Is a Two Week Notice Really Necessary?

In a former position as HR Director we had a monthly luncheon to celebrate successes, recognize employee birthdates occurring that month and recognize employees celebrating company start date anniversaries that month. It was uncanny how many employees celebrated birthdays and start dates in the same month. Do you think these were coincidences?

Years ago I read an article that suggested many people either consciously or sub consciously evaluate their life at birthdays (some birthdays more than others) and also at calendar year end. I discerned that the author of the article would conclude the birthday and new employer anniversaries occurring in the same month were not a coincidence.

Since we are approaching year end which is one of the biggest triggers of career evaluation and new years’ resolutions and combine that with an improving economy and new staffing budgets it is predictable that many people will be leaving current employers and starting new positions.



Don’t burn any bridges. What does that mean? Follow company policy or practice. Do not give anyone a reason to think badly of you because of how you chose to communicate your decision to leave the company. One example would be to be aware of the current company policy regarding a satisfactory notice of your intent to resign.

The most common period is two (2) weeks. What your company expects is communicated in the employee handbook. For some positions some companies may expect or ask you to give a longer period of notice. Conversely, for some positions such as sales positions, even if you give a notice you will be predictably released immediately. If you plan to leave, become aware of what the company expects for your level of position.

Once you know what is expected and align that with company practice, you can plan accordingly. For example, if you are expected to provide a two week notice and know that you will be released immediately, discuss that with your new employer. Explain your plans to follow company standards and ask if you may start work earlier if you are immediately released. I have made this arrangement with new hires as part of the hiring process many times.
Another part of the “don’t burn bridges” equation is to work the notice period if allowed and to be as diligent as if you were not leaving. Also, ask your supervisor if there is anything you are to complete prior to your last day. Be sure that is accomplished.

Career Advice

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