Under normal circumstances, giving two weeks notice is standard practice. However, I often hear from employees who are working under very difficult circumstances or just started a job and know it isn't going to work out and aren't sure what to do. Should they stick it out for another couple of weeks or are there times when you can give less than two weeks notice or no notice at all?
In most cases, it is advisable, even in difficult employment situations, to give the mandatory two weeks notice (or more in some cases) which has been outlined in an employer's policy guidelines. You never know when a previous employer might be contacted by a prospective one, so it is wise to leave on the best possible terms. It can impact your future employment options if a prospective employer is told that you quit without notice.
Reasons Not to Give Two Weeks Notice
However, there may be some circumstances like the following where leaving sooner might be permissible:
- An employee has been physically abusive
- A supervisor has sexually harassed you
- The work environment is unsafe or it is unsafe to carry out your assigned responsibilities
- Your mental health is being seriously endangered by job stress
- You have not been paid the agreed upon wage or wages have been withheld for an unreasonable length of time
- You have been asked to do something which is clearly unethical or illegal
- Personal or family circumstances are such that you need to leave the job
- A crisis has happened in your life, and there is no way you can continue on the job
Before You Quit Your Job
In most cases, it will make sense to contact the Human Resources department or management officials not directly involved with your grievance to discuss your situation and explore possible remedies or accommodations prior to giving notice. In some cases it will also make sense to consult a counselor or therapist to help you cope with job stress.
Do keep in mind that the company can't force you to stay. However, if you quit a job without good cause you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits. Here's information on collecting unemployment benefits when you quit a job.
How to Quit Your Job
Even if you're not giving much, or any, advance notice, there are ways to resign gracefully. A conversation is always best, but if it's not possible to discuss your resignation with your supervisor in person, you can use a phone call or email message to resign. Here's how to quit your job with class including when to quit, what to say and how to resign via email or a phone call, if necessary.
Resignation Articles and Advice
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- Writing Resignation Letters
- Resignation Do's and Don't
Please note that Alison makes every effort to offer accurate advice and information on this website, but she is not an attorney, and the content on the site is not to be construed as legal advice. Employment laws and regulations vary based on location. Check with government resources or legal counsel, if in doubt about your situation. The information on this site is for guidance, ideas, and assistance only.