In the November 1, 2016 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter, a reader tries to do the right thing by giving two weeks’ notice and loses two weeks’ pay.
I have a new job, so I gave my two weeks’ notice to my employer. But my boss let me go the same day! He said, “I accept your resignation. And you’re gone immediately.”
I needed at least another week of work because I can’t afford two weeks off between jobs. Now I’m screwed. They gave me three hours that day and told me to leave. I’ve always given at least two weeks’ notice to be fair to my employer. Is it right that they did this to me after I did the right thing for them?
Unfortunately, it’s not a question of right. For the employer, it’s a judgment call.
Here’s what your boss may be thinking:
- Are you a liability or risk if you stay on another two weeks? In other words, will you be distracted and do lower-quality work?
- Are you likely to “poison the well” and encourage other employees to think about leaving?
- Or, is the manager just angry? Does he resent your “disloyalty” because you quit? Quitting a job doesn’t make one disloyal, but your manager’s ego might have gotten the best of him and caused trouble for you.
You never know how an employer is going to react. For some tips from my PDF book, Parting Company: How to leave your job, check this article: Protect Your Job – Don’t give notice when accepting a new job.
I think an employer is a dope to not take advantage of two weeks’ notice to help transition your work to another employee. But once you resign, your employer is not obligated to keep you on. There may even be a company policy about not letting employees who resign stick around.
While it’s a good thing to do right by your employer, this is why I tell people to consider their own interests first when quitting a job. If you think it’s risky, don’t give notice. This is just one issue when leaving a job. In the aforementioned book, I cover loads of other issues people never think about, including:
- What you can and can’t take with you when you leave
- Non-Disclosure Agreements and Non-Compete Agreements
- Legal liability
- What to say and what not to say in a resignation letter or during an exit interview
- How to submit your resignation to protect yourself
- How to plan your departure
- There’s even a checklist shared by my insider HR friends
Two weeks’ notice used to be a standard courtesy. Although some employers still expect it, in some places it’s a risk to offer it. People like you try to act ethically and with integrity, but leaving a job is a business and financial decision that nowadays is handled coldly by many companies. While I don’t advocate quitting without notice, I suggest that people get their ducks all in a row before they walk in to resign a job. Plan for the worst.
This article may be helpful as you consider any new job offer: Protect yourself from exploding job offers.
Sorry to hear you got hurt in the process. But congratulations on landing a new job!
Have you ever gotten burned for giving two weeks’ notice when quitting a job? If you’re a manager, would you walk an employee who quits out the door, or do you want the notice period?