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Ask Slashdot: When Is It OK To Not Give Notice? 892

Posted by timothy
from the as-you-put-the-strychnine-in-the-guacamole dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Here in the U.S., 'being professional' means giving at least two week's notice when leaving a job. Is this an outmoded notion? We've all heard stories about (or perhaps experienced) a quick escort to the parking lot upon giving the normal notice, and I've never heard of a company giving a two-week notice to an employee that's being laid off or fired. A generation ago, providing a lengthy notice was required to get a glowing reference, but these days does a reference hold water any more? Once you're reached the point where you know it's time to leave, under what circumstances would you just up and walk out or give only a short notice?"
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Ask Slashdot: When Is It OK To Not Give Notice?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:43PM (#44577897)

    No notice is probably the biggest middle finger you can give a company and still remain within the bounds of the law.

    • by noh8rz10 (2716597) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:44PM (#44577917)
      I think if you don't give notice then it raises red flags for your new employer. You could tell your new employer you'll start in two weeks, then tell your current employer to eff off, and then take two weeks for yourself (unpaid). But industries are so small that why would you want to burn bridges?
      • Burning bridges (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sjbe (173966) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @06:16PM (#44578341)

        I think if you don't give notice then it raises red flags for your new employer.

        If you already have a new employer then why would it raise flags? They've already hired you and (probably) have no idea what sort of circumstances you plan to leave your old employer under unless you have informed them and that would be pretty dumb to do.

        But industries are so small that why would you want to burn bridges?

        Sometimes bridges are worth burning. Not a good idea as a general practice I'll concur but if someone came to me and said I'll triple your salary, you'll work with nice people and you get to work 20 hours a week I'd consider burning a few bridges for that. I've also had the "pleasure" of working for a few real douchebags and those are bridges I wouldn't mind burning either.

        • Re:Burning bridges (Score:5, Interesting)

          by linear a (584575) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @06:35PM (#44578535)

          If you already have a new employer then why would it raise flags? They've already hired you and (probably) have no idea what sort of circumstances you plan to leave your old employer under unless you have informed them and that would be pretty dumb to do.

          Sometimes bridges are worth burning. Not a good idea as a general practice I'll concur but if someone came to me and said I'll triple your salary, you'll work with nice people and you get to work 20 hours a week I'd consider burning a few bridges for that. I've also had the "pleasure" of working for a few real douchebags and those are bridges I wouldn't mind burning either.

          1 If I'm the hiring person and you don't give your current employer notice then I'll assume that you are a snake and will do the same to me later, regardless of whether I would need knowledge transition at that point. You're talking a professional (knowledge) position here, right? 2 How sure are you that you won't ever want the old job as a reference? I've been surprised at how well some older references have worked for me.

          • by sjbe (173966) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @07:16PM (#44578873)

            If I'm the hiring person and you don't give your current employer notice then I'll assume that you are a snake and will do the same to me later, regardless of whether I would need knowledge transition at that point.

            You SHOULD assume that any employee might not give you notice. Sometimes employees aren't able to give you notice because they fall ill. Sometimes they get an opportunity and have to act on it immediately. Sometimes things just don't work out between the company and the employee. Plan accordingly. I run a small manufacturing company and I assure you that two weeks notice makes little practical difference. It's certainly not enough to find and train an adequate replacement and if you cannot gracefully transition that person's work then management screwed up bad. In my case that means *I* screwed up since I'm the boss.

            The two weeks notice thing is nice and courteous but if someone is leaving without prior notice the first place you should look if you want to know why is in the mirror. I've walked out of jobs without any notice and I assure you that it was because of the unprofessional behavior of those I worked for. It doesn't necessarily mean they are a "snake" but what it does mean is that you have a poor understanding of what at-will employment really means.

            How sure are you that you won't ever want the old job as a reference? I've been surprised at how well some older references have worked for me.

            I've been in the workforce for about 25 years now. A good reference is NEVER a company. It is a person you know. It is impossible for a company to have a personal relationship with you or to know you. It is always a close colleague or someone I had a good personal relationship with who provided the references. Whether I gave two weeks notice or not has never once been a factor.

            • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 15, 2013 @08:18PM (#44579191)

              I've been in the workforce for about 25 years now. A good reference is NEVER a company. It is a person you know. It is impossible for a company to have a personal relationship with you or to know you. It is always a close colleague or someone I had a good personal relationship with who provided the references. Whether I gave two weeks notice or not has never once been a factor.

              I've had this exact conversation with many people, and they don't seem to understand that when you put previous employers on a resume, the only information they are allowed to give anyone that calls about your employment with them are things that are a matter of public record: the dates of your employment, and possibly any criminal charges that may have been leveled against you by them, though that last one they may actually have to get from a background check. It's your personal references that they will call to ask more detailed questions about your work history with them.

          • Re:Burning bridges (Score:4, Insightful)

            by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @07:25PM (#44578929)
            So if I've already given notice, and I select a start date within 2 weeks from now, you'll assume I'm a snake, with absolutely no evidence of snakism?

            One job I left recently I walked out on. I wouldn't ask them for a reference. They were evil, which is why I walked out. I have references before and after that one, and nobody seemed to care. I only ask for references from people I trust to give a good one.
            • Re:Burning bridges (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @09:26PM (#44579525)

              Yep, I'm the same way: I walked out on a job a few years ago because the boss was giving me shit about coming in late, even though I always came in late, and always left late, and got more work done after 5 when everyone else left. There were a bunch of other factors about that job that I was already sick of (like the idiotic open-plan work environment), so my boss getting on me about being late (and then pulling me into a talk where he asked me why I was there; why else would I be there but for a paycheck?) was the last straw; I tossed a resignation letter at him and walked out.

              • Re:Burning bridges (Score:4, Insightful)

                by narcc (412956) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @09:38PM (#44579597) Journal

                the boss was giving me shit about coming in late, even though I always came in late

                ...

                asked me why I was there; why else would I be there but for a paycheck?

                ...

                I tossed a resignation letter at him and walked out.

                Your former employer is undoubtedly very grateful you left on your own.

                • Re:Burning bridges (Score:4, Insightful)

                  by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @11:02PM (#44580023)

                  you have it all wrong.

                  we work for our income. PERIOD. if you think otherwise, you are young and, well, hopefully you'll learn what life is about.

                  hint: its not about work.

                  I love what I do, but I only do it for the paycheck. you are NOT 'the company' and the company is not you. unless you are the owner or an early founder, you and the company have a work relationship and that's all. if they try to convince you otherwise, they are feeding you bullshit. don't buy into this idea.

              • Re:Burning bridges (Score:4, Informative)

                by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @09:59PM (#44579689)
                Where I was, I was the team lead of the service department. Everything bad that ever happened was the fault of the service department. It became a joke. I didn't have the patience or people skills to kill the people deliberately sabotaging the department to hide their incompetence. The CEO was ex-sales and a micro manager. When an RMA was 6 -months late to where the hardware company was sending invoices, he demanded to know where the parts were. I showed them to him. He demanded to know why they weren't sent back. "I haven't gotten the RMA instructions" was my answer. "Well, that's shitty service" was his reply. The intention was to blame the service department for imporper follow-through. I did finally get the RMA request re-forwarded. Turns out the CEO had been copied on the original RMA 6 months earlier (as he was also the account manager for this account, our largest), but didn't send it to anyone else. He was loudly bashing the service department (me) for not having followed through, when he was essentially actively blocking service from getting it done.

                "Since the service is so shitty, I'll be improving it by leaving, so have fun".
          • Re:Burning bridges (Score:4, Interesting)

            by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @07:44PM (#44579045) Homepage
            If you assume they'll do the same then surely that means you'll be as bad as the previous employer and deserve. You could always try to be better.
        • by kilodelta (843627)
          Same thing here. I've worked for some real mental midgets. However there was one place of employment where I gave my notice and they tried to work me like a dog those last two weeks. It came down to the day before my last day. I'm out in Massachusetts implementing something I and the company controller BOTH knew wouldn't work. When it didn't work I called my boss, explained what happened and told him to have a nice life.
        • Re:Burning bridges (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @07:28PM (#44578949)

          Both employee and employer should always leave bridges intact. You never know what the future will be. I have re-hired several "boomerangs" that left, found out the grass wasn't greener over the fence, and asked to come back. Unlike other new hires, they require no training, and often return with a new attitude, and new perspectives. I have also had many good referrals from ex-employes. Every summer we even have an "alumni reunion BBQ" in a local park to keep the network alive. Employee turnover is a fact of life. Treating it as a betrayal is idiotic. Just accept it and make the most of it.

          • Re:Burning bridges (Score:4, Interesting)

            by snadrus (930168) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @08:30PM (#44579237) Homepage Journal

            Agreed. My last (large) company's hiring class was over 50% rehires (a group of 100). Despite how small-minded one manager may be, Having such a big company black-mark me would have been dangerous to my future. That company could be the best option for me one day in the future.

            Or look at it like a psych experiment: Life after a 2-week notice is fascinating. You can say no to just about anything. "Fire me" can be used freely as a response (and they wouldn't dare pay you severance).

        • Re:Burning bridges (Score:5, Insightful)

          by shentino (1139071) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @08:38PM (#44579277)

          You know how singing one tree can burn down a whole forest?

          Bridges connect to bridges, and if you light one on fire, another might catch too.

          Bosses have a good chance of being friends or colleagues in the industry.

          No, it's not fair.

      • by greghodg (1453715) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @06:28PM (#44578467)
        Depends on the situation. My current employer is in the process of outsourcing engineering to India, and keeping the US engineers on for varying periods of time (3-9 months) to facilitate the transition. There are incentives to stay through the end, but many have decided it's better to get out now. There is no bridge to burn, and people that are leaving already have new positions elsewhere when they resign. What is the possible incentive to give more than one or two day's notice?
        • by HornWumpus (783565) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @06:50PM (#44578673)

          I hope your also teaching them _wrong_.

        • by Dishevel (1105119) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @06:56PM (#44578725)
          Being a good person is something that will always be good for you. Being an asshole because you can not see any immediate ramifications of your poor decision does not make it a good one.
          • Flawed issue framing (Score:3, Interesting)

            by sjbe (173966)

            Being a good person is something that will always be good for you.

            Demonstrably not true. And giving two weeks notice or not giving two weeks notice does not determine whether you are a good person or not. There are circumstances where not giving any notice is perfectly appropriate and justified. The reverse is sometimes true as well. If someone is treating me badly then I am going to leave. It's MY life and I'm not going to waste it trying to martyr myself proving how much better I am than someone I don't respect.

            Being an asshole because you can not see any immediate ramifications of your poor decision does not make it a good one.

            Cute (though false) way to frame the issue but first y

        • by pla (258480) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @07:21PM (#44578915) Journal
          There is no bridge to burn, and people that are leaving already have new positions elsewhere when they resign. What is the possible incentive to give more than one or two day's notice?

          I take it you haven't worked in IT long - Or have only worked for one, fairly stable company? Because you seriously ask what possible incentive exists in that situation???

          Your current employer has outsourced their entire engineering staff to somewhere 10k miles away that speaks a different language and has an entirely different work culture. Put bluntly, can you say "ca-CHING" when the contracting hours start rolling in? Not a "maybe", they will realize they need some of you back on an all-but-permanent basis.

          Believe me when I tell you this counts as quite possibly one of the greatest career-advancing opportunities you might have in your entire working life. Don't fuck it up because it feels good to tell your boss off.
          • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Friday August 16, 2013 @01:55AM (#44580745) Homepage Journal

            Not a "maybe", they will realize they need some of you back on an all-but-permanent basis.

            They may realize it, but that doesn't mean they'll admit it, because that would mean admitting management was wrong, and one of the cardinal rules of management is that Management Is Never Wrong. Employees may be wrong, customers may be wrong, suppliers may be wrong, but Management Is Never Wrong. How could they be wrong? They've studied Management! They know how to Manage Things!

            And they will hold to this even as the company collapses, because in the age of the golden parachute, there's no incentive to do otherwise. The company may go bankrupt, but you can be damn sure they'll loot every remaining penny from it before the end. And then go on to an equivalent position at another company where they can do the same thing, because the managerial class looks after its own.

            Not that I've ever actually seen this happen, of course. The above is completely speculative. Yep.

      • by peragrin (659227) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @06:37PM (#44578547)

        Last Year I told my old company that I was leaving. I told the new company that I could start in three weeks(I figured two for notice and one to move).

        Instead I was told wait in the conference for 2 hours for one of them to drive to the location(we were a satellite branch.) After signing a couple of documents they told me to leave and they would pay the next two weeks as the last of my vacation time.

        Well I got three weeks of vacation(I played golf, had fun, partied a few times).

        I think you should show your soon to be old employer respect and offer two weeks, just be aware you may not get it.

        • by HornWumpus (783565) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @06:53PM (#44578707)

          You got fucked. They owed you the vacation time anyhow. Basically they told you GTF out and didn't pay you for your notice time.

          Basically what you should expect.

          You should give that employer a thumbs down if anybody you know ever considers working there. References do work both ways.

        • Especially if you work anywhere that has a NDA or any sort of security clearance.

        • by mjwx (966435) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @08:51PM (#44579339)

          Instead I was told wait in the conference for 2 hours for one of them to drive to the location(we were a satellite branch.) After signing a couple of documents they told me to leave and they would pay the next two weeks as the last of my vacation time.

          That would suck.

          In Australia I am required by law to give a notice period to my employer and my employer is required by law to pay me for my notice period. However if my employer wants to terminate my employment immediately, they are well within their rights to frog march me out of the building but they still have to pay me my notice period even though I didn't work it and then pay me my annual leave balance after that. So if I have a notice period of 2 weeks and 2 weeks leave, they have to pay me for 4 weeks.

    • by sjbe (173966) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @06:24PM (#44578431)

      No notice is probably the biggest middle finger you can give a company and still remain within the bounds of the law.

      I assure you it is not. There are much worse things you can do without breaking a single law. Doesn't make doing them a good idea but no notice is really barely better than 2 weeks notice. Businesses should assume people won't necessarily show up the next day because sometimes accidents happen. I've had employees suddenly get very ill and from the perspective of the operations of business that is really no different. If a company is really screwed by one person not showing up then management did a terrible job of organizing the workload and sharing important information and that is the fault of the company.

      • by Culture20 (968837) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @07:04PM (#44578783)

        There are much worse things you can do without breaking a single law.

        Like scheduling surgery and a European vacation such that your unscheduled (from the company's point of view) paid medical leave and scheduled paid vacation butt up against one another so you miss six months of work? Bonus: get the wife pregnant three months before the surgery and take some paternity leave.

      • by ukemike (956477) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @11:38PM (#44580193) Homepage

        No notice is probably the biggest middle finger you can give a company and still remain within the bounds of the law.

        I assure you it is not. There are much worse things you can do without breaking a single law. Doesn't make doing them a good idea but no notice is really barely better than 2 weeks notice. Businesses should assume people won't necessarily show up the next day because sometimes accidents happen. I've had employees suddenly get very ill and from the perspective of the operations of business that is really no different. If a company is really screwed by one person not showing up then management did a terrible job of organizing the workload and sharing important information and that is the fault of the company.

        You, and many others here, sound like you've never worked for a small business. I assure you that for small businesses having an employee quit is often a big difficulty. It often means that others have to step in and do the work of the person who quit until that person can be replaced and the replacement is trained. Small business isn't a football team with a backup quarterback waiting on the sidelines warmed up and ready to play. The margins are tight and there isn't money for extra employees. When someone gives 2 weeks that gives a tiny bit of breathing room for the employer to begin finding someone new, and is the minimum courtesy for a professional leaving a job. Quitting and walking out without notice is appalling rude. I can't blame people for leaving if they found something better, but the way they leave is often more revealing of character than anything else.

        Luckily this is something that decent people just know, and just do. If you have to ask then I hope it is because you work for a terrible employer, if not, I hope you aren't applying for a job at my office.

    • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @07:09PM (#44578817)

      Respect: It goes both ways.

      Considering most companies:

      a) have "Human Resources" (as if people are some resource to be exploited) instead of "Human Assets" where employees are viewed as an _investment_,
      b) can fire your ass at a moment's notice (i.e. At-Will-Employment)
      c) yet still expect the "common courtesy" of two weeks

      Maybe companies should get over themselves and learn to treat their employees with equal respect instead of treating them like slaves and be dicks about not giving a reference.

  • by DogDude (805747) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:44PM (#44577905) Homepage
    As an employer, we don't give references for people who don't give two weeks' notice. It's just common courtesy.
    • by sjbe (173966) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @06:11PM (#44578269)

      As an employer, we don't give references for people who don't give two weeks' notice.

      Big deal. Most HR pros will advise you not to say anything more than confirming that the person did work there and for how long and possibly in what sort of general capacity they were employed. Giving a performance review is generally considered a bad idea as it provides no benefit to the former employer but can result in lawsuits if they say the wrong thing. You can of course make exceptions if you like but mostly by not giving references you are just being petty.

      It's just common courtesy.

      So do you give them two weeks notice when you terminate their employment? That would be quite courteous. Or does the courtesy only get extended if it favors you?

  • by singhulariti (1963000) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:44PM (#44577907)
    I gave my 2 week notice last week because I have no complaints from this place and thought I should be considerate and tie up all the loose ends before I left.
  • 2 week (Score:3, Informative)

    by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:44PM (#44577909)
    In my state (VA) all companies are legally required to give several weeks notice to those being laid off.
  • by ModernGeek (601932) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:44PM (#44577913) Homepage
    If your employer isn't going to give you a positive reference, or has been negligent in their treatment of you or your fellow employees, then your two weeks notice is a privilege that they gave up.
  • 2(Wrong) != Right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:45PM (#44577921) Homepage Journal

    Look, dude, if you want to walk out, then walk the fuck out. Don't look to the community to justify your behavior; obviously you're not 100% convinced that not giving notice is acceptable, otherwise you wouldn't be posting this question, now would you?

    Me, I give my two weeks, regardless, because I'm better than that. If they want to let me go then and there, well, that's their prerogative. I get to keep my moral high ground by not stooping to their level.

    YMMV.

    • Re:2(Wrong) != Right (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:58PM (#44578115)

      The rules change so quickly these days, sometimes it is nice to touch base and see what they are on a given day.

      Two weeks notice is not treated the same way it was 30 years ago. Then, in most jobs it was pretty sacrosanct. It seemed to me that after 2000, companies were much more likely to let people go immediately without pay. I think it may be partially due to insurance liability if you are in any kind of sensative job.

  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:46PM (#44577935)

    If a large company is going to have a layoff they legally must give notice.

    OTH, a friend of mine gave notice trying to be nice because she felt loyal to the company and was immediately fired.

    Personally, I think if you give notice and they do not give you two weeks pay, then you should be able to be legally counted as fired. They can't both say you quit and ignore your two week period.

    • Personally, I think if you give notice and they do not give you two weeks pay, then you should be able to be legally counted as fired. They can't both say you quit and ignore your two week period.

      I agree - if I give two weeks notice, that's me telling the employer that I'm quitting... in two weeks. If they decide to let me go before that period is up, then they are the ones who terminated employment, not me.

    • by Tilgore Krout (22720) <{rjschirmer} {at} {yahoo.com}> on Thursday August 15, 2013 @06:00PM (#44578143)

      Very true. What most people forget is that when you are laid off you are normally given a couple of weeks or more notice, just that the company doesn't normally expect (or want) you to show up for those two weeks.

      About 10 years ago I was laid off from a large company after being given my termination date about a year in advance. If I stayed on for the whole year (to help ease the transition of my job to several sites overseas) then I would get a rather large bonus for staying on.

      Of course the last couple of months I was there I was bored to death since my job was already transitioned and I was just sitting on my thumbs in case something unexpected came up and they needed to consult me. I spent my days surfing the web, and doing job searches. When I had job interviews I told my boss and he gave me the time off to go to those. By the time of my exit interview I had a new job and reported to it that job that afternoon. I was able to pocket all of my severance and bonus for staying on until the bitter end, but in retrospect I wish I would have taken a little time off since I didn't take any vacation the previous year.

    • OTH, a friend of mine gave notice trying to be nice because she felt loyal to the company and was immediately fired.

      That is a very dangerous move for the company, especially if the friend wasn't going directly to another job.

      The first and most obvious is the difference in unemployment payments. If you quit you generally don't qualify for unemployment checks. If you are fired you can get them.

      Being fired means all kinds of legal requirements. Depending on location on the globe there can be many legal clai

  • by seebs (15766) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:48PM (#44577953) Homepage

    Giving notice is a way to give people time to wrap things up -- make sure your stuff is handed off to someone else if needed, start looking for a replacement, or whatever. It's done to be courteous, and to make things less troublesome for other people. I was in a small department where someone just suddenly left one day; out of the blue, email telling us he got a job he likes better and is gone now. Which sort of sucked, because we suddenly didn't have enough people for the workload, and we'd had things like vacations and whatnot planned, and everyone had to scuttle around madly making up for things with no notice, and any recovery plan (like finding a new guy) had to happen on top of suddenly dealing with this. Which sucked. If he'd given us two weeks' notice, we could have done stuff like ask him to update/annotate work in progress so we knew what was happening, and started looking for people, and had time to discuss who was rescheduling what to make up the hours.

    So it's a nice thing to do, and if you don't do it, people might be mad at you. Sometimes that might be okay. Sometimes you know they'll be mad at you regardless. Sometimes you just can't deal with someone or something a day longer. In which case, well. You leave.

    Think of it like any other courtesy. It's there to make things more pleasant for other people. Usually, things like that are a good strategy because they make other people like you better, which makes them more likely to help you if an opportunity to do so arises. If I run into a job that I know a bunch of my former coworkers could do, and I know a lot of people are looking for work, I might try to put some of them in touch with the prospective employer, right? Well, not the guy who ditched out without warning, obviously.

    As with all social niceties, it's somewhat cultural, and somewhat role-dependent. The importance of giving notice is wildly different between, say, the sole sysadmin at a company, and one of a team of thirty junior sysadmins, none of whom ever "own" any project, but who are just going through a series of small assigned tasks which are always done or handed off by the end of the day.

    • by icknay (96963)
      And don't get wrapped around the axle on the cost-benefit for the other party. Your life will be more pleasant by not being an asshole. Often you will need to do things that benefit someone else ... but really you benefit in the end, just in your own psyche.
  • Layoff... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MachineShedFred (621896) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:51PM (#44577987) Journal

    I've never heard of a company giving a two-week notice to an employee that's being laid off or fired

    It depends on the size of the layoff; see: the WARN Act [dol.gov]. I was once given a paid 60 days absence before the actual layoff because they were shuttering the division. Gave me enough time to get another job, and get home from my first day of work to find a FedEx envelope with my final severance check.

    That's how you downsize with class. Or, by being legal.

  • by Teun (17872) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:54PM (#44578027) Homepage
    I know the article starts with "Here in the US" so European stories could be off topic but will also bring some perspective.
    Earlier this year our head of maintenance announced he was leaving in 3 months time and it was greatly appreciated by the management.
    It was very professional of him (that other word in the article) and gave us time to look for a replacement.

    Obviously it helped he was going to a totally different industry and he could not possibly be accused of helping the competition.

    Besides, a typical European contract has a similar notice for both employer and employee.

    • by Manfre (631065) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @06:17PM (#44578355) Homepage Journal

      In the US, companies treat people more like interchangeable parts, not as people.

    • by jez9999 (618189)

      Besides, a typical European contract has a similar notice for both employer and employee.

      Yeah, to give another European perspective: I'm in the UK and I've never had an IT employment contract without a minimum notice period. They generally start at 2 weeks for either side, rising to a month's notice after the sucessful completion of a trial period.

  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:55PM (#44578051) Homepage

    Leaving your company, whether by your choice or theirs, and whether amicable or hostile, is a business transaction. It should be treated as such.

    They have some value that they will get out of concessions you make, and you will get value out of some things that they offer. There is some extent to which you can trust them to be honest, and some extent to which you may believe they will be generous. The corporation has those same perceptions of you. You're both adults, sort of; you can have a frank discussion about the matter without getting hurt or angry.

    So talk to them about it. Start with this question; "Does the company have a standard exit package under these circumstances?" Now you're not forcing the issue, and you're signalling your boss to think in business terms. Then you just talk through what each of you thinks is fair.

  • by Yoda222 (943886) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:56PM (#44578085)
    It's just 3 months if you are in France.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:58PM (#44578109)

    Even if you don't care about the reference... How about showing your coworkers a little common courtesy? They're the ones who are going to be picking up the extra work you're no longer doing - give them some time to plan.

  • by sjbe (173966) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @06:03PM (#44578195)

    I've never heard of a company giving a two-week notice to an employee that's being laid off or fired.

    I've seen it happen from time to time. Happened to my brother in law actually - he got several weeks notice and severance. Unusual I'll admit but not unheard of. The problem for companies giving notice to someone is that some people don't take it very well and cause problems. I had an employee quite just a few days ago and quietly sabotaged a bunch of stuff as a parting "gift". (nothing really destructive, just time consuming to undo) Most people would be sad to be given notice but would behave like adults. The problem is you can't tell who the ones are who will take it REALLY badly are ahead of time.

    Once you're reached the point where you know it's time to leave, under what circumstances would you just up and walk out or give only a short notice?"

    If you are leaving because you can't stand the place and there are no contractual or financial constraints on your behavior then just leave and get on with your life

    There are only two reasons to give two weeks notice. 1) You are leaving under amicable terms, have the time to spare and out of courtesy want to ease the transition for your former employer OR 2) You need the cash and can't afford to walk out now. Two weeks is almost never enough time to really be of any meaningful benefit to an employer and many employers will escort you out of the building the moment you put in notice anyway. Unless you had a really close and long relationship with your boss/colleagues then you probably aren't going to be asking for a reference in the future anyway so what is to be gained by giving notice? Maybe it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside but the feeling isn't going to be reciprocated in many cases. The business will continue without you and in most cases you giving notice just gives both parties a couple of uncomfortable weeks together.

  • by technosaurus (1704630) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @06:11PM (#44578273)

    Does anyone have a good template for giving notice in such a way that if the employer immediately fires you, they can't say you "quit" in order to deny benefits?

    • by Nexzus (673421) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @06:52PM (#44578695)

      A CC of your resignation notice to your personal email.

      I can see them trying to say "but he sent that email out *after* I fired him".

      The obvious retort is "so you let a terminated employee access his computer and email account *after* you fired him?"

      "But he could have forged the email..."

      Hopefully by then, common sense would prevail.

  • by HockeyPuck (141947) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @06:13PM (#44578293)

    Fine, worst case, so you're really pissed off. Your mgmt has royally screwed you and all your coworkers hate your guts.

    Take the high ground. You never know if one day you run into them at some other company you being partners, vendors, whatever, and you don't want their last memory of you being the time you nailed your letter of resignation to the front door of the building.

    This is probably not the case. So if you have some coworkers that you are ok with, giving 2 weeks notice means you aren't screwing them over.

    By now there's probably 100 posts saying the same thing, " Don't be a dick. Give your two weeks. If they walk you out, so be it, who cares if it's corporate policy or not. In two weeks start your new job and move on with your life."

  • by MaWeiTao (908546) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @06:15PM (#44578313)

    Not giving notice is a good way to burn your bridges, even when you're leaving a bad environment. You're not just leaving an impression on management, but your coworkers as well. Even if those coworkers are sympathetic you'd still be dumping your workload on them.

    One of my prior employers was terrible. Employees were overworked and under-appreciated and managers were impulsive, emotional and outright incompetent. I was brought on to help improve processes but within weeks it was evident the owners were paying lip service to getting anything fixed. Over the 6 months it took me to secure another job I toyed incessantly with how I'd handle my departure.

    I ended up giving these guys nearly a month notice. There was a lot to be done and I didn't want to just dump all this crap on my team. I decided there was no value in venting, in pointing out all the problems there. It would never register and they'd just see me as disgruntled making my viewpoint even easier to dismiss. This way I left with a ton of contacts which may or may not be valuable in the future. At the very least, I don't have people going around behind my back giving me a bad name.

  • PHBs in charge (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fhic (214533) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @06:40PM (#44578569)
    The last time I left a job, I was going to a competitor and just assumed my current employer wanted me gone. (It was, and still is, their policy in that circumstance to walk the employee out and pay them for the last two weeks.) My boss made a big stink about me planning to leave immediately, brought HR in, and they told me I'd have to sit out the two weeks or I wouldn't get my accrued vacation time. (Which is illegal in my state, but never mind.) So I unpacked my box, and started a new project that afternoon. You know the punch line. My badge didn't work the next morning, security escorted me to my desk and watched gimlet-eyed as I loaded up my box again and they walked me out the door.
  • Giving Notice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hduff (570443) <hoytduff.gmail@com> on Thursday August 15, 2013 @07:30PM (#44578957) Homepage Journal

    Many years ago, I used to co-own a restaurant. A sous chef who had worked for us two years gave two weeks notice that would have him leave the day before Mothers Day for a "better opportunity". Since he was an employee in a key position, it would take longer than two weeks to interview, hire and train somone at his level. We asked if he would stay through Mothers Day (so just one more day and we'd pay him double time for that day) since we only had him and the chef (the other owner) to cook and it would place a huge burden on the chef. He declined.

    It turned out that he did not have another job but just wanted to avoid working on Mothers Day (the busiest and most harrowing day in the industry). While I never gave him a bad reference (he was an excellent employee), he could not find a job in town because the kitchen staff talked about his day-before-Mothers-Day departure to their friends in other restaurants; they were pissed at him. He finally moved out of town to find employment.

    MORAL: Leaving like a douchebag never pays off like you think it will.

  • by bobbied (2522392) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @07:55PM (#44579097)

    When ever you can, do the professional thing and give the two (or more) weeks notice. It is always good to exceed expectations with employers. Go above and beyond what they expect or deserve. Always give proper notice, even when you don't want too.

    I know it is tempting.. Man it would feel good to march down there and toss the resignation letter on the bosses desk and just say "So Long Sucker!" However, remember that this guy could be talking about you to some prospective employer in the future or you may run into him some other place. You may not know when or how, but it is *possible* his opinion of you may come around to haunt you. It's a small world. I had an issue with a past employer who got miffed it's not a good thing. I don't know how many jobs that cost me before I found out. Don't just hand somebody a reason to bad mouth you if you can help it because the world is pretty small sometimes.

    I was laid off once, and I left my contact information with them. "Call me if you need anything I can help you with." They did call, multiple times. I helped them when I could. They didn't deserve it, having canned me, but I got good references out of being professional and helpful. Yea I was miffed at them for laying me off, but I was professional about it. In the end they realized that they had done the wrong thing and asked me to come back. (No, I didn't take the offer..) Proving that they made a mistake was WORTH the effort. I got lots of satisfaction in turning down their offer, but I still get glowing references from them... :)

    Always keep it professional. Always leave on the best terms you can. Go out of your way if only to show them how a real professional acts. It may not pay off, but you never know when it might.

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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