated so you should have no access to files or other confidential information. That is the reality of today's workplace.

Did you know that many denial-of-service (DoS) attacks are initiated by disgruntled employees? If the company you're working at doesn't have that stringent of a policy, they are leaving themselves open for attack. That's definitely not adhering to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or any compliance policy that focuses on secure environments.

4. Tying up loose ends

Making sure you turn in all IDs, keys and corporate credit cards is standard.

You don't want the liability of being blamed for anything that happens after you give notice. Clear out your desk and office of all personal effects a day or two before you announce your departure. You just may be escorted to the door as soon as you tell your boss of your intentions. There is no going back to your desk.

Many companies are so paranoid today. They don't want any employees hanging around after they submit their resignation.

Leaving contact information depends on the individual situation. You may not want to be contacted after you depart, or in most cases, companies will not give out your contact information. No one is going to forward leads or loyal customers to you for fear that they are losing potential business.

New best practice: immediate departure

Here is a true story that just happened where someone was leaving for a better opportunity and was debating this exact issue of "giving notice."

My advice to her was to clear out her office the day before, give a clear resignation letter and have everything ready to turn over and leave the day of her resignation. She was in charge of critical information and computer systems. There were many legitimate reasons why she left (pay, workload, lack of recognition and the company's loss of business).

It was a wise move to leave. She left on a Monday.

Two days later, the servers crashed and the company got a subpoena for a lawsuit. If she would have stayed, she could have been blamed for the crash and potentially held up to be a witness in the lawsuit. It could have jeopardized her new opportunity if she went the "old school" route. She was really thankful she resigned the way she did.

So much for giving two weeks' notice. The potential liabilities aren't worth it.

Follow-up: Employees debate ethics of giving two weeks' notice

Carlinism: A person leaves the day they resign. Otherwise, they leave the door open for lots of liabilities.

James Carlini is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University. He is also president of Carlini & Associates. Carlini can be reached at or 773-370-1888. Copyright 2006 Jim Carlini.

The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC. (WTN). WTN, LLC accepts no legal liability or responsibility for any claims made or opinions expressed herein.


Neil Diffenbaugh responded 10 years ago: #1

It is sad that society has forced us to be so careful and organized in either terminating employees or when an employee decides to leave. Those who have been vindictive upon leaving have caused all of this paranoia about changing careers or downsizing or whatever it is called today. I worked for a major market research firm for 24 years. I did a good job, got successive promotions and new many people within the organization. I was laid off, canned, down-sized or whatever you want to call it, along with 5 other people. I was the only one they asked if I would stay for 2 weeks and complete a project I was working on. And they did so because they knew me and I know that I was a knowledgeable and responsible employee.

I continued to retain all of my security access and authorities as before. That 2 weeks also gave me time to draft a email to everyone that I could think of within the company thanking them for their education and support. I sent it out on my last day of employment. The response I received was overwhelming. Since then, my previous employer has asked me back to contract on a couple of projects that has given me a good source of income.

I encourage everyone to quit placing blame on companies, management and co-workers. Life is not all about “me”. Take personal responsibility to be respective of others to allow them to successfully run their lives and their businesses, just as you would hope to receive from others. Give them as much notice as possible to transition your responsibilities (if you can leave or be terminated in a day then you must not have been really important to the company). Do what you’re good at, give it your best and whatever happens you’ll know it’s not your fault. And don’t burn any bridges because you never know who they know. And you just might find your old contacts/employer to be a good future source of income.

James Carlini responded 10 years ago: #2


It is great that you were treated that way but that is the exception and not the rule in today's workplace. Staying at one place for 24 years gives you what some HR people would say a single dimensional perspective.

You should be thankful that you were in such a good place but that is not what 100s if not 1000s of people encountered at all the companies I mentioned. Not having to send out a resume for 24 years gives you an insulation to what has happened to corporate America and their HR policies.

I appreciate your different perspective that shows not everyone has adopted these practices.

Alice responded 10 years ago: #3

Thank you for standing up for the many Americans faced with the reality of a corporate America stronghold. In today's world it is hard enough to find a descent job much less one that may be retained with gratitude to the employer and an overall sense of accomplishment and job security. It is about time that the employee who is the foundation to any business large or small is not recognized as a sheep dog but as the hard and devoted worker that he/she is. The employee deserves just as much respect as his/her employer and just as the employer owes the employee nothing at termination so too should the employee not be indebted to the employer. This is a country that is supposed to be of equal opportunity--equal respect and treatment should be included in this freedom.

Jack Jacobsen responded 10 years ago: #4

A certain Wisconsin utiLity very recentLy went through a "workforce reductIon exercise" thAt clearly demoNsTrates today's corporate callousness toward employees. Granted there is no good way to implement a "workforce reduction exercise". But they really mucked things up. Management announced the exercise a full month in advance! Some may think that this is good because it gives people time to absorb, plan, etc. The problem is they gave NO clues as to who may be affected, leaving everything up to speculation and rumor. And boy did the rumors fly! The result was that virtually every employee went into "coast mode" doing as little real work as possible (why should I bust my a-- when I may be walked out the door soon?). Not only did productivity go down the crapper (great way to spend your rate-payers' money by the way) along with morale, management (in their infinite wisdom) gave anyone that may have already had a vendetta against them a whole month to plan their revenge! Doh!

Funny thing though. The executives that screwed up the company in the first place still have their jobs. This makes sense I guess since those darn employees should be held accountable for executive mismanagement! Right?

Evony responded 9 years ago: #5

Mr. Carlini,

I just finsihed reading yourarticle entitled "Ready to leave? Why you shouldn't give two weeks' notice" (Wisconsin Technology Network, 04/27/05). It is refershing for someone to write about some of the injustices played out on American employees everyday by American corporations.
I recently gave my 2 week notice of resignation to my employer and am absolutely applaed by the way I'm being treated. Not only was I overworked, (severely) underpaid and underappreciated for 3 1/2 years here, I was told that giving only 2 weeks notice is unprofessional. Thats funny because a coworker of mine was told her servcies were no longer needed and escorted out of the building the very same day!
As far as I know, New York is an employement at will state, meaning that my employer can fire me for no reason (as long as it's not a federally protected reason, i.e., race, religion) and I can resign for no reason. I do not feel that I owe my employer an explanation, although they have been continually asking me for one.
In an ideal world, we would all want to give our employers notice of our impending departure far in advance and vice versa. However, this is far from an ideal world and I feel that American corprations are partly to blame for that. They made their bed and they now have to lie in it!

Antoine responded 9 years ago: #6

This is funny, i'm on the Internet doing soem research for a company i'm having an interview with and I come across this article infomring me of how to give notice of my departure from my current company. This is exactly what I've been thinking about the last few days. How am I going to let them know I'm done here. I live in Chicago where we also have the employement at will law. My company uses that way too much. The thing is I wnat to give two weeks notice, because I was raised and taught to do that because it is respectable. On the other hand I feel that my company will do exactly what Mr. Carlini said and just show me the door soon as I turn in my letter. This is very disheartning because as employers we are the ones who need to show the most respect to the owners, managers, and higher-ups. They have absolutely no respect for their employees who basically help their business become Fortune 500 companies. Why is it one way for us and not the same way for the other. I just that is how the world turns. It looks like if I receive this job i'm interviewing for I will see which method worked the best. Great article.

James Carlini responded 9 years ago: #7

Thank you for your comments as this article pops up FIRST on a GOOGLE search when you type in "Giving notice when leaving a company".

As both an employee and employer in my career, I would say that the job market as changed. The "honorable" thing to do - as some people will pressure you with - is to be loyal to yourself first. If you were treated fairly and it is a good company, use your own judgment. But in the case that so many have provided as their 'situation", I believe that giving what the company is giving - immediate departure - should not be viewed as negative or unAmerican but standard business practice that the companies themselves have instituted.

With security issues being what they are, I know that companies will say it is for security purposes that you have to be let go the same day. It works for the individual as well and I have personally seen this with several close friends - you should leave immediately so you do not stay on another two weeks and if something is not finished you become the scapegoat for everything thet has messed up in the last six months.

I have been criticized by several "experts" in the human resources area but I believe that they have a jaundiced view of people leaving the company. When it is to the company's advantage from a pay and benefits standpoint, they want people to leave immediately. When an individual leaves, they want them to give "adequate" notice so that the company is not left in a lurch. If you do not have an employment contract that specifically spells out that either side has to give a 14 day or 30 day notice to the other side, you as an individual are not obligated to give ANY notice and are probably better off for a myriad of reasons to just leave the day you give notice. "Experts" advising you to give adequate notice with the threat of "don't burn your bridges" are still living in the threatening times of the 1930s.

Michelle responded 9 years ago: #8

Thanks for this article! I work in the education field, and I put in notice the Monday after Thanksgiving, wanting my termination date to be Dec. 16th. Since I don't have any students, I didn't think this would be a problem. But in the field of education, we sign yearly contracts and it is hard to replace people halfway through the school year. I had a conversation with my boss about all of this and we kind of worked out a "plan" for me to finish up some things before I leave - which is now planned for mid-January. That was all fine with me, but now that I've announced my resignation, there's a coolness around the office and I really don't feel comfortable there any more. I agreed to finish up 2 projects before leaving and I'm sure that I will, but I would advise anyone else in the education field (where it's hard to find/replace people in the middle of the school year) to have a plan for unfinished business prior to turning in a resignation. Have it set such that someone (in my case an outside, probably a retired educator who will be contracted) could walk into your office and take over the next day. I don't want to burn bridges, but I don't want to be burned, either, and be the scapegoat for anything that goes wrong for the next six weeks.

James Carlini responded 9 years ago: #9

Exactly right. Yours is a little different due to contracts so read the fine print. But as far as not wanting to be scapegoat for tha last six months of any problems you are absolutley right.

So many see the person leaving as the perfect person to pin the blame on.

More people are starting to see that giving notice is not as noble as it once was because there are so many other factors.

I knew of one administrative officer where upon resignation they asked her to stay a minimum of three months. Sorry - the other organization is not going to wait three months.

Sometimes immediate departure is the most noble thing to do for ALL parties involved. Disagree? Then many mainstream companies are not being noble then - including the phone companies and utilities.

Joe responded 9 years ago: #10

This whole thing about giving a 2-week notice is for the birds! I just received a reply to a job I had applied for, which is far better than the one I had, gave my 2-week notice, like a good guy, and was let go from my then workplace within just a couple days. Was just called up and told to come get my final check! Now I am sitting and waiting for my new job to begin! Guess I won't make that same mistake again.

Dave responded 9 years ago: #11

It is ridiculous to believe that one size fits all - most people don't work for the company - they work for their manager, their manager's manager or their team. In the year 2005 it is quite possible they may have worked with these people previously at other companies. Just up and leaving with no notice to the PEOPLE (not the company) should be considered a bridge burner. This is true if you have close relationships with people you work with - either you brought them in or they brought you in. I myself had had to layoff the same person twice at two different companies. I have also been rehired by someone who laid me off. If the people involved had not had open and honest communication - "we are losing $ faster than we are making it - see the chart" and "I would hire you again/work for you again" then the scenarios above would not have been possible

John Ashton responded 9 years ago: #12

I happened across the various comments about employment notice and I, like one of the respondents have never had a problem with giving notice and immediately asked to leave in all of my 50 year working life. Yes, in the early 60's an aerospace company laid off many hundreds of people who were quickly processed through door number 1, number 2 etc and we were out of there in three days. We all got handshakes and best wishes. At other companies since where I gave two to three weeks notice, I worked down to the last minute, and in several cases beyond that because I wanted to clear up some work related items. At the company that I retired from, I extended my stay about 3 weeks past when I wanted to leave at my employers request. To finalize this blurb, I say give your employer some decent notice. Then immediately say I still have some pressing work to take care of but if you feel it best to leave immediately, tommorrow, or whatever, that's ok with me. A person who does that will always get a decent recommendation.

Jenin Wright responded 9 years ago: #13

I need an advice of what to do. I joined as a temp and I was converted into a fulltime employee within a month. Being a foreign national the company had to spend around 2.5k to convert me a FTE. Now, after working for only a month I got another better offer in a different state. The offer is at least 30K more than the present one. My present manager is a nice guy. Although I don't want to lose the new offer, I really am ashamed to tell about my resignation. I am undecided about what to do or how to break the news to my manager. Any advice is highly highly appreciated.

Tomara responded 9 years ago: #14

Well, I have decided I am leaving my job, but I can't decide whether to give two weeks' or 24-hours' notice. I am so worried that if I give two weeks, my bosses will nit-pick at me and/or just outright fire me before the time is up, but then on the other hand I keep being pressured by my mother and husband to "do the right thing" or else the company will give me a bad reference later. One of the main reasons I am leaving is because the environment is just too stressful and it has started to really impact me physically. I just want to turn in my letter in the morning and tell them it is efffective at close of business on Monday. I don't know why this has to be so difficult, especially since in the huge company i work for, people are so expendable. How bad can it really make it to get a job in the future if they say I am ineligible for re-hire?

carlini responded 9 years ago: #15

Give a one day notice and leave that day. Get your vacation days in order and turn back all materials and keys. Most large companies can only affirm that you worked there, from date to date, and what your title was. If they do any more , they run the risk of someone suing them and most companies want to avoid that. So again, two weeks is not necessary especially if you think the environment is so negative that you are just going to be more used and abused.
And if they that bad - you are never going to get a good reference anyway.

Monica responded 9 years ago: #16

Dear Mr. Carlini,

Thanks so much for this website.

I left my employer May 2005. Upon my resignation, my employer asked me in writing to stay on with them; however they refused to address my concerns regarding an unethical coworker that was lying, gossiping, and stealing.

As required by my contract, and with heavy expectation on my part to do-the right-thing, I gave a two week notice to leave. Unexpectedly one week into the notice, they publicly walked me out the door in front of staff, kept $9,000 of back commission wages, and put out a defaming letter to my past clients. This letter produced 34 client and employee telephone calls to my personal residence asking 'what happened' - this questioning was very embarrassing as I had to take the high road with regard to speaking negatively about this employer. Although this event happened 9 months ago, I still continue to receive phone calls from clients.
Sidebar: As my senior VP – the person that made the call to exit me in this fashion – was escorting me to my vehicle, he actually turned to me and said “Monica, I want to give you a hug and say goodbye”. I can’t say in print what my response was back to him.

I knew in my heart I was leaving the company for the right reasons, but because I would not stay on the company ego kicked into high gear and they chose a malicious exit for me. Unfortunately, the trauma of this humiliating exit has rendered me unable to return to work – as I’ve had recurring thoughts of ‘what did I do wrong in this situation’. I've had to file bankruptcy; I'm in foreclosure on my home. And to be honest, I’ve had momentary thoughts of taking my life. The back wages the company kept from me would have allowed me to stay in my home. I'm a single parent with a small child and sadly my depression has caused him pain.

My question is: Why, when you work with the highest intention for your employer, remain ethical in communication and interactions, practice honesty and high ethics, receive outstanding sales awards, create a repeat clientele base, provide proper notice to leave, would a company treat a me or anyone else like this? Is it simply company ego?

I’m unclear what proper work ethic is within the corporate structure, as the reward for acting with integrity is repaid by public humiliation, nonpayment of wages and loss of reputation.

If I ever decide to leave a job again, I will not be giving a two week notice. The valuable insight and comments from this website has started my healing process, thank you.

Elizabeth responded 9 years ago: #17

AHHHH!!! I am so frustrated and confused! Please help me with this awful decision. Unlike most comments that I have read with your article, I am employed in a medical office. I have only been with them for approx. 4 months. I was offered a position with another practice about 1 month ago, and I accepted and gave 2 weeks notice. My reason for leaving was because of distance and time with my family. All of the physicians including the owner of the company came to me at different times during my 2 week notice to try and talk me into staying. The owner gave me the option of changing my hours, and increasing my pay to better facilitate my family needs. Everything was given to me in writing, and it was looking as if it were a smart move to stay. The only thing was that they wanted me to switch which physician I was working with due to my streghths. I accepted, and stayed. The switch of physicians has not been a good switch. Yes, I have been able to keep my head above water with the new doc., however, it has caused a ton of stress with physical and mental problems. I have been asked to take on more responsiblities that 3 people could not do!! Anyhow, I was contacted by someone that was opening a new facility in a different field of medicine and they wanted to interview me. I was not looking for a new job, but I went and interviewed anyhow. Well this was just in the last week, and I received an offer that will increase my pay, lessen my workload (by a million tons), give me better hours, and is closer to home. I believe everything happens for a reason, and when something like this just "falls" into your lap, you shouldn't ignore it. You know "looking a gift horse in the mouth" sort of thing. Anyhow, after considering the opportunities, I have accepted the new postion. Now comes the issue with 2 weeks notice, AGAIN!!! Let alone only a month later!! I am to start my new postion exactly 2 weeks from this Monday due to specialized training out of state. After all the stress that they gave me the first time around I am inclined not to give any notice at all, however, I am still torn about the "right thing to do". Because my situation is a little different from those above, I am seeking any information and advise that is available. Again, please help!!!

CARLINI responded 9 years ago: #18

Stop the Stress -- LEAVE. My wife had a stressful job and left. Her doctor said to leave as it was causing stress-related blood pressure issues (145 over 90). She left and her blood pressure after 8 months is 100 over 68. He said it is remarkable - I said it was the right thing to do. PLUS she is NOT taking any NEXIUM anymore for a reflux problem.

Three things in looking at a new job:

If you can get two out of the three MOVE. If it also lessens your stress - MOVE IMMEDIATELY. Look at your paychecks. Nothing on your paycheck adds money for job-related stress. BUT-- job-related stress WILL increase your doctor bills SIGNIFICANTLY. Few places pay 100% medical so you are incurring costs that are not covered. Life is too short. Those that CAUSE Stress need a little stress themselves - if they figure you have left them in a lurch. Maybe they will be nicer to the next person. BUT don't count on it. You do not owe anyone two weeks. Stress isn't part of your paycheck but it is part of your doctor bills.

Heather responded 9 years ago: #19

Well, I thought I was taking the high ground. I told my boss that I was unhappy with the company and my position, and that I was going to start looking for a new job. I thought by giving them a heads up they would have more time to find a replacement. With the market as good as it is right now, I interviewed and accepted a new job within 6 business days from the initial conversation I had with my boss. I submitted a letter of resignation giving 3 weeks notice. My boss was furious and said my last day was that day. So much for trying to be decent to my co-workers and my boss... If there's ever a next time, I'll take the "me-first" attitude and resign and leave on the same day.

Panda responded 9 years ago: #20

Let me ask for anyones opinion job sucks. For several reasons; pay, coworkers, my boss' attitude. I know that it is only a matter of time before I am laid off or fired.
Which is better? Leaving without another job under my belt, or biting the bullet and trying to find another job, but risk being laid off? My concern is that my next employer might hear that I was laid off and didn't leave of my own free will.

WikiMan responded 9 years ago: #21

I agree with you in theory that you should leave on the day you announce your departure. You're right, it's completely unfair that when a company fires you, they get to do so instantly, yet the employee is supposed to give 2-4 weeks notice. However, I disagree with you in practice. Not when there are are references and "Ineligible for Rehire" designations on the line. Maybe it's illegal in some states for former employers to rag on you to potential new ones, but it happens.

What I'd like to stress is that if your departure is going to be an uncomfortable one, and that will probably be the case with a spotaneous quit, get written proof that you returned everything when you left. Three years ago, my parting with my employer was not an amicable one. To get revenge, the employer falsely accused me of stealing $200 worth of company property. After being arrested and held in jail until I made bail, I went through eight months of legal wrangling with the employer making demands completely unrelated to the case. The employer even unsuccessfully attempted to use the court case to get me kicked out of a professional organization. I now have a criminal record for an accused theft that never happened. (The same employer falsely advised Child Protective Services that the employee before me was abusing her child. Not savory people.)

So, whatever you do, get proof you returned your files, keys, laptop, and whatever else they issued you. Keep that proof.

tj responded 9 years ago: #22

I have decided to leave my current job without notice, based on our small company's history of 'not taking it well' when someone decides to leave. I was planning to map out the projects I am involved in for the next person, as well as leave all important codes, keys, etc. Finally,I thought it would be helpful to my co-workers to be available for questions via e-mail over the next few months. Do you think that this idea will help soften the blow? I don't want my co-workers to be left completely unquided, but I just can't give any notice.

James Carlini responded 9 years ago: #23

You sound like you are trying to cover all of the bases and should be commended. If you know your company reacts negatively to departures, you might as well insure your departure to be smooth. Prepare your projects to turn them over and make sure you return all your keys, etc.

As to making yourself available for questions, that is good but be careful as the company may not want your input after you leave.
WikiMan -
Sounds like you would not have gotten a good reference from your company in any case. Sometimes departing immediately (after you have turned in everything - I agree with you about this) is the best way to go.
I think many people are starting to rethink how they leave. There is no obligatory two-week notice and even if you do give one - that does NOT insure any good reference.

Choyce responded 9 years ago: #24

I have read the entire article and it raises one other question. If an employee gives two weeks notice in writing and the firm decides that they should leave immediately, doesn't the employer have to pay that employee through the effective date originally given in the resignation letter?

Suchet responded 9 years ago: #25

Hi Im not an American, I came across this website by chance - I'm an Indian and I live in England - I do work for very big worldwide corporation that covers America and most of the globe.

I made a complaint against a manager who committed a gross misconduct, breached the Data Protection Act and Disability Discrimination Act. I was backed up by union members in my complaint - I had a lot of evidence in my favour - But the corporation did nothing -

Even though it was evident I had been mis-treated by the manager -Nothing was done about it - In fact they tried to threaten me with disciplinary action instead - even though my complaint wasnt against the corporation itself (Whom I have been working under for many years.).

Im now in the process of looking for other work. There is no way I would give them a 4 week notice or even a 1 week notice - If I find a job tommorow, Ill send them a quick email telling them of my resignation. Because believe it or not some companies will treat you badly if you do something that they dont like - even if it is something that is well within your rights ie like resigning.

Whats the worst that can happen if I leave rapidly? they'll say it in their reference that I left without hanging around for 2 to 4 weeks.

I dont know what the legal side of things are in the USA whether you legaly have to have a notice period or not - but I feel workers/employees should think and sum up their options carefuly before they leave.

Pamela Kambic responded 9 years ago: #26

there is definitely something wrong with you. I was just laid off after 20 years and I am the one who helped my boss make the business grow. It was once just us two. Oh yes thank you so much for using me all those years and now that you have 3 businesses and many more employees your going to lay me off because it has gotten slower and I am the only employee who gets salary and everyone gets 10 percent of every bail. I get paid whether I write a bail or not but thats how you did things 20 years ago so I'm getting laid off because of a contract we made at the beginning

Sherrodzilla responded 9 years ago: #27

I came into this article thinking that it would be absolutely wrong-headed. Glad to say that I came away convinced that this is the way to handle resigning.

James Carlini responded 9 years ago: #28

More and more people are "re-thinking" giving two-weeks notice. If your employer has been good and you have been treated fairly - by all means extend a two-week notice. But beware! Once you give notice due to security reasons, you might be escorted to the door.

Planning your departure is something you have to do just as employers plan layoffs and "force reductions". Don't buy the "don't burn your bridges" scare tactic. That just the warning from the 1930s management-style crowd who don't want to be left in a lurch by a quick departure. If they were taking care of you, chances are you would not have even started looking for a better opportunity.

Weston responded 9 years ago: #29

This article has changed my whole perspective on the classic methods of leaving a job. I'm only 20 and not very expierenced yet in the job market but recently I have heard down the grape vine that me and fellow co workers (ironically real life friends) being pinned as ring leaders as to why the productivity of our work force (stock crew at ) has been sluggish. This would not bother me if it was indeed true, however it would seem the four other people on stock crew have been untouchable sence we started. I was thinking of putting in my two weeks notice but felt an urge to get out as fast as I could to avoid any other possible ramifications involving taking the blame for other OBVIOUS co workers mistakes. After reading this article im convinced that one day notice is the right thing to do. If my managers can't tell their problems they may have with me to my face so that I have time to correct them, I see no reason to let them know how I intend on quiting tomarrow :).

KJohnson responded 8 years ago: #30

Employers themselves have created this change of attitude, in my opinion. In the past, I've given at least two to three weeks notice out of consideration and respect to the employer. As of recent, I've had plenty of friends, relatives and co-workers that have been terminated due to "cutbacks", "downsizing" and "re-structuring". People who have dedicated 10-35+ years to these companies. Did the companies offer these employees 2-3 weeks notice or a severance package of any kind? No. The soon to be former employees were told that their positions were being terminated and their insurance would end at midnight tonight. Nice. That's the American spirit. Then, as these former employees are doing job searches, they find that this same company has job postings for their previous position that was supposedly
"terminated". These companies are looking to younger and less experienced employees that won't get paid as much as their predecessors. So, do employers have the right to expect 2 weeks notice? I think not! I'm actually afraid to give a company more than 10 years of service due to fear of making more money than they are willing to pay and finding myself out on the unemployment line at the age of 54. My parents taught me dedication to a good employer; however, I have been re-trained to fear long-term dedication. Just be aware of the possibility of negative references. Employers may feel offended by an employee quitting without notice and may give subtle negative references that cost you a job in the future. Unfortunately, they won't be held accountable for this unless you can prove them to be deliberate or malicious, which is near impossible to do.

MIke responded 8 years ago: #31

I gave my boss 2 weeks notice in the form of a resignation letter and when I came in to work he fired me and said that 2 weeks would not be necessary. I signed for my last pay check and walked out. One week latter i learned that my former company had gone out of buisiness.

Julia responded 8 years ago: #32

Sure, it's not fair that employees should give two weeks notice when employers do not follow the same protocol.
However, if you want a good reference you will give it. This world is about who you know, and you never know when you may need someone. Burning bridges is a terrible action to advocate.
Five years after working in a company that has given you nothing but bad experiences, a former supervisor is more likely to remember you positively if the last thing you do for the company is done with professionalism and courtesy. You do not know who this former supervisor may know, and therefore, what weight their positive (or negative) description of you may have with your prospective employer.

Marilize responded 8 years ago: #33

I applied for a new job and luckily got it i need advice. I gave my two weeks notice and asked them if i could take my 3 days leabe i have at the end of my last notice week. They said no i even tried to ask them if i can come in earlier and take an 1hour and a half luch to go for training at my new firm. No feedback was givin on that. So yesterday the new company ph me and asked is their no way i can start on monday due to the lady that is supposed to give me training is also leaving earlier. So i went to my assistant manager and told her i am giving a 24 hours notice. She said she will come back to me. She did and they said they can not do that they wont let me leave due to people leaving and still owing the company money. But i did not have any pension or did any cources. So what can i do. I am feeling like just leaving and not coming back. Do you have any advice for me please.

karen responded 8 years ago: #34

I worked for a company for 14 years when suddenly we were told our jobs were being outsourced. I wrote this poem about it. Everyone I worked with wanted a copy of it. Here it is:


They say “it’s nothing personal”
No jobs for you and me
It’s getting too expensive
To run this company

Jobs are being outsourced
It’s time for us to go
Several years of service
Have gone out the window

Rumors, they are flying
Speculation’s in full swing
We ask the bosses questions
They won’t tell us anything

Greed is the reason
That’s what we all say
Employers fill their pockets
We’re the ones who pay

Doug responded 8 years ago: #35

My situation is a bit sticky...I was pushed out the door by a City employer last October, after working as a self-employed consultant through June of this year, I agreed to begin working for an environmental engineering firm two weeks ago. While self-employed I went on several job interviews throughout California, one of which was with a university located in Eureka, CA (in the middle of the Redwoods). Figuring that I did not get the job (because it was taking them so long), I accepted the engineering firm's very nice job offer. I also should mention that one of my early career mentor's from this firm is one of the managers and was probably very instrumental in getting me the job. The company offers a great work atmosphere and wonderfully diverse and stimulating project work,....but.....then there's the University Administrator job being offered to me in one of the most beautiful places in the U.S. AGHHH!!! What to do? The compensation packages that go with both job offers are very different, yet equally rewarding in different ways. Funny thing is that the process in the university offering me the position started even before I solicited the engineering firm, I even used my mentor from the firm as a reference, before knowing that they were looking for someone with my qualifications. How do I do this, do it I know my resignation will place this small work group in quite a predicament just based on the workload I have seen over the past two weeks? Any ideas? Two weeks, three weeks notice...let them keep my earnings for the two weeks I worked in good gesture? What?

Michael Hagerty responded 8 years ago: #36

Thank you for the advice. I have jumped from job to job in close to twenty years of professional experience. Bad management is a big burden I have faced. I like the new perspective. I agree that employers most likely would not give notice if you are going to be fired. But for those of us who need a job who are living check to check, giving notice seems like an acceptable practice. However, I have always wanted to leave without notice, but have not been able to financially. Corporate America and government have become to callous and lazy. There is no accountability, just chest thumping and distorted facts.

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #37

As you can see from the ongoing comments, this is a critical issue. I did not think of this as an ongoing column but I will try to provide some ideas and perspective.

Julie - I hate to burst your bubble, but no one is "advocating to burn bridges". What bridges??

The reality is that if you were treated badly for the time you were at a company by poor management, do you REALLY believe that all of a sudden they are going to wake up and bestow great recognition on you because you gave them two-weeks notice?

That former supervisor that you give as an example - if that person did nothing for you for five years (using your example) do you think that they are going to step up and say you are a great person? They never did in any of your reviews, why should they start now????? If they recognized you (with pay or promotion) you would have never started looking to leave in the first place. Check your logic, Julie.

As I said in earlier comments, two-week notices are an option based on whether or not the company earned that from you through how they treated you. When you decide to leave, ask yourself the question - did they earn the two-week notice? I think the vast majority of people today would say no.

Companies typically will give dates of employment and position title. Anything more than that and they can open themselves up to lawsuits. The major companies follow that practice.

DOUG - yes you are in a sticky situation but if things were reversed, chances are the company would let you go based on lack of job revenues. If you really want the University job take it and give what you think is proper notice - one week or two-weeks as long as you don't jeopardize the job you are going to.

If you think staying is a better career move then stay and forget the opportunity in California with no regrets.

You have to manage your career as a business as well and making tough decisions is part of that. No one else owns that business or benefits from it. If you make the wrong move, no one cares.

Cory responded 8 years ago: #38

I left my job because I caught my previous boss in several lies. She would make a huge mistake and roll it over on her employees. As an acting Operations manager, she tried to roll one onto myself and this really concerned me. She is called a VP but she does not hold the credentials for this position at all. She has been the creation of a lot of the company issues and will continue to be the creation for issues to come. I decided to get out while I can for the simple reason to protect myself and my career. I have worked very hard to get to where I am at and I will not let an under educated direct report lie and blame me for her own short comings. Her actions were almost insane. What really blew my mind is the owner does not seem to have a clue of what this woman is doing to her company. The VP continued take take credit for our own educated decisions to benefit the company. This owner is very lucky to have a small group of worker mules that are too burnt out to look for better opportunities elsewhere. It is very sad that she can't see that the woman in charge of her company is nothing but a leach hanging on through lies and ego. Pretty pothetic but true. I quit the same day and did not have a job to fall into. It was best for me to move on for my self dignity and sanity as I refuse to report dirtectly to a liar. I am way to professional for that type of environment.

JON responded 8 years ago: #39

If you give 2 weeks notice and the company decides to show you the door, do you still get compensated for those 2 weeks?

Binze responded 8 years ago: #40


Mr. Carlini may disagree with this, but in my experience the answer is an undisputable NO. When you are "shown the door," you are being fired. You do not get paid after you are fired.

By the way, from unpleasant personal experience, I once gave 2 weeks notice, and in response I was told "you're not going to resign because YOU'RE FIRED. Now get the (bleep) out of here." It was very ugly and unprofessional, but that's how some companies are run.

Incidentally, since I was fired, I applied for unemployment. I was turned down by the state labor people (this was in Colorado) because they said they had called my employer, and told me they learned that even though I was fired, because I had given notice first, I could not get unemployment.

That, as you might expect, really (bleeped) me off.

Mr. Carlini, you are right. You don't owe an employer anything. If you do give some notice, it is merely a descretionary personal favor, not some obligation.

Binze responded 8 years ago: #41

One more thing I thought of regarding leaving without 2 weeks' notice (or rather my wife thought of when we discussed this issue). She asked me what I would tell my new empoyer when they ask me when I would be available.

If you tell your future employer you are ready immediately (because you aren't giving 2 weeks' notice), they will likely wonder why you are available immediately ("What? Aren't you giving 2 weeks' notice for XZY corp?"), and this may give them a bad impression of you right off the bat.

It's not fair, but the whole interview process, based on immediate surface impressions, is not fair.

Also, if I tell my future employer my availability is 2 weeks when I'm really not giving 2 weeks' notice is not an option for me. I can't afford to take 2 weeks off unpaid between jobs.

So it looks like a "gotcha" in favor of the employer.

Sure, we shouldn't owe any employer 2 weeks -- they never give their employees 2 weeks' notice before firing or lay-offs. Sure, it has nothing to do with one's "professional obligations," and as you pointed out, there are advantages to both side in NOT giving 2 weeks' notice.

But in reality, even when you have every reason and desire to not give 2 weeks' notice, you really can't for fear of possibly harming your beginning relationship with the future employer, at a point in the relationship when it is most vulnerable to mistaken or bad impressions.

It's a rotten double standard, and I'm sure employers like it that way.

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #42


You are right. The only thing you would be paid for is unused vacation time. As for getting paid the two weeks, Jon - if you are shown the door immediately. NO. You gave two-weeks notice, but we decide it is better for you to leave now - the company does NOT have to give you two weeks compensation - only whatever accrued vacation time you have coming. To those that say you don't want to burn a bridge -- what is the company doing at that point?
Times and policies have changed.

Binze responded 8 years ago: #43

I think there could be some concern or even suspicion about your reliability at the new company, simply because having left without such notice is often still looked down upon.

I am currently looking for a new job. My boss is an unethical and abusive manager who often lies to his employees and our clients. This behavior is ignored or excused (sometimes even denied -- yikes!) by the V.P., who is his boss and who hired him. He has other connections too, and he's younger than me, [and] he has years more of senority. All of this has created some of the worst stress I have encountered in my professional life, so I have reluctantly concluded my best option is to leave immediately.

I am interviewing now for other jobs. And I've love to not give 2 weeks notice. But I am afraid of what the new employers might think of this, as I think it will be easy for anyone to guess if I say I am available immediately.

I've decided for this reason alone to give 2 weeks notice, even though everything Mr. Carlini has said (and I agree with) says "Don't do it."

I am going to give 2 weeks notice because I so badly want to have a good work relationship. I don't give a hoot about bridges behind me -- they burnt them themselves a year ago. And I'd be a bloody fool to think that supervisor would ever give me a truthful and decent reference.

But I do care about what lies in front of me. And that's the "Gotcha."

Until most employers accept resignations without 2 weeks notice, and such a practice is widely held to be OK, it really isn't a practical option. There's still too much prejudice among employers for leaving without 2 weeks notice.

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #44


It is a triple standard. Look what CEOs do. They leave with no notice and are not looked down upon for it at all. It's standard procedure.

No, I think what we are moving to is a more well-defined process where you have a termination clause (all levels and it is mutual - 30 day notice, etc.)

Some people were told about this several years ago when they got bounced out of corporations aburptly, but it is a long process to change. They were told to ask for that at their next job. Some did some didn't. In any case, looking at all the feedback and the concerns. Nothing is in concrete anymore unless it's part of a contract, which I would recommend at ALL levels. When you get to certain levels, there are mutual 30-, 60-, 90-day notices where if you are working on something substantial, you just can't up and leave. BUT the same applies to the company then. They cannot just abruptly let you go.

Laura responded 8 years ago: #45

I have a question. I gave my two week's notice, via e-mailed letter of resignation, last Friday, and on Monday my boss said, "To ease the transition, why don't you only come in from 12-4," meaning I am only working part time, and getting paid half as much. I told my friend, and she said it was illegal to dock someone's pay and hours like that after she has given notice. Is it?

Marie responded 8 years ago: #46

I'm glad I found someone who agrees with me on giving notice when quitting a job. So many other places say to give proper notice, but each situation is unique. My own will come to an end on Monday when I put my keys and resignation letter on the owner's desk. In this office, which I've been a part of since it opened 2 years ago, the owner will release anyone who even hints at looking for another job - she is a very smart, but very, very vindictive person.

My health has deteriorated over the last 6 months since the firings of approx. 1 employee a month (our office only has 12 workers). Just last week, I was given a written warning, with an unprofessional threat included, concerning a major mistake the owner made and is blaming me for.

The kicker is she relies on me for the daily management of the office and, even though I wish I could finish up everything left undone (and it's daunting since I've been out with pneumonia this entire week - but managed to go in for a few hours for a couple of days), I don't think I'd be allowed to stay or if I was allowed, then my time there would be miserable.

I'm 45 and a little afraid with no immediate job prospects, but more relieved that I'm getting out of a hell hole.

Shane responded 8 years ago: #47

Quick question. I have a job at Walmart(whatever pays the bills for college), and I cannot stand the job. I have since attained a job elsewhere and cannot imagine myself going through another two weeks of work for them, much less the fact that I will then be working around 60 to 65 hours over the next two weeks, not including 17 credit hours of college. I cannot hope to perform both well, and I really do not want to give a two-week notice. Can not giving the two-week notice hurt me?

Stephen responded 8 years ago: #48

I am currently working with a company I have been with for two years. I already have another job and have given two weeks notice to my employers. The rub is, that before I handed in my notice, I was told I would recieve a bonus for extra work I provided for the company during a two week management transition. My former Executive Chef resigned and we have a new chef that has been with us for about two weeks. I have helped with all managerial duties in that two week period and the week prior to my former chef's resignation.

The added duties were what I was promised the bonus for. During the transition I was offered a better position. I took it... more money, better benefits, better resume... so on and so on. Now today, when I recieved the check which was supposed to have the added bonus on it, I was extremely disappointed. Four days left on my notice and I don't think I will be fulfilling my two weeks for them. Empty promise after empty promise, and I'm still supposed to do the "right thing." (Bleeps) me off. Anyway, thanks for the article.

Stephanie Laugesen responded 8 years ago: #49

I wish I had read this article before I turned in my two week notice. As I was on my way home, I received a phone call from the General Manager. She told me that I had to come back in and turn in my keys, that they were letting me go that day. Then she went on to give me a threat, thinly veiled as a reminder, about the confidentiality agreement I had signed at the start of my employment four years ago. In my two week notice, I did NOT state which company I was going to work for, simply that I had found a position closer to where I live. Which is true.

The company has a confidentiality agreement and an exclusive employment agreement, but NO noncompetition agreement. Can they legally terminate me on the first day of my notice? I have had no problems with the company that would give them reason to terminate me.

roland g responded 8 years ago: #50

I'm from Texas. On 8/31/06 (via dated hand written letter) I wrote to my employer, "Please accept my two weeks notice of resignation." The employer took my letter and wrote on the bottom "We accept your resignation effective immediately."
Question: Since the company accelerated by 2 weeks notice dated 8/31/06, must they pay me for the 2 weeks in lieu of serving out my notice?

Binze responded 8 years ago: #51

Laura said: I told my friend, and she said it was illegal to dock someone's pay and hours like that after she has given notice. Is it?

They can do what ever the (bleep) they want after you give notice. They can let you go that very day, as Stephanie Laugesen related in her later post. They just have to pay you compensation due (wages or vacation accured).

This underscores what Mr. Carlini was pointing out - that not giving two weeks notice protects you. However, I can't recall if he mentioned this particular reason: Your new employers are not expecting you for two weeks, and you might suddenly found yourself unemployed for that two-week period. Stephanie was probably counting on that last two weeks of income. When she got shafted, she suddenly faced a 2 week shortfall of income.

If you give two weeks notice, you have to plan on that income. But it is not at all a sure thing. You may just find yourself not being able to pay critical bills as a result of an un-anticipated shortfall.

Shane, just my opinion but unless you got that bonus due to you in writing, I'm gonna guess you won't see a nickle of it. You can't prove it, so therefore it doesn't exist as compensation due to you. You won't be the first to be cheated this way. Or the last.

By the way Mr. Carlini, I decided not to give two weeks notice myself. I do agree with all your reasons you gave (and the above one I gave too) but my job is union-sponsored, and after re-reading your advice, I carefully re-read my union agreement regarding resignation. And I discovered I legally have to give two weeks notice. But darn it, my employer doesn't have to reciprocate. It's there in the union labor contract.

WTF were my union dues for? I have heard labor has been under intense attack for that past few years and I am thinking I am seeing the fallout from this. Even a union can't level the field here.

Are we entering a new Guilded Age? I read a a few months ago that Wal-mart wants an easing of child labor laws. It's starting to morph into the 1890's all over again. (If you think the Guilded Age was good for anyone but the wealthy, Google the working conditions during that period - the anarchist bombers of the decade following didn't spring out of thin air).

-- Binze

LauraJ responded 8 years ago: #52

I'm so happy I came upon this article - it is still the first thing that comes up when you Google "how to give notice!" I've been a drone for the company I work for for about two years longer than I should have. I am currently interviewing for another position and I was considering giving two weeks notice, but FORGET IT!

I also wanted to share this gem of a story - an example of how expendable my company sees us. I work in retail(call center ordering type setting-but a VERY small company), and the holidays are the most stressful time of year - many times we are busy until the first or second week of January to get everything shipped. A co-worker of mine (who was NOT hired for holiday help!!) was let go on CHRISTMAS EVE this past year after she finished her shift. They just took her aside as she was clocking out, saying her services for the season were no longer needed. She had done nothing wrong, had been a very industrious and efficient employee. I have NEVER heard of something so heartless. Basically "Thanks for your soul for 50 hours a week during the holidays, Merry Christmas, you're fired!" She was also a single mother with two kids.

So... remembering this personal example of a extreme lack of professionalism and now reading this article has snapped me back into reality that a two-week notice is definitely not something that is necessary, since they cannot even grant consideration even during the holidays when someone's struggling to get food on the table, let alone gifts under a tree. I guess I am lucky not to have suffered the same fate in the meantime. I actually had a fleeting thought that they would let me go when I got back from my Grandfather's funeral, since I had to take two extra days to stay and settle estate issues.

The company is also an 'at will' employer. As in, "we will [bleep] you over at will." I think it's time for me to be an 'at will' employee and move on. Thanks Jim Carlini!!! :)


James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #53

I am very glad that people are shedding more light on this "area of concern" as you can all see - the HR "experts" are all wet on their advice to "not burn any bridges."

Immediate dismissal upon the employee giving notice is the safe way to go from the organization's view. AND YOU DON'T GET two weeks extra pay because you were "courteous" to give them two-weeks notice. They might give you it or they may not. That is discretionary. Vacation pay is mandatory that they pay.

As for everyone's personal story some sound illegal or at best very shady as to management practices.

BINZE - you are right. You may be without any pay for two weeks (except for any accrued vacation), so plan accordingly. Funny how you don't learn any of this in college, isn't it?

bkm responded 8 years ago: #54

This article somewhat validated my approach, but I'd like your comments and input to my situation. I had left a previous company with two weeks without a problem, and took a role with a mid-sized firm about two weeks ago. This job was my second choice. After starting, I've found that the role isn't what I understood it to be during the interview process and success there will be predicated on working with my boss behind his boss' back, among other slightly unethical things.

My first choice, another firm in a different industry, finally called me back and offered me a much better title, 25 percent more pay, stock options, and more. The decision to leave is a no-brainer. As I've been there only two weeks, I feel no stress in giving one day. I want to ensure my new job opportunity is locked-in before I give notice, which should come this week.

I expect it will be ugly as my current company has already pegged me with a log of responsibilities to drive and address several issues - two weeks would be awkward. I can't imagine a situation where I'd need my present boss (or company) as a reference, as I've only been there two weeks and they are not tops in their industry. I'm planning to give notice on a Thursday mid-day (he's on the east coast) with my last day on Friday. Any further advice or inputs on my logic? Thanks

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #55

Common sense dictates. Sounds like there is some questions about integrity at the place you are leaving. AND you are absolutely right. You are not going to be there a month, no need for a reference and probably in the long run, some would say to leave it off your resume entirely. I would agree with that approach. Go with a clear conscious. As for the responsibilities - don't take any guilt trip from them. They have much bigger problems with their chain of management. Leave before you get tainted by any of it.

Myra responded 8 years ago: #56

I just recently returned to my job after being on maternity leave for 14 weeks. While I was pregnant, my husband and I had already decided I was going to go back to work and then quit immediately.

I was going to do this because I read somewhere that my employer could request I pay my health insurance benefits if I failed to return from maternity leave. So this is what I'm doing: I have been back at work since after labor day weekend and today I decided to turn in my resignation letter but was having trouble with whether to give notice. My plans were and still are to go in tomorrow morning and turn in my letter so it can be faxed to my supervisor and HR. I will return my office keys, remove all my belongings and leave. Like it was mentioned before, I feel that this company did not earn my two-week's notice. I am still wondering if I had to go through the trouble of coming back to work and then leaving (health insurance). I am also wondering if I should talk to my supervisor or just have my co-workers fax my letter. I would prefer not to have to talk to him because I know he will be confrontational.

This website made me feel much better about my decision to not give any notice, since everyone else - including my husband - was kind of iffy about the whole notice thing. :)

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #57

I do not check this article everyday, but it looks like I should. In your case, I would make ABSOLUTELY sure about the policy regarding health care re-imbursement.

Even if confrontational - you should resign or hand in your resignation letter in person. You do not need to listen to any two-hour rebuttal, just act very professional and say that as of this day, you are resigning from the company.

EVERYONE READING THIS REMEMBER: what does a company say when it lets go of employees - good, bad, or indifferent? It is brief and to the point. Thank you for your services, but we believe it is time to end our association. If you have been in a pressure situation, why waste your time arguing? It will not change anything.

And counter offers? If they valued you before, they would have gotten you the raise or promotion. A counter offer may sound very sweet, but it's just to hold you there until they find a replacement. Then they get rid of you and you are left with no job to go to.

GW responded 8 years ago: #58

My husband and his co-worker just gave 2 weeks' notice at their old job because they were hired by a competitor. They were escorted out the same day, as is company policy for such cases. They each received one day's pay. It really is a Catch 22 for employees. Fortunately, the new company knew all about the one they worked for and knew they'd likely be let go the same day, and they began paying the guys immediately.

Anne responded 8 years ago: #59

Mr. Carlini, I've been reading this discussion with interest. I do see your point and for the most part agree. The situation I'm in will be a bit awkward when I leave and I could use some advice. The new position is more money, more advancement and closer to my passion, all the reasons to take the job. On the flip side, I seriously disagree with the business philosophy, ethics, and management in my current position, and in fact, would consider a pay decrease to leave.

Where it gets sticky is that the new position is within my current group's customer base (we are an IT support group.) Not only that, part of my new duties will be acting as a liaison between my new group and my current group. The new group is fully aware of the difficulty in that. To muck up things a bit more, part of the reason I am being hired is that my new group wants to ultimately stop using the IT support group and hire their own internal support. The loss of revenue to the support group from this is very likely to put them under. Essentially, I’m resigned to the fact that this is going to cause some very bad blood and I will most likely be blamed for this.

I can handle that. But because both of these groups are within the same university system, it is also very likely that the impact of burning these bridges is going to exist in close proximity to me for a very long time. In regards to giving notice, any other job..I would obviously give notice the day I resigned, but given that I am actually not leaving the overall campus, and will be working with these folks for approximately a year, I don’t know that leaving without notice is the best move in this particular situation. I know I can’t make this all sugar and sweet, but is giving notice of any length going to minimize the fallout in your estimation?

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #60

Universities are a whole different animal. Very political and many times very vindictive. Giving notice and going to another internal department is something to really be careful with, especially if you are still going to work with those people.

Giving two-weeks notice will not do you any good except to say that you gave two-weeks notice. Would one week notice suffice? Would three be better? Just stick with two and no one can fault you for that (that's the traditional logic).

In reality, you will always be looked at with some contempt but that's life. Like everyone else, your argument should be that you had to look out for yourself and if they were in the same position they would do exactly the same.

Melanie responded 8 years ago: #61

Hi! I have been reading this information today with interest!!

I work for a rather large company (Verizon) - I've been an employee for 2 years.

In the first year & a half, I was treated so horrendously - but I stuck with it because I couldn't afford to just quit. I was eventually able to transfer out of the department into the department I'm currently in - and boy did it come with its own set of demons!

I'm humiliated frequently by one of my directors, I'm overwhelmed with the amount of work I'm handling, I have to come in at 3AM some days just to try and keep up with the workload! I'm supposed to be paid overtime but because of budget concerns, they refuse to pay me overtime and say I just need to manage the work in my 7.5 hours a day. So I'm working for them for FREE so many hours!

Now I've been looking elsewhere outside of the company and have been on a few interviews. I take personal time for the interviews.

I hope that one of the jobs I interview for will come through for me shortly - but I am worried about how they're going to react here! I don't want to leave this company - and if I do I'd like to work for the company again in the future - I just worry about how they can mark my employee records if I give 24 hours notice and "abandon" a position. I like the company - just not the work ethics and manners of so many of the management employees.

I also plan on taking all of my remaining personal days before leaving - because I know that I won't get paid for them if I leave. I'm scared about losing my 401(k) and scared about never being able to return to the company if I don't give 2 weeks!

I work in HR and there is sensitive material/items around me, so I'm also scared that they'll walk me out of the door the day that I give notice. I can't afford to be without a paycheck for 2 weeks!

Chuck responded 8 years ago: #62

So glad I came across this website! Here is the situaton I am presently in. I have been in my current job for just over 2 months and I HATE it! I work in a call center in the banking industry. The job is such a poor fit for me. I can't stand being so sedentary, sitting at my little desk with a headset clamped to my head all day long! I need a job where I am more active and I can interact with people. Here is my dilemma. I have just had a group interview with a company that I am really excited about. I actually missed work today so I could be there. I have passed the first round and have been asked back next Monday for one-on-one interviews, which would mean missing work again. I have only been with my present company 2 months, and already I have missed more days of work than I would normally miss in a whole year! I think my chances are pretty good of getting this new job, but I can't take any more time off. I have a feeling that I may be on thin ice anyway. I was thinking of telling my current company that my last day will be this Friday. I know it seems like I'm putting the cart before the horse, but I am soooooo unhappy there and want to leave anyway. I am just worried about when I go to the next round of interviews how the recruiters will feel when they learn I just quit my current job! Any opinions?! Thanks!!!

Gwendolyn responded 8 years ago: #63

Well, my situation is a little different than most here. I work for a temp agency and I just got informed that I am hired by the company I interviewed with. It is now Tuesday and I would like to inform the agency that Friday will be my last day. Before I started with the agency, I signed a paper that said if we don't give enough notice of leaving the assignment that any final paychecks due us will be paid at minimum wage hours. Is this legal?

Gwendolyn responded 8 years ago: #64


I have been in your situation before, and I would just like to suggest that you mention to the company you are interviewing with that you don't want to jeopardize your employment with your current employer, so you would like to arrange to come in maybe at a time that will not cause you to miss a whole day. I have done this before and luckily I got a job offer on the second interview, but this will also let you know how serious the employer is about hiring you because if they are willing to work with you a lot of times it means that they are really interested in you. Good luck to you!

Alisha responded 8 years ago: #65

Does this also apply for Malaysia Law? Please advise.

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #66

This issue is NOT being addressed properly by those that hold themselves out as "Human Resource" directors and consultants. It is clear whatever degree and/or certificates these "professionals" have do not give them the skill set to determine a good corporate policy.

For security reasons, many companies let you go the day you announce AND don't hold your breath as to "getting two weeks extra pay because you told them upfront." So the day you declare is the day that you figure you are leaving.

Those of you saying that you cannot afford to go without two weeks pay - do you have any vacation time coming? Nothing in reserve in the bank? What if you just LOST your job? I know many who has lost jobs that went through life savings month atfer month because they could not get a job.

Start planning to put some money away so you have an emergency fund. The rule-of-thumb is that you should have at least six months money in reserve. It sounds like no one has six weeks in reserve. Think about putting some money away.

It looks like it is time for another article and I really appreciate all of you shedding light on your own situations as if nothing else - it gives those that are in the same dilemma a clear vision that it is a common problem and not something that one person is somehow stuck with.

As for Verizon, all of the phone companies used to be great places to work at but for whatever reason, their management just isn't what it used to be.

My next one on "two-weeks notice" will be at my BLOG
after I collect some other information.

Chris responded 8 years ago: #67

This article is exactly what I was looking for. I was raised to give two weeks' notice. When I did it this past week my employer told me that I was done at that time. I understand that. What I don't understand is that he says he will predate my termination back to the time that I was interviewing. That doesn't make much sense. When asking him what I could have done different, he responded that I should have told him that I was interviewing with another company so he could have been better prepared. Again... not much sense. People's true colors really come out when you resign. Any other words of wisdom going forward?


James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #68

Check out my BLOG for the latest view on "TWO WEEK NOTICES ARE OBSOLETE" at

vickie responded 8 years ago: #69

Unfortunately, I left a job of 7 years to take a job that seemed better suited for me at this time. I hate the job!!! I feel like I was sold on it by a used car salesman.
A month ago, 2 months into the job, I was told I probably would not be kept on due to thinking was fine, great in fact. Now they want to keep me, but I want to leave.
The job is soooooo boring and beneath me, the work is hard but completely uninspiring, unfullfillng, and they love to yell and scream over trivia.
Long story, short....if I have been there less than the 90-day probation period, do I have to even return to give them a letter of resignation? There are a lot of unethical things going on not to mention some sexual harrassment by a favored employee.
I have no keys or cards to turn in. I just want out!!

Alfred responded 8 years ago: #70

I work for a well-known restaurant chain here in Texas and I not worry about two week's notice.

I have owned my own restaurant as well. I have had kids quit on me with literally zero notice and I have had some give good reasons, and I let them go as soon as I could so they could attend to other business in life... my reference of them would not have been affected if I was asked to give a thorough reference.

Anyway, as for the current job, I almost decided to walk out middle of this week, but held on through the weekend to be polite. I traded working ~55 hours at under $10/hour for ~$17/hour and 4 on-4 off, which would allow me to have a life for once.

Pretty much all my empoyees are happy for me (but sad since I am rather likeable and leaving), but this one team leader (a subordinate 60-year old...) is resorting to treating me like the next coming of Satan (I am "lazy now that I am quitting) since she will be having to work the 5 graveyards. I "volunteered" to work when I was transferred over to this store near my house. Don't get me wrong, I am not getting paid to make friends, but being thought of as someone else's meal ticket... incredible.

While I really could not care less what is said behind my back, I would have been better off just walking out and not coming back. Sure, that would have left them in a bind, but if I had died in a fiery car accident on the way to work, I would have had to be replaced anyway.

I will be glad for my freedom come Sunday morning.

Besco responded 8 years ago: #71

I recently resigned my job after putting up with a year and a half of poor management and just a caustic work environment. I told my boss that I would stay until she hired someone and that I would train the new hire. It has been a month since I resigned and a person has not yet been hired.

Last week I requested a vacation day, and their policy is to get back to their employees within a three-day period. I still have five vacation days remaining. Well it's been six days, and the manager keeps dodging my e-mails and not letting me know whether or not I am allowed that day off. I know that they are playing me... (part of the reason why i am leaving).

The moral of the story is... it doesn't pay to be nice. Corporations are the last to follow the rules (and they may even get away with it), so why should you extend any courtesies to them?

Due to their failure to reply to my request, I have changed my mind about training the person that was supposed to take my place. Perhaps that will teach them to be a little nicer to those that dedicate themselves to their company... doubt it, but i can't help trying.

P.S. if someone could shed some light on the whole vacation day payment thing. I live in NJ and am not sure if they are obligated by law to pay for unused vacation days... do vacation days fall under the category of fringe benefits? Any information provided on this subject will be greatly appreciated.

Alfred responded 8 years ago: #72


That's funny. I was transferred over to the restaurant in my region/area (really close to home) and replaced two managers who were relieved of duty.

I am still replacing those two managers, but as of tonight, it's not my problem anymore.

Related last post update: Since it's coming down to sweating (at least a little bit) over whether I will have a full staff or a bunch of no-shows or digging out of debt, I'll look after myself and get the higher paying job.

I did offer to drop in when needed on a day off or two every so often while at the new job and living back in my old neighborhood in Houston, but I plan on having a life now. Considering this company used to pull the "Chinese overtime" crap and you still are required to work ~50 hours/week, I am feeling relieved.

My area manager did breakfast with me yesterday and was adamant about losing me (not wanting to, really), but he admits he can't offer the money I need to dig out of my personal debts. No more excuses for that stuff.

Tal Masca responded 8 years ago: #73

I have a PT position and the negativity is astounding arounf there. I am wondering if quitting after 8 months will look bad when my health and mental state is suffering. What do you think?

Thomas responded 8 years ago: #74

I was raised to give two weeks' notice. When I did it this past week my employer told me that I was done at that time. I understand that. What I don't understand is that he says he will predate my termination back to the time that I was interviewing. That doesn't make much sense

When asking him what I could have done different, he responded that I should have told him that I was interviewing with another company so he could have been better prepared. Again... not much sense

Arthur responded 8 years ago: #75

Mr. Carlini,

Can you offer a suggestion for someone who has left their job because of stress, but they have no other job yet lined up and are asked why they left?

The threats and harassment toward me at my own job has reached my own mental breakdown point -- and if I leave now, when I have not yet lined up another job, I am worried what to say to interviewers who might ask me why I left. I think telling them the truth, that I left because my boss threatened me, might scare them away from hiring me.

By the way, I have brought this to management, but they have said no one corroborates what I say, and no one has seen him do this (well, duh, this guy unfortunately is not stupid). I have contacted two law firms, and unbelieveably I was told by one lawyer that until the guy actually hits me, I can't legally do anything. He said there is no law against someone acting like jerk, and that's why there are unions. A lawyer from the other firm said since I am not part of a "protected class," this kind of harassment is not illegal harassment.

Good Lord. If I threatened a woman on the street like this guy does to me in my cube, you can bet there'd be legal response, just a 911 call away. As there should be.

It's horrible. It's time to leave to protect my own physical and mental health, but what can I say to future employers about why I left?

Anybody have any helpful hints here?

Ken Dryden responded 8 years ago: #76

Actually, I think -2 two weeks notice has become the industry standard.

That's were you take leave for two weeks and if your boss still doesn't get it, on the 14th day you send an e-mail that says, "in two weeks, you will have noticed that I'm gone [...]" to remind him/her that he/she is an idiot.

That became my policy after a company screwed me out of 1.7 months of accrued leave.
Иest regards,
Ken Dryden,

Kelly responded 8 years ago: #77

I have been with my present employer for 2.5 years. Approximately two months ago, I told my immediate supervisor that I was leaving to begin the process of opening my own business (in a completely different field), but would continue working as long as he needed me. We decided on January 15, 2007 as my last day. I was just informed that my last day is now 12/8 because his supervisor does not want to give me a bonus for this year (three weeks shy of one year's worth of work). I just went through the review process and received an excellent review so it's not as though since I knew I was leaving I slacked off. Now I just want to leave tomorrow and not work until the 8th. Me leaving earlier than the 8th will certainly cause problems for my immediate supervisor but a friend told me that this would encourage him to support his employees in the future with regard to upper management.

Jon responded 8 years ago: #78

Absolutely you're right. Business is business they are not obligated to give you a severance package and this is very rare. The one case I saw where a very sweet severance package was given, EVERYONE liked the guy and eventually he came back. It is dangerous to accept your (the author of the article) opinion as dogma. If you’re in a bad situation, then some prudent planning you recommend is definitely appropriate and you would be a fool not too. Chances are if you’re not job hopping then someone has quit before you have decided to make your move. If that is their SOP, you will know that a two-week notice is not needed or it's at least acceptable to leave without notice.

Your loyalty isn’t to your company, it’s the people you work with. They are who can be your reference later on. If they are a good group of people and are nice to you, why screw them? When you begin sending out your resume, start fixing things up for you to depart. You should develop a habit of taking random days off due to stress and dressing nicer so it's easier to get into interview-ready clothing. This way, when you DO go on an interview, it's more covered up.

I like to establish my salary requirements before I even talk to them. You have a job that you need to keep until you find a better opportunity. No sense going on an interview for 40K a year when you’re asking 80K. It's simply a waste of everyone’s time. Try not to waste other people’s time and don’t allow others to waste yours. When you find the new opportunity, give your two weeks' notice to your boss, and put it in writing. Try not to accept counteroffers - it burns bridges. Giving two weeks to your company is good because it also lets your new company know, hey, this is a stand-up guy and makes the transition smoother. If I was hiring someone who was currently employed and they didn’t give them two weeks, I have to think: Do I want someone on my team who is just going to jump ship without notice?

Let's see if you leave on bad terms and your new job, for whatever reason, decides not to hire you. Well, you’re SOL without a job. If you leave on good terms, maybe your previous company will accept you back. I have seen people leave companies by quitting and being laid off then come back at a later time.

Long story short, leaving a company is something you have to play by ear. Your happiness there and your attitude and past choices may be one company’s treasure while another company may look down upon it. I feel if a company appreciates you, they will pay you. Forget benefits and job security. Job security is how quickly can you get your butt in another job when push comes to shove. Part of that is having interviewing and resume-building skills and keeping them sharp. That means job hunting every 1-2 years regardless if you’re actually serious or not. (I said try not to waste other people’s time but, hey, if you happen to come across a golden opportunity, why not run with it?)

Earl responded 8 years ago: #79

I agree. I (stupidly) told my employer that I planned to leave after the holidays. I was fired shortly after.

Two weeks notice (which is about what the time would've been) is a joke, something you tell around the water cooler when you run out of jokes that aren't filled with irony.

I'm now stuck here, with a whole bollocks-load of holiday expenses (stupid enough to think I'd be employed those two weeks), and will have to kill my savings just to pay those bills (much less anything after). So, to ensure that my family can eat, I'll probably have to return all the presents.

Being up a (censored)-creek like this is sure fun fun, but this just bloody pisses me off! The nerve, to do that right before the bloody holiday! What do I tell the wife and kids, "sorry, your gifts have to go back because the mean old boss lady (although mine is a woman, but no lady) decided daddy's not worth a damn!" How the bloody hell am I suppose to tell that to a 4 year-old? That because of some arse, you don't get Christmas and will probably have to have a "feast" of canned soup and sandwiches?

Sorry for the rant, but I see I'm in good company (not that that's a good thing in this case).

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #80

I disagree - your first loyalty is to yourself, your career, and your family.

Your co-workers? They might leave before you and could care less if you stay or leave. Your employer? By all means, if they have supported you or have helped you through some times, then definitely two weeks are in order. But what I am getting from people leaving is not that scenario. They have been unrecognized for their efforts, not given a raise that they earned or something else that has shattered whatever bond of loyalty they thought there was between employer and employee.

Yes you do need references and co-workers can always give you that. As for burning bridges, when are people going to learn? If someone has NOT recognized your work or your contributions for the last couple of years you have worked there, why are they all of a sudden going to give you a glowing reference when you leave? No matter if you leave the day you announce or two-weeks later.

Emily M. responded 8 years ago: #81

The idea of not giving notice in pretty much a no-brainer if the employer has been abusive, unsupportive, etc. However, what if the situation isn't so clear-cut?

For example, I left my previous job for what I thought would be a dream job at my dream company. I had been applying to this company for 2 years, so when I was finally hired I could hardly believe it.

I've been at the "dream job" now for eight months, and I can't stand it!! I'm bored out of my mind because most of the time there is nothing to do, so I end up doing filler tasks that drive me crazy. Twice I've met with my boss to express my dissatisfaction, and I've been promised new projects, only to have them never materialize. I'm so disgusted by the whole situation that I can't stand waking up and coming to the office anymore. I just want to leave and never come back.

My husband is supportive of my quitting, but is strongly opposed to me giving no notice. However, for all the reasons in Mr. Carlini's article, I don't want to give any notice. On the other hand, my employer hasn't done anything really wrong in the concrete sense. Who's right in this situation?

D. Schmitt responded 8 years ago: #82

I totally agree with not giving a notice. I was naive to think that it’s professional to give a two weeks notice, but I found out the hard truth when I gave that notification. Once I gave the two-week notice, few hours later I was called into HR, where I was told to collect all of my personal belongings and be out of the office within 30 minutes or I’ll be considered as trespassing on private property.

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #83


Every situation is different and I think "not giving notice" is an option. In your case, you may want to split the difference.

If you want out so bad but your husband is a "traditionalist," give them one week's notice. (They may let you go the day you give notice)

All I know is that when you start to dislike your job to a point of not wanting to go in - and maybe even get sick at the thought - You GOTTA leave. And the quicker the better!

That's not my advice. That's the advice of a physician who sees many patients and told me that 80 percent of the people taking stuff like Nexium for reflux - it's all because of job stress. He said his best prescription is to change jobs and keep away from having to take drugs.

It doesn't sound like your boss knows how to delegate work - you can't fix that.

Find a new job and go. As for giving notice, it's your job, it's your call. If you are getting sick before going in, why put yourself through torture (I have known several people at that point in the job and it is TOO unhealthy to stay any longer than you have to)

ALSO - some of these "ailments" come on AFTER you leave the job (stress is a serious issue to your body) so tell hubby that times have changed.

Tell him to read more (my columns) and be thankful he is not in your situation. Go buy yourself a whole new outfit to interview in and tell husband that prescriptions cost a LOT of money and sometimes are needed for years with job stress.

Buying a sharp suit to interview in is much better investment.

Deborah Buie, RN responded 8 years ago: #84

Coming from both sides of the situation of being an employee giving notice, & now as an owner receiving notice of an employee's intent to terminate their employment, it seems that the people who have posted up to this point don't REALLY have positions that are VITAL to the business. Most are business positions. If you quit without notice at K-Mart, then they just won't open your register that day or someone else is going to stock your product. If you are working another type of business, then your project will need to be completed by another employee.

But doesn't anyone who says they are a business "professional" act professionally?! Maybe it's perceived differently in healthcare: you KNOW your work & position are VITAL to the business and to the patients you are caring for. Imagine: you are scheduled for a procedure, but when you arrive, the hospital informs you that you can't have your procedure done because the technician for the procedure quit without notice. Or, your mother can't be admitted to the hospital because a nurse who was scheduled to work quit without notice.

Or, you get a call from the nursing home telling you that you have to come pick up your father & take him home because the nurse who was supposed to work that shift quit without notice, and there is no nurse to supervise the nursing home that shift?! You'd scream bloody murder!!! HOW UNPROFESSIONAL!!! Now that I own an Assisted Living Home, I find myself trying to teach a "professional mentality" to the staff I hire. HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS NEED TO WORK PROFESSIONALLY!!! That includes giving proper notice, because LIVES ARE IN OUR HANDS!!! If you are a real professional, then ACT professionally.

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #85


Now that you are an employer - YOU have to live by what you say. Do you treat people professionally that are in your hire?

If you do, you should have no problems. If you don't, you will find what so many employers are finding out - they forgot the Golden Rule - Treat people the way you would want them to treat you.

Sounds corny but that is really all this boils down to. Few people have real dilemmas if they are leaving a job. Can they give notice? Of course.

Did the employer treat them fairly? Ooops, is that a question we should ask?

We should - if we want to earn that "professional" response of giving notice. If not, don't expect any respect. You see - it's not a one-way street.

If you are a real professional, then ACT professionally to your staff, and you will never have this happen to you.

Kristy responded 8 years ago: #86

I love reading all of the different opinions with regards to giving a notice to an employer or not. I would love to say I was one of the few who did actually receive good treatment from an employer after giving a notice, but unfortunately I am among the majority who did not.

I was a middle management supervisor in a large national company. Only five weeks after receiving a promotion, I was informed that my job title and duties (along with several others in my office) would be done away with due a company reorganization. I did finish out my two months in my current position to then discover that I would not only lose a large portion of my salary, but that I would be put back into the same position as those I was supervising! In other words, the same position as a company new hire.

As I not only could not take a large cut in pay, I also, after much consideration, decided I did not want to stay with this company. I did, however, give my proper notice with only the reason of: "I was going to pursue better opportunities." Within 15 minutes of giving this notice, I was walked to the door by our friendly security officer. My company did not just refuse to let me work out my notice; they also have refused to pay me for it. So much for giving three years of hard work to this company.

In summation, I don't think that corporate mentality in today's era supports the ideas of employer/employee respect or loyalty as it once did, and the idea of a friendly seperation might just be obsolete.

Emily responded 8 years ago: #87

Great answer James, this whole article is really helping me formulate a plan. At this point, it's not "if," but "when."

One last question. In your article, I don't really see anyone addressing the issue of employers contacting each other. When one works a certain length of time at a job, one can't just omit the experience from one's resume and leave a gap in the work history. Therefore, even if one doesn't use the employer in question as a reference, future interviewers can still use the company name and location to contact the company.

In most cases, if one leaves a company with no notice, the employer is not likely to respond favorably to any questions about the separation. This presents quite the dilemma to those of us who are ready to walk out of a job. How would you address this issue?

Thanks for all your efforts on this site. It's the best article I've found!!

Artemis responded 8 years ago: #88

Everyone here is talking about for-profit organizations where your leaving does little to directly impact someone else's existence. I work for a residential treatment facility that helps impaired teens, and my leaving will impact the clients. In addition, I am a supervisor, so my departure will impact my staff. However, I deeply dislike this job and have since I started a year and a half ago (I took it only because I had been unemployed for eight months after a lay off and the market. In Michigan, social services is horrible). An opportunity basically fell into my lap a few weeks ago, and they made me an offer. My questions are: 1) how much notice should I give my current job?; 2) do I tell my colleagues or staff first?; and 3) is it proper to recommend one of my staff for the position?

Jane responded 8 years ago: #89

I have learned from experience. Quit with the shortest notice! I am in the architectural construction industry. In the past six years, I have been through one firing (due to a supervisors unrealistic deadlines and not meeting them) and two layoffs with 5 and 20 minutes notice and escorted out of the building. I now am in a job that is not a good fit because I had to take a 20 percent pay cut due to my last lay off (I couldn't afford to be out of work).

I have been in this job for almost three months and I am currently looking at a better one just to get back into the income bracket I was in. Yes, I may come across as being bitter, but well justified. You can't trust companies small or large for loyality anymore!
If I'm fortunate enough to give notice this time for a better job; it'll be a max of seven to eight hours notice. I am currently over worked, underpaid, unrealistic deadlines everyday and not appriciated by my boss. This is typical for most of us, right?
Someone mentioned a good point... you have to treat your career like a business! A business owner wouldn't close down for two weeks. Why should you! Suggestion: you tell your new employer you need to give two weeks notice and stick it out for a week or two at the current job.

Deborah responded 8 years ago: #90

The things I was adamant about was to make sure that I was the BEST employer that my employees ever had, and to make this the BEST job they ever had... to make them know they did a good job and made a real difference in someone's life.

I catch them being good and doing a good job, rather than bitch at them like some bosses I've had. I give bonuses for incentive. I buy stuff for my employees to show them I care. I treat all my employees with respect & work alongside them. I've done every job here myself (when I first opened, I worked the job myself with just staff to come in to work while I got a shift off to sleep). And I do any job here myself too.

Problem: employees who think that they can call off for stupid things with no notice! I've given staff time off for whatever they want, as long as they let me know ahead of time. But with people not showing up (one was no call/no show for Christmas Day!), I've ended up working 72 hours straight once. Then, they are surprised when I have to hire someone to fill their position. The staff who have been with me the longest know the loyalty and reflect the loyalty. The new hires somehow don't "get it" that if they don't show up, then someone else has to work for them.

They get confused when the loyal staff try to bring them along to the understanding that everyone here is needed. The gaps in staffing translate into either: I have to pay someone overtime and they lose out on their family time, or _I_ have to work it myself and lose out on my family time. Finally, I look at the persons' job record, to see how long they've kept a job. I had someone apply who had six jobs in the last year: a REAL red flag. I've had people quit without notice, then apply for unemployment! What a deal!

Well, thanks for letting me vent. Our facility has an EXCELLENT reputation and one of the only facilities who is always full with a waiting list. If only we could find more staff with an understanding of the work ethic, my husband wouldn't be complaining that he only gets the "tired" me.

aleah responded 8 years ago: #91

I am so thankful that I found this site. I have been having so many problems with my boss. It has come to the point where she will not verbally express what troubles her, but has become very "nit picky" and will place post-its all over my computer or write inter office memos when we sit right next to one another.

Due to actions like this and many more, it has in my opinion become a hostile work environment. I didn't know if the two-week notice was still applicable or if I wrote a letter of resignation stating effective at the close of business day (listing the same day) or effective immediately. She is extremely paranoid, so she would probably prefer that I leave immediately anyway. Also, my previous boss wrote a wonderful letter of recommendation for me before she left the position. Would I be able to use that instead of listing my current supervisor as a reference?

She has actually told me how she would not give another employee a good reference because of her attitude towards her, so I don't trust her at all. Thanks in advance for any additional advice.

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #92

You need to leave and everyone else TAKE NOTE - here is an employer OPENLY saying she is not going to give someone a good reference no matter what.

So are you supposed to stay an extra two weeks and STILL get a bad reference? I wouldn't.

As for others - go with your gut. Aleah should go with her gut. IF something is a BAD situation, your staying there an extra two weeks is not going to solve anything. As for future employers, all they are required to give are your title and your length at the job. Most large companies will stick just with that because they are afraid of lawsuits.

weppy responded 8 years ago: #93

Incredible site!!!

When I began working for my employer four years ago, everything appeared fine... regular meetings, consistant bonuses, as well as other incentives. Slowly but surely, incentives were stripped, criteria for bonuses were "refined" (impossible to get a bonus now...standards way too high), and business meetings are non-existent.

The company has apparently taken the stance that they don't even owe us an explaination on policy changes. They haven't put out a freakin' memo in six months; instead relying totally on rumor to "spread the message."

Anywhoo, I've had enough. I've put back every cent I could the last five or six years, and don't have to worry about work for a long time. So, I'm probably going to tell the boss to shove it as I walk out the door to my extended vacation.

IT Guy responded 8 years ago: #94

I wasn't sure on what to do at my job. I had accepted a killer offer and I felt bad about just leaving. So I met them halfway and gave about four days notice. The president of the company called me into her office and flipped her lid and kicked me out of the building. Two weeks is BS. When your ready to leave, just leave.

Kenmasters responded 8 years ago: #95

I am currently working at a company where my boss have mistreated me, abused me to a point where I want to leave. But I gave him a 3- WEEK notice, but ever since he has been been even nastier to a point that I can't work a minute without being depressed.

Can you leave even after you give your notice?

Sam responded 8 years ago: #96

A friend and myself started a job together just three weeks ago and know that it is not a good fit for either of us. Through another friend, I was lucky enough to find a place for both of us and we are not sure how much notice to offer. We feel since we are so new, we would probably be told to hit the door right away, but at the same time do not want to burn any bridges. Our jobs are clerical in nature. The new employeer is ready for us as soon as we can start. Should we still offer the traditional 2 weeks, or is 1 week sufficient? We are on a three-month probation before benefits kick in. Thanks in advance for any advice.

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #97


No benefits for 90 days? Leave right now. No bridges are being burned, you're not even on benefits. Start the clock at your new employer! IF it is the same 90-day period for benefits - why waste your time at a place you already know you are leaving? Get on the new clock.

As for everyone else -- Butter churns, buggy whips, nickel beers, and two-week notices, they are ALL from days gone by, and you don't see much of them anymore.

If you have been at a company for a period of time and they have treated you well, then they have earned a notice from you and if you wish to extend it, do so. BUT, don't be shocked if they escort you to the door that day. That's just the ways things have gotten.

Karen responded 8 years ago: #98

I work for a large defense contractor that provided support services to the Navy (training and technical assistance). I just recieved an offer at a small company, which I accepted, and my boss practically begged me to stay "just a few weeks" because my relief had to go on emergency leave...well, less than one week into the notice and my computer access is one of the idiots in the gang made a major safety violation that put us all at it's clearly time to get out this week. Top that off with getting the cold shoulder and none of it's a good omen. Exit, stage left!!!

binze responded 8 years ago: #99

Mr. Carlini,

I want to thank you for the fine job you have done here. You have provided so much good advice and you have done this consistently over almost two years running now since your original post. That you are still interested in this topic, as evidenced by your frequent replies since '05, tells me you are someone special - not an internet "hack" pundit but someone who really is willing to follow something he believes in. This thread of posts is proof that you care about what you write - you have followed its development (and allowed comments on it) - long after most other authors would have shut the door.

And when a flood of responses came pouring in, over a period of some 20 months since you posted the original article (as I write this in February 2007), you responded to many of them instead of ignoring them.

You touched on a raw nerve, and you had whatever it takes to stick with it.

The resonses here range from "Dear Mr. Carlini" to "Dear James" to "Dear Abby" to "Dear God." And you've often stepped up to the plate (as well as you are able as mortal James Carlini), offering neither a Dear Abby advice service nor a shoulder to cry on nor absolution of the soul, but simple good business-sense advice.

I thank you for that. I find myself still coming back here, even after six months.


Robert Hansen responded 8 years ago: #100

I wanted to tell you about my experience with giving my two-week notice. I worked with a company for 12 years and during the last three years the company became increasingly unstable, having monthly company shutdowns and layoffs every few months. I was offered another job that I had applied for with a competitor's company. I wanted to do the right thing for this company, as I had been with them for 12 years, so I told the new job I was not available for 2 weeks and then went to the current job and submitted a letter of resignation for 2 weeks notice. I was asked where I was going and told them the truth. I was told because I was going to their competitor, that was grounds for immediate termination. I was immediately escorted out the door. I was left without an income for two weeks and claimed unemployment. I was initially payed, but now several weeks later I have been told by unemployment that because I gave notice and was terminated, I would have to pay back the unemployment I received. I will never again give two weeks notice.

ab responded 8 years ago: #101

Robert, I went through a similar situation with the unemployment compensation. I filed an appeal, had to go in front of an administrative judge, and won. Its a hassle, but it's worth a shot.

joy responded 8 years ago: #102

Thank you for writing this article! I am so glad I found it. I have been tortured about whether to really work out my two-week notice. And this website helped a great deal.

In the finance industry, it is common for security to walk a person through the door the very day they give notice. I've known folks escorted out after 17 years of service! What is sad is the fact that after that walk, no one talks about the person any more. It is as if they never existed.

I have done one week of my promised two. I can't go back because it is increasingly difficult to fend off the questions about my leaving. I worked there for 10 years and no one in management understood my concerns. Folks stop by my office to ask why is it that I couldn't just sit there and "collect my check." They say, so what if I didn't have a career path or haven't had a review in three years. "Heck," they say, "they haven't had a review in 12 years, so why am I complaining and quitting." It is so depressing. One moment I am so happy I am leaving and the next I am utterly depressed. It is emotionally draining!!!

So, I agree with the author and most of the people here: it is best just to leave. I would not wish this roller coaster ride on anyone else.

Another point: My firm does not allow its employees (managers or otherwise) to give references. They will only confirm employment and salary (if you were in the process of buying something when you leave). So a reference isn't an option. I do realize that industries are small and talk gets around. But most of the time people understand that if you worked for a company for 10 years and quit without giving two weeks notice, you did not do it lightly. Taking the moral high road and saying, it was time to move on, has usually worked for my colleagues.

Robert, try that appeal at unemployment --- I have seen it work too. I represented management in two UE cases. Surprisingly, UE's tactic was to demand that the company show that it had not mistreated the employee (which I found utterly fair!). In one case, management won and the other the employee won. Both cases I think were fair.

Mat responded 8 years ago: #103

I just quit my job today. I gave them notice and I was gone. They were absolutely appalled and shocked that I didn't give them "two weeks." They attacked my professionalism and were very vindictive.

I left because I was repeatedly mislead and lied to by management. I was underpaid and they knew it. I was told I was going to get promoted. When the time came to promote me, they didn't and couldn't give me a clear explanation why. So I got my resume out. Offers poured in.

I then found out that one of my managers was cheating on his wife with another woman at the office who was also married. I took this as a clear sign that this organization had serious culture problems.

On the day I left, I got chewed out by my manager. He actually said, "Oh I get it. We screwed you so now you screw us, thats nice". So he admitted to taking me for granted. Good riddens.

I accepted an offer with better benefits and over 50 percent more pay. Two weeks... please, they wouldn't have extended that courtesy to me.

Faith responded 8 years ago: #104

This is great as I contemplate on my prospective resignation notice. I was initially thinking three weeks but after reading all of this, I may just whittle that to two weeks. I am the sole paralegal for 12 attorneys in a finance entity; been there for almost seven years and it will take me at least two weeks to get things in order. Hmmmm, should I even worry about that? It's just my character to leave on a professional note but not I am not too sure. I am quite familiar with the scenario that Joy commented about and it's sad. HR calls the person into the office near the back stairway and when the person comes out, security is right there, taking them down the stairs!!! I know that when I give notice, it's very possible they may do me just the same way because of my close ties with certain information and computer data.....3 weeks - nope, 2 weeks maybe...

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #105

First of all Binze - thank you for your kind comments. It is good to get some recognition. Whether it be on the job or for something you wrote or presented, it makes you feel that you are on the right track.

I was away for a couple of weeks, but I always come back to this column as it is like a recurring car accident that you HAVE TO STOP and look at the latest crashes. I hope I have helped some get a clearer view of how to be a professional and I think Mat's recent post is a perfect example of why you should really think about that "traditional two-week notice." In his case, NO WAY and look how vindictive they were.

Mat, you did the right thing and should feel that YOU were the professional in that situation, not them. Unprofessional people and actions? They do not earn any notice. Everyone take notice of how Mat handled his situation.

As for people saying he burned his bridges, would you really want a reference from those people?

If you are really astute about the industry you are in, you may already have an idea that where Mat works is a real zoo. By him leaving immediately, you may think that here's a guy assessed the environment and left. He must be more professional than those others I know there.

Sometimes, leaving a bad situation gives you more credibility with others. Believe me - people know where the good people and the slackers are. The world is much smaller than you think.

Edna responded 8 years ago: #106

I have worked for my present company for almost 7 years, but for a number of reasons, it is time to move on. Here is my dilemma: My present employer gives a generous yearly bonus which, to receive, I need to stay employed through March 31st. I have accepted a great new job to start on April 3. I requested this start date for the reason given, and they agreed with no problem. If I give two weeks notice,is it most likely that my employer will just walk me out and I'll lose the bonus? Or can they still refuse to pay me the bonus if I quit without notice on April 2nd? I will be leaving them in a rather desperate situation, as the remaining people in the department are very new.
Any thoughts, anyone?

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #107


It is a dilemma but based on other people's experiences here, wait until you have your check and then announce your departure. There was one person here who got stiffed on his year-end bonus and he did everything to give notice the proper way and they refused to honor his bonus.

This is a hard decision BUT others have done it. Get your bonus and announce you are leavig in April. Unfortunately, that is the way you can leave and not lose your bonus. Is it the best way to go? In these times, I think it is.

I have seen people with twice your tenure on the job just get let go that day. No notice and no "bonus."

You can listen to others to do it "their way" and not "burn the bridges" but in reality YOU are the one that loses the bonus check.

I don't see others putting their money where there mouth is and saying - if you lose the bonus by doing it our way - we will reimburse you your lost bonus. That's when all the experts seem to go silent. Get the bonus - you EARNED it. And announce in April that you are leaving. You won't be the first and not the last to leave with a short notice.

Look at your career as YOUR business. No one cares about YOUR business except you. If your co-workers had an opportunity to leave to a better job would they be worrying about you? I really don't think so.

mw responded 8 years ago: #108

I was employed by a particular call center almost to the day it opened. I was there for over two years. Three months before I left, I was promoted to a supervisory position. I realize now that was a mistake. I had no training in this area and was completely lost. The person I reported too would sometimes talk down to me and tell me I was making excuses for not getting my work done when actually I did not know how to do it. I left the company in December and did not give my two weeks notice. I was so wrapped up in getting away from that situation that I did not think logically. Unfortunately, now I am employed in a position I do not like with supervision that is lacking. I sincerly hope that I can go back to my old employer someday. Maybe they will give me a second chance. :(

Rosemary responded 8 years ago: #109

I walked out of my job of two years in the middle of the day. It had been building up for some time, and I was tired of expressing my discomfort and tension working there. The straw that broke the camel's back was when he took one of my subordinates to meet with an important client without any explanation. He treats workers like they were servants, is temperamental and everyone is on pins and needles trying to figure out what mood he'll be in that day. He accused me of stealing clients and has threatened to sue. I cannot use the company as a reference and I'm always at a loss about what to say when an interviewer asks why I left. I tell them I wanted to continue to grow in my career and there was no place there, but that is not the truth. I am constantly worried that he is so vindictive he will not refrain from saying all kinds of lies to prospective employers who call for reference. Which brings me to another point: how can a prospective employer call a company if you did not give them as references? Why give references at all then? Is a worker no longer protected from a vindictive ex-employer? For God's sake, we're trying to get a job, not run for office on a lily-white past! Any suggestions?

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #110


Any interviewer that knows anything should know that people like your former boss exist. I would not give them as a reference and I am sure you can find others.

What the MasterMind doesn't realize that he can be open to a lawsuit as well. Most mainstream companies fear lawsuits and will only give dates and title - that's it.

People like him are great talkers until a lawsuit is put on them. Lawsuits cost a lot of money - for both sides and you (and him) are better off to avoid them.

People talk "big" about suing people but when you open a suit - you can also be counter-sued. AND - no one's case is ever iron-clad. Look at O.J. Simpson. Everyone thought that was an iron-clad case and it wasn't.

Don't let your former boss intimidate you. Move on. I am sure he is not going to sue.

Did you sign any non-compete clause? Did you have a contract with his company? Even if you did, you really have to read through it (get a lawyer). Chances are its unenforceable.

If he continues ranting and you never signed anything, ask a lawyer or state employment board about a harassment suit.

Unfortunately in today's society, bullies and intimidators have to be dealt with.

Toni Davies responded 8 years ago: #111

I walked out of my job after being what I can only call bullying by my manger. After several confrontations with him, I could work with him no longer and left on my break and didn't go back, although head office said they would accept my resignation from the day I last worked. They are now saying I owe them money as I took two weeks holiday out of the four I am entitled to. They also did not pay me my week in hand, so how can I owe them? They now want a meeting with me regarding the official complaint I have put in against my previous manger. Has anyone else had a similiar experience? Please help.

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #112


What state are you in? Check with your state employment office. (From you mentioning "holiday" you may be from somewhere outside the U.S.)

Did you earn the two weeks out of four vacation weeks? If you leave in March, you may have only accrued one week. Find out how vacation is accrued and awarded. Vacation should be paid - IF it is accrued.

Sounds like you need to discuss the whole situation with the company. Watch out if it becomes a big official discussion. Then you might want to seek legal help.

Rosemarie responded 8 years ago: #113

ARE all supervisors female today? One would think so if one reads certain internet sites regularly. It IS sexism. Discriminating against men (and or belittling them, as some women and often the media is won't to do these days) does not make up for any real or perceived "discrimination" in the past.

Good observation.

PS Two weeks' notice? When a company cans an employee, his or her sorry a$$ is out the door that second. You're right - it's no guarantee of a good reference.

I don't want her stinkin' reference anyway. (And yes, it is a she. I think she's related to the Wicked Witch of the West.)

Good column. Thanks for the info.

Lynn responded 8 years ago: #114

As I searched for reasons and "how to's", I happen to come upon this website. I debated giving a two-week notice. For the life of me, I just couldn't do it. I worked in a medical office for a wonderful doctor, if only his wife and step-daughter hadn't been part of the office all things would of worked out wonderful. I was warned by many MANY people about the Dr's wife and how she and the daughter would "stalk" previous employees at work places and just sit and watch them. How weird is that? One even gave her two-week notice and was told to leave immediately, she didn't have a car there and it was in the middle of summer. She had to walk. I finally, after weeks of much added stress, doing several other's jobs, decided I needed out of this "odd family situation" and a job had already basically "fell into my lap" from another doctor's office working for two doctors, and a WONDERFUL atmosphere. Very respectful! AND NO DRAMA! I hate Drama!

But anyway, I left a letter of resignation that day and left my key that day also, and done it in a "respectful" manner. I am a very loyal employee. But I could not see putting myself through so much chaos with giving them two weeks. One past employee even had her tires flattened. THIS IS A DOCTOR'S WIFE and DAUGHTER!!! But I imagine the one thing that really baffled me more than anything was, Why WHY didn't the doctor put a stop to this? He is known for his goodness. Why couldn't he "see" what his wife and step daughter was doing? Has anyone else ever worked in that type situation? I can handle all the stress you hand me until it comes to being disrespectful to patients, employees, etc. The guilt of leaving without a notice, has since left me because what good would it of done me? None!

Anna responded 8 years ago: #115

Hi James,

My boyfried who is working in as as IT administrator decided to quit because he felt that he was overworked and his manager never appreciated extra hours that he has put it.

He decided to quit on Friday by sending a resignation e-mail to his boss and never came into work. His manager then kept calling him and asked him to come back and mentioned that he could either work part-time or at least come back to work as full time with the company. After convincing him to do the right thing, he decided to come back to work for 2 weeks. Fortunately, words got around and he got an offer from his previous employer and ask him to go back to work for them but he has to start the week after which doesn't give enough time for 2 weeks. He then told his manager that he couldn't fufill his times as discussed (it has been done verbally.).

After he notified his boss on Friday, his boss then called him on Saturday night that he is no longer employed with the company and has terminated his emplyee agreement that he should have given company a 2 weeks notice.

Here is what the agreement stated, ".... and Employee agree to an employment relationship terminable at-will by either party upon two week's notice."

Is it possible for an employer to sue an employee for not giving them a 2 weeks notice? Also I feel that it could have been stated that he is willing to fulfill his 2 weeks notice but got fired before he can fulfill this time.

I am not sure what company is planning to do and was thinking that he should go back and apologize and try to negotiate with them but unsure if this will be the right move or not...

To make it even more complicated, I also work at the same company with him but no one knows that we are dating (at least if they know, they never say it out loud to us directly.) There is a possibility that I might leave the company soon as well. I am in the process of interviewing with other employers. I want to help him but I don't want to jeopodize both of our futures.

Can someone please advice us what we should do? Can the company sue him and for what reason?

Thanks so much!

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #116


Your letter is a little confusing but I will try to give as concise an answer as possible.

First - your boyfriend should have resigned in person. PERIOD.

Sending in an e-mail is NOT professional. You would not want to be terminated that way, would you? Some companies are guilty of this as well (an accounting firm's partners actually faxed in a termination letter to everyone at the firm). Not a classy thing - FROM EITHER SIDE TO DO. Resign in person. Terminate in person.

As for coming back, not a good move. Make a decision and stick to it.

Two-week notices are NOT an obligation unless your boyfriend signed some agreement that actually stated it is a mutually agreed-upon obligation.

It sounds like his boss "terminated" him over the weekend, so who violated the "agreement"? Your boyfriend or his manager???

Sounds like his manager "fired" him and is not honoring the two-week commitment from the company's standpoint. (After your boyfriend came back to work out the two weeks...???????)

You either HAVE the agreement in place or you don't. It sounds like the manager just said your boyfriend is fired and he doesn't get the two-weeks notice (pay?) from us.

I would just move on. Going back and trying to patch things up? What is the benefit there???? If he was so fed up - he should have just left and not come back. Did he want the pay? The facts are confusing.

He has been "fired" and I doubt if the company is going to come after him. BUT I also don't think they want him back touching their computers either (I wouldn't).

As for your question, can the company go to sue him? Sure anyone can sue anybody but is it in the company's best interest to sue your boyfriend?

Could he counter-sue as to not getting proper notice from his boss? When you sue - you also can be counter-sued. Don't get into litigation if you don't have to - good advice for BOTH sides.

It's over with. Move on. Is your boyfriend trying to get paid for that one week (he wants to work it, but they do not want him to??) I don't think they will be taking him back to work a week - I wouldn't. I would be too concerned that he might mess up my computer systems and it is too big of a chance to let him back to touch any systems.

He made a decision. Move on.

As for some of the other recent stories I have read, there are a lot of wacky situtations - like the doctor's office. If people are coming to stare at you or slash your tires, do you really think you are going to get a glowing reference whether you give two-week notices or not?

Leave professionally. Type up a letter. Leave the emotions OUT of it. AND present it in person - not by E-Mail.

And when you make a decision - STICK TO IT. Chances are, if you decide to come back after they coax you, it's probably to buy them some time before they find your replacement. It's NOT because they cannot live without you.

PJ responded 8 years ago: #117

I planned to give my two week's notice to where I work now. My question is since a two week's notice is saying that you're resigning from the job, can you leave any time after giving your two-week notice?

howlindaisy responded 8 years ago: #118

Mr Carlini... thank you so much for your ongoing, fair, and professional advice. I second "Binze's" sentiments!! I'm sure you make sacrifices to continue this log. My prayer is that your good-hartedness comes back to you, four-fold! I needed to read this today - thank you for giving me courage and inspiration. Blessings to you and yours!

Much happier but still wary responded 8 years ago: #119

Here is my situation:

I resigned providing 2 weeks notice via e-mail because my boss lives in another state, rarely accepts or answers calls and I wanted written documentation because there have been several issues with him on follow through, which was a key reason for my resignation.

I spoke with him on the phone after this, as it motivated him to contact me, at which time I offered to be on stand by due to a new rep quitting with no notice(smart guy!) At that time, I offered support in training the new team member and to tie up all lose ends (which I diligently continue to do). I thought that this was a smart move on my part and a way to get a shot at a better reference.

Later, due to the cold way in which I was being treated, I had a change of heart. I made sincere efforts to ensure the progress I created was continued in my absence, yet this was not enough. My leaving seemed to evoke a great sense of betrayal despite my upbeat, positive, professional and supportive attitude and history of dedication to the company. Furthermore I realized that continuing to go above and beyond to help them complete events at sacrifice to recreation, time with my loved ones, and other worthy pursuits was not resulting in recognition, appreciation, or a happy day to day life for me.

After having no success at reaching him by phone, I informed my manager in an e-mail that my resignation would be effective the date I had noted in my first e-mail to him. I noted in the e-mail that packages from the company were still flooding to my front porch via Fed Ex and UPS and asked if I might schedule a time to transfer these to the new rep, and that I'd be glad to offer training to him at this time as well. I listed the steps that I'd taken to ensure a smooth, successful transition for the new rep and concluded with thanking him for the opportunity to work with him. I have not received a response and it has been three days!

My concern is that I do not wish to be in possession of their property any longer. Furthermore, I have noted that none of the events have been transferred out of my name to the new rep as planned. It is absolutely clear to me that the manager is not doing his job. I want to be sure that I am covered as I am getting the impression that I may become a scapegoat for the problems that will inevitably occur as a result of his inaction. I previously returned gift card incentives to our client, which I made note of in the e-mail. At this point I am starting to believe that it would be most prudent to have UPS and FedEx both take the packages back (I didn't sign for any of them) and then return the few other items I have to another local rep and have him sign off that they were received.

I am puzzled at the lack of response on the part of my manager and feel that the level of service, great results, and dedication I provided during my tenure would warrant something different that this treatment. Is there any other way in which I need to cover myself? I have never been in a situation such as this one and so do not know how to proceed.

Here is a little more background on my working experience with this company. Sorry for the length!
As you can ascertain, I have mixed feelings about this resignation: the co. I was contracted to represent is well known (#1 in the printer market) and I did my job quite well and enjoyed it aside from the managerial incompetence of my direct supervisor. I didn't receive adequate training, received far less managerial support than one might expect (tons of broken promises - work materials never shipped, etc.) yet despite this managed to do quite well until my morale took the extreme drop that lead to my resignation. His "motivational" speeches on the weekly sales calls consisted of alternate nagging, whining, threating, and fake excitedness about new initiatives drawing annoyance and exasperation for the majority of the "team."

He tooted his horn about how he went above and beyond for his employees yet many found that this was not the case. I approached the resignation very professionally, offering training and support to new staff, thanking for the opportunity to work with, and even having the grace not to mention the unproffesionalism on his part that has pervaded our whole working relationship.

JAMES CARLINI responded 8 years ago: #120

First of all - thanks for your ongoing comments. As I said earlier, I like reading everyone's predicament and hopefully can give some sound objective advice at a time where you get bombarded with a lot of old rules-of-thumb and sometimes even threats to your career.

Reading everyone's situation is important.

WHY? Because it's a WAKE UP CALL to everyone. You may work in a great environment, but most don't. The post from MUCH HAPPIER BUT STILL WARY I think typifies many people.

You are consciencious about your job but may work for someone who isn't. Who gets rid of them? How many people would NOT leave their job if they had a better direct supervisor?

AND THEN WHEN YOU LEAVE - it's not proper to say the real reason you left - you left because your supervisor did a bad job. I find that SO hypocritical.

You are looked at in a bad light if you leave without notice but it's okay for a poor manager to keep managing poorly.

And then if you are the prospective employer, you are supposed to not acknowledge that that type of situation exists at your former employer.

Sorry but it's time to be politically accurate instead of so politically correct.

AND it's time for employers to face the fact that people leave because the situation was not right at the last place and there should not be any stigma in just coming out and saying that.

As for two-week notices, which is the topic of this column, I think everyone can see by now that it is an option and not obligatory.

Too many people have been "shocked" by immediate dismissals, which may or may not have been justified. No manager or company should be "shocked" at this time if someone quits immediately.

AND NO ONE QUITS IMMEDIATELY unless there are some strong underlying reasons, which may stem from their treatment at the company or some fear of being escorted to the door immediately anyway.

Ellen Smith responded 8 years ago: #121

Here's my situation, I put in a notice with intent to leave four weeks in advance, leaving at the end of the pay period. Now I've decided I don't want to work the last half week. I want to leave on Friday instead. Do you think it's okay for my to tell them now that I'll be leaving on Friday instead of my original date? I am scheduled for a Saturday, and I work for a financial institution. I don't plan on coming back to this company to work, but I wouldn't want a bad recommondation should I decide I'd like to work in financial business again. Thanks.

I responded 8 years ago: #122

How bad is it to sign an offer for employment and break the promise to go work for that company? The offer does not state anything but compensation and start date.

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #123

It's a tough decision. I had to do the same thing when I started my career. After day-to-day subbing in Chicago Public Schools for three months because there were no open teaching jobs, the first company offering a real position was good.

I would have been an inside sales person for a metals company. The second job offer came in a week later and paid about 10 percent more to work at Bell Labs for Western Electric and go to all of their training (East coast schools and courses 12 weeks training in the first year).

I made the decision to decline the first company and go to Bell Labs. I never regretted that very hard decision.

Look at what you are being offered and make a decision. It is part of life and part of being a manager of your own career.

Brian responded 8 years ago: #124

My former employer does some pretty slick stuff. They don't actually fire someone most of the time, even if they do they tell unemployment the employee quit. What they usually do is maneuver you to another position that you are set to fail at and let you quit out of your own frustration. Then they don't have to pay their portion of unemployment. I have seen them do it to countless people over the last four years. I just went through a surreal scenario with them myself. The owners nephew runs the portion of the company I worked for. I do commissison-based sales and I questioned my pay on a couple items that I was getting blatantly screwed on, more than normal. I left work for the day at my normal time and in about 45 minutes my phone rings. It was my boss calling me up to ask me, 'if I want to be fired." I informed him no I want what is fair. He said he'd see me for work on Monday, he'll handle the issues, and the phone call ended. In the meantime my friend, my direct manager, told me he said he was going to fire me before he called me. A few days go by and none of the issues were addressed they just kept stalling me. Next thing you know the owner comes in and speaks with his nephew. I hear them through a closed door say, "they are going to move me to another position right after the new month and let me blow myself out," a "promotion." I waited out the week, then at the most inopportune time for the company I took the nephew to the side without an audience and told him, "I am gone." He says to me, "we'll fight the unemployment you just quit, we'll fight it and win." So I told him I know you have been planning to fire me, but I'm no one's pawn so I'm leaving. Do what you feel you have to. I went right online and filed for unemployment and I said, "they fired me and the reason was unexplained but was done shortly after questioning on pay on a couple transactions." Whether I quit or got fired, they would lie so they wouldn't have to pay their portion this way at least the burden is on them to prove it's not on me to prove why the job was worth quitting. Some of the things employers do are really quite amazing.

Mary responded 8 years ago: #125

This page has been very helpful! I recently left a job that was initially supposed to be an "Assistant Director" position. About two weeks into the job, I heard my boss referring to me as her "assistant" and I realized thereafter that my responsibilities would never exceed answering telephone calls, filing, stuffing envelopes, etc. I addressed the issue in a professional manner, and basically posed it in such a way that I was willing to contribute more to the company, as I promised during my interview.

Consequently, my boss would insult me and speak to me in a demeaning manner. Screaming at me, badmouthing me, the whole nine. My confidence was shot, I was stressed out, my blood pressure was high, and I needed out. I left without a two week's notice and I don't regret it one bit.

My question is: Where do I go from here? In other words, how do I explain this short period of employment (2 months) on a job interview??? I am comfortable with my decision, but the future scares me. I feel that nobody should suffer this type of verbal abuse at the workplace. How do I illustrate my situation and defend my decision to leave to a future employer?


Derrick responded 8 years ago: #126

Here's my situation... I am employed by a contract firm but work on-site at the customer's location. I've applied for and accepted a position directly with the customer. When I start as a direct-hire, I'll sit in the same cube, do the same work, take work-related direction from the same on-site manager, etc. Do I need to give notice? If I do, it's my understanding that my employer will force me to make my last day a Thursday because their pay period ends on a Thursday. My new "position" has to start on Monday because of THEIR payroll calendar. I'd prefer NOT to sit at home on Friday w/o pay.

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #127

Thanks for sharing that story. People need to see how some companies are really "run."

Just explain the job was the wrong fit and you did not see any merit staying there. You do not have to go into detail and if you do, you say that the job was NOT what it how it was described in the interview and your skills were being under-utilized. BE HONEST - that is more than what your boss was to you in the interview.

One day without pay? Take the day off and relax. IT MAY BE YOUR ONLY OPTION - AND IT COULD BE A LOT WORSE.

You better find out if the company and contractor do not have any agreement where they cannot hire you directly.

Sometimes there is a waiting period or even a clause that says you cannot hire any of our contractors.

It sounds like you already have accepted a position but did you sign anything with the contractor company about giving notice and accepting a job with a client??

Better find out because you may quit and find out you cannot be hired due to contractual arrangements YOU may have signed.

Is that type of agreement common? YES.

Bill responded 8 years ago: #128

I am in engineering now and I am leaving my job opening a restaurant. I want to give ample notice that I am leaving and also leave the door open to possibly work part time in the future. I am planning on giving three week's notice, but I am afraid that I will be let go after I give my notice. If I don't hand in a resignation letter and they tell me to leave early (i.e. before the three weeks are up), does that constitute a layoff or firing, and could I collect unemployment? Just curious.

Jeff responded 8 years ago: #129

I have a situation which I haven't seen here yet. My dream job (professor) hires only for the fall, generally posting notices a year in advance. I applied for and obtained a professor position. However, my old job ended nine months before the new position, which I didn't have at the time, begins. In the meantime, I went to work for a prestigious research firm. I had no intention of leaving, as I didn't know the outcome of my professor search. So now I'm at this company that doesn't know I plan to leave in five months. They're a good company, and I've been fortunate enough to see a resignation in my group take place. This person gave roughly six weeks notice, and seems to be continuing in his duties unscathed. I'm not sure what to do when my time to resign comes near.

Brew responded 8 years ago: #130

James, et al.

I just quit my job. I had an offer which I accepted verbally and then rejected the written offer based on its content. Meanwhile, I had already left notice, so I quit the job.

I live in Pennsylvania and I have been advised by friends to keep my current company on my resume because:

1. On my application, I do not allow companies to call HR at the company I recently quit because they think I am still working there and that of course could jeopardize my standing.

2. If they insist on a reference from my old work, I have someone there who will vouch for me and my dates of employment.

I am concerned that they will call HR, but my friends are telling me that they cannot call HR because I did not allow them to on my app, and if they do call a reference I did not give them, then that is a place I wouldn't want to be working for anyway.

My question is: are companies allowed or even likely to call HR without my permission?

Ikari responded 8 years ago: #131

I just turned in my letter of resignation today. I'm in another of those wonderful "at-will employment" states, so there is no obligation to do anything. However, I'm one of those folk leaving the company on good terms - I don't hate them, they haven't pissed me off, or treated me poorly. Boss is actually a nice guy, he's just cheap. I moved on for better pay.

I went ahead and gave almost a two-week notice (no later than the end of this timecard) just because I'm nice like that, but requested to be relieved as soon as possible.

I'll see how it goes.

becca responded 8 years ago: #132

I'm quitting my job. I substitute teach, and I work at a small grocery store. I have worked at the grocery store for year, then I got the job subbing...I then gave notice but the store wanted me to work a few hours for them. Soon, got upset because they were giving me to many hours. Then, I went back to school, and I said I'd only stay if I could work two days a week, and have at least one weekend day off (because subbing requires 5 days a week, and I'd like one day off) They said sure. I'm not taking classes right now, but I did work an extra day for them. But now they have me scheduled for 25 hours, and 14 of them based on the weekened. The owner not the manager adds me to the schedule.

I'm really angry about it, because the condition I gave for working there was only 2 days, and I feel they broke their word. The idea that I have to work 7 days this week is incredibly frustrating, and it means I'll probably call of subbing one day. So I'm giving them notice. I want to give 2 weeks only because I know that they will be short.

I'm really ticked off about the whole situation.

Joy responded 8 years ago: #133

Hello, it is Joy -- again. Well, I didn't make it through 2 weeks notice at my last job. I only lasted a week, as I mentioned back in February, but I have a new problem and need to hear others' thoughts:

Summation: New job going great. They do an extensive background check to make sure that you haven't lied on your application. No problem. I don't foresee any problems, right? Guess what?! I job from 12 years ago that I did not give two week's notice to, reported that I was fired. YES!! I quit on a Friday and told them I wasn't giving two weeks notice. They called me on the following Wednesday, asking if I had "cooled off." I never called them back and never spoke to them again. I got a new job, oddly new boss knew old boss -- when they asked if they could call him boss #1, I told above story and told them I doubted he'd give a good reference. Got the job. Worked for new boss for 8 years, no problem. Now I leave and I get a brand new boss and the old boss from two jobs back reports that they fired me for unsatisfactory job performance. I guess there is no recourse is there? I guess I should just move on. . . Wow, it is hard to keep ones' career out of the hands of others! New job says it won't necessarily disqualify me from working -- but I am to write out "my side of the story." How awful! It makes me feel so jaded: you can work you buns off, take crap, do your duty, and the first moment you get a backbone and walk away, you are penalized. Any advice to a bitter person like me? What should be my next move?

S.J. responded 8 years ago: #134

Is an employer required to pay you the 2 weeks if you give notice and they ask you to leave? I am in Louisiana.

JF responded 8 years ago: #135

I have sort of a unique situation, and I was hoping you could help me work out a few things. I work at a publishing firm (trade magazines), and I am going to quit since I've had a better job offer. However, I have a few upcoming trips (to cover stories) that I have already been assigned, and that would fall within two weeks from my resigning date. My question is, should I still be required to go on these trips and then complete the stories that were involved? We are not paid overtime for trips and they usually fall on the weekends. The company does pay for all of our expenses on the trips, though. Should I offer to still cover the stories but ask that I be paid as a freelancer since I would probably have to write the stories after I had already left the company? Thanks!

JAMES CARLINI responded 8 years ago: #136

SJ - Short answer - NO. Vacation time. Yes.

JF - Your call. You are getting paid to do the work. Without knowing all the details, as long as you are getting paid, why not? You never know what you will encounter making the trip.

Cindy Z responded 8 years ago: #137

I live in Atlanta Georgia. My company's headquarters is in California. I am turning in my resignation letter tomorrow. I am pretty sure when they receive my resignation, my supervisor will ask me to leave right away. I had a similar circumstance happened to me five years ago. I had given my supervisor a two-week notice. She in turned asked me to leave right away. I was relying on the money that I would make through my two weeks. I then called my regional manager, and he stated that because she asked me to leave, they are required to pay me through my notice. I was very happy to receive my money and in turn have two weeks free to get everything in order for my new position. Question: Is there a state law that requires companies to pay through a two-week notice if they ask you to leave right away? Or is it a company policy?

Tim responded 8 years ago: #138

What is Mr. Carlini's, and others, opinion of "short notice?" Should it be "all or nothing?" I am in a spot where because of other conditions I may be forced to give a few days notice (resign a Monday afternoon and Thursday is my last day, ex.g.) Is it better to give a few days or better to walk out the same day? I am somewhat loyal to my employer and I would like to be professional, but outside circumstances will not allow me to give more than these few days.

Skariari responded 8 years ago: #139

I agree with not giving a notice. I recently gave a two-week notice to my employer Optivue of Ohio, and I was told my services were no longer needed that same day. I should have seen it coming because the company I worked for was known for doing this, but I felt I needed to do the right thing and be professional in nature. Also I gave specific instructions about receiving my last paycheck. The company screwed me over once again and mailed out my paycheck knowing I wanted to personally pick it up. I am in the proces of filing for unemployment for those two weeks but I have a feeling they will try to fight paying me for those two weeks. Technically, they fired me when they didn't allow me to complete my two weeks. I have learned a great lesson - if the company is known for letting employees go because they are mad about receiving a two week notice, DONT GIVE ONE!

Bobby responded 8 years ago: #140

After 10+ years of a successful work enviroment, including bonus' and raises, the company sold and for the last two years the working relationships have been ridiculous and highly stressful. I was written up the first year on my yearly progress report for a very minor thing (failed to complete one paper trail). They gave me a good review and a raise. This current year I received a good review and a raise; however, my hoped for bonus went to the new boss'
person he hired when he came. All the new people received bonus' but the employees who have served the corporation did not. Of course this did not set well with all of us. Since my raise, I have been called into the office several times over nitpicking things. They overloaded me with more work than four programmers could do, demanded that I work much longer hours, including weekends. The stress level was so bad the I quit. My immediate supervisor asked me if I meant I was taking early retirement. Although I probably should have said, "yes"; instead, I said, "No" and quit. I am 61 and did plan to retire within the next year. I did get a two weeks notice....worked one day....and was escorted from the building the second day. Now I find out that I am not able to draw unemployment without a conflict statement made to the unemployment office. Do I stand a chance of drawing unemployment insurance benefits? I really feel like their was some "age discrimination" going on here, but I'm not sure I want to fight it. I did read in the "Employee Manual" after the fact...that if I had taken an early retirement request that day, I would have received a three months severence pay. I live in AR and worked in TN. Thank you for your site. After the fact, it has helped me very much.
....mainly showing me that I am not alone in the way I have been treated.

dwc responded 8 years ago: #141

Amazing. This article spans over two years. Giving my "effective immediately" resignation letter tomorrow morning.

JAMES CARLINI responded 8 years ago: #142


Yes I think the depth and breadth of the comments show that the job market has definitely changed - for good.

If an employer has treated you well, by all means you can give them two weeks but don't be shocked if they escort you out that day - with NO two weeks pay for your notice.

They are NOT obligated to give you the two weeks pay - only money for any accrued vacation time.

You're not OWED two weeks pay for your "assumed obligation" to give two weeks notice, so figure it out. Don't count on another paycheck for those two weeks. Any accrued vacation time up to that point - yes.

Resignations - effective immediately - should have no negative connotations to the employee when the employer has that same option to get rid of you.

As an employer, I can get rid of you that day. So why should I expect something more from you? Only those with written contracts specifically stating a mutual 30-day notice or something to that effect holds BOTH parties to that mutial "respect."

I don't understand the pseudo-experts and career coaches saying anything to the contrary because they are then setting two standards.

Lawana responded 8 years ago: #143

I just received a letter from my former employer threatening me. The letter states: "In any event, be advised that I am the only person connected with this office authorized to provide a reference. If contacted, I will tell the truth - that you basically snuck out the back door without providing any notice, leaving work for hearing coming up in the next two weeks incomplete.

Can she do this?

Vince Fitzbagnoli responded 8 years ago: #144

I'm a big fan of the article because it is more realistic than these other broad ones. I'm in a dilemma, I have been working at a job for about a month, cleaner at Gold's Gym, and I have not really liked the atmosphere that I have been in through the constant nagging and rudeness I have recieved by my supervisor and manager. Then one day I took a minute off to watch TV and got a complaint to the manager, now just because of that she wants to give me a week trial to see if I should still be working there, but truthfully I would like to quit myself because of this terrible atmosphere and am wondering if you could give me advice on how I can or should handle this situation. Email me please thank you!

JAMES CARLINI responded 8 years ago: #145

Your lucky day, I just read through the new comments.

First Lawana - an employer should ONLY give TITLE and dates of service if they don't want to jeopardize themselves. By sending you a threatening letter like that - they open themselves up for lawsuits. DUMB. Sounds like you made the right decision to leave.

VINCE - leave and tell them that they created an unprofessional atmosphere and that you believe it is better for your career that you move on. PERIOD.

Some managers get these huge ego power trips that no HR person seems to recognize or comment on.

Managers are always perfect and employees must always be giving two week notices or more even if the environment is riddled with unprofessional supervision? Where is all this supposed to be?


As an employer, I have every right to terminate someone on the spot, No 2 weeks notice (or severance pay for that matter).

So if I have that right - and there is no "customary" tradition of having to give severance or notice - why do employees need to?

Do employers get warned of "don't burn your bridges" with that employee? Ever see an article by some HR expert writing about that?? LOL - let's all stop laughing and get back to discussing the real issues.

One career counselor a LONG time ago said to look at your career as YOUR business. YOU manage it. YOU control it. Just like your EMPLOYER's BUSINESS. If it is in the BEST interest of the business to terminate the association or relationship, you do it. As as EMPLOYER I reserve that right and as an employee YOU should reserve that right -- UNLESS - and there ALWAYS is the exception - Unless WE have a contract together that states specifically that we shall both be held to giving eachother a 30-day written notice.

Many people were told that several years ago after they got pushed out of jobs with NO NOTICE.

The suggestion was - on your next job, ask for a TERMINATION AGREEMENT which basically states that there would be a MUTUAL NOTICE of some duration - 14 days - 30 days - 90 days notice. But you can imagine that most employers would balk at that type of arrangement unless you were at a fairly high level (Vice President, director).

Bottom line - no mutual notice, no need for a "customary" two-week notice. And those saying that "Ohh,, you'll burn your bridges" There were no bridges to begin with.

This is a new working environment - one that has been globalized and has many foreign workers working in it. Good, bad, or indifferent THAT is the reality.

Funny thing. In several very different examples that I know about at major corporations, foreign workers didn't think anything of leaving the same day they give notice. It's not "customary" for them to give notice where they came from so they don't think they are "burning any bridges."

HMMMMmmm... let that sink in.

Anthony Imgrund responded 8 years ago: #146

Hey Mr. Carlini,

I want to thank you for your wonderful article. It's been out on for two years but it was a great read.

I gave my notice at my job, two-weeks' notice, a week ago and unfortunately I wish I had taken your advice. I had to give notice because our new manager and I just weren't working. She had something against me and I didn't like her relaxed work ethic. Anyway, my manager then put me on writen notice (which in my company means that I can't transfer or be rehired) today for "behaviour issues." I have done nothing but tie up loose ends and write lists of responsibilites so that the company, a company I cared for, wouldn't get too messed up after I left. Can she do this? She told me that now when a company calls them for a reference, my file is going to say "insubordinate and not to hire me."

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that I think people should take your advice and just leave. There is too much that can happen in those two weeks that can mess up everything you worked for.

sara responded 7 years ago: #147

I've been working in a small music studio (eight teachers) for the past four years. When I started there were very few students and 3 teachers, but over the years the studio has grown to over 150 students. The boss used to tell us that the studio is just starting out and she can't give us any raise, however over the years she's raised the students' tuition (secretly, but we found out) without any raise for her employees, to the point that I only receive 40 percent of what the parents pay for their kids' lesson. It's extremely unfair what we've been put through over the years, including her nagging, constant complaints, and moodiness. Now it's time that I leave the place, as I've finally generated private students of my own. I plan not to show up. My question is, can I send her a negative letter of resignation? I really want to do it, but don't want her to take me to court claiming that I defamed her. Any comments are highly appreciated.

Bob responded 7 years ago: #148

SLOWLY, many HR reps and corporations are realizing that the way they treat employees can 'burn their bridges,' too. From people talking at professional organization seminars to line workers chatting at the local tavern, companies get reputations, too. It may take a while, but COMPANIES that want to be successful should take a lesson from this article, too.

Gretchen responded 7 years ago: #149

I am planning on leaving my company pretty soon and I am in a dilemma about giving notice. The company's policy is that one must give 30 days notice in order to resign from the company. It's summer right now and everyone is on vacation - both the boss and the boss's boss. By the time everyone is back, I'll only be giving two week's notice. (Company policy also says I have to tender my resignation to the immediate supervisor) I don't want to be in the situation you mentioned, where I am walked out the door immediately. But I am wondering if there are any ramifications for not giving the company 30 day's notice, since it is part of their policy. I am not a contract worker - I didn't sign any contracts. I'm just a regular standard employee.

tim responded 7 years ago: #150

I'm thinking about leaving my current job and was just wondering, can my employer terminate me before my two week's notice is up?

Chris Carter responded 7 years ago: #151

I just read the article Ready to Leave. Everyone the harsh fact is that corporations are ruthless; The company you work for may drop you like an ex-wife, no notice. The simple matter is always give your two weeks. In this article, it was stated “You could give four week's notice. There is no guarantee of a good reference.” Why that is true is no guarantee, but be smart. If there is no notice, you are almost guaranteed a bad reference. In this day, you need references. Even if you do a good job, and put in your two weeks, then you will probable receive a good reference.

JAMES CARLINI responded 7 years ago: #152

Thanks all for your comments - I don't profess to know everything and will give you what I taught over the years at Northwestern - There are no experts in this industry and the best you can be is a good student - ALWAYS LEARNING.

Having said that, I have learned a lot from other people's experiences and hope by conveying all of this you can get a broader perspective for your own situation.

Please absorb this --- Once you give two-weeks notice, you are NOT entitled to two weeks pay. You could be escorted to the door the day you give notice.

As to getting references - there is more than one person at the company that can give you a reference. I still stick to the fact that if a person has not recognized you for four years, that person is NOT going to give you any glowing reference after you leave. If they do not want any lawsuits, they would be smart to state only two things - your title and the dates of employment. Anthing more than that - they are burning THEIR bridges as they can bs sued as well.

This whole thing of subtle intimidation and whisperings of "you better give two-weeks notice OR ELSE" is a load of XXXX.

There are situations in where you would be much more admired by your peers as well as future employers if you just said I evaluated my situation and determined it was best to terminate my association with that company. All that is is a clear, concise summary of the action you took at the time. If anyone is naive enough to think that every company has a great environment where there is no stress or personality conflicts, you probably should not be working for them either. Move on. I have found that quality places want quality people and places that are not quality are havens for poor management and bad environments. If you have the unfortunate luck to work at one of these places, I am sure you are trying to get out. Get out as fast as possible as any reference from a poor manager is going to be a poor reference.

NP responded 7 years ago: #153

As Carlini said:
"Once you give two-weeks notice, you are NOT entitled to two weeks pay. You could be escorted to the door the day you give notice."

I just put that there because that question keeps coming up again and again and again....

As for whether to not to give 2 weeks notice, I think that mainly depends on the company, how your relationship is with the manager(s), and how former employees were treated when they decided to resign.

These are my experiences with my last 3 jobs:
With the current company that I work for, I will give my 2-week's notice next week. I've had other friends give their 2-week's notice and none of them were walked out immediately. It's a good work environment, the managers are good. They interact in a friendly manner with the other employees and I think they deserve the courtesy of a 2-week notice.

In my previous job, I worked in the corporate office. The bosses there were good and deserved a 2-week notice. They let me stay those 2 weeks and I still contact them now and again. However, if I worked in the warehouse, I would not have given my 2 weeks. I would have given an "Effective Immediately" notice and left. The reason being that the manager there could not be trusted. Hearing from friends that worked down there, if you weren't his "buddy," he would fire you on the spot if you gave him a 2-week notice. He did not foster a friendly work environment and he had his favorites (all female), who basically could do no wrong.

And lastly, in my previous previous job, I would have left "effective immediately" if the manager had not left the company for another managerial position. He was replaced by a much better manager that earned my respect, and he did let me stay the full 2 weeks.

Sonya responded 7 years ago: #154

I'm in an odd situation, and this article could have just made me "see the light."

I've worked in a small office for the last few years and have hated my job since day one. I'm the youngest employee, and I'm treated like a dog. I'm a good, hard worker and I do a great job for the company. I honestly believe I'm treated poorly because I pose a "threat" as a talented young person.

I recently accepted a position with better pay and a much greater chance for growth, and I'm due to start in two weeks. I'm also due to receive a decent sized bonus from my current employer on what will now be my last day. If I give notice, I'm pretty certain that this company will keep my bonus. It's not a lot of money to this company, but it happens to be the money that I'm relying on to pay for my next semester of college.

Before reading this article, I was leaning toward doing the "right" thing and giving my notice, knowing that this company would probably keep my bonus that I earned during the second quarter.

I'm now convinced that I need to look out for ME instead. Why should I respect a company if they won't respect me?

This article was a tremendous help!

Mark responded 7 years ago: #155

I've experienced it both ways. I've submitted a gracious two-week notice that my supervisor interpreted as a betrayal and a personal affront. I've also been involuntarily laid off and escorted out the door with no prior notice.

I must admit it would be tempting to "stick a zinger" in the boss and stomp out the door, but I’d prefer to be the "bigger person" in that situation. No at-will employer is really entitled to a two-week notice, but any disadvantage in providing one is usually small.

Here's what I would recommend:

1 - Tell your new employer you plan to give your current employer the courtesy of two-week's notice. Also tell them that, depending on your current employer's reaction, you may be able to start your new job immediately if that's agreeable. (Get the offer and details in writing, of course).

2 - Remove all your personal stuff (including personal computer files) from your office and take it home (NOT to your car in the company parking lot).

3 - Compose and submit a (yecch!) kind letter of resignation. Limit it to (1) saying you are leaving and (2) identifying your last day of work. Nothing more, ESPECIALLY no reason!

4 - Try to live up to the date you promised in your letter. If the employer makes things unbearable, remind them you're staying on as a courtesy to them. If you have to remind them again, walk out immediately.

5 - If you receive any threats about negative references, tell your employer you have hired a reference-checking service, and that any unfavorable references will result in a lawsuit. Follow through if need be.

I think this approach puts you in the driver’s seat and keeps you out of the gutter. Giving a courteous notice to an employer who doesn’t deserve one isn’t really any skin off your nose – but I can certainly understand the temptation to do otherwise!

JAMES CARLINI responded 7 years ago: #156


Excellent points and to all those that worry about bad references and "not burning any bridges," read MARK's points 4 and 5.

Bridges are a two-way street and any less-than-professional manager or firm can be dealt with, with the threat (and follow-through) of a lawsuit.

The bullies and abusive bosses whistle a different tune when someone comes "a knocking on their door" with a subpeona to appear.

Unfortunately, this is the workplace that we work in, and you have to protect your career just as much as a company wants to protect its assets.

Alexis responded 7 years ago: #157

I recently had major surgery and my boss was very understanding. She is very nice and I really like her, but I want to leave this job because it is so micromanaged and I and I am not accustomed to that. After I read comments from others and yourself, I decided to work through my two-week notice up to eight days in hopes they will walk me out the same day. My problem is this: what should I say to my boss? I'm not sure a better opportunity would be the best thing to say because it really isn't, and she'll definitely know that. (She knows my soon to be new boss) People tell me I should say the "environment is not what I'm accumstomed too." Would this comment open up reasons for me to give her examples? Please help!

Dave P responded 7 years ago: #158

I worked for a major discount retailer based in Minneapolis. After having been on staff for a year, a new manager was hired to direct the efforts of the department I was in. After a very brief honeymoon period, her true colors began to show.

Not to get into too many details, but she exposed herself as unprofessional, unqualified, ego-centric, and paranoid. She was extremely territorial and tried to cover-up her ineptitude by intimidating and bullying.

Needless to say, we did not get all. I managed to suffer through another year of working for her before I was fortunate enough to get another job.

Because of the nature of our relationship, when I decided to submit my resignation, complete with a two-week notice, I made sure I had my e-mail cleaned out, all my personal belongings in my car, and was prepared to leave immediately. They did not ask me to leave though. Strangely, my boss acted surprised I was leaving wanted me to stay for the two weeks.

Then...the two weeks from hell started. She would show-up in my cube and ask me to transfer files as she watched over my shoulder. She asked me repeatedly why I hadn't finish projects that were still open. She displayed a level of mistrust that was ridiculous. Finally, she ask me for my network ID and login password, which I was not required to provide to her. Apparently, she was convinced that I was somehow hiding something or being dishonest. Anyway, I ended up leaving a day early after refusing to give her my login information.

Since that time, I have heard through at least three confirmed sources that I have been blamed for a number of problems in the department...even a year after I left!

This is the best part of the story....and I'll make it quick. She ended up getting fired and her boss told her the reason was, "you have no expertise in your profession"... and it was a small bit of vindication. I was even aware that she was getting fired when her boss met with myself and my new boss to discuss how the company could better perform the functions she was responsible for.

Moral of the story... beware of doing the "right thing" and giving two-week's notice.

JAMES CARLINI responded 7 years ago: #159

ALEXIS - just say - "Thank you for the opportunity to work here and best regards in the future."

Hopefully she will say something cordial back. Don't get into the Gettyburg Address. Just say good-bye and thanks.

DAVE P.- Great job of giving a story of reality that somehow never makes it to all the HR experts' views on leaving a company. Everyone go back and re-read it.

Yours is one of reality and more common than what many would want to see. Everyone take note to the point he makes about getting blamed for problems even a year later.

After over 150 posts - I am surprised all the HR experts haven't weighed in on this and tried to "corporate-speak" their way into excuses for bad management.

Kathy responded 7 years ago: #160

Hello Mr. Carlini,

I'm actually asking this question on behalf of my husband. He just put in his one week notice to resign from a company that he has worked at for the past 2 years. The issue is that all of a sudden his manager is scrutinizing his last expense report (one he's already been reimbursed for!) and requesting that he send receipts for items over $10. This is the first time that this has ever been requested in the 2 years that he has worked there! Every expense report that he's had has been approved and he's be properly reimbursed! The rule for his previous expense reports was that he had to submit receipts for anything over $25 and now the new rule changes to $10 on his last week of work? To make matters worse, this expense report is exactly the same as previous reports (ie. gas, postage, phone bill). All items that he is entitled to as far as reimbursement goes. Nothing has changed in regards to what and how much is being expensed from month to month. Why are they changing rules and nit-picking at the last minute? He's been an ideal employee for their organization and I can't help but wonder if they are just bitter that he is leaving. What can they do to him legally if he can't provide receipts for these gas expenses that they are claiming are "questionable?" He a sales rep and he's required to travel to multiple states! Mind you, the gas he's using is going into the gas tank of their COMPANY CAR!!! Please advise! Thanks.

Atlanta, GA

Kristina responded 7 years ago: #161

I want to thank you for this article. It has helped me in my decision-making with resigning from my job. I was recently injured on the job and had to have surgery. I have been out for quite some time, and since I exceeded the maximum amount of time that an employee can be off, they posted my guaranteed hours, which was 24 hours a week, and placed me as "relief," meaning I now have no guaranteed hours. They explained to me that once I returned to work, they could place me wherever needed, meaning I may not even get the same job back. Basically, when you get hurt at work, they think that they can just terminate your job, and do whatever they want with you. I'm tired of the way the organization is playing these games with me. So, now that I am not guaranteed any hours, and since they basically just call if they need me, which may be never, I feel that I need to resign from this job completely. My question is this:
are "relief" employees required to give notice that they are leaving? Thanks again for this article.

JAMES CARLINI responded 7 years ago: #162


If he has not "over-expensed" anything, he should have nothing to worry about. As to turning in inflated expense reports, that's a different story.

Unless you signed some type of contract to give notice, you can walk the day you give notice.

So many of these issues seem to be common across many companies.

Kathy responded 7 years ago: #163

Mr. Carlini,

Thanks for the response! My husband has not "over-expensed" anything, in fact, he's always come in under budget and that is the point that I am making. It seems as if the company is trying to create a situation by changing rules at the last minute about showing receipts for items that he was never required to show receipts for in the very recent past! I just don't want any surprises in the future claiming that we owe them money based on something they have cooked up to be vengeful against my husband!


Sam responded 7 years ago: #164

I have had the pleasure to work for a gentleman at Chrysler as contractor. This way back in 2000. Four months into the contract that was originally scheduled to be 3-year contract, I was called by my manager into a conference room. He said that he had some bad news for me. Because of budget cuts they had to let me go. He gave an option: I can work for the next 2 weeks and get paid for it or that day could be my last day and I still get paid for 2 weeks. I told him it was a tough decision (with a smile). He replied: "That's what I thought!" He also gave me a very good reference for my next project within the same company a couple of months later.

And I got paid for the 2 weeks that I did not work.

The second project was an entirely different affair. When my project was coming to a close, the vendor contact person came to my desk and told me that that was the last day, and asked me to pack up my stuff. She actually waited till my boxes were packed and my access card was returned and then I was walked out the door. Although I was expecting this, as they were doing this everyone, it didn't help.

I've been working as a contractor for my current client for the past 3 years. My rates haven't changed since I started work here. For the past 6 months, I have been asking my manager to increase my rates. He said that he needed to discuss with HR and the VP. And finally he agreed to give me an increase. I then asked him to inform HR about this proposed increase. I waited for a week and then informed HR of the new rate. Couple of hours after that, I got a call from my manager stating that HR and VP were not happy with the raise. So I told him to take care of it. After 2 weeks, I was told that there would be no increase. Zip, zero, zilch.

I promptly put my resume on Monster and have received a lot of calls. I have accepted a contract offer with another company at a higher rate with the additional benefit of getting trained on technologies that I haven't had the chance to work on.

The contract should come through any time now. I intend to give my 2 weeks notice. If they ask me to leave immediately, no problem. The client needs me to start by yesterday.

My advise to people: Do not make any emotional decision. Decisions should be logical regardless of how that would make you feel.

Paul responded 7 years ago: #165

I am retiring in November. I want to stay at least until my 55th birthday on the 13th. Is there any reason I should give any notice?

Coco responded 7 years ago: #166

I found this article very refreshing and true. I worked in a department in company that has been sinking like a ship at sea. We have not been making production goals and are always the underdog. About 2 years ago, our department came under new management. Two months after hiring the manager of the department, she fired a newly hired employee. About 6 months after that she fired 2 more people. In between that time, 1 person quit to raise her newborn baby, 2 people went out on maternity leave, and another person left our department to work in another. For about 3 months, we worked on a skeleton crew where we formally had 16 people in our department we now had 8. We each had to do double our share of work during the time period between terminations and maternity leave. I also notice my boss' increasing hostility towards me because I had formerly worked directly with the old manager and one of the people that changed departments.

For some reason or another, these two did not get along with the new boss. In my first review, my new boss gave me a stellar review. Then on my 2nd review, she gave me a crappy review, saying that I wasn't doing any work. When I pointed out to the manager that after she terminated a few of the people she gave me their work and I was filling in for the girl on maternity leave, she said she wasn't aware of it. She said that I brought out good points and that she would change my raise amount. She later came back to me and said she couldn't. Suprise, suprise. I immediately started sending out my resume and looking for a new home. I also had heard rumor from upper management that everyone in our department was replaceable. With that in mind, I didn't want to work for a company that could be so callous.

I decided that I would work for a goverment and took a few tests to work in a government agency. With all the background check and reference that government agencies do, it has taken me several months, but while I was on vacation from my old job the government agency had given me a tentative offer on 9/4. I went back to work on 8/14 despite thinking to myself I should have clear out my desk the night before that day my job terminated me.

The only good thing that came out of it was that they gave me 2 weeks severence pay, which is better than I would have made out quitting. They called it a reduction in workforce. Which is probably true, but the boss acted as if she expected me to cry and at first she acted as if she was going to pour on the waterworks to make it seem like it was such a hard decison for her as well.

I agree with this article - most jobs do not extend courtesy to their employees and they expect you to give them your life, but they don't do simple things like respect you.

Mark responded 7 years ago: #167

I really appreciate all the posts in this article. As of now, it's Sunday night and I have butterflies in my stomach because first thing Morning...I'll be putting in my 2 week notice. I've already accepted a much better position and I'm starting in 2 weeks. I've been debating with my wife and friends whether they'll escort me out the door Mon. or let me work out my two weeks. To complicate things, I have a vacation scheduled right in the middle of my two-week notice which I'm not cancelling!. I'll let ya'll know how it goes.

Jones responded 7 years ago: #168

Just quit and go on vacation.

Fort responded 7 years ago: #169

Dear James,

I came across this piece about not burning your bridges. I'd like to hear what everyone thinks of this.

Jones responded 7 years ago: #170

I just put in my notice. I gave them 3 days. Here is a response I got from the regional manager:

"One piece of advice about departing companies, as a friend and not a manager. It's a small world in our industry, and how you conduct yourself as you exit can often pop up unexpectedly later in your career. It is what it is at this point, but if you move on from your next company (and I hope you never have to), you should really consider giving two-weeks notice. No matter how frustrated you may be with the environment you are leaving (and I've been there), it's the right thing to do to protect yourself in the future."

So basically he's telling me give 2 weeks notice so if maybe at some point in the future I happen to be looking for a new job, and on the slim-to-none chance he or someone else from this company is the hiring manager, they'll look more favorably on me because I treated them nice when I left, whereas they treated me like crap when I worked for them.

Well I'm sorry, I can't bring myself to buy that load of BS. If they were paying me what I was worth and not trying to overwork me and if the IT director wasn't such a moron, I probably wouldn't have started looking for a new job. It's like these corporations are trying to have it both ways. "Hey we could care less about you while you're here, but If you ever leave could you be nice to us and make sure our business doesn't have any issues when you leave?"

Deborah Buie responded 7 years ago: #171

I have recently had a couple of employees do something that I have NEVER heard of anyone doing before: they took vacation & didn’t come back on their first day of work. They came back the next day, but both had “excuses” why they couldn’t come back. One said that her family had decided to stay another day, so she had no ride back into state. The other stated that she would be back on her scheduled first day back, but would be 3 hours late. Then she called & said she’d missed her plane, so wouldn’t be back. Her first day back should be today… actually in about ½ an hour. I’ll see then if she does return.

What would you suggest would be a good remedy to prevent this from happening again?

Jenny responded 7 years ago: #172

I have been employed for 9 months, with promised bebifits that have never come through!!!!!!! I accepted a new position across the street. Do I have to tell my employer where I'm leaving for?

Janelle Landers responded 7 years ago: #173

I just resigned my position yesterday and agree that providing two weeks notice unreasonable in today's work environment. In my case, I have a highly incompentent manager who created a hostile work environment, minimized by accomplishments, and his attitude to any questions that affected my job responsiblities were ultimately met with "That's the way I want it." Like many others in the office, I started suffering health problems. When he required me to actually go to a doctor to get a note in order to have access to a chair during a 4-5 hour shift on a retail counter, the doctor ended up sending me to emergency. The doctor who saw me put me out for three days. Later in the month I suffered additional medical problems and ended up in the hospital for 3 days. When I returned to work my boss slapped me with a written "oral" warning stating I had exceeded my sick leave time and it was affecting my performance. I notified HR and they suggested I go out on FMLA. I did so for 2 months. When I returned my manager and other staff members gave me the cold shoulder, the guy who was promoted over me after only 5 months on the job was out on medical leave himself, and I had more counter time than anyone else in the office, although the lower-level positions were the ones who were supposed to man the counter.

Anyway, I was able to secure a higher level position in a competitive firm. I actually liked my job and dealing with clients, but the work envionment due to this man was hostile, combative; the manager overtly pitted people against one another, and changed the rules daily. It was impossible to be successful in that environment.

When I was out on leave, someone had totally cleared out my office, including my client files. Once I received written confirmation of my offer of employment, I went into my office, left my keys in the drawer and contacted HR to advise them I was leaving that day. They wanted to conference my manager in, and I told them I did not want to. I would leave him a resignation letter, effective that day. When advised me that by not giving two weeks notice, I might not be able to be re-employed, I told her that was quite alright. She said since I was leaving for a competitor, it was the manager's discretion to allow me to leave that day and pay me for two weeks (I had already been paid for the month). She said I might get a spreadsheet reflecting my overpayment. I said I didn't care. I then summarized the reasons I was leaving and did not feel I owed this incompentent manager any more of my time. She kept putting me on hold and saying things like there are certain things the manager has to do when people leave... checklists of what I was to turn in, etc. I told her I had nothing left to turn in, they had already cleared out my desk, and there was no reason for my being there. While I was on leave, my counterpart also found other employment and left after his resignation.

It's unbelievable to me that employers such as mine still try to control the employee and only let them leave on THEIR terms, even when they've behaved so horribly to the employee.

I had had enough. I live in an at will state and can terminate my employment at any time, just as they can terminate me. I left on my terms, which was THAT DAY. It will give me two weeks to detox from that environment and prepare for my new job.

Janelle Landers responded 7 years ago: #174

To Jenny:

No, you are not obligated to tell the employer you are leaving or where you are going.

Janelle Landers responded 7 years ago: #175

*edited to say:

No, you are not obligated to tell the employer "why" you are leaving and where you are going.

Janelle Landers responded 7 years ago: #176

I was just reading my new job's employee handbook. It required me to sign a page that stated that they are an at-will employer and I have the right to terminate my employment at any time for any reason, without notice - just as they have the right to terminate me at any time for any reason without notice. Those are the terms of at-will employment - I don't care whether the employer (as my former one said) that it's "customary" to give 2 weeks. In my former manager's case, he most certainly didn't deserve it.

JAMES CARLINI responded 7 years ago: #177

In response to JONES, who quoted his his regional manager -
"One piece of advice about departing companies, as a friend and not a manager. It's a small world in our industry, and how you conduct yourself as you exit can often pop up unexpectedly later in your career. It is what it is at this point, but if you move on from your next company (and I hope you never have to), you should really consider giving two-weeks notice. No matter how frustrated you may be with the environment you are leaving (and I've been there), it's the right thing to do to protect yourself in the future."

How come companies don't care about "their" reputation? If it's such a small industry, they should be concerned about THEIR reputation in treating people.

Here's some advice from an executive advisor and expert witness:
Somehow many local and regional managers are not at all concerned about their employees but just their immediate boss, meeting their immediate objectives and collecting their quarterly bonus. If you leave - you may impact their money. That's all.

Telling you that two-week's notice is the right thing to do is absolute BS. If they never cared for or recognized you when you were there, why would they ever give you a glowing reference after you leave and you are not helping them meet THEIR objectives?

Did you ever hear from the Regional Manager before this? Did he ever compliment you on any of your work?

EVERYONE THINK ABOUT THIS. It defies logic to think that a mediocre (at best) manager is even going to remember you, let alone comment on your job performance if he or she never recognized it while you were there.

Giving 3 days in a work environment like that is more than fair. Leaving the same day would not be looked down at from managers "who have been there."

If you have been "in the industry" no matter what industry it's in, you know that some places are great to work at and others are sweatshops - or worse.

A good manager (at another company) might give you MORE credit to figure out that you did not have to stay in a bad environment and that you just might have more integrity and value your work. Just the opposite "insight" from your all-knowing Regional Manager.

If a company really cares - and sees that people are leaving and without "customary" notice, they just might think that maybe it's some of the low-level managers that should be replaced. Good workers are hard to find - and harder to keep if you have poor management.

D Simpson responded 7 years ago: #178

I recently left a job and although I did not provide 2 weeks notice, I didn’t just abandon the job by not showing up. I wrote a letter of resignation that detailed my intentions and I requested that the full 2 weeks notice be waived to avoid any dangling payroll issues. I then worked the remaining 3 days of the pay period. I was shocked to discover upon receiving my final pay that I had only been paid 53% of my hourly wage. At first I thought that they had merely made an error. I called and was told that I had signed an agreement in the employee hiring packet stating that I would only be paid minimum wage if I did not provide 2 weeks notice.

I can accept taking responsibility for signing the agreement and not recalling. I was prepared for this job change and had some savings to cover the period until my wages resume. Imagine how this would affect a single parent depending on their full wages to pay rent, buy groceries, or any other responsibility.

I can envision only misuse and abuse of this loophole by businesses that operate on the fringe of ethical practices. While this may not be prevailing practice among companies at this time, it should not be allowed to continue. I’m not sure how this would affect any accrued vacation, sick leave, or other PTO, and it may not but it certainly does affect wages that you should be entitled to at your “pre” notice rate.

I have learned to read and document all documents signed during the hiring process and to reconsider any employment offer made from a company that operates in this manner.

Janelle Landers responded 7 years ago: #179

"I called and was told that I had signed an agreement in the employee hiring packet stating that I would only be paid minimum wage if I did not provide 2 weeks notice."

That seems odd. In an at-will state, which most states are, either party may terminate the employment for any reason or no reason, with or without notice. That seems to be an odd clause.

byron walton nola responded 7 years ago: #180

I recently resigned my job in a hospital setting and gave them a two-week notice. I was out the door 10 minutes later saying they would accept my immediate resignation. Can they do that even if wanted to say the two extra weeks?

JAMES CARLINI responded 7 years ago: #181

A new article is coming.

To all those focused on the change in pay due to signing some odd agreement like SIMPSON & SANDERS: A lesson learned - ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT. I do not understand that either. I do not know what either of you do, but that sounds bogus to me.

Companies that have that policy should be avoided like the plague AND BE PUBLICLY spotlighted for others to beware of. Just like companies say they have selective policies on hiring people. You should have selective policies in taking a job at a bad company - avoid them from the start.

Funny how some have commented on this thread about their bosses warning them about burning bridges and not tarnishing their reputation. What about reputations of the companies that have that type of policy in place?

BYRON - Yes they can. If you were counting on that two-weeks pay whether you worked or not - sorry.

So if they skirt you out -- will anyone even REMEMBER that you "did the right thing" and offered a two-week notice???

THINK ABOUT THAT PEOPLE.. if a company as an immediate out-the-door policy after you offer a two-week notice. How would they remember if you offered one or not?

They do not accept it (that way they "save" two-weeks pay). Why give one? Plan accordingly.

Where are all the HR experts weighing in on this one? I will say it again - Two-week notices went out with nickel beers.

WCW responded 7 years ago: #182

I am a supervisor for a large corporate organization.

Here is my situation.
I have been offered a much better job with a company that also does contract work for my current employer.
I am having a hard time deciding on how to go about leaving because I want to leave and give my two-week's notice. However, I am scheduled for surgery next week and will most likely will be out of work for 4-6 weeks anyway. I have worked with most of the people in my office for the better part of the last 7 years. I am having a few feelings of guilt because there are a few things that only I know how to do and I know they are going to be in a real jam when I leave. I am also worried how they are going to react when they find out who I am going to work for. Since the new job is already guaranteed I am not worried about any references. Should I be worried about only giving 5 days notice? I would just like to hear someone elses opinion on this.


George responded 7 years ago: #183

I have two stories of two-weeks notice I would like to share.

Last December, I was working for the UPS Store, and I had been there for 10 months. I was going to college full time and I wanted only 20 hours a week. My boss and I reached a deal, but a few weeks later he said he "needed me to be there 35-40 hours a week." Inevitably, my grades suffered and my boss and co-workers began painting me in a different light because my grades started falling apart. To top it all off, one day I came into work and he actually accused me of "partying at the lae with friends because I looked under the influence." I was so insulted by this that I left him a 2-weeks notice, but I "did the right thing" and timed my 2 weeks so I would leave once his busy season ended. Long story short: everyone ignored me the final 2 weeks, and he refused to give me my Christmas bonus despite working the full two weeks. See where that got me? I flunked the semester and ended up jobless because of that.

My most recent involves my two current employers. I made it clear from the onset I was working two jobs. About a month in, one of my bosses tweaked my hours so I couldn't work at the other job while actually cutting my hours to about 23 a week. I simply cannot survive on 23 hours a week, and it affected my ability to succeed at my second job. When he ignored my scheduling requests, I gave my 2 weeks on Monday and left halfway through my shift when a spectacle was made of me leaving. I have regrets and I wish I did this at the UPS Store.

Our country needs serious reforms for workplace conditions. How can an employer get away with half the crap that they can?

MJ responded 7 years ago: #184

Well, I have seen the light. I know I'll be walked out the door. No notice for me. I need those two week's pay. And why worry about the reference. Many employers such as mine have policies about what you can say about former employees when called. We are allowed to confirm that yes this person did work for us, and the dates they worked for us. Anything more is in direct violation of company policy.

JAMES CARLINI responded 7 years ago: #185

WCW - go and don't feel guilty. Five days is enough and won't create any major issue.

I believe what MJ says is becoming more and more standard policy on reference checking:
"......allowed to confirm that yes this person did work for us, and the dates they worked for us. Anything more is in direct violation of company policy?

Jenny responded 7 years ago: #186

I gave my two weeks notice 4 workdays ago. Since then, the owner's and the manager's attitudes toward me are aggressively worse by the day. My parents raised me to do the right thing no matter what comes about. "Two wrongs don't make a right" is what my mother has told me ever since I can remember. I decided that I would bust my butt up to the last minute of the last day just as hard as I have every day of the two years I have been with this small company. (By small, I mean, including myself, the owner, and her son/manager, there are seven people on staff.) After how bad things were today, I am seriously considering leaving before the two weeks are over. The only two things that kept me from walking out today are 1) the guy I have been training that will have the same job I do. I don't want to leave him "High and Dry." 2) I feel a strong need to finish up certain jobs with the customers that I have built a strong trust and business relationship with. But reality is, I feel it may have been in my own best interest to have just left the day I put in my notice. I am torn about what I should do, given my strong moral values, my view of responsibility, and doing what is right. Any advice is more than welcome.

Daniel responded 7 years ago: #187

Jenny -

I understand your situation. At my last job I worked in a very small company where it was a total of 5 employees including myself. From the looks of it, you have either already quit or you still have a day or so left of dealing with this job. The one thing that I found to be a bitter sweet aspect of working in such a small job is that you tend to become "friends" with your boss or other co-workers that may be above you. It's nice when things are chugging along, but it's not so nice when you're in a situation like yours. When I first started working at my previous job, I told my boss that I would be very open and honest with him about everything. Ie: If he's ****** me off by doing something I am going to tell him about it to. It turned out to be a great idea in my situation (as I was too valuable to let go anyway..) because it was easy to calm bad situations very fast. "Hey, this isn't cool. I don't like the fact that you're yelling about something that you DID NOT TELL ME TO DO." Most employees and employers will not be in a situation like that though. The worst part of all of that was when I needed more pay and the company could not provide. Leaving when you are somewhat of a "Friend" with your boss isn't easy. You end up feeling bad especially when you KNOW the company really needs you, as you were there when the office manager screwed up the books and hosed the company with the IRS. So all in all, my advice is to just be open with your employer. If they are ticking you off, the worst thing they can do is fire you anyway! Which would just make that last 2 weeks take even less time. :) Leaving in a good note is always a thing to strive for, but you also have to realize that your previous employer can have a law suit filed against them if they say the wrong things to your new company who WILL call them and try to get info. So it's in their best interest to not talk bad about you in the first place. Hopefully this helps if it's not too late. Cheers.

Casey responded 7 years ago: #188

I have a dilemma I'd like opinions on. I currently work in a "state" job, but in mid-management, so I'm not protected by a union. I could be fired at any time. And, I hate this job. I also have a 75 minute commute. I think I have a good shot at getting a job 5 miles away from my house, but the same pay, but less vacation, sick time, and retirement. Would I be an idiot to go for the new job?

SPer responded 7 years ago: #189

Great column, great advice. I worked in IT for a small NYC mortgage firm. Initially I was hired to provide data analysis for clients but also handle "light" IT support for 6 people. I accepted a low salary (70K) b/c I was told the company was booming. I was the IT island literally as I reported to the CIO who worked in CA but I supported an exec in Manhattan. We had all kinds of vpn drops and I spent lots of time troubleshooting issues with the network admin (not my background nor did claim it to be). The first year was ok but I had no goals established. Reviews were based on email feedback from other employees/execs. I got a "good job" but no raise. Other employees informed me that the co. did not give consistent raises. Reg flad alert was when the HR director (yes, HR) walked out without notice. After 1.5 years, the company doubled in size. We hired 100 more off-site contractors (who I also supported over the phone) and added 6 more employees to our cramped NY office. I asked my boss for a raise based on my increased role and he said he did not get enough positive feedback. I voiced my concerns that the constant VPN problems frustrated people & potentially hindered my performance reviews. He dismissed this saying people were smart enough to know it was not my fault (bad network admin & bad routers). What!? These people were 50-60 years old. They constantly blamed me for every problem - email, server, phones, Blackberries. On top of that, the clients were barraging us with data requests. After 2 years, I had no raises or 401K contributions (even though my offer letter stated they provide match and profit!) Bonuses were about 5% after taxes if you were lucky. This is NYC, for God's sake. Rents, taxes, gas,commute costs and everything else what up 15-20% in a couple of years. After my second year review, my boss promised a raise and promotion after the 1st qtr (April). I had a solid review from the tighest screw in the company as well as a great review from our toughest client. In mid April, I called my boss to remind him that I needed the raise. He said he would call me back. Two weeks went by and he never called me. I had been interviewing for several months so that I could leave, if needed. I got an offer the last day of April and resigned on the spot. NY is an at will state and I reminded him of that information. It was a sweet moment. He was shocked and bitter as he just got back from India (surprise, he was looking to outsoursce jobs). The company was making piles of cash during the mortgage boom yet refused to share with the employees. I watched others put two weeks in & get treated like lepers by the execs. Pure greed. They got what they deserved. Put in two weeks if the company treated you decently otherwise walk because you won't get a good recommendation anyway. Time have changed. Companies will cut you on a dime. Three of my past 4 companies don't exist anymore. Remember, they don't owe you employment but you don't owe them anything either. Just read your contract before doing anything.

JAMES CARLINI responded 7 years ago: #190

SPer - you did it right based on your circumstances.

CASEY - There are tradeoffs. Leave now and don't look back.
You stay - you could develop stress and anxiety - what is that worth?

For those reading this column - there is a new article that was just written in November 2007.

Stephanie responded 7 years ago: #191

I have a dilemma. I have been working for a state facility with individuals who have mental illnesses for six months. I have to deal with violent clients on a regular basis. I get hit, bit, kicked, spit on, get my hair pulled, etc. About once a day we have to put someone in a restraint who is having behaviors. There is constant stress, and to add to it, the staff does not work together. Everyone gossips and backstabs each other. There are "clics" just like high school. The supervisors are not supportive and do not give any recognition for the hard work we do. One staff member has been harassing me constantly. However, he is the life of the party, and everyone likes him. If I were to fill out a complaint, I would not only have to deal with him but everyone else. I interviewed for another position and was hired. I put in my two weeks notice, but now the harassment has worsened. I am very fed up with everything. I do not think I can finish my two weeks without losing my mind. All of my previous work references would speak very highly of me and my work. And although it is completely out of character for me, I am thinking I will not be completing my last two weeks.

John responded 7 years ago: #192

Not sure if this is a good idea, but I usually will say that I am available in 2 weeks, but also indicate that I will attempt to negotiate a shorter transition. This has in several cases allowed me to accept a position, and make the change as soon as I can transition the duties to a new person.

Todd responded 7 years ago: #193

Great article, James. You've been very informative and helpful.

I'm just looking for some input on my situation.

I'm currently working a temporary job for the county. I really enjoy the job, my boss is wonderful and took a chance with even hiring me, and the commute is less than 5 minutes.

However, I've been offered another permanent job that would be more focused on my skill set and would have benefits, and such.

Plus, there's only one week before this next job starts, which I can't really push too much later due to the holiday season.

Plus, I have access to confidential documents concerning disabled students, so it's possible that I could be terminated immediately.

Sounds easy to leave with no notice, but the problem comes in that:
1) It's likely that I may attempt to get another county job in the future.
2) I REALLY need a positive reference, as I was laid off my previous job under a bad situation (nothing that I did, but my only boss there will not say anything positive about me, and NY is a state where they can't say anything negative, so places of employment may assume that I did something wrong), and I have no other professional references outside of that.

JAMES CARLINI responded 7 years ago: #194

Stephanie -- you have very good reasons to leave immediately. Who is worried about your health? You need to go.

Todd - talk to your boss. Lay everything out and give a week. He has to remember that you are part-time and you are going to a full-time job. I think he would appreciate a one-week notice better than nothing. Maybe you will be terminated that day anyway. Give one week and you walk with a clear conscience.
(If it was a bad situation and you were part-time, I would say walk immediately).

Todd responded 7 years ago: #195

Thanks, Jim.

It's a full-time job, just a temporary 2-3 month position.

After reading some of the paperwork that I signed when I was hired, I think it's likely that HR would boot me out the second I mention that I'll be resigning.

I just think that's very wrong, when you're expecting people to give 2 weeks notice. I'm a young guy (24), I'm not made of money, especially in December. Yet, at least :).

Thanks for letting me vent, Jim.

April Fowler responded 7 years ago: #196

This is so great that everyone is having an opportunity to share job experiences. I hope that you can read one more as I am desparately looking for some sound advice! I am fresh out of college (August of last year) and have had a job since then and am currently there now. I work for the state and it's at a medical university. My husband is at school there and we thought it would be ideal to ride to work together, so I applied for jobs and got this administrative assistant position. It was a brand new position when I started so my boss was never really sure of what I was to do except for that I was to learn a computer program that administers course and faculty evaluations to medical students. No offense to the other employees there, but I work faster than some of them - mainly because I'm new and I'm more familiar with how to use a computer. So, in addition to running the computer program, I was given more responsibilities. My new responsibilities included doing part of someone else's job b/c there was some "restructuring" going on (give the new girl what you don't want restructuring). So I began managing 150 medical students in their first clinical year of medical education. This means I work with 20 course coordinators, plan orientation, I implemented a new computer program to streamline processes here as well and taught people how to use it. I created many publications and generally felt as though I have made things better for the students and staff. My first responsibility, the computer program - was then decided to be expanded to the entire university (6 colleges). Since my boss was credited with starting the program in my college, she was asked to lead the implementation committee for the remaining 5 colleges. I was the ONLY person on campus that knew how to use this program well enough to teach people (my boss doesn't know it either). I began teaching people to use the program in January of this year. By February, I told my boss that training everyone on campus to use this program was taking a LOT of my time and it would need to be a higher percentage of my job or be someone's full time job. She didn't do anything. Then I went to her boss. She didn't do anything. April came and I'm busting my tail doing my original jobs and training everyone to use this program. The university had not budgeted for a support person....??? The company said they would provide all the support necessary, but we ALL know how that goes. Nonetheless, I'm the type person who makes sure it's right. Spring evaluations and summer evaluations go off great but we were piloting the program then. Fall was the real test. I continued to tell my boss that I was over worked, stressed out, and couldn't continue to do it all. She was in the meantime (July) offered a position to be the director of a new initiative on campus. That new initiative had $ for an administrative assistant, so she took me with her to her new position so that I could stop doing my College of Medicine third year duties and just do E*Value but then begin helping her with her new initiative when needed. So I had to say yes if I were to continue working on the program (which I enjoyed working on it at the time - still hopeful that I would get a full time job out of it). I began working for $25k and now make $33k - but a new College of Medicine employee just started Monday (still doing College of Medicine work), I running a program for the entire campus and training everyone to use it, and I am helping my boss with her new job. Prior to the new program, a PhD and a staff person made sure all evaluations (paper) were administered. Now that it went electronic - they think that it's magic. So I am in a sense - doing two people's jobs while running the program for the university AND I'm doing double the work because while the success of the program is my responsibility, they won't let me just schedule the evaluations myself. They make me train people to do it. Then b/c it's my responsibility if it's right - I have to go back and double check everything all the time. Why not me just do it in the first place? I told them this and they told me no. This is on top of the program's support being AWFUL. We have a brand new person who is our customer service client and I know more about the program than she does. It's a frustrating situation to be in when you have voiced the right things to do so many times and no one listens - they don't listen b/c you don't have a PhD behind your name. My boss doesn't look out for me, she's after her own career advancements. And - I'm overworked and underpaid. I get it ALL done - I work at home, I work on the weekends, I work all day, everyday. I'm frustrated everyday and mainly because I know how to make it better - but they won't do it. So - basically, if I leave, they are pretty much left out to dry. The new girl who's taking my College of Medicine responsibilities is expected to be trained by me and she won't be. We're in the most critical part of the semester - evaluation time and I won't be there if I leave. They will see how bad the program is and how much I actually do because right now - they're all okay b/c it's working. As long as it works, it looks good for the college users who are learning it (but I'm doing the work and making sure it's right) and looks good for the program. But if it's wrong - it's all on me b/c I'm the only one who knows everything on campus and I could have fixed it. I am wanting to submit my two weeks notice but really don't want to stay two more weeks. I don't even have another job lined up, but my husband graduates in May and we will be moving. I have tried so hard to stick it out until May - and feel like a quitter for not staying - but I am miserable. Any advice you can offer would be great - I'm open to Anything at all!!

Kate responded 7 years ago: #197

This article came an hour after I quit with no notice. It felt revoluntionary and I'm glad I did it. Immediately afterwards I googled it and found this site, which is like a healing balm for my battered ego.

I started working part time for a non-profit that was too poorly managed and cheap to realize that a volunteer coordinator/operational manager are TWO separate jobs. Technically, my supervisor wasn't my supervisor but felt she needed to assume that role. From the first day there were red flags: could I lead a volunteer training as a courtesy (without pay of course)? Even though I came to the interview with a clear set of questions, which I thought were answered truthfully, I realized quite quickly I had been mislead. My "part time" job required that I be at this addiction drop in center's disposal whenever they wished to contact me. I was expected to turn chicken crap into chicken salad (ie get this "all volunteer workforce" to run the center) when that had never been done before. I was frequently undermined in front of the "volunteers" and for my entire two month tenure I had no WORK SPACE! I was told I couldn't have the perfectly good workspace the volunteers used to look at porn and hide from the guests they were expected to serve, nor was I paid for any time outside of work that was required if I actually wished to accomplish my job.

Each day I attempted to carve out time to do administrative tasks, but found in the end I need to mop floors, clean toilets and make coffee because the volunteers assigned the shifts were just not showing up. My boss frequently castigated me for these no shows, when often times she would take the perfectly good schedule I had made, which worked for me and the two volunteers who were faithful and change it to prop up the ego of bitter "old timers" who did not like the way the "new girl" was changing things. Nevermind that was exactly what I was supposedly hired to do.

The final straw came when after running a successful appreciation night, which had not taken place prior to my arrival in nearly seven months, I was pulled into the "boss's" office along the with president of the board to discuss my performance and conduct "issues". I was told I was insubordinate for not allowing the center access to me 24 hours a day in case of emergencies. When I mentioned that I had tried giving volunteers contact info they were to use judiciously (after exhausting all of the other steps outline in the handbook I CREATED, hello they didn't have one prior to my tenure) and they were calling me to talk about their problems and not center concerns, my boss told me that I didn't have a clear understanding of my "job".

Next, I tried a different tactic, letting them know I felt pressured by their unreasonable expectations and lack of organization. I told them I really needed a workspace dedicated to me and I needed more support in trying to implement the programs I was expected to create. At taht point my supervisor said that she didn't understand what I was saying and suggested that I had not done one stitch of work since my arrival and she was basically confused as to what I could be stressed about.

At this point i smiled inwardly. I knew that no matter how much documentation I provided and how hard i worked, I wss not going to be treated fairly or recognized for my efforts. I had somewhere else to be and I excused myself and the president of the board told me the conversation wasn't finished and I needed wait until it was over to leave.

I did not wait and I thanked them graciously for the feedback, let my keys with the supervisor, explaining one of the volunteers needed it to open and went home. I drafted my resignation email (I know it's not right but due the population I worked with, addicts and offenders I didn't feel comfortable coming back to work.)indicating I had reflected on the conversation and felt it was best to tenure my resignation effective immediately. My email wsan't short since I wasn't planning to come back and I wanted to make sure that everything I said I would do in the staff meeting was addressed so there would be nothing to bite me on the ass. I also reiterated that I had turned over my key and left all materials related to the center and my current projects in a folder (which one of my loyal volunteers graciously gave to the director, who was still at the center doing god knows what.) I thanked them for the opportunity and wished them well. I reminded them that our state is "at will" and provided them an address in which to send my final paycheck. My state also has some strict laws regarding refeences and while I don't plan on using this agency, I reminded them of the laws on this matter and said I knew they would do the legal thing. Ha, I mean I realize they won't, but that's on them. The law is pretty much on the side of the employee, which is why no businesses want to locate in this state!

I am glad to know I did the right thing and I'm glad that you keep stressing the point that anyone you plan to walk out on was NEVER going to be the glowing reference you expect your two weeks notice to nab you.

They have no regrad for me, my qualifications or my abilities and well, screw em. That had a great resource which they didn't appreciate. Also, I've found good employers think it's just fine if an employee is smart enough to leave a ill suited job sooner rather than later.

Any employer who mismanages their workers doesn't deserve the courtesy of notice and if they think they do, they are fools.

I love this site and I'm glad to see I'm not alone. Thank you so much for this.

Andy responded 7 years ago: #198

I gave my two weeks notice and then my employer told me that yesterday was my last day. They told me they would box my personal stuff up and I could come in and pick it up later, but was not permitted back in the place of work. They did accept the chili I cooked for my team meeting that I was supposed to lead. Was I fired or is it just an early resignation?

Micah responded 7 years ago: #199

I recently quit my job and gave a two week notice. I was told that I could go ahead and consider it affective immeadiatly. Even though I needed the money, I said "ok" and never thought about it again. I assumed that I would be free of that company and not have to worry about them again.

Well, after not getting a job in the same field for over 2 months, I applied back at the company but at a different location than where I was working. It was just a different hospital location within the company, not the same location that I was working when I gave my two weeks notice.

Today was my first day back at the previous company that I had worked for. My new manager at the new location told me that I was listed as a NON REHIREABLE from my other hospital location and Human Resources. She said that the Human Resources for that location had to fight hard to get me on the team. She said that I was listed no rehirable due to a problem last May where I was accused of walking off the job and was fired. She said she was aware that I filed grievance against the company and called the Ethics hotline and got my job back. I told her that I was wrongfully terminated and I was rehired back with a months worth of pay and the reason I quit after that was because of being harrased on the job by a coworker. And I told her that I gave my two weeks notice and I had no idea I was listed as not rehirable.

My question is even though I was rehired, do I have any rights to see my records and find out who had put that I was not rehireable? I live in Texas and I know our laws are sorta crazy here. Naturally, I am looking for a new job because now I definately know that the Human Resources for HCA is total crap and I am sure that they are the reason that I have had so much trouble finding other work. And I laugh at the fact that the company hired me back even after I was marked "not rehirealbe"

Luis responded 7 years ago: #200

I am currently working for an Indianapolis based consulting firm and I am ready to leave. They do not appreciate the work that I do even if I have built up great relationships with clients and have provided additional sales due to follow up work. I am of course not an American Citizen (but a permanent resident one) and it seems that is getting really hard for minorities at this place. Even though it is not a huge company, they have a good amount of international/minority workers. A chinese friend resigned recently, an Indian friend did as well, I will pretty soon and so forth. The work environment is really stressful and I just can not stand it aymore even if I have not found a job yet. I was really happy when I took the decision and I am determined now.

After reading all the comments, I think that is what my boss/company will do: show me the door the day of my resignation.

However I am still intending to give them the 2 weeks notice as I think its the right thing to do.

Any comments?


Robert responded 7 years ago: #201

Kind Sirs,

A question side question on this subject.

If you do go ahead and give a 2 week notice, and your employer tells you to pack your stuff and turn in your badge that very day, are they obligated to pay you for that 2 week period?

Many thanks!

~Robert R.

JAMES CARLINI responded 7 years ago: #202

Micah - check with an attorney in Texas
Luis - do the right thing - whatever you think is fair
Robert R. - They are NOT obligated unless you have it in writing in some employment contract. I would say chances are, no money. ONLY accrued Vacation pay.

Chad responded 7 years ago: #203

I'm not going to give my employer two weeks notice. Maybe 2 seconds, as they watch the elevator close behind me and I give my ex-boss 'the bird'. However, I am going to tell my new employer that I'm giving two weeks. This starts my relationship with them out on the right foot, but also gives me two weeks to fully prepare to launch into my new role.

Stephanie responded 7 years ago: #204

I can identify with circumstances where it is appropriate to leave without giving 2 weeks notice. I recently left a job at a law firm where I was put in a training circumstance that was very ridiculous and logically did not make sense. I was in extreme disagreement with the situation. I had just given very good training to an individual I had worked with and was insulted that I was put in that situation. I opted not to discuss this with my upper manager and walked out that very day after tossing my items in a box. My actions made a loud statement to upper management. I am good at what I do and a competent person so I can always find work. Giving a 2 week notice is a general rule of society and has been for sometime, but as an American Citizen you have the freedom to quit unless you are bound by a contract. As an American Citizen I also have freedom of speech and reserve the right to discuss things with my co-workers and ex-coworkers. I hope to not be put in anymore situations where this will happen again. I hope to work at a place where mutual respect and a job well done is respected and not viewed as easily replacable.


Lillies responded 7 years ago: #205

Wow..great Article still after 3 years and the comments of everyone have helped many. My case is very similar to everyone that posted here and/or read this thread because he/she was or is considering leaving their company.
Facing the same problems.. So tonight I have to make the decision by tomorrow afternoon if I give my 2 weeks or wait for them to lay me off. I have been with this CPG company in CT for the past 4 years, a year ago I was granted the opportunity to explore another position within the same company but overseas. It was supposed to be a short term project outside the States, eager to learn more about the field I accepted. I ended up staying outside the States for 9 months, upon my repatriation I was told that it was my solely responsibility to search for a job within the organization, but not even after being back for a week I was asked to help another department again outside the States this time in Eastern Europe for aprox. 5 weeks! I asked them to give me an LOU (letter of understanding) similar to an offer or contract letter that outlines the project, timeframe and benefits of the assignment, this letter was not given to me prior to my departure, I still left (mistake) I was away for 4 weeks but return this week to figure my next steps and to discuss the LOU that I had received almost 3 weeks after my departure, this letter stated I would have 2 weeks to look for a job within the organization "if such job is not found in 2 weeks I would be separated from the company" OBVIOUSLY I freaked out! I was not going to sign such agreement. But today I met with HR (Who are never helpful) and they said that if I reject not proceeding with the Eastern Europe Assignment in essence I would be asking them to terminate me. NOT fair..but again corporate never is. I was thinking of giving in my 2 weeks and gain some time while I look for a job, but after reading this thread I find out that they might accept my resignation on the spot and that to top things they DO not have the obligation to pay me for the 2 weeks. Agrr...stress. So do I go tomorrow and do what? wait for them to lay me off for not accepting or have my dignity and just walk out of the door without looking back.
I have never been in this situation and is rather unconformable, specially after dedicating time and effort to a company that completely undervalues employees. Wanted to check with a Corporate attorney in the area but CT is also an "AT WILL" state so that means they might not have to have a reason to fire me.

Judith Munson responded 7 years ago: #206

Even after all these years, the information and comments regarding this subject are still relevant.
I came to this post purely by accident while doing some research on IA labor laws, specifically giving notice of leaving a job. It seems to me, and of course this is wishful thinking on my part, that if a person is kind enough or ethical enough to give two weeks notice, they should be paid for those two weeks whether the company decides to let them go on the spot or let them work out the two weeks.
I realize in this day and age, that is not even an option.
In my line of work, self-employed as a coach pertaining to workplace issues, I'm asked frequently about whether or not a person should give a two week notice. I feel if they are prepared to leave immediately when they give that notice, it shows considertation and maturity on their part. But being prepared to be without work until the new job starts is imperative. If a person is transitioning to a new company and they can afford to use that two weeks for a short respite, I highly recommend that. Being mentally and physically prepared to start a new job is a benefit to both the employee and new employer.
I applaude all who want to do the right thing in this type of situation, whatever the right thing is for you.

Georgia responded 7 years ago: #207

In a haze of sleepiness and sleeplessness I randomly came upon this article and found it very interesting. Monday, May 5, 2008, I was laid off without any previous notice... Along with the fact that I commute 66miles daily, only to be contacted by phone two hours into my shift and have my "position eliminated".
It's been 72hours since and I've experienced a full range of emotions at this point. I was hired by this company mid-February 2008, so no one saw it coming within this 3month time frame?? ...Ah, highly unlikely. After recieving the phone call, the company locked the computer network system within 30mins. of notifying me. Therefore I had no access to contact information for anyone within the company that I may have wanted to inform of my departure. Suddenly any company site that I tried to log onto became "under construction".
This is the second lay-off that I've experienced and the absolutely worse I think I'll ever experience. Training, working hours and special requirements were excessive and sometimes ridiculous, but I hung in there and "had faith in our concept". Supposedly this is only temporary, but I do believe that this company done more harm than good to itself while handling this situation. There's no easy way to deliver life-altering news to a person, but strive to do a better job than a phone call early on MONDAY...especially when avg. areas gas prices are between $3.50 - $4.00/gal. Someone had to have been aware of this late Friday?! I'm thinking, Could I have just gotten a little consideration please??
So, concluding my post... Nope, two weeks notice is absolutely unnecessary. As a matter of fact, clean your office space the day before. Don't show up for work or answer your phone the following day. Do go back after lunch on the third day, outfitted in your best formal wear or most appalling workout attire and announce that your personally letting everyone know that there's no need to gossip about why you left... The fact of the matter is, it's none of their GD* business, but you will say it's due to personal downsizing. Applaud yourself, bow, thank everyone while blowing kisses and waving, then proceed to leave the building.

James Carlini responded 7 years ago: #208

It is amazing that this article keeps going and going. Maybe it is the "New work ethic" that some corporate HR people and HR consultants do not want to recognize. Without a contract that says there should be a mutual time period - 30 day notice, 60 day notice or two week notice between employee and employer, there is no requirement for a two-week notice.

Is it the "right thing to do"? You have to look at your own situation BUT do not think that once you give a two-week notice you are entitled to two-weeks pay. That is a recurring question that has been brought up in the last 3 years. You are entitled to earned vacation pay. That's about it if your employer decides to terminate you right after you give notice. Due to this employer approach, once you decide to leave, you better figure that the day of notice may be your last pay day (plus any accrued vacation pay).

As more people move on in their careers they will see various approaches to layoffs, terminations and mutual agreements to part ways. There is no shame in leaving the day you give notice. In fact, it is more professional than to stay in a bad environment and take abuse because someone tells you it is expected or traditional or "the right thing to do".

Brian responded 7 years ago: #209

Take this man's advice!

I recently turned in my two weeks notice, well, that is if you consider 5 weeks ago recently!

The company is currently in the middle of a merger, and that is the main reason I am leaving, but my boss begged me to stay until the end of June so as not to make things more difficult for our team. Being the "gentleman" that I am, i agreed to stay because I like my coworkers and did not want to make things awful for them. Well, it's July 3rd, and I still have no set date of departure. I found out yesterday that my boss has not even made an attempt to find a replacement for me, and now I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. I have gone above and beyond to help the company during a difficult time, but I know that if I opt to tell my boss that I will not be coming back next week, she would do everything in her power to ruin my reputation in the local business community and my coworkers would turn against me in a heartbeat, but if I stay, I'm literally going to go insane! When it comes to today's corporate environment, the old saying, "No good deed goes unpunished" becomes more and more appropriate.

Chris Hansen responded 6 years ago: #210

2-week's notice is a societal carryover from the Stone Age. In another generation, this experiment in sociology will have completely weaned itself out of our corporate culture. The only reason that it still exists is that the vast majority of the people in leadrship are baby-boomers, who were taught that this is standard business protocol. It was - 50 years ago, which is where their morals and ethical values are being generated from. Once Baby bbomers have died off and have existed the workforce, the concept of 2-week's notice will be an entry in the history books.

My next door neighbor, who is 86, had some sage advice to impart to me (which I already knew):

never leave your first job until you're sure of the second one

always get a recommendation

Sadly, the second part of that is probably very unliekyl in today's society - more often than not, it's not possible - otherwise you wouldn't be leaving to begin with, and generally it's because of something that the company has or has not done - not vice-versa. Only under very unique scenarios (where it's just time to leave without any sense of urgency due to abuse or stress) is it possible to leave and do so with notice and with a solid recommendation.

People ask "how did you leave things with your last employer on good terms?"

I have to laugh to myself when people ask this.

Of course I left on good terms - now; at the time I wouldn't have stayed there for one more minute than I had to. They paid me a fair wage and I performed - until it because obvious that it was no longer a good fit for each of our objectives.

That's a nice way of saying nothing at all, which is about as much value as I give those types of questions.

Marc Landau responded 6 years ago: #211

Well done everyone. The bottom line here reflects that most of corporate America has adopted "do unto others, then split" practice. It's not a crime to avoid the 2 week notice plan prior to leaving. It's quite clear that corporations, hospitals and other entities fear law suits assocaited with bad references given. Don't base your decision on fear. If you feel that they deserve it, then give it to them. The probably don't deserve it anyhow. The moral of the story is start looking for your next job the moment you sign on.

SH responded 6 years ago: #212

I resigned from a job in April, 2007 without notice for personal and family reasons. I was harassed everyday at this job. I don't know why. Maybe jealous, who knows why? Day in day out I dealt with this for 6 months. I was under so much stress plus I'm 46 with a 4 year old little girl to raise. Finally, the day came when I could not take it anymore, the slurs, the negative comments. Now when I go to get a job, my ex-boss tries to tell people that they should not hire me, have me arrested, try to get me in trouble just anything to PREVENT me from getting another job. Does anyone out here have any suggestions for me about how to go about trying to start over again on a new job without having to go to school? Thanks

SG responded 6 years ago: #213

Wow, it's nice to know others are giving this so much thought as well. I have found another job more suitable for me but not sure about the 2 wks notice. Ii have been with this company 2 yrs. Unfortunately, most people do not make it to the quitting stage. I have moral issues (conflicts)with this company and I cannot ignore it. I can usually say that's messed up and go about my work, but not anymore. I have seen some great people fired at this company and I really think it is downsizing. Nobody inquiries about how they(fired) are doing, nothing. Even the ones who were hanging on their every word a day before. I have even seen people laughing and being congratulated on their new position only hours after the other was fired. I first saw this only a few months after I began working there and I have not felt comfortable since.
I talked with many people about this issue and most is the usual blah blah. However, my Dad told me about an instance where he insisted to the new employer that he give his 2 week notice. That employer said that it was a thing of the past but my Dad also said....this was how he was raised. Unfortunately for him, during those two weeks he climbed 30 or more clock numbers and by the time he was hired he was not able to participate in a training program that was over a year in duration.

Most people where I work are like robots, their hearts hardened and eyes blinded. I hear people say, they did not perform as expected...and it is always those who have no clue. This is the first time in my professional career where I will probably say here is my stuff and thanks.

Kathy responded 6 years ago: #214

Quoting James Carlini: "Thanks all for your comments - I don't profess to know everything and will give you what I taught over the years at Northwestern - There are no experts in this industry and the best you can be is a good student - ALWAYS LEARNING."

Thank you for the article and all the comments thereafter. After raising my family, two years ago, I decided to go back to school and take computer courses. Two months ago, I decided to accept a job as a tutor at the computer lab based on my professor's suggestion and recommendation. I thought that this was a wonderful opportunity to help other students (which I love) and to reinforce what I have learned and continue to learn. This past week, I was called into the office by my supervisor, Alex, who said that students were requesting me, and that that was frowned upon. I had asked Alex, "How could it be frowned upon when students are requesting me? There are many students that I don't even know; I thought that it was a complement to be requested by word of mouth." Alex repeated to me that it is frowned upon and not only that, he was going to send an e-mail to my professor stating not to promote me. Before this, I was able to ignore the "office gossip" which I found are brought on by Alex during meetings. But, I don't want to work where I feel like I am being punished for doing a good job. I don't think that students would be requesting me if I was giving wrong information. "Being frowned upon for students requesting me" is beyond my comprehention. I would rather volunteer my time tutoring appreciative students than to get paid under these conditions. I found this site when I Googled, "Do I have to give two weeks notice?" Based on what I have read and "learned," I will resign with no notice. I would appreciate any comments you may have.

Again, thank you for the article and comments.
Sincerely, Kathy

Kathy responded 6 years ago: #215

Quote from Kathy (me): "Being frowned upon for students requesting me is beyond my comprehention." I misspelled "comprehension." Since I mentioned that I tutor students, I thought, "what kind of example am I setting and that I should fix that right away!" Ha! ;-)

jim responded 6 years ago: #216

I have been working for a company for just over a year as a Tech in an IT Dept. It has come to the point where I am no longer willing to work for a company that pays me at the 25 percentile for my posistion (roughly 7k less than other companies.) that along with a very hostile work environment where the "everyone is out to get you" attitude is present simply because its quite true. Being that I have access to all networks, servers, and files some very sensitive I have been wondering if giving notice is even worth it considering I don't see how I would be allowed to stay after giving notice. Just wondering since I've not yet ever given notice to a company in my career, what should one do in an IT posistion when wanting to quit?

JoJo responded 6 years ago: #217

Two weeks notice???? In 25 years of my profession, I always gave 2 weeks notice...except this last time. Given the hostile environment filled with negativity and anger coupled with a dictatorship rather leadership, I just left after being lambasted for the last time. I was threatened by the statement that I better think things over before I leave since word gets around and I may never get another job. My family was even mentioned and that was it for me. I have since secured much better employment, however this new job insisted on contacting my former employer who proceeded to trash me in an angry rage. Illegal? Yes. Unprofessional? Yes. Will I do something about it? No. I got the job anyway because they made themselves look like idiots reacting in retaliation. If I had given notice, my former employer would have made the final two weeks a living hell for me. I have no regrets. With a little confidence, honesty, and luck I got out and moved on to file my experience in the "stuck in a bad movie" file.

James Carlini responded 6 years ago: #218

This is a timeless topic as I re-read the article and the comments. Some have raised some good points and there are still some that worry about references.

As I said awhile back - if they did not recognize you while you worked there do you really think you are going to get some glowing recommendation after you leave??? Another comment I saw that I must touch on is the one where the person asks how did you leave your last job?

You left to find a better opportunity where you could concentrate your efforts to do a good job.

In this day of $700 Billion bailouts, how many companies have been straight with people coming in saying that the company is in great shape and we are a solid performer in the market? So many people have lost jobs not because of their performance but because of senior management's lack of being accurate with their assessments and their decisions. Funny how so many of these CEOs wind up being hired again after such failures. You wonder what they say when they are asked - why did you leave your last company?

Marie responded 6 years ago: #219

I am working a field tech position and I am considered part time temporary. I want to give a week notice but I fear they will also tell me to turn in my badge when I do.

When I was hired I was told I would have at least 10-15 calls per week near my home. Well I have yet to have 10 calls per week and since we are paid per call completed, my salary is never stable. Now they have me running calls 2 hours from my home but will not pay for all the mileage. I am beyond tired and exhausted. I was offered a permanent full time position less than 30 minutes from my home and can't wait to start.

Hatter responded 6 years ago: #220

Thank you sir! I've spent the past hour and half reading this terrific discussion. I've been worried sick about how to give notice to my current employer, and now I feel like a lightbulb flicked on.

My situation is a bit trickier. My new job requires an extensive background investigation, which includes talking to my current employer. Obviously my current employer doesn't know I've accepted a new job, mainly because the background check hasn't cleared. I'm not going to give notice before the ink has dried on the new gig.

I think I can avoid the "current employer conversation" by providing the new job with a trusted co-worker as a reference. If that works, I'm resigning and walking on Friday. I believe I explained the stickiness to the background investigators well enough -- if they tell my current boss I've got a new job then I'm screwed, which could in turn blow it for my new job. I'm leaving my current job because my boss is a loose cannon. Talk about a Catch 22.

At any rate, my head has been exploding for the past few weeks over this. At least I can write off any worries about the whole "two weeks" thing. Why have I've even been sweating that? Nickel beers and buggy whips!

Mr. Carlini, you are a gem.

Susan Jones responded 6 years ago: #221

I know this is an old thread but I just found it on Google. It has been so helpful. Can someone help? I have been working somewhere for just over a month. Have not seen a contract let alone signed for anything. I work 12 hours a week. My boss is just awful, a complete psychopath, I am very unhappy. My sister has offered me a job and needs me to start straight away. I dropped a letter round there saying due to family circumstances, I had to leave straight away, apologies for the inconvenience, how much I had enjoyed working there blah blah blah...I got a horrible voicemail today saying she requires a week's notice and I must come in and see her. I feel sick now. She owes me money so shall I just write back and say deduct the 12 hours from the money I am owed? Can she take it any further?

Heather responded 6 years ago: #222

I've been working for a firm for the last year and a half. I was previously under the supervision of one attorney and things were great. About 6 months ago the attorneys switched roles and I was forced to work with the other partner who was far more uptight and way more unorganized, and completely disrespectful. I've been yelled at for files that were not mine, and have had unreasonable deadlines dumped on me. He then proceeds to berate me for not being able to keep up with the backlog he's created. Needless to say, the past 6 months have been miserable. The proverbial straw breaking the camels back came this past week when I was out for two days due to a sick child, which is not a regular occurrence. On the second day of my absence, I was called constantly from the office because the attorney was on a tirade. Later that day, I found out he put out an advertisement for my replacement. The attorney does not know that I know he plans to fire me. I have since schedule interviews for next week. I know from the previous person that held my position, that they do not talk to you about job performance or attempt to work anything out, they will terminate employment the very second (or rather the following Friday afternoon) they have someone lined up for the position. Should any of the interviews pan out, I plan on giving them exact amount of notice I'd have received should they have found someone first, and that will be none. I've already cleared out my desk of all personal belongings, and I will only drop off my resignation letter informing them that I am terminating them effective immediately and walk out the door upon leaving them my key.

The stress of the past 6 months and the horrible treatment from the current attorney reminds me that I'm under no obligation to endure what would be immeasurably worse should I stay after giving any sort of notice.

I have to say that this article and the comments have helped me overcome the feeling that I have some of sort of "duty" to them, when they certainly haven't shown me any respect or loyalty.

alma responded 5 years ago: #223

Thanks James for this great article. Just want to share my experience and would love to hear your thoughts. We recently moved to a small town for my husbands work. His boss referred me to one of their clients. During my interview with the GM and the accounting manager, one of the question the GM asked me is if I drive because it's a small town and there are no reliable public transport. I told them about my rare eye disease which makes it dangerous for me to drive but it doesn't affect my ability to worked as a bookkeeper. My husband can drive me to work or I can always get a cab. I got hired the same day , not sure if it's because of my ability, or only because of the reference that I got who also happens to be from their auditor but I think it was the accounting manager who insisted on hiring me. The GM did not seem to understand why I wouldn't want to learn to drive because it's a small town and there are not that many cars in the road anyway. I've been working for a little over 6 mos there and in the last few months there was never a day that I never thought of quitting. My immediate boss, the accounting manager has been very nice to me, she always offers me a lift even if our house is not on her way. She never fails to ask how I'm doing. My problem is, the clients she gave me are one of their new clients and she knows very little of the system/work itself so she could barely explain it to me. She knows, that the clients she gave me are really a nightmare and that I'm overworked so she hired someone to help me. But the thing is, the stress did not lessen as I'm still fully in-charged of all the work which I barely understand since no one in the company can explain it to me. Meaning, if anything goes wrong, there is no one else to be blamed but me. I worked so hard each day but my clients were just too messy, it'll take a super hero to fix all their problems. Last week, I got an offer from a company who will allow me more flexible hours but they need to fill the position immediately. So, I told my boss and asked if it's ok to leave in a week's time. She gave a counter offer, increase in pay, change of client, etc. but I rejected it as I believe it won't benefit either of us. She told me I should give at least 2 weeks notice as per company policy and as it's the audit season she expect me to finish the audit first before I leave. I've lost sleep just thinking how to be able to finish the job in just a week so I could leave amicably. In the end, I realised that even if I gave her the 2 weeks notice she requested, job woudn't still be finished as that particular job hasn't been done properly for years now. So I told her I coulnd't work for another week and I feel like a more experience person should do that job. I've tried to wrap things up as much as I can and even offered to go back one day next week to answer any questions. She goes, that can't be done in a day and so she went on and on about how she's disappointed in me. I told her I have so many accrued leave (because I couldn't take them as no one else in the company is trained to do my work)and if she wants she can take off the one week's notice from there but she said that's not even the issue. To her credit, she still tried to be polite but she was so cold. I can't really blame her because it's up to her to finish the job. But I feel like she's the boss and yet she know's nothing about the client they accepted. I'm not expecting a reference but I'm just afraid that since it's a small town, where everybody seems to be connected one way or another, it might affect not only me but also my husband. My clients were happy with me as I did the best I can during my stay and even my officemates knew how hard I worked but it doesn't seem to matter now. My husband is vey supportive but I feel that even he doesn't seem to think I've handled it professionally. How do you go on from here or how should I feel. No matter how you look at it, people will think I am at fault especially in a small town like this.

Krista responded 5 years ago: #224

I was trying to google whether or not I would be paid for my two weeks notice, should my state cut my 2 weeks notice period short (from what I have found, they won't) and I came across this article.
A little too late for my personal situation but I had this same thing happen to me. I decided to be the bigger man and put in my two weeks notice (to be courteous) - and sure enough, the small business I work for goes completely paranoid- changing all my passwords, locking me out of email, they took all emails so i'd have to have my manager log me into outlook each day and I had no access to my email history (which is really difficult when you work with customers!), as sorts of behavior that I deem less than professional. Sure enough, one week into my two weeks notice (the same day that they're conducting interviews) they ask me not to come back and they'll "schedule a time for me to collect my belongings and turn in my keys". I really just feel it's very frustrating and unprofessional. I go out of my way to put in a two weeks notice so the company won't get screwed by me suddenly leaving, and they treat me like a criminal and (just four days away from my leaving) decide to end my employment early? It really just feels like a slap in the face, it's rude, and it makes me feel like I shouldn't owe any company anything because they apparently don't feel that way about their loyal employees. I'll continue to be a "boy scout" employee, because it's just the way I was raised - but I'm really disappointed with the unprofessional and disrespectful nature of today's "professional" employers. Thanks for sticking up for the "little man" in this article. It didn't change my situation but it really did make me feel like someone's on my side & was very reassuring in a stressful situation. On to bigger & better jobs!

Krista responded 5 years ago: #225

ALMA - personally, I think you did the right thing. An important point is that no matter how your friends and family (husband) feels you handled it, you have to do what's right for you. I felt the same way - my job was up on craigslist and my boss told me I was "the worst employee in the company" and that my work performance was a 4 or 5 (5 being the worst) which was completely untrue (EVERYONE in the company loved me and my job performance, except my direct manager) and gave me "30 days to improve". Fun fact? They wanted to fill the craigslist ad position (my title) ASAP. We were pretty sure that at the end of my mock 30 days, they were going to let me go anyway, since they'd fabricated a laundry list of thing i'd "done wrong" (that i hadn't). My fiance wanted me to wait the 30 days and try to line up a job so that they could let me go at the end of the month and I'd be ready. After a confrontation with my supervisor where I was blamed for something another employee did, and humiliated in front of the entire office - i was done. I put in my two weeks notice RIGHT then and there. It backfired because they've let me go after just one week of my "two weeks notice" and I'm scrambling for a job. Here's the point though: my fiance does not agree with my methods. But I spent 20 minutes in the shipping room crying my eyes out because of how I was treated. Were my actions the BEST possible actions for a smooth transition into a new job? No way. But they were the best actions for ME as a person. I didn't deserve being treated the way that company treated me, and responsible or no I did what was best for ME. My fiance did not agree, but he is supportive. It's not what he would have done, but he's glad I'm happy and loves me anyway. Don't worry about what others think - do what's best for you and friends & family will support you whether they agree or not. I say good for you~!

JC responded 5 years ago: #226

Thanks James for a great article. I have been pondering the question on whether to give 2 weeks or just one day. My current situation is really bad. I answered an ad on Career Builders 2 years ago for an IS Manager position. I left a nice company with great benefits, pay and people for a chance to grow in my career and be closer to home. The interview went great and I was promised many things by the VP of Communications. The first day of work, I found out that I made the biggest mistake of my life. The VP told me that I will have no decision making skills, manage no one and be managed under a high school graduate who happens to be his assistant. I hold a BS, MBA and Microsoft certs and have been in the IT field for 10 years and managed a support group so I am not green. I get reprimanded for asking questions, trying to help others and perform as a team. I’m left in the dark on projects that affect the systems then it is a race to catch up and when they fail, I get blamed. I found out the other day that I supposedly cost him money when we work as a team (There are 3 of us). Per the VP this is a department and we are not supposed to work as a “team”. I work 6 days a week and I am on call 24 hours a day without pay. I work holidays without holiday pay. I use my own vehicle to run to the companies other stores and do not get compensated. Majority of my days are spent answering Level 1 tech calls. I have tried to stick it out, but the stress is taking a toll on my body. By the way, I am the 6th person in this position in the last 5 years. Others have quit before me.
Time has come for me to quit. Thanks again for the great article.

Todd responded 5 years ago: #227

I work in IT as a Sr Network Engineer and I just resigned WITHOUT giving the (BS) 2 weeks notice and it was the right thing to do. If your in IT and in a position that has complete access to the companies networks you need to leave as soon as you hand in your resignation. I firmly don't believe in 2 weeks notice in this day and age of "staff reductions" and "employee realignments". It's the company's policy to walk you off the property as soon as they terminate you and they don't give you 2 weeks notice as to when your jobs ends.

Menurse responded 5 years ago: #228

I have been with my immediate past employer for 5 years. i am a nurse practitioner and have covered for incompetent doctors that (hired by the company) have come and gone, yet I stayed for health ins and through 2 maternity leaves. My youngest is 1 yr old. The work conditions have deteriorated over the past year so being in healthcare I easily found a job after looking for 1 month. When I turned in my 2 week notice (didn't read ur blog til today) I was let go at end of business day because I refused to give a 60 day notice. There was no way my new employer could hold the position that long. My old employer insisted I give longer notice but in AL we are an at will state and I have no contract. I feel relieved they let me go today though I was surprised since I know it put the patient schedule in a pinch.

Nick responded 5 years ago: #229

Wow, pretty cool to see this article still running strong.

Luckily, I seem to be one of the lucky few that was able to give my 2 weeks and so far it's running pretty smoothly. The usual heckling and the boss was a little cold shouldered at first but he's back to normal with everything. I was fortunate enough to be in a position where if they did let me go right away, they would have been in an impossible spot. You have to be able to pick and choose your battles. I knew they'd let me stay, so I chose to give 2 weeks. Some other departments in the same company though are not the same, and they are shown the door without even being able to go to their desk. A box is waiting for them.

My note....if you are unhappy, leave right away. No job or person is worth you going through mental anguish (often times leading to physical anguish). Respect yourself enough to not let yourself be taken advantage of.

Here is the one quote of John's that I've kept and will keep for my personal reminder, "You have to manage your career as a business as well and making tough decisions is part of that. No one else owns that business or benefits from it. If you make the wrong move, no one cares".

Good luck to all, and come first, not them! It may sound selfish, but it's YOUR career and it's YOUR life, you have to live it, not them!

Jason responded 5 years ago: #230

I am about to abruptly leave my job and saw the comment about the guy who was falsely accused of stealing from his company and hauled off to jail. I would like to avoid that. Is there any way to avoid that situation and also leave abruptly? Should I state in my resignation that all items related to the business have been returned and that any accusations of theft will be considered retaliatory harassment? I'm unsure, but want to cover my bases. It's likely to be an ugly departure.

Amanda responded 5 years ago: #231

I started working for a company (retail) back in February. Work went well but at the begining I noticed that it was a pretty much train yourself situation. After a few shuffles in the management I was promoted to a supervisor position. I have had this position for 3 months now and have never, ever, been trained for it. I am still however responsible for the job and all the mistakes I will make because of my lack of training. Now I am being held responsible for things that were not done, but I was not trained to handle. I am also being blamed for register shortages when I was not the only one on the register. I am not the only person recently promoted to a supervisor position who was not trained and the other person has already had her replacement hired for "just in case". I feel that I am on the way out but they havent found something to fire me for yet. The question is, should I put in my two weeks? Or simply, resign and leave that same day

Chuck Bauer responded 5 years ago: #232

I worked a job where after giving two weeks' notice I worked like a madman (100+ hours) to finish a major project -- I had accepted a new job, but didn't want to leave my project unfinished; that's how I roll.

At my last job, I offered two weeks in a note saying that since I had already wrapped up my workload and wasn't yet fully involved with a new team I'd moved to, that I'd be open to an earlier end date, which they accepted, and two days later I said my goodbyes to everyone. I left on very good terms.

My current position? Not so much.

I feel my current job/role (and to some extent, the company itself) was seriously misrepresented to the recruiter that found me the position, as well as to myself during the interview process. I've been there about 3 weeks, discounting the Christmas/New Years holidays. I don't want to be as cold and heartless such that I Email them late at night saying "I'm not coming in any more, see ya" but I do intend to show up at the office tomorrow, print a resignation letter, leave it at my desk, and walk out on my own right away. For the first time in my 14-year career, I'm leaving a company:
(a) with no notice period given,
(b) without telling anyone in person (I'm literally going to print the letter and get back in my car and go home),
(c) not finishing a project before I leave.

It won't be the first time I'm leaving a job without another one to go to right away; last time I did that, I did freelance work quite successfully for two years.

However, I think it's still wise to consider the network of people you mix with, especially if you use services like to find other roles, because even though your state might be an "at will" employment state with laws against defamation by employers, in a world of "it's not what you know, it's who you know" a bad reputation can hurt. Thankfully, I have a pretty darn stellar career if I do say so myself. I have several well-documented references from previous employers, one of whom still acts as a professional reference on every interview I attend. It's also handy to have other coworkers at previous jobs write recommendations on services like specifically to act as a reference pool.

In the phone interviews I've already had in the past two days, I've had to explain to the hiring managers that I'm available immediately, and cite specific examples of why the job was misrepresented. Not one of them has been concerned about it. When you have a good career, there's less to worry about. Personally, though, I won't make it a habit of leaving a company with no notice.

Good luck, everyone.

Ester responded 5 years ago: #233

Hi All,

Can I get some advice. I have been working for this company for almost 5 yrs now. I am currently off on maternity leave for my second child. The closer my times get to going back to work the more I realize I don't want to go back. What kind of issues could I face if I don't return back to work? They did handle all my medical expenses as I was on family medical leave. If I have to return back to work to avoid health insurance issues, how long would I have to stay before turning in my 2 wk resignation notice?? Pls help.

Danielle responded 5 years ago: #234

I turned in my 2 week notice today, before I read this article, and I really wish I hadn't turned it in. I am currently not working because I am sick and also start vacation time tomorrow but a new job opportunity arose that I could not pass by.

My co-worker called me today telling me my boss is threatening to not pay me for vacation time because he was only rolling it over into the new year to "be nice" and that I am faking being sick (even though my doctor faxed him a letter). However, I am the only source of knowledge for the next person to fill my position and with my 2 weeks notice they will have me for 3 days to train someone so he doesn't want to screw himself over. I'm just afraid that I'm going to go back just to help him out and train someone new and he won't pay me for any of this sick leave or vacation time. (that was approved 4 months ago)

Things just happened to work out with bad timing...

Next time I'm just going to wait until pay day then give my notice and walk out. I was worried about getting a bad reference but it looks like I will get one no matter what I do now and I'm pretty tempted just to never show up again.

DP responded 5 years ago: #235

Okay, I have made the decision that I cannot stay at this job which I have only been at for 4 weeks. I have never left a job in such a short span of time and usually stay too long; yet, this isn't worth the stress and ill management for training. I have never worked as a receptionist, but have been a legal assistant, I have successfully trained others, I have taught a couple of paralegal courses, all with a great success rate.

Yet, after a 4 week period at this job I have seriously considered that I must have a learning disability of some sort since I'm not 'getting it'; that I can't understand what they are wanting me to do and learn. I go home depressed and in tears every day.

I have wanted to walk out after 3 days with them. I am not a quitter, but have learned the hard way that it can be worse to stay too long as well. This morning I woke up with a list of all my successes on my mind and realized that this was my 'wake up' call (so to speak).

Have I talked it over with the manager? She is aware that the training has been minimal and scattered, but is attempting to start from scratch. It isn't working. What training I am getting is in the middle of working. In fact, the business manager had come up to train me and said that this was all wrong and that I should have had at least 2 weeks of training BEFORE doing what was being required of me. She was frustrated because of how this was being handled with me.

I have attempted to be assertive to talk to my manager, but she interprets my questions that I just do not get it, I'm confused and am not understanding what she is telling me to do. I have honestly checked my attitude and the conclusion remains the same . . . the training sucks and there isn't any hope of it improving.

My delima is this: How do I give my resignation? My manager works with more than one office and will only be with ours later in the week. This makes it difficult to schedule a time to give my resignation to her. When she arrives, she has a full schedule to meet with clients. Time is of the essence for my letting them know I'm leaving so they can train someone else, or shift job responsibilities THIS WEEK because there is a scheduled change to take effect within the company re scheduling and billing which I was recently trained on. Only those trained can open the program and no one else in our office has this training.

My thoughts are to prepare a simple and polite letter of resignation and send it to my manager in an email tomorrow afternoon. I have no personal items to get from the office and I can drop the key off Monday. I only have one week into the next pay period. This is an employment at will state and I have not signed a contract.

What do you think about this approach?

So my time line is this, I need to let her know before Monday so she can arrange for coverage. This will not be a place to work at once your resignation is given. How do I do this?

JAMES CARLINI responded 5 years ago: #236

You situation sounds like it is time to leave. Your approach in writing a short resignation letter is the right approach. It sounds like a bad fit and why create more stress for you as well as your boss.

Thank them for the opportunity and move on. It probably won't matter if you tell them the training is bad or the job isn't right. Save your energy for your next job.

Good luck. Watch for my NEW ARTICLE on this issue which will be published by February 1, 2010.

Linda responded 5 years ago: #237


I had never heard of this approach until I read this article. I've been sitting here debating how to give my notice and now I'm even more confused!! My dilemma is that I've been working here for 2 and a half years and have become the database expert. I don't care about management, I care about the people I work side by side with, who will be in trouble if I just pick up and leave. I'm leaving to go to school, which they knew when they hired me, so I can't imagine there will be much animosity. There have never been issues in my company with people giving notice and being ousted. I was planning on giving 4 weeks so they could hire someone I could train. Now after reading this, that seems ridiculous. But the fact that they have been so good to others who have given notice makes me think they will treat me the same. Any thoughts?

Thanks, and I look forward to your new article.


HELP... responded 5 years ago: #238

I just quit my job yesterday without notice. I was an assistant to a store manager that went on a 3 month medical leave 3 1/2 weeks ago. I was doing the best I could filling in for her which was not easy because for some reason she never took the time to train me to assist her. She trained me to help in minor things saying that she just didn't have the hours to train me. When she left she said to act like I know what I'm talking about when the DM comes in, because she didn't want him to think less of me or know that she didn't train me. She has only been gone for a few weeks and the girl under me was planning on taking over the store. She told me that our boss probably wont be comming back and we need to think about moving up. I was doing the best I could just trying to stay above water learning the paper work, scheduling, hiring, ordering, calling maint. to fix things that were let go throw frieght and work register at the same time, doing alot of this work off the clock to get it all done. the girl working under me is on lite duty because of a SUPPOSED back injury, so she can't throw frieght. The older lady who broke her ankle just came back to work a week ago in a bootcast to help throw frieght and I hired a young man to help us old broken women. Basically our backroom was filling up with not only frieght but excess frieght of seasonal that is taking up room because we are not supposed to put it out yet. The girl under me said that by the time our manager comes back, if she does, we won't need her anymore. she also told me that she was going to step over the top of me and that if I put her to work with the one girl on our crew that she can't stand again, that she would kick my ***! She then seized the oppertunity to call the DM and complain about the schedule saying that the backroom was full of frieght and that people are not doing their jobs. I saw alot in the time that my manager has been gone and was very hurt that this was happening. when I got to work yesterday, she said that the DM wanted to talk to both of us via telephone. She told him about all this frieght that she had thrown that day and then sat right in front of me and gave him an idea she said that she had about the schedule that was MY idea that I had shared with her, that she shot down. After this "TALK", she left. I called her to come back to work and handed her my keys and left. I was so hurt and angry because she was trying to make me look bad and herself to look good. I know that it was wrong to leave that way, but under the circumstances, I just could not stay and work another 2 weeks with her.

JAMES CARLINI responded 5 years ago: #239


Please read my latest article but I will take some time to answer you.

LINDA - If your company has treated you very fairly, then by all means work with them. But remember that giving notice is optional - not obligatory.

As for HELP.
Leave that place just to keep your sanity. You have given a great example of a place running on a shoestring with really poor management.

People forget that you LEAD people and you MANAGE resources. In the place you just left, it does not sound like there was much of either. It is best you just left.

Sometimes people continue to work in an environment like that mainly because they have no other option. As you can see, you (all the readers reading this) would not want to work there. Poor management, cutthroat co-workers, super stress, etc.

Finding a good place to work is not easy. REMEMBER - it is a two-way street.

If you are treated well - WORK WELL. Don't complain about some petty issue (we all know about the whiny people that complain about the "free" bottled water or the Christmas Party (dinner and all drinks for free) that was held at Red Lobster and not the Capital Grille).

This is a TRUE story about a financial office that provided FREE bottled water to the employees for their desk. One woman complained that it was only Dasani and not Avian. HEY - it was FREE!! Others would grab a lot of bottles to "take home". With the complaints and abuse - the free bottled water was discontinued. Do you know any people like that?

Some people wish that they would just have any water available.

Ka-Ce J. responded 5 years ago: #240

Please help!

First off, thank you for your article. I've been with this small business for just over a year now. I was brought on as an independent contractor and was told that if they liked my work and all went well I would receive a raise. Not only did I not receive a raise, I had taken on the work of my co-worker that they promptly fired. Then the accountant that I was assisting quit. I had taken on 3 jobs, still no raise. And the promise of being brought on as an employee after 8 months with benefits? Nothing. When I questioned them about it a month ago they said that there was no money in the business. They are losing tenants in all of their apartments left and right, yet refuse to lower their rent. Despite the fact that one of the managers and I have researched and shown them that all of their competition is offering better rates, plus benefits! Their response? To keep the rent the same and talked about getting new tenants a plasma tv. They have no money in the business and want to buy new tenants a plasma tv?! There is no playground, no pool, no gym, only cockroaches and shitty maintenance repairs and they want to charge MORE rent than the apartments that allow pets, have 3 pools and a gym!

If that wasn't bad enough my boss tells me to do one thing, I do it, the tenants get pissed off and yell at me. When I tell my boss he takes their side and promises them something totally different than what he told me. Or the manager. The manager and I end up looking like complete idiots. I get yelled at on almost a daily basis from low-income, non educated people. People who are selling drugs and completely abusing the system! My boss will promise one tenant one thing, then completely change his mind the next day. End result? I get yelled at. I get threatened--by people in gangs! My boss's reaction? He laughs! The maintenance supervisor will start on one tenants apartment and leave the project unfinished or will mess up the damage even more. Who gets blamed for it? Who gets yelled at? I do. And whenever I or the manager try to tell our boss he takes the maintenance supervisor's side! My boss is a complete two-faced, slime bucket, sexist man. He even insulted my mom when she came to visit me in the office one day--essentially telling her that she did a horrible job raising my brothers and me. He even told me, in front of my mom, that my work load was about to double--still with no raise or benefits. He won't pay the manager the money that he owes her because the "company doesn't have money right now." And expects me to work at full capacity despite the fact that with all the data entry, accounting, filing, etc I do I now have severe tendonitis.

I've been contemplating leaving for awhile now. This past week I haven't been able to get out of bed. My mom and boyfriend have had to talk me into going into work. I had to take a half day and tomorrow off because I just can't deal with the stress level anymore. I just started graduate school. I have no other job lined up, even though I have been filling out applications each week. I just. I can't go back to that office anymore. I am so depressed and unhappy that I'm causing myself to be sick. I literally cry every morning and while I'm at the office. I just don't know if I should hold onto this crappy job until I can land something else--given the way this economy is. If I should give a 2 weeks notice, finish this month so I can get one more paycheck to pay one more month of bills, or if I should just pack up my things and leave with no notice.

I mean, when I first came on board files were missing, Housing Authority paper work was misplaced, EVERYTHING was misfiled. I spent over a month reorganizing ALL of the files. When the accountant quit I was forced to take on her job. This "professional" accountant of x many years had messed up so many tenants ledgers. Me, who did not go to college for accounting, had to straighten out the ledgers. I caught so many mistakes its a wonder that this company is still around! The office is so organized, so clean, people actually know when there are inspections, due dates, etc. Reports are done on time. I work my ass off and there is no respect, no courtesy. Just more and more lies! I really want to just gather up my things tomorrow morning and leave them no warning of my leaving, but like I said, I have no back up job and the economy is still in the hole. I don't know what to do! Please Help!

Vrice responded 5 years ago: #241

I was laid off 2/2009. I finally got a contract job that started 10 days ago. On day 8, I got another offer for a fulltime/permanant job. I have not turned in my notice for the contract job. I start my new job on the 22nd. I assume I will walk into my mgrs office the day I plan on leaving. How much notice could they expect? I have only been there 10 days.

On Good Terms responded 5 years ago: #242

I gave my notice a week ago and am leaving next week. I am leaving not because I dont want to stay at my company, but because of the economy we all know there will be workforce reductions and wage reductions all based on seniority, etc. By my taking a new job, our department will now not take a hit from layoffs, my co owrkers will be safe and my new job is just fine.

After I gave my notice, my boss sent out the best email to everyone, I am able to wrap up my work and the bss and office are taking me out to dinner.

Of course I am leaving on great terms. I am only leaving to ensure my family continues to be supported. I love my company and they knew that.

Had it not been for the economy I would not have left.

mike responded 5 years ago: #243

After reading some the article and many of the post, I think when I find a better job then my current one, I will tell the new employer I can start in two weeks from the following Monday,but not tell my current employer until the Thursday or Friday before I start my new job I'm resigning effective today

Joe Ruby responded 5 years ago: #244

I gave a 2 week notice to my employer in September of 2009 because the competition came to me with a better offer. 3 days after I gave the notice I was injured on the Job. I live in Michigan. Workers compensation covered me until the doctor said I was able to return to work. When I was released by the doctor, the new company that I was supposed to go work for told me they had to hire someone, the old company told me since I gave the notice I was no longer needed. Unemployment has ruled that I am unable to collect any benifets due to giving a notice that I "voluntarily Quit". I have found a part time job but due to the injury and having left my last job no one will hire me. I will NEVER give an employer a 2 week notice again.

todd responded 5 years ago: #245

Rule of thumb from 25 years of IT: give two weeks but BE PREPARED to leave immediately. YOU are your greatest asset; take what you deserve, someone needs what you offer.

jennifer responded 5 years ago: #246

i had to say something for Ka-Ce J...not sure if you will check this again, but here you go. there is no reason to ever stay at a job that makes you depressed. i had a job in a laboratory that made me horribly depressed, physically ill, and made me not want to get out of bed in the morning. after trying to convince my husband that there was just no way that i could get through it anymore (he would try to give me pep talks), i just decided to take a stand and confront my boss. last august i went in and told her that things weren't working the way they were going and that some things needed to change. i figured i was ready to quit anyway, so i might as well just try to better my situation with everything i had, even if it meant getting fired in my confrontation. it improved temporarily, then went horribly downhill again after about a month. so, in late october, i quit! i didn't give two weeks notice, i just walked into her office, told her that that particular type of work wasn't really for me, left her a paper of some instructions from the work i had done, cleared out my desk, and never came back. i was unemployed for about a month, and made a full time job of applying for jobs...searching then applying for about 4-5 jobs every day. finally, i got a job interview at a day care and i am now a preschool teacher. very different from what i was doing, but at least i'm not depressed anymore!

so basically, i think you should maybe try to give your boss one last shot to make things better (though he sounds like a douche), especially since he needs you more than you need him. then if they don't improve, just leave...walk out and never look back. take a job at a store temporarily while you look for something more long-term. and by the way, day care centers have a huge turn-over cause not everyone can handle the rugrats, so check there for a job. but after you've been through hell like us, it's not the worst job in the world. :)

James Carlini responded 5 years ago: #247

Even with the new article, I guess everyone leaves their comments here.

Joe Ruby has an interesting story that everyone should read very closely. It is a rare case but still has a very big impact.

And as a reminder - remember to have all your personal stuff out of your desk before you make your announcement because you might just be escorted to the door as soon as you turn in your resignation.

Because nothing is standard anymore, do not assume you will get to stay two weeks. AND just because you give two weeks' notice that does NOT lock in two weeks pay for you. (many people assume that)

Anon responded 5 years ago: #248

Old but interesting article. I worked at a company where an employee in a key role decided to leave and wanted to assist in the transition by giving three weeks notice. The company responded by having security escort her out the door about 2 hours after HR was notified of her impending resignation.

If I were leaving for another company, I would arrange to give notice on Friday and start my new job on Monday.

Anonymous responded 5 years ago: #249

I quit without notice because of daily verbal attacks and inssults from my manager. My old company hired me right back so I didn't need the reference fortunately. I figured if they were so unprofessional as to call me retard, dummy, etc. they did not deserve a notice. I informed HR of the harassment from my boss. At first it was if they didn't believe me, but after I explained what was going on they actually apologized upon behalf of the company. Many people have encouraged me to sue but I don't think it's worth it, not being there is payment enough.

Anonymous responded 5 years ago: #250

I am a RN who quit after four months at a nursing care facility. It was poorly managed and I was concerned about my ability to give quality care to the best of my ability. I called my supervisor to quit three days before my scheduled shift. I had been told earlier in my career never to give notice in the health care field, because employers are worried about HIPPA laws.

Now the company and the state of Missouri had denied me unemployment saying I quit without just cause. Help!

Lawrence responded 5 years ago: #251

Nice article Mr. Carlini. I have been thinking about giving one or two weeks notice at my company prior to my leaving for South Korea to teach English. However, after reading your article I have decided not to do so. My situation is I came to "this" firm to be a stockbroker two years ago and two years later....I am stlll filing & shredding paper like it no ones business. At least on three occasions I asked when I can take my Series 7 exam and well..shrug of the shoulders or some type of lame reason. If it werent for my student loans I would have quit already, but now I've reached my breaking point. I am not doing what I set out to do, so its time to move on. Thanks for showing me the light. South Korea, here I come.

Alice responded 4 years ago: #252

I wish I would have read this article 2 weeks ago. My last day at my job is tomorrow and I have been under so much stress about leaving. My manager/supervisor is a horrible man and has given me so much grief. He is slick when he does it too because only 1 other person in the office really knows how he is. On several occasions he has talked very loud and disrespectful to me and the other co-workers in the office just act like nothing happened. I was out on FMLA for several months last year for being treated for cancer. When I came back to work he demoted me - I was a supervisor of 7 employees. And ever since I came back to work he has made my life at work would think that he would have some sort of gladness that I didn't die or get sicker from the cancer. But it seems that he didn't really like it that I did come back to work. So the bottom line is I am leaving this company because of him! My doctor said that I have been under too much stress and that stress has a way of slowing down the natural healing process from the cancer treatments. This is the second reason for health should not be at risk anymore then it has been. Thank you for posting this article.

Gail responded 4 years ago: #253

Last Friday I walked into HR and told them I was leaving immediately for another job. It was the best thing I've ever done.

All of my projects were up-to-date and the Director of HR wished me the best and said he'd be happy to give me a reference.

I emailed my former boss an hour later (CC: HR), told him it had been a learning experience, and that I had left folders and electronic files for him. I wanted him to be able to inform others.

Thanks for this advice ... when dealing with egotistical, bullying bosses, this is the ONLY way to quit!

Jason responded 4 years ago: #254

I have been at my current job for about 7 years now. It is the worst place I have ever worked at. The job itself I can tolerate but it is the bosses and co workers that make the job miserable. First of all, it is a small family owned business. I just want to say never work for small family owned businesses. Second of all with the exception of me and a couple of others, the employees they have there are either friends of theirs or other family members which makes things there even more miserable. The brown nosing is just down right terrible there. There are certain people who get there at least a half an hour early every day just so they can kiss the most butt! Third, there's no employee handbook or any set of rules etched in stone. They make up things as they go along and certain things are enforced against some people while not enforced against others. What really compounds the problem is that we are in the worst economy right now that we have been in a long time. I have been trying to find another job but so far with no luck. Every day I come there to work, it makes me more angry. Unfortunately though I have to keep biting my tongue. One of the hardest things in life is being around people who you think are jerks but not being able to tell them that you think they are jerks. I will say though when I do find another job, I am not giving my employer any notice at all whatsoever. If any of you knew these people, you would understand why.

Mike responded 4 years ago: #255


I'm in the same boat. I will be tendering my resignation tomorrow effective "Immediately". To add to that, I will be offering them consulting services for the transitioning. I do have a couple projects I can go to that will bring close to equal amount of income or 70%, but I rather be free then chained like a dog.

jake responded 4 years ago: #256

I quit a high paying job of ~2 years without 2 weeks notice the other day. I could not stand the job for another minute, but I did have another job lined up (just in time!). I'm just a little worried that somehow my new job will find out. Other than that, this was my first time I've ever done something crazy like this and it feels weird. I am feeling better everyday about the decision though.

corrine responded 4 years ago: #257

I resigned from my job while on maternity leave due to family issues. I have now found out that my boss has placed me on a non re-hire status & I am not able to be hired in any casino or hotel in my town as a Sous Chef or higher. Not sure what to do. I have contacted both my ex-superior & his superior,but have had no response. The odd thing is my superior's superior offered me a job back in the hotel I was in previously, during my hiring status was when we found out my previous boss placed me as non re-hire. What can I do? I can't get a job anywhere here in my town as a Sous Chef becuase of this, but my job was so high demanding that there was no way I would've been able to be successful @ work & go through my family hurrican at the same time. Please help. Thanks.

Glynis responded 4 years ago: #258

Thank you so much for this article and all the comments. I have been working at a retail store for the past year and a half, and recently turned in my two weeks because my department manager was unwilling to work with my school schedule and I felt like I could no longer communicate with him. Today, my store manager (who was the only one who knew I had put in my two weeks)told me to meet him in the conference room, so I went in and sat down. A few minutes later, the department and store manager walked in and sat try and open up lines of communication. They did not warn me this would happen, so I was completely taken off gaurd and felt like a trapped animal. I tried talking to them, and was cut off before I ever got a chance to express my concerns. I so angry that I was almost sobbing by the time they were done... What a great way to convince someone to stay with the company. I told the store manager I was leaving, and would be back in a few hours. I am not going back... It is not worth the stress that these last few days have been. I make enough money to support myself with the funds I receive for school, so I can be picky about finding a new job.
Thanks again for this article that has been helpful during this incredibly stressful day.

tweaked geek responded 4 years ago: #259

I just resigned from a family owned operation as well. I tried to do the "ethical" thing in turning in a notice, to only be walked out the door the same day.

It's not like I was a problematic employee. I was the IT Manager, and consistently exceeded in my work. I was always told how much of an integral part of the team I was. However, I found a better paying job in my specialty and decided to turn in my notice.

I would agree:

1. NEVER work for a family owned / operated business. It's just not worth all the extra headaches.

2. NEVER turn in a two weeks notice. I never will again.

Bryan responded 4 years ago: #260

I was recently laid off from a professional position that utilized my college education, and was shortly thereafter hired by a good company and instantly promoted to a manager position. The new company doesn't relate to my career of choice, though it does pay accordingly. I spend 10 hrs every week commuting back and forth, and because I don't fully understand everything I'm doing, it can be a very stressful job. I've been given a job offer at around the same pay, but much closer to home, and in my career field doing something I am very comfortable doing. I don't want to upset anyone in my current company by giving too little of a notice, especially as nice and helpful as everyone here has been. Then again, it is a global corporate company, and I don't have enough savings to risk getting thrown out on my A-- the day I give notice. Any advice would be great!

Eli responded 4 years ago: #261

I have NEVER given two weeks notice and never will. Last time I checked, I didn't have launch codes in my desk and a red phone, so me leaving shouldn't be a big deal.

I usually leave for more money and will ask for more before I hit the door.

I left my last job because I had a woman manager and it was a nightmare. I will NEVER work for a woman ever again. (I am a woman BTW!)

I decided the only way to never have to deal with this issue ever again is to work for myself. Problem solved for me. I have never been happier!

sidney responded 4 years ago: #262

S&C Electric would not show the door, instead they would make arrangements for a Private Security company to escort you to the door. No time to shut-down the computer, not even to save current file. No time for personal effects or say goodbye to colleagues. They can afford to even lose data that you could've saved by shutting down the PC properly - no trouble at all. They can afford to pay the Security company and mail you your personal effects upon your resignation (that they have also pushed you to)


If you are some manager's brother then you get promoted and others will report to you. Doesn't matter if you never graduated. Also would you like to see your friends at other S&C offices? No problem the company can sponsor free trips for you. Who said nepotism?

ap responded 4 years ago: #263

@ Jason. I also work for a small (family style) business. I've worked there for 3 years and they refuse to give me a one week paid vacation. (I've never received a raise or commission either). When I was hired I specifically asked about paid vacation and they said yes, they would like to offer that. They gave a coworker, who has been there 14 years, her first paid vacation ever, about 2 years ago! She thanked me! Hopefully, I will never have to work for a family owned and operated business again, but if I do, definitely get everything in writing. Do not trust these people. They make up their own rules as they go and have no employee handbook. They expect us to read their minds! I don't want to give 2 weeks notice. I like the idea of writing a letter saying I resign effective immediately and I'm available for consultation if needed (for a fee). I do a lot of work on the computer so I will have a list of all the user id's and passwords. I'm also going to write step by step directions of how to do certain things because they are computer illiterate! Then they can't accuse me of anything bad. I'm finding a job that has benefits... such as a paid vacation! And most jobs give a review after a certain amount of time. I have NEVER even gotten a review. I hope its ok I don't want to give 2 weeks notice. There are much better paying jobs out there, I was already offered one actually! I just have to go through the application and formal interview process. It's nice to be selfish for once!

Erica responded 4 years ago: #264

A lot of ppl dont understand that in some states if you give a notice of resignation and that company decides "no this will be your last day" that they still have to pay you thru the day that you notified them of.

Ash responded 4 years ago: #265

I am so happy for this article, even years later. I'm in the same position as a few previous posters. I have my dream job that I spent forever applying to but I just can't stand another day. I feel anxious every morning and evening before work, sick to my stomach, I've gone home crying many days. I believe this isn't healthy for me and I should find something I'm better suited for, but my partner believes I should tough it out. I don't think many people realize just how hard it is to "tough out" a job that makes you physically ill.

Mike responded 4 years ago: #266

The simple fact is that many companies don't extend the same courtesy to their employees in giving notice. You're just out the door. Too bad. We don't give a hoot. In kind, they should receive the same "courtesy."

Tom responded 4 years ago: #267

I finally received an offer today from a company I'd like to work for. They want me to start Jan 3 but if I give notice before the end of the year I could lose the 6 holiday pay days when my current employer is closed at the end of the year if they tell me to get lost. I am leaning toward giving one week notice on Jan 3 and starting on the 10th. Or I could email my boss during christmas break at the 2 week point and assume since no one is in the office all that week then persoonnel wouldn't axe me before the end of the year and still have my start date on Jan 10? I have 6 paid holidays and potentially 2 weeks vacation for 2011 at stake. With a kid in college I can't afford to lose that pay

Jo-Jo responded 4 years ago: #268

I too am working for a family owned business. I am THE only employee. Seems simple to just say, "I'm leaving", but the relationship I might lose, is what I'm worried about, athe rift in my family because of it. In my situation, I have discovered unethical, possibly illegal goings on, and I want out, but am scared I won't get my last paycheck, so I am sticking it out til monday. I don't kow what to do. Besides cleaning out y desk, besides, grabbing contact information, any words of wisdom? I've never walked out of a job, in my life, and I don't fault anyone for doing so...but safety and self worth are the bigger picture here. BTW, I am almost certain that the woman that might replace me, has been calling. So if I'm about to be replaced, me leaving shouldn't be that big ofa deal.

Carly responded 4 years ago: #269

This article is definitely catered to office-type jobs. I work in a retail store, and many have quit without 2 weeks notice. In this case, it has nothing to do with liability, and a lot of things described here do not apply. In retail, people sometimes quit without 2 weeks notice because they are genuinely unhappy, or because a new opportunity starts right away.
This article makes good points, but I wish it talked more about non-corporate positions.

James Carlini responded 4 years ago: #270

This is a never-ending source of job leaving concerns that I wish would be "required reading" for HR professionals. Non-corporate positions (like retail) may have some of their own characteristics but I think there is more commonality than not. It is simply a matter of mutual courtesy and respect but if it is not given by one side, it should not be obligatory for the other.

andi Hong responded 4 years ago: #271

I'm in the bad situation where I wasn't treated fairly at the company and I need to leave once apply for a new job. I have my 3 weeks vacation coming that those 3 weeks vacation according to the company policy as what I heard from other co-workers we have those vacation time available at the beginning of the year. I turned in my vacation request 2 months ahead and my boss wants to ensure that I train another person well with everything I know before leaving for vacation. As the situation is not going as smoothly and I was treated worse than usual, and the vacation is coming up next week, and if I can't find a new job before going to the vacation (as I planned to find a new job and cancel my vacation time so the company doesn't have to pay for my vacation anymore), and if I find a new job right after coming back from the vacation, and with 24 hours notice, would that against the policy ? there's no HR policy about it in my company as far as I know so I'm just asking for your general advice (as I mentioned above the 3 weeks vacation time already available at the beginning of the year and I have been working 1/3 time of the year so far which is 4 months) It would be no problem if I can find a job before going to vacation so the company doesn't have to pay for it, but if right after I use all my available vacation then find a job and leave the company, will that be something they would use to against me ? And I also feel bad using all 3 weeks vacation because I only deserve 1 week so far, but I need to be out of state for important family situation so 1 week is really not enough. I just wish to get a job (which is nearly impossible) before going to the vacation. Plus I don't want to stay there for the rest of the year. Please advise, thank you.

kristen responded 4 years ago: #272

depending on your job, if you "earned" the vacation time they may have to pay you for the time whether or not you take the vacation. I think its more in bad taste than it would be against policy to quit immediately after vacation. I know how you feel with a company treating you badly but connections are always good to have so quit with class and lie through your teeth with graciousness if you have to because if you are a good employee they will take you back or atleast recommend you.

Robert responded 4 years ago: #273

I'm not sure that "...lying through your teeth with graciousness..." is in any less bad taste.
Many employers will insist you "work out your notice." while many others will "show you the door." The author is correct that the idea of a two week notice is an outdated holdover from a bygone era. The market today requires swift directional changes from companies that have an obligation to investors. Their "loyalty" to employees has long since been replaced by "obligation" to profit for the investment market. You are only kidding yourself if you believe that a "positive reference" is more important than your accomplishments and interviewing skill. Just my two cents!

JAMES CARLINI responded 4 years ago: #274

Kristen - read Robert's response. Your idea of giving notice to "lock in" a good reference defies logic.

If they never recognized your work and your efforts before you left, why would they praise your efforts after you left? Find someone who will give an honest recommmendation for you in the company and use them as a reference.

If you think a company is going to give you some rave review one or two years later when they never recognized you when you were there, you have a lot to learn.

jan responded 4 years ago: #275

I agree with the article. As well, it is so true on them give you a bold face lie about why you left or even why your position is not going to exist anymore.

I have been in the work force for only 19years. I noticed too that in the 1990s when I was working it was the proper thing to do with giving a 2 weeks’ notice. Even back then they gave notices to people without warning and sent them out the door immediately. I never was laid off in the 1990’s. However, after watching how friends and family was booted from a company my perception changed on being ‘so called’ professional and giving a 2 week notice. In 2000 I was only laid off once and it was swift and quick, cold and made me feel like I was a ‘no body’.
After that I watched how many new people were hired or if I was training them. I also watched if there were too many ‘big wig’ meetings going on behind closed doors. ‘If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it’s a duck’ so when I see all of that going on then I prepare to depart on my terms for another job and then the day I knew was my last day I would give notice, hand all my stuff and just leave the company and never looked back.

In these days companies will even be heartless, disrespectful and unprofessional with preparing one for their departure right in front of my face.

Companies seem to forget that the same people that work for them are the same one putting their hard working money right back into to them with their products or being a share holder or whatever else but when you begin to treat someone like another budget figure you must crunch to make your profits look good then people will not only leave that company but they do not invest in them with anything and that goes for their products too.

Companies need to understand that we the workers are the ones that make them exist as well and they must treat us with respect and understanding.

Once companies start bringing in people with more of a true ‘human resource’ outlook and not an outlook that is of a finance person then they will capture the real key methods of handling employees appropriately when laying them off. Such as, providing them with options and resourceful info to train them for another field or give them other leads to other companies hiring. By doing this the workers won’t have such bad feelings but know that the company still has their workers interest in mind as well even though they had to make a budget cut with a position.

John responded 4 years ago: #276

Alright, So worked for a company for a couple years with no set days off just working any times I was given. Eight hours turned into 10, 10 turned to 12, even did a 17 hour day got no sleep and jumped right back on the horse. Everyday started to blend in and I was the only one doing this! I found another spot to work and just left the career. I had no social life because I could never plan anything without requesting. I had more days off in the military. Am I wrong to just go? Hasnt really kicked in yet. Hit me back yall

Andy responded 3 years ago: #277

Interesting article. Since most comments are sharing personal experiences with companies I thought I would share an odd one that happened to me. I am a Project Manager and few jobs ago we were late on delivery and the technical leads kept telling me tomorrow or day after tomorrow and we kept missing delivery. Needless to say customer was geting angrier and angrier. I finally told them "I don't know when we will deliver, we are workign as fast as we can on it". My Manager called me that night and said that was an unacceptable response to the client and he could not work with me anymore, he give me till the end of the month (basically 4 weeks)but then I was gone. SO I am fired for a difference in how we should communicate with the client. I disagree but fine, life sucks, whatever. The funny thing is about 10 days later the company downsizes 10% and like the article says they just wlked all those folks out. No goodbyes or nothing, just adios. But I am still there until the end of the month. I get fired and I am left to do basically whatever I want for a month with full system access. 50 or so folks have done nothing, get walked and there I sat. I am honest and had no intention of doing anything malicious but I couldn't believe the dichotemy. Anyway just thought I'd share. The big take away from the article to me is "Do what you think is best for you." the company is going to do what they think is best for them no matter how callous that mey be.

Matt responded 3 years ago: #278

Over here in the UK it is general practice to give a minimum of four weeks notice (in the contract) but it works both ways, if you are being let go you are also given four weeks notice. It is down to the management if you work your notice or not, generally if you are leaving on good terms you work out your notice. It is also illegal to give a bad reference, the only bad reference is a no reference.

JD responded 3 years ago: #279

Wow this article has really changed my mind. I was contemplating giving my CEO and another executive my 4 weeks notice, because I like them and have had good experiences when working directly with them (it is my direct boss who is the problem).

It is going to be hard, but I agree that I must do what is best for myself, just as the company would. 24 hours notice is 24 more hours notice than they gave my buddy before they termed him unexpectedly.

Vanessa responded 3 years ago: #280

I totally agree with this article and I am so thankful I came across this. I just quit my job today and I have felt miserable for not giving a two week notice. I've worked there for 5 years with no raise and a dead end. My responsibilities grew but not my pay. I am a single mother of one and if I wasn't eligible enough to get a raise then there was no worth giving a two week notice. The management was horrible and either way whether I gave a two week notice or not the manager wasn't going to work me anyways. Plus the work environment was also horrible. It would have felt uncomfortable and dragging to even stay there for one more day. Your right do what's best for yourself and your ego big businesses don't really care about their employees, we are just a chest piece on that chest board of theirs.

Cheryl responded 3 years ago: #281

What a great and timely article for me! I plan to quit my job in a few weeks, after I am vested in the 401K plan that my employer offers. I had hoped that I could just give notice and then simply leave immediately, and now I know I can! I work in a "free will" state, where you can be terminated at any time with no reason given. A new office manager came on board two years ago, and she has been extremely difficult to work for. Plus no raise in almost three years, but hours were cut and workload increased. Five of the original eight employees have already left, and I am planning to be the next one. Knowing I don't have to give a two week notice is a load off my mind because I know the manager would make those weeks a living hell for me. Thanks for posting such good advice!

Cassandra responded 3 years ago: #282

This article has been a great resource for me today. I have been a contract accountant for a non-profit organization for the past three years. Six month ago, there was a cash crisis and the doors were locked. Some benefactors of the organization stepped in, ousted the old Board, took charge, and offered financial support and volunteer executive level day-to-day support. There was a complete restructuring of the organization and most of the administrative staff were let go. I volunteered for a couple of weeks, then accepted payment of minimum wage for one month, the next month $15.00 per hour, and the following month $20.00 per hour. Before the crisis, I was paid $60.00 per hour as a contracted accountant. (My usual rate was $75.00 per hour. I discounted my rate due to the nonprofit status of the company.) Two months ago, I was told that my status needed to be changed from contractor to employee. I was asked to become a full-time employee, instead of working 24-32 hours per week as a contractor. I agreed and continued to work for $20.00 per hour, full-time, starting in July. There have been several discussions during the past six months with Board members acknowledging that I was sacrificing financially for the organization, and how much it was appreciated. Based on these discussions, I was expecting another incremental increase to the amount of $25.00 per hour this month. The target hourly rate as an employee was to eventually be $35.00 per hour with skeletal benefits. Last Friday, the new and inexperienced Executive Director, came to me and stated that he would need to cut my hours to 30 per week, with no mention of a rate increase. I told him that was unacceptable, but that I would consider agreeing temporarily to fewer hours with a pay increase to $22.00 per hour. I also told him my wage history with the organization and stated that it was never my intention to work indefinitely for $20.00 per hour. He seemed surprised and said that he would have to review the budget again this weekend. I also mentioned that I am available to assist with the budget. (He has not sought my input, although I am clearly the expert in all financial matters concerning the organization.) My feeling is that he might let me go and find someone less experienced who will work for cheaper. If I stick around and that happens, I would file for unemployment, which would open up a case for misclassification of contractor vs. employee. I am not sure I want to go through with that hassle. So bottom line, I am strongly considering handing him my letter of resignation on Tuesday and following the advice of this article to leave on the day that I resign. Any comments on what to do or say would be greatly appreciated.

Basic responded 3 years ago: #283

I would recommend you put in a two week notice and no more than that. I think your circumstance as an accountant, I would just give them a letter and walk out the same day because if it was management firing you than they would let you go that day. If already have strong references to you back you up than don't be scared to walk out that day. It also depends on what your doing for a living. They may say bad things about you once you quit but those are the risk you just have to run. In the end it's up to you if you want to just walk out with a notice; I say go for it in your situation.

Mace responded 3 years ago: #284

Thank you for this article! This made me feel a lot better about my situation. I have worked for a company for 2 years. Expected to do managers duties with out managers wages at a extremely understaffed company. I am over worked and rarely if ever allowed vacation time/sick time. I broke my ankle, went to the emergency, got put in a splint and given pain medications. I was not able to work for 48 hours and the doctor wrote me a note. I had my boyfriend drive me to work to give my boss the note. She saw I was in a lot of pain and barely able to walk. She told me she would try to figure something out for the 2 days I would not be able to work. After an hour she called me, told me she checked and no one can work so I needed to work. I explained I was in a lot of pain and can't walk, she told me I needed to buy crutches so I could work the following day. I told her I could't, it was dangerous and unreasonable for me to work even with crutches considering I am on a high does of pain medications and can not drive to work let alone operate a store. She became very angry at this point, telling me she was frustrated at me and the way things were "ran" at my store. I have been nothing but a good employee to them and for her to berate me while I am in severe pain really rubbed me the wrong way. I slept on it and today I contacted her telling her it is apparent to me she is not concerned about my safety or well being but rather if I was able to work. I told her I will not be involved with a company that insists on me working even though I am injured. I didn't ask for a lot of time off, just two days. On top of that there are a ton of other issues with the company (not being paid on time, not being allowed time off, no lunches/breaks, not paid for over time) I can't believe I have put up with this for so long and I am SO thankful I finally got the courage to quit.

Rob responded 3 years ago: #285

I am currently in a situation of another company needs me to start in 1 week. I cashed in almost all my vacation, except 3 days. My company was a GM dealership that was lost, They acquired another franchise, but I lost over 12000 per year since then. company says sorry we can not give raises. I have been there 10 years. I planned on 2 weeks but not going to be able to. I have been letting this issue eat at me, even though I have been told not too.

Athen responded 2 years ago: #286

I worked at a gov agency in a startup project for over a year in a rock-bottom entry level position. I was doing an insane amount of work for 4 different supervisors total. I was constantly commended on the quality and quantity of my work. At first, I was also fed a line of bs about promotion and/or a reduced schedule so that I can work on my graduate degree. When I was ready to start school, all of a sudden they would not work with my schedule. And the promotion offer was a joke. I was at a clerk pay-grade, yet was doing a great deal of my supervisor's work (a woman who happened to be a racist, ignorant, former military shrew who could barely read and write). For example she could not write professional level correspondence or contracts, so I was assigned this work several levels above my pay grade. Fine. I don't mind learning new skills. But I also don't want to be taken advantage of. Basically, the workload, the frustration of working with my idiot primary supervisor, and lack of promotional and educational opportunity forced me to quit. I gave 2 weeks notice and they managed to pull someone from another department that I did my best to train. I cleaned up after myself and tied up loose ends before I left. And I can't get a reference from anyone at that company. I was doing so much before I quit that my leaving meant some people actually had to do some work. They wanted me to give several weeks notice. I would never have done that, because they would have taken advantage of me even more in that space of time. The more notice you give an employer, the more the ball is in their court.
I did everything right and can't get a reference from them. Since that's the case. I might as well of just left and let them slip around in their own mess.

Jessica H. responded 2 years ago: #287

I've been working in the hotel business for two years now, meanwhile I have picked up three more jobs due to me not getting enough hours. Management has gone through it's runs, the hotel is going downhill, and I have yet to even receive my one year reveiw. They keep on putting it off. I'd like to give my two weeks, but I know that it would be a stressful last two weeks considering the maturity of the workplace I am in.
How does one go about demanding their reviews that are overdue, and then giving their letter of resignation? I just want to be paid for my services and leave.

JAMES CARLINI responded 1 year ago: #288

Jessica - even though this is a little late - just request your annual review. Be specific. Ask what day would be good to sit down and discuss your review. That will at least put your manager on notice that you would like some type of performance appraisal. IF they don't get back to you - set a date, and leave. Otherwise, you just keep riding the treadmill. Good luck.

dbs responded 1 year ago: #289

I feel compelled to write a quick comment after reading through this entire list.

Mr. Carlini? You are AWESOME for continuing to monitor this page. And I've already opened other tabs so I can continue reading your articles. (Thank you!)

I've been working since I was 15 years old. I turn 46 this week. I've worked traveling the country, a different airport each week; I've managed an upper scale hotel; I've had one fast-food job ever, and been my own boss fairly often, too. I've been promoted at almost every job I've ever had.

So when I say this, I speak with loads of experience:

1. Employers are NOT your friends. Don't make that mistake.

2. Many employers WILL cheat you in all manner of ways if they think they can get away with it. To them, it isn't personal. To you, it is. Which is why: employers are NOT your friends.

There. Isn't it easier to look after your own interests when you're clear on the "business arrangement" you have?

-Add Your Comment


Comment Policy: WTN News accepts comments that are on-topic and do not contain advertisements, profanity or personal attacks. Comments represent the views of the individuals who post them and do not necessarily represent the views of WTN Media or our partners, advertisers, or sources. Comments are moderated and are not immediately posted. Your email address will not be posted.

WTN Media cannot accept liability for the content of comments posted here or verify their accuracy. If you believe this comment section is being abused, contact

WTN InGroup
SupraNet Communications

-More Stories

WTN Media Presents