27 Dec Two-week notices: People are still concerned
Giving two-weeks’ notice when leaving a job is becoming more and more a rare option rather than a must-do. From articles written over a year ago, I’m still getting feedback about people giving two-weeks’ notice and then being told to leave that day. Many believe that two-week notices no longer are part of the standard practice.
Some don’t even know who the two-week notice is for!
One reader said you should give a two-week notice because of your co-workers, not for your employer, but that is flawed logic. Your first loyalty is to yourself, your career, and your family. It has come down to that because in most cases, expert human resource consultants have told companies to get rid of people immediately when they need to do a consolidation or force reduction.
While many companies are taking this advice, employees who see this approach have questioned the reason to give two-weeks’ notice when they decide to change companies.
As for your co-workers, they might leave before you do and could care less if you stay or leave. What about your employer? By all means, if they have supported you or have helped you through some difficult times, then two weeks are in order.
But I am not hearing that from people who are leaving. They either have been unrecognized for their efforts, or not given a raise that they earned, or something else happens that shatters whatever bond of company loyalty they thought they were building.
Yes, you do need references, and co-workers can always give you that. As for burning bridges, when are people going to learn? If an employer has NOT recognized your work or your contributions for the last couple of years, why would they, all of the sudden, give you a glowing reference when you leave?
Face it – two-week notices are obsolete
From a BLOG entry earlier this fall:
Two-week notices are always touted as being the right thing to do when leaving a job, but I say it is optional and not obligatory. There will always be an option to give a two-week notice if you believe you were treated fairly in your tenure at an organization, but if you were not treated well, it is not required anymore.
How can I make that statement, which goes against so many of the career counselor “experts?” By pure observation of reality. In one case, a major multi-national company that is experiencing turnover has had a lot of people leaving for better opportunities. In a two-month period, over 10 percent (11) departed the company (100 employees in a division). Here is the breakdown of 11 exits:
• No notice, five
• Less than two-week’s notice, four
• Two weeks’ notice, two
• More than two weeks, zero
This is a very telling number. Nine out of 11 gave LESS than a two-week notice. These were all professional level people, not low-wage people with minimal skills.
When it’s time to leave… just leave
When it comes to leaving a job that has been less than rewarding, more people also are concerned with trying to give the boss a piece of their mind. My advice is to just leave and not waste any more time or emotion on a poor situation or with poor management. Chances are, nothing is going to change and you are better off to get out of that unhealthy environment. One reader recently wrote me:
My husband forwarded me your article about giving a two-week notice. Basically, I’ve been working with my current employer for a year, but have been with the business for a year-and-a-half. Change of ownership happened about one year ago. I have tried to put my heart and soul into our salon. I run the front desk. Our new owners are new at business ownership, and they really have no idea how to run their business even after a year. Anyway, I don’t want to get off on too much of a rant but, living in Virginia, I don’t have to give notice. We are an employment at-will state.
My husband brings up the point about using this job as a reference, which I am also worried about. I’m really confused, but they could care less about me as their employee, so I really would like to tell them what I think and where to go. Any advice? Trying to do the right thing, but also want to give the boss a taste of her own medicine…
My advice to Ms. D:
First, make sure your new job is locked in before you leave. The best is to leave and not get emotional about it. Why waste energy? She will get the message when you announce that you are “leaving today” and “thank you very much for the opportunity to work here.” That is much more devastating than having an argument or heated discussion, where you will get really emotional and might say a lot of things you may regret later. Don’t waste your energy.
Second, make sure you have all of your “stuff” taken out before you announce your departure. (Clean out your desk, etc., and be ready to walk if they say goodbye on your announcement. Many companies have a standard policy about that, and more are opting to say goodbye as soon as you do.
Third, on the day you leave, leave calmly and just say you are moving in a new direction with your career – they do NOT have to know where you are going, why you are going, etc. Just walk. Remember, if she is demanding and a control freak, you just left her “control.” Period.
Fourth, if you are professional when you go, they cannot say anything bad about you other than you opted not to give two weeks’ notice, which in today’s job market is as acceptable as giving notice. The BIG question is how many employers give notice to their employees when they push them out?
Fifth – and remember this because it’s important – in your own words, you said, “I’m really confused, but they could care less about me as their employee, so I really would like to tell them what I think and where to go.”
(The BIG observation is when she states: “They could care less about me.” So do you really think that they are ever going to give her a glowing reference to begin with?) Stay professional, and just leave.
My advice to her is as follows: Don’t waste your time trying to tell them where to go. They are staying there, and if you were really that good for their business, they will see that immediately after you depart. Let them wallow in their loss and be confused on what to do next. You, on the other hand, are off to bigger and better things. Be positive and don’t waste your time with losers.
Let it go
Put your heart and soul in the next job. If you have good bosses, they will notice and – believe me – they should appreciate you. If not, repeat steps one through five. Good employers are out there. Don’t waste your time, your energy, or your emotions on bad ones.
CARLINI-ISM: Two-week notices are, at best, only for those employers that earn them.
Copyright 2006 – James Carlini
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