How To Determine When To Give Less Than Two Weeks’ Notice For Quitting A Job

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Dec. 18 2023, Published 8:10 a.m. ET

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Every employee has faced the decision of leaving a company at some point. When this occurs, the next step is figuring out whether to give a full two-weeks’ notice that you are leaving your position. A two-weeks’ notice is customary. However, the New York Post reported that 49% of employees give less than that. Why is that percentage half of the workforce? Here are several reasons why people feel justified in leaving without notice.

Hostile Work Environment

If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe for any reason at your workplace, it is valid for you to leave before a typical two-weeks’ notice. Never compromise your mental health and well-being for a job.

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Family Emergency

The reason you are deciding to leave your job could be due to a family emergency. If that is the case, do not worry about doing “the right thing” and giving a two-weeks’ notice. Emergencies are unexpected, and providing a few days of notice should be enough for your employer to understand.

Brand New Job

If you receive a better position at another company, your new employer might ask you to leave your current role sooner rather than later. To avoid a long wait that can put your new job offer at risk, explain the situation to your current employer to determine your next step.

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Not Receiving Wages

In most cases, when you put in a two-weeks’ notice, it is normal for your employer to compensate you for those two weeks. However, if your employer fires you before that time is up, your payment is not necessary. After all, you are no longer a member of the company. Hence, knowing the difference between at-will employment and an employment contract is paramount. As an at-will employee, there are no legalities to ensure you receive two-weeks’ notice pay. However, if an employment contract is in place, the payment terms specified stand. To ensure that you will get paid for your work, consider leaving earlier than two weeks’ to avoid any push back on their side.

That said, there are a few instances where giving less than two weeks’ notice is not wise.

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A New Hire

If you are considering leaving your position within the first few months of working there, that is not the best idea — especially if you plan on leaving before the two-weeks’ notice is up. It will read as a red flag on your resume and may ruin your future recommendation prospects with the employer.

Burning Bridges

When deciding to leave a position, choosing the appropriate time is crucial. For example, if your company gets busy during a certain period, then it’s not the right time to give notice. This move could cause a rift between you and your employer and eliminate further opportunities with them. It’s always best to leave a job on good terms.

Navigating the world of two-weeks’ notices is a slippery slope, but fingers crossed that this advice has helped you make an educated decision. Good luck!

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

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By: Je'Kayla Crawford

An entertainment journalist, Je'Kayla loves to incorporate her love and extensive background knowledge of pop culture into her work. Currently, she is a weekend entertainment writer at Distractify. You can find her watching the red carpet live stream of an award show, or rambling about the latest Disney movie.

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