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appropriate way to give notice? 1 month or 2 weeks?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by cerulean, May 12, 2008.

  1. cerulean

    cerulean Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 23, 2004
    I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could provide any advice on the most appropriate way to give notice at my job (entry-level engineer in industry), especially with regards to method and timing. I'm inexperienced with all of this and would be grateful for any wisdom or perspective that anyone could share.

    For method, it seems that the standard method is to hold a meeting with my manager and also to provide a letter of resignation at that meeting which includes the date that I plan to leave. Is this pretty much the norm?

    For timing, I'm conflicted as to whether I should give one month's notice or two weeks notice. I'm leaning towards giving one month's notice since I'd like to not put my co-workers in a bind, and it would allow me time to more adequately transfer knowledge / projects.

    However, I'm worried that I'm being too naive and that I should give less notice. I'm planning on making my end date just over a year after I started so I can at least spend a little bit of time with my family members (who are far away) before I move again to start school. However, if I'm 'forced' to leave before I've worked a full year, I'll experience some financial loss (my relocation benefits/signing $ are pro-rated).

    Reasons why I don't think I'd be forced to leave earlier than I desire:
    -I'm leaving for school & not for a competitor (or even a different department); it's fairly commonplace for entry-level people in my area to leave for grad school -- it just typically happens after longer than 1 year
    -my area is under-resourced as is, and will be even more so soon as one of my co-workers whom I share responsibilities with leaves for vacation for 2 weeks
    -obtaining a new hire will take some time, and training one so s/he is actually able to get anything done will take even longer (it takes some time to learn the maze of documentation/databases & to understand the relevant technical information and product history)
    -I have a few open projects with external deadlines set for end of May / beginning of June, and then will likely need some time to effectively pass off other projects onto people
    -I've gained the sense that my direct manager would likely want me to stay as long as possible to shoulder the workload

    Reasons why I fear giving notice too soon:
    -I work for a large company in industry; of course I'm disposable
    -this article scares me:
    -I've heard that the director of my area tends to cut all contact with previous employees once he gets what he needs from them for completing/transitioning projects, etc (not much good will there)
    -the potential for financial loss

    I realize that my situation is minor in scale compared to those of 'real' non-trads with families & homes & greater financial demands to consider when they're deciding when/whether to leave their jobs to go back to school. However, I would be very appreciative of having input from people on this board (and I didn't think I'd find the pre-allo board nearly as helpful).

    Thank you.
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  3. Luxian

    Luxian 5+ Year Member

    Dec 13, 2006
    I think it all depends on your particular circumstance. Judge it by your own boss, not industry trends. If you have a good relationship with your boss and want to give your coworkers the smoothest transition, give them a month. They are unlikely to let you go early since they need you so much. That said, if you are already in a tense situation, you are only legally obligated to tell them two weeks in advance.

    Personally? I'd do the month. It would give me more chances to properly document and pass on my work.
  4. gman33

    gman33 Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2007
    Don't give your notice until you are ready to leave the job. 2 weeks is fine.
    You want to do the "right" thing, but realize that they may ask you to leave earlier. Since you are only talking a difference of two weeks, this might not be that significant to you.

    Different companies and managers handle this situation in varying ways. The only way you can predict what will happen is to look at how they have treated others who have left. Since you say it is a large company, they may have a written policy on how they deal with severance of employment. You could look around your intranet/network to see if you can find this document.

    I've worked at places where employees were asked to stay longer and other places where they would tell you to pack your stuff and walk you right out the door once notice was given.
  5. HanginInThere

    HanginInThere 5+ Year Member

    May 24, 2007
    the library
    So along with all the factors you've discussed, here's what I'd base my decision on: Exactly how much of that prorated early money do you stand to lose if you aren't there a full year?

    From what you say about your projects and schedule, I think giving extra notice doesn't sound like a very big risk. Whether you're willing to take that risk is up to you. You don't owe your company and coworkers more than the customary two weeks, and they will manage okay without you. The only reason to give more is that it would be a considerate thing to do, so you need to decide how much you're willing to risk on being an extra-nice employee.

    My situation is different - I've been at my company for about 6 years, and I was doing the prereq/app/interview thing the majority of that time. I didn't tell people when I was taking classes, told one person for the app and interview, and just recently told people up the org chart (about 2 1/2 months before I plan to leave). I didn't have any reason to worry about being pushed out early, and I didn't mind gambling a few months salary on low risk so I could be nice. And it feels great to have it out in the open now, after this whole long process! But that two+ months was where I reached my comfort level - I didn't tell anyone in October because I didn't want to take the chance of 9 months of unemployment.

    For how you give notice, you're right on - meet in person with your direct manager. You can have a formal letter printed out to give him/her in that meeting, or you can just offer to write one after the meeting if the company wants one.
  6. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Agreed. Do you have an employment contract, or does your firm have a company handbook you have agreed to abide by? If so, you generally must abide by whatever notice requirement is contained in that, if it's legally reasonable.
    If it's a place that will welcome your help for however long you can stay on, and you like the people, it pays to give longer notice. I did this, and left on extremely good terms with references intact. In some industries, particularly those with customer lists and trade secrets, the moment you give notice you may find yourself escorted from the premises. If you work at this kind of place, then go with a shorter period of notice, like 2 weeks. Generally professional jobs expect at least a minimum of 2 weeks.
  7. Newmanium

    Newmanium 2+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    To chime in - I just gave my two weeks notice yesterday at a job, and I'm also an entry-level engineer (on the job for 2 years), large firm, etc. However, the workplace is generally friendly - so my story may not apply to somebody at Intel or whatever.

    I thought it would be a problem because I'm a focal for some ongoing projects, and my leaving will cause some waves - but my manager and everybody else has been completely fine with everything - and surprisingly supportive. Leaving to head to school seems to be respected by everybody, much more than I thought. And my manager actually said he always wanted to head into the medical field, and was quite encouraging.

    Two weeks is appropriate - I really doubt you need to do a month.

    For me, I sent an email with my notification, and sat down with my manager to explain. Then I proceeded to spend the following two days dealing with a steady stream of people coming into my cube, saying, "You're leaving us! What's going on, where you going?"

    I was a little nervous about doing everything (like you, there is a lot to transfer over), but it's gone much better than I expected.

    They wouldn't hesitate to get rid of you in two weeks if their projects turned south, this is business, don't worry too much about the changes that will have to be made.
  8. plauto

    plauto 7+ Year Member

    Sep 16, 2007
    yep, basically it depends on your circumstances. Due to my contract I have to give at least a 60 day notice so that's what I am doing. I don't care much for my employer (public school) so that's what I am doing. They are going to have the whole summer anyway to find someone else.
    Don't you guys just feel great about telling other people what you're going to do? There is always a little scumbag (or 2) who never thought anything of you....
  9. studentDO

    studentDO 2+ Year Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    I am in a similar situation, I went and spoke to my director personally but then again she is a friend of mine. I gave 6 weeks so that they would have time to train a replacement. I would not give less than a month is you want to leave on good terms.
  10. Newmanium

    Newmanium 2+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2007

    This obviously depends on where you work - at my job, two weeks is considered standard and courteous, anything longer and it looks a bit "weird".

    You might try to privately ask someone you trust, who's been around longer, what would be most appropriate.
  11. buffdoc

    buffdoc Gimme some sugar, baby 10+ Year Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    In a time warp
    I was once in a similar situation as you, OP. There are several things to consider. First, two weeks is considered the professional norm. I made the mistake one time of thinking that I would help my co-workers and manager by giving a longer notice. Even though they decided to keep me around for the entire month, I was relegated to inconsequential tasks and was excluded from most meetings. After the first two weeks -- after I had transferred most of my knowledge and project status, etc., I was quickly made to feel like an outsider and felt like I had no purpose.

    I don't think my experience was unusual. Even though there are important personal and professional relationships in large corporations, the coporations are really only thinking of their long term success. If you tell them that you are not going to be a part of that, they start planning and building around you. It really only takes about 1 to 1.5 weeks to transfer usable information to your co-workers. After that, they want any important experience that you would have gained in the next to weeks be gained by the person who is going to be filling in once you leave.

    Anyway, congrats and good luck on your new opportunity.
  12. NicklesNDimes0


    Jul 19, 2012
    Managers piss me off. When you do something wrong they will fire you on the spot, or regardless what you did they'll just make something up. 2 weeks is the proper thing to do. I was in your situation where the boss flipped cause I didn't give him a 1 month notice. other people have projects to complete why would they keep their customers waiting for me? Most of the time during that notice they will fire you anyway. Or the other company would say sorry we found somebody. during that 2 weeks that company will get atleast 100 resumes a day. why would they wait for you at that point? when they know they can find someody that sameday. Your not risking anything regardless of your situation every manager is not loyal. If they want they will let you go. oh that so called 3 month mark. they can still fire you without a contract even if you came in early they can say you came in late. My opinion give a freaken 2 weeks notice. Your trying to better yourself. I'm sure the manager would do the samething. If your boss really likes your productivity then they'll take you back. When I left my boss shook my hand and said oh you gave me a 2 week notice. Gee didn't you say that the "Proper" thing to do is a 1 month notice. like there's a worker union law for that. Give me a freaken break. just think if they don't care why should we.
  13. FrkyBgStok

    FrkyBgStok 10+ Year Member

    Aug 7, 2005
    4 year old thread bump for a really stupid reason. Smells like someone is going to spam later.

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