Does an Employee Have to Give Notice?

Julie Shenkman
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It is customary for employers to expect notice when an employee resigns. However, depending upon the company culture, some employees hold off on delivering the news of an impending departure. Evaluate and assess your company's policies and procedures before dropping off that letter too soon.

Evaluate the Company Culture

Your company may pride itself on respect and common courtesy, which is why providing notice of an employee resignation is an important gesture. If your employer treats employees with respect and promotes an understanding environment that encourages professional development, then it is crucial to provide at least two weeks' notice before leaving for another opportunity. However, if your employer is notorious for firing hastily or sending employees who resign packing the same day, it may be best to hold off on putting in your employee resignation until you are ready to leave for good.

Consider Your Finances

While common courtesy is a sign of professionalism, you must also evaluate your financial situation. If there is a chance that your employer may ask you to end your employment the moment you provide notice, yet you are dependent upon the pay until your expected leave date, waiting to submit an employee resignation may be in your best interest. Inquire with your human resources department about the number of vacation or sick days you have pending, or consult with your union representative to determine the best plan of action that causes the least amount of financial stress for you.

Offer to Go Above and Beyond

Increase your chances of staying with your current company until your desired leave date by presenting an employee resignation with a proposal to train your replacement. Training is a time-consuming and expensive process for companies. Offer your services to leave an impact and a positive impression while eliminating the possibility of burning bridges when submitting your employee resignation. As a result, you may also find that your current employer is more likely to provide you with a glowing referral or professional reference upon your exit.

Demand Fair Treatment

When working with an incompetent boss or supervisor, tread lightly when presenting your resignation, and avoid mimicking negative or offensive behavior. Instead, submit your official letter, and take the lead from your manager. If he or she demands you leave, thank him or her for the opportunity, and pack up your desk. If you respond with a professional stance and demeanor, you may have the opportunity to continue fulfilling your job duties until you are ready to leave officially.

The decision to submit an employee resignation is not one that employees take lightly. However, determining the best time to deliver notice depends heavily on your work environment, the attitude of your supervisor and the policies of your company.

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