When you give your employer two weeks’ notice, you are essentially informing them that you will be voluntarily quitting in two weeks. While this is a common practice, there are a few risks associated with giving your employer notice. There are also risks if you don’t give notice. Let’s talk about both.
The downsides of giving notice
Immediate termination is always a risk when you give an employer advance notice of your plan to leave. There is no law in Florida or Georgia that requires an employer to honor your two-week plan. Unfortunately, some employers do react emotionally to the news, and not in a good way. This could leave you without a job, and without two weeks of critical income, before you are ready to move on to your next opportunity.
Another risk is that your employer may reduce your responsibilities, or give them to someone else in the time leading up to your departure. This can be frustrating if you were hoping to finish certain projects or leave on a high note.
Loss of access is another possibility. Your employer may restrict your access to certain company information, systems, or facilities during the notice period. This could make it difficult for you to finish your work or prepare for your next job. You might find yourself unable to access work samples, resumes, or other personal documents that you stored in a personal drive or directory on the employer’s system.
Finally, you may encounter hostility or negativity in those final two weeks, if you are allowed to work them out. Some employers may take your departure personally and treat you differently during your final weeks. This can create a negative atmosphere, which can be uncomfortable for you and your colleagues.
The benefits of giving notice
There are a few key benefits to giving proper notice of your plan to leave.
First, you can time your departure based on your own financial needs. You’ll know when your last paycheck is coming. You won’t be caught off guard by giving notice, and expecting another two weeks’ pay, only to learn you’re being forced out immediately. You can plan to work right up to the day you start a new position elsewhere, so that you don’t miss a pay period.
On the other hand, your next employer may be watching how you treat your current employer on the way out. Showing signs of disrespect, such as by leaving without warning, might raise questions about you before you even step foot in the new workplace.
Another benefit to giving notice is that it may keep your personnel record clean. Some employers have policies that say you are deemed permanently “ineligible for rehire” if you fail to give required notice. Why is that a problem? Because in the human resource community, a code question often asked of former employers during reference checks is, “Are they eligible for rehire?” If the answer is no, that may disqualify you from certain jobs. Many employers are afraid to give detailed references about job performance, so human resource professionals have learned to wrap everything they would have asked otherwise into one single question: “Are they eligible for rehire?” Again, a negative answer can be the kiss of death for future job opportunities. So be sure to check your current employer’s policies about that. Future employers may also simply ask whether you gave the required notice, and the response that you left without warning may hurt future job chances.
Finally, although you might not be interested in this, but giving notice may also provide an opportunity for your employer to make a counteroffer that essentially outbids your new employment opportunity. This could include a higher salary or other incentives to encourage you to stay with the company.
Like everything job-related, the correct answer depends on the details
We are lawyers dedicated to the protection of employee rights. We do not represent employers. If you have a question about this or about any other matter involving your past, current, or future, employment, call us toll-free for a free confidential conversation at 1-800-663-7999.
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