Editor’s Note: James Carlini wrote the first installment “Ready to leave? Why you shouldn’t give two weeks’ notice” back in April 2005. Two years later he followed that with “Two-week notices are no longer “customary”. With the economic situation many have found themselves in, in the last years, it’s not surprising that these two articles have had such staying power with more comments than any other on WTN. Here’s Carlini’s latest….
These are all things of the past. Where are any places you can get a nickel beer today? How do you text or send a picture on a rotary phone? Two week notices? You must be kidding.
Since my original article back in April 2005 (http://wistechnology.com/articles/1757/ ) stating that two-week notices went out with nickel beers, I have answered many people’s questions about giving or not giving a two-week notice when leaving a company.
When I first wrote that article, I did not believe it would elicit tens of 1000s of hits as well as thousands of inquiries. It created an impact on so many people’s individual career decisions. Many readers had bad situations that they were in and also had less-than-sterling management to deal with.
About a year later, I followed up that original article with another (http://wistechnology.com/articles/2786/ ) and I pointed this out:
While some people disagree with my advice, they are the ones living in a dream world. I believe individuals who give what many companies are giving – an immediate departure upon notice – should not be viewed as negative but as initiating a standard business practice that companies and other organizations themselves have instituted.
When it’s 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 the company isn’t left in a lurch. In today’s society, you can’t have it both ways.With security issues being what they are today, companies will say it is for security purposes that you have to be let go the same day. Shouldn’t this then apply from the individual’s standpoint as well? Leave immediately.
DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU
Let’s examine how many organizations get rid of people. For over a decade, major companies have brought in people that they wanted to lay off into a large room and summarily told them that their services were no longer needed and that they would be escorted to the door. Any personal belongings still at their desk would be sent to them so there was no need to go back to their desk. Pretty cold, but I have seen it defended by the “human resource professionals” as nothing personal, it’s the company just doing business.
That was, and still is, a standard procedure at many of the Fortune 500 companies. With that management approach, how can you demand more from an employee who has decided that it is time to leave? More employees are now looking at giving notice as optional and not obligatory.
In today’s corporate environment with all the systems and access to corporate information, most companies would rather get rid of someone immediately when they announce their resignation than keep them around for two weeks. From a security perspective, I can see their point but I then would say that an employee should have that same option in giving immediate notice. It should not be viewed as negative or even a stigma if the employee does the same thing.
The typical “job advice” columns are so out-of-touch with reality, it is time for another reminder. Some career counselors, coaches and others who hold themselves out as “human resource professionals” still try to sell the average worker on “not to burn your bridges and give two weeks or even four weeks’ notice” and yet say nothing when a company lets go of people without any notice.
Do you think there is a double standard here? Why have I not seen any articles from these same people condemning the “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out” layoffs that have decimated morale as well as given many good people a negative attitude?
Those who are in human resource roles are hypocrites if they preach that the employee should still give two-weeks’ notice and then look the other way when companies let people go without any notice and lamely comment that that’s the company’s prerogative.
WHAT ARE YOU ENTITLED TO?
Some employees believe that if they “do the right thing” and give a two-week notice, they are automatically entitled to two-weeks’ pay even if their company lets them go that day. The reality is that you are owed any accrued vacation time.
As for the two-weeks’ notice you just offered? That is completely discretionary and the company may not pay you anything above and beyond what is mandatory like the accrued vacation pay.
Some people have written to me about this over and over again. The answer is always the same. If you give your employer a two-weeks’ notice, they can escort you out that day and you are owed nothing (except the vacation pay). By giving notice, you are not locking in an extra two-weeks’ pay.
If you have some complex questions, talk to a labor relations attorney or a state labor relations board. They can answer anything that is in a gray area. 99% of the time, the answer will be that the company is not obligated to pay you anything except the accrued vacation time.
THE “NEW” WORKFORCE. THE NEW WORK ETHIC.
With many corporate organizations hiring people from outside the United States, the cultural differences have to be accepted. The cheaper labor coming in does not understand about “giving notice” and when a better opportunity comes up, they are gone. They don’t care about the “customary” two-week notice because it is not “customary” to them.
At several major companies, this has happened over and over again and yet the companies still hire that cheaper labor. Funny, it doesn’t seem to “burn their bridges”.
Why do career counselors keep pitching a myth about “give two-week notice because you don’t want to burn your bridges”? They are out-of-touch with the current job market and how expectations have changed.
Companies are not following the same “don’t burn your bridges” rule with employees. If they don’t extend notice, they shouldn’t expect something that they themselves do not offer or adhere to.
Unless you have a written agreement that binds either party to giving a notice, no notice is necessary AND no stigma should be attached to either party exercising that decision to part ways.
If you think you were treated well by the company, then by all means extend them that courtesy, but never think you are obligated to. It is optional today. And based on how many readers have been treated in their companies, it is becoming a very rare option. Like purple squirrels.
Carlinism: Two-week notices went out with nickel beers.
Recent columns by James Carlini