Many people see two weeks as a nice round number and end up offering to give it as notice, but is this the norm? Is there such thing as too much notice? The answer depends on who you ask. Most employers state that two weeks is standard and almost necessary for them to find a replacement for you.
Some jobs require no notice at all. Others require longer notice periods. And still others don’t even bother asking employees to give any kind of notice and fire workers on the spot without warning if they believe them not working out anymore.
At some companies, especially those in very high demand industries, giving notice can actually hinder your hiring process or leave your new employer waiting while you wrap things up at your old job. While some employees feel obligated to give a fair warning that they are leaving, you do not need to feel as though you must give notice to your current employer.
Employers typically appreciate two weeks of advance warning because it gives them time to find a replacement and prepare for the transition. Some employers may ask that departing employees work their last day during the next regularly scheduled workday instead of at the end of the last day just before they are ready to leave. However, this is unusual.
If your employer asks you to work beyond your last official day with the company but doesn’t move up your send-off date or pay you extra, consider yourself lucky if you have another job lined up so you can tell your boss “thanks but no thanks.” It’s common courtesy in most industries, with some exceptions listed below. If you are in a situation where you deal with a lot of private data or “company secretes”, the employer may want you out of the building asap!
Don’t feel that you must give advance notice if you have a good reason to leave your job abruptly. If there is a compelling, immediate reason for quitting — such as health issues or other problems at home — let your employer know as soon as possible and try to work out alternative arrangements. In those cases, two weeks may seem like an eternity.
On the other hand, if you’ve been considering quitting for months but keep putting it off because of the disruption it will cause in your personal life, by all means quit immediately and don’t worry about giving notice. Use this as a clean break from the past and start focusing on what’s important: yourself and your future!
In general, however, most people who plan to quit have already made arrangement with their future employer about a start date. In that case, two weeks notice is a nice courtesy to show your employer and coworkers. It demonstrates that you appreciate their time and effort giving you the opportunity to work with them over the past
Don’t feel obligated to give two weeks if they don’t ask for it and don’t expect two weeks if they do.
The amount of notice you give is entirely up to you as an individual employee. While some companies may expect at least one week, no notice or even immediate departure, others will allow employees to leave without working through their notice period as long as they can provide proof of employment elsewhere.
So where did this two week number actually start from?
As a general rule, it’s always better to give more notice than less. Employers don’t like having to replace employees on short notice and will appreciate – and probably expect – at least a week of notice from you before you leave.
Some companies have a policy that requires their employees to work for two weeks or more after they resign. This is legal as long as those policies are clearly communicated during the hiring process. If you know this going in, then knowing how much notice to give becomes easier because you’ll already be aware of their “requirements.”
If they don’t have such a policy, though, your best bet is to ask about it when discussing your resignation with your manager or HR.
I personally don’t feel I owe any employer anything. Where does it say I have to work two weeks. The best rule of thumb is to think about how you were treated. Were you treated well and given time to find a replacement? Or were your responsibilities distributed to others without notice or extra pay while you continued working? The former is what I would consider best practices while the latter should be considered by all employees when considering how much notice they should give.
In the end it’s definitely a personal decision on how much time to offer.