How and Why to Give Two Week's Notice

What to Do When You Quit Your Job

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Two weeks' notice is the notification to an employer that an employee is resigning from their job and that the resignation goes into effect at the end of the second week following their employment resignation.

When an employee resigns from a job, two weeks is the traditional, standard amount of time that the employee agrees to continue working for his or current employer. At the end of the two-week work period, the employee is no longer an employee of the firm.

When Two Weeks' Notice Is Not Wanted by an Employer

Two weeks’ notice has some current variations and is often not required nor is it appreciated by the employer. Human Resources may have standard practices that they follow, so as to eliminate the possibility of charges of discrimination, no matter how liked or valued the resigning employee was to the organization.

They are also concerned with the effect of the resignation on the morale and positive outlook of the employees who remain. They know that the employee will provide information on social media and to their colleagues outside of work as well. So, they see no good reason to risk allowing a disenfranchised employee to stay to chat at work.

Possible Employer Standard Practices

These standard practices may include.

  • The employee is not allowed to return to their work area or to say good-bye to their coworkers.
  • The employer arranges a time for the employee to meet so that the employee can remove personal items from the workplace.
  • The employer walks the employee out to his or her car immediately.

Additional circumstances exist, that are not related to HR standard practices when an employer may ask the resigning employee to leave. For example, if your job is sensitive and you have access to company information, confidential information, and confidential computer systems data your company may not want you to work out your two weeks.

You may instead find that you are escorted to the parking lot when you resign. Other companies have adopted immediate termination as their standard practice upon employee resignation.

In these cases, most employers pay for the two weeks, even though they were not worked by the employee because the employee offered to work and was turned down. Or, the standard HR practices position did not allow the resigning employee to work even if he or she was available.

Employers have many reasons why an employee’s two weeks’ notice is not desired.

The Employee's Perspective on Giving Two Weeks' Notice

From the employee’s perspective, in companies that don't automatically pay for the two weeks, employees may be better off working to earn the paycheck. They may want the opportunity to clean up all loose ends and say goodbye to their coworkers.

On the flip side, however, the longer you stay in the company, following your resignation, the more possibilities exist for something to go wrong for which you would experience consequences. This can include anything from an information system crash to a company decision that you would later have to defend in court.

Depending on your job, two weeks’ notice might not be in your best interests. Currently, some career experts recommend that you make your last day of work the day you resign.

Managers' Notice of Resignation

Recommendations for managerial positions are two – four weeks’ notice so the amount of recommended notice time is also affected by the position. At the same time, if a new employer is waiting in the wings, their standard expectation is that a new employee will start in two weeks unless a different time frame is negotiated.

If your employee has an employment contract that states two weeks’ notice or other variations on notice time is required, an employee and employer must abide by the terms of the contract. Depending on the situation, the employer may want to pay for the time in lieu of allowing the employee to work his two weeks’ notice time.