Is It OK to Leave Without Giving Two Weeks’ Notice?

February 26th, 2016

You finally landing the job you’ve been looking for, and you couldn’t be more excited. Your new employers can offer everything your current company can’t—or won’t. They’re an innovative, functional, respectful organization and you know that once you make this transition, you’re never going to look back. In fact, you can’t get out of here fast enough and you plan to take nothing with you—only fading memories of poor treatment and absurdly low pay.

So if you know that the new job is locked down, and you have no interest in the old job, why not just leave now? Why not walk out into the sun and enjoy some free time before your start date? Or even offer to start tomorrow? You may be tempted to leave your old company without providing two weeks notice, but it’s a good idea to avoid that temptation. Here’s why.

Two weeks notice is a professional courtesy.

No matter how poorly you were treated by your boss or how little you were paid by the company, take the high road. You have nothing to lose by walking out the door with your classy reputation intact and your head held high. And there’s a strong chance that these last two weeks will define how you’re remembered here, no matter what else you’ve done during your entire tenure. If you give notice, you’ll leave a trail of glory behind. If you don’t, you’ll leave bad blood.

This will be part of your file.

Some companies are so serious about this courtesy that they actually keep records that can last for decades. If you ever apply here again or if a future employer calls for a reference, the company will respond by checking the records. If you gave notice, you’ll get a glowing review. If you didn’t, you won’t. And you may be added to a “do not hire” list.

Giving notice means you care.

If you don’t resent your employer—you actually like this place and the people who work here—giving two week’s notice can make their jobs much easier. This allows them the time they need to find and hire your replacement. They might bring this person onboard within your two-week period, which means you can participate in the training process and facilitate a smooth transition for everyone.

Two weeks will cost you nothing.

There’s nothing wrong with spending two more weeks in this place if giving notice can provide a serious boost to your career arc and strengthen your professional network. Plan for the long term. Meanwhile, your professional attitude can help you make a strong impression with your new employer.
For more on how to leave your old company and start your new job in style, reach out to the Forest City staffing and job search experts at PSU.

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