Leaving a Job

AccuStaff Clapping

There isn’t always a right way and wrong way to everything, but when leaving a job, an employer’s perspective on this issue will be pretty consistent.  They all hope that employees will have the professional courtesy to provide notice that you are planning on leaving that organization (regardless of the reason or reasons).  

Part-time, full-time, temp agency jobs are all included in this. I’ve seen people give as much as a month’s notice of their pending departure, and of course, some give no notice at all.  My take is two weeks is accepted as a universal standard. It shows that you know there will be an impact of your departure, and you don’t want to leave them high and dry.


It’s frustrating from the employer side for several reasons. There’s the obvious task of replacing that candidate in the work force, but also making up for lost production while a replacement is found, trained, and developed to the caliber necessary. Add to that the stress on other employees who have to make up for that loss.  For some positions, this process could take weeks or months.

Why should you (the departing employee) care?  It might not seem important at the time, but some day, it could come back to haunt your future employment search.  Here are a few reasons to consider when departing a position.

1)      You find yourself needing a position again in the future, and your former employer now has the job of your dreams.

2)      Your new company is purchased by your old company and needs to trim an overlap of positions.

3)      The manager that you left with no notice, applies for, and becomes your new manager.

4)      You need a professional reference (for your new job) verifying what a quality employee you were.

If you think about it, working is kind of like dating. Not every pair is a match. That could be for any number of reasons. That being said, there’s always a good way and bad way of handling yourself should you decide to break things off.  Chances are, if you handle yourself professionally (i.e. giving notice, no mudslinging, keeping everything on the high road), you will at least be able to see those former coworkers or managers in the grocery store, smile, and be cordial enough to possibly be recruited back in the future.  There is another big plus of doing things the right way. I’ve seen in more than one instance where the former manager is asked to recommend a solid candidate.  Rest assured, if you’ve done things the wrong way, you won’t be the person they suggest.

You never know who you’re going to end up working for again in the future.  Almost any employer will be patient enough to wait for you if they know that you’re giving notice to your current employer. Doing things the right way will allow you to keep your head held high and keep the door open in the future.

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