Is a Two-Week Notice Still Necessary?

I recently read an article on MSNBC titled Take this job and shove it! The article talks about how employees who survived recent company layoffs aren’t following traditional job protocol when they leave their company. Employees are now leaving without giving their employers a two-week notice, and some are even going to work for competitors – despite noncompete agreements they signed with their previous employer.

Company layoffs and benefit cuts can leave surviving employees feeling angry, scared, and nervous that they might be next on the chopping block. In this economy, employers can’t promise their employees that no more cuts will be made. Even if employers give a sense of security to their workers, the trust between the company and its employees is already broken, resulting in many people searching out other job opportunities.

Often, when the trust is broken between employers and their employees, employees no longer feel obligated to give a two-week notice. The need to feel in control of the future often overrides feelings of loyalty and common workplace courtesy toward employers.

But, is it OK to leave your current job without giving the courtesy of a two-week notice?

Leaving your place of employment for better opportunities, a more secure job, or simply because you don’t like how they handled things when layoffs came around is not necessarily a bad thing. But, leaving without giving your employers adequate notice is not good for your professional image.

So, if you’re looking for different employment, don’t leave on a sour note or burn bridges with your employer. No matter what the situation, make sure to give ample time for the company to make alternate arrangements and offer your help to make sure the transition is an easy one. Leave with your professional image intact, and you will not only feel better in the long run, but you’ll leave the door open for any possibility your career leads you to.


  1. Gary Alan Miller

    Agreed completely. Although sometimes we can’t avoid leaving a job under less-than-ideal circumstances, something like a notice should be entirely under the control of the employee and relatively easy to put into place. Manage those relationships and always leave on the best possible terms. One never knows when that relationship will come back into your sphere as an important one.

  2. HRM

    As an HR Manager one of the questions I ask in every interview is “Did you give your last employer a minimum of two weeks notice” if they say no (or the past employer says they didn’t) w/o good reason I will not hire them…no exceptions
    It’s like getting to work on time, it’s the easiest part of your job.

  3. Loptenberger

    typical one-way street — management thinks nothing of shafting employees and throwing them out on the street without a warning but the working stiffs are supposed to give two-week notices? … Not any more, not since management folks and HR people have become so untruthful.

  4. Uncle Dave

    Many employees are now afraid to give two weeks notice. I’ve witnessed people that when they gave two weeks were then told to get a box for thier stuff and be off property in two hours. There went two weeks pay.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *