How to Decide If 2 Weeks Notice is Long Enough

Posted on May 4, 2020 by in Business | 4 comments

How to Decide If 2 Weeks Notice is Long Enough

If you’ve ever had to make a job transition, you’ve asked yourself this question: is 2 weeks notice long enough? The answer is, that depends on your job and the situation.

There are many factors that go into determining how long your notice period needs to be. These can include the nature of your job, the position itself, and whether your company has the resources to fill your role until they hire someone else.

Regardless of length of time, it’s important to give notice when you can. Giving at least 2 weeks notice helps you to leave a job without burning bridges, and can help keep you on good terms with your company and your team. Prior notice demonstrates consideration for your fellow teammates and your company as a whole.

Whether you’re launching a business or moving from one 9 to 5 to another, your notice period should be well-thought-out before you notify your manager. Let’s take a look at a few common notice periods, plus some considerations for making your career change gracefully.

2 Weeks Notice

It’s fairly standard practice for corporate employees to give 2 weeks notice when they plan to leave their workplace for a new job. It’s not a legal requirement, but at the very least, it’s courteous.

For many jobs, giving 2 weeks notice allows you and the company plenty of time to make the transition. During that period, you’ll be able to wrap up any outstanding work you might have left. You may also be able to train one or two of your co-workers to cover your work when you’re gone. Therefore, two weeks may also give your employer time to start looking for your replacement.

30 Days Notice

Rather than 2 weeks notice, it’s common to give 30 days notice. For some jobs, both employer and employee need a little extra time to get all their ducks in a row.

Maybe your job is specialized or complex, and there’s not another individual on the team who can step in for you. In that case, your company may need to hire your replacement before you leave to avoid an interim period with no one to do your job.

Depending on the work you do, you might need to consider giving 30 days notice rather than 2 weeks notice. Use your judgment on this one. Consider how it will affect both you and your employer for you to work out a month’s notice.

45 to 90 Days Notice

In rarer cases, it may be necessary to give an employer a longer notice period–more like 45 to 90 days. High-level employees and people who are opening their own businesses may need this level of lead time in order to make effective and smooth changes.

If you’re in a higher leadership role within your company, such as management or even C-suite, you’ll need to give plenty of advance notice before you step down from that position. Team and companies look up to high-level leaders. Leaving abruptly could hurt morale or even the company culture. Giving everyone time for the new leadership to step in helps to maintain the team’s confidence in the midst of transition.

Benefits of Giving 2 Weeks Notice

When it comes to giving advance notice, there are many benefits of offering 2 weeks notice or more to your employer. A notice period doesn’t just benefit your company–it benefits you, too.

When you give notice, your employer will be able to:

  • Have time to figure out how to replace you
  • Be able to list your job vacancy before you leave
  • Hire your replacement, if time permits
  • Have you train coworkers or your incoming replacement
  • Maintain team morale and company culture during the transition

Giving advance notice provides you with:

  • The ability to maintain goodwill between you and your employer
  • A less stressful transition
  • An open door for a possible return to the company in the future
  • Time to make adjustments to your transitional plan
  • A possible counter-offer with better pay or perks

Ultimately, giving notice can provide you with peace of mind, knowing you’ve taken steps to ensure this transition is as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Giving Fewer Than 2 Weeks Notice

In some cases, it’s appropriate to give fewer than 2 weeks notice. Again, making the decision to give a shorter advance notice entirely depends on your situation.

You may have received a job offer that requires you to start the new position sooner than two weeks from now. In that case, you might need to diplomatically let management know your plans, and wrap up (or account for) any outstanding projects before you go.

Another scenario when it might be best to leave quickly is if you’re leaving a toxic work environment (or client). In those situations, it may be healthier and more advantageous for you to leave sooner rather than later–especially if you’re making an immediate transition to a better work environment.

Even when it’s best to leave before your two weeks are up, deciding how much notice to give isn’t easy on anyone. Throughout the decision-making process, give yourself plenty of time and space to figure out what’s going to work best for you.

Wrapping Up

Ultimately, the amount of notice you give depends heavily on the immediate situation, your needs, and sometimes your company’s needs. Depending on your job situation, you may want to consider giving more or less than two weeks notice.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • If your job is easy to rehire and your coworkers can cover your absence, 2 weeks notice should be enough
  • Specialized positions that aren’t easy to fill may need 30 days notice to allow for replacement and training
  • For higher-level employees in leadership positions, a longer transition period might be more appropriate
  • New business owners might also want to give themselves a longer transition period if possible in order to make a smoother change

In the end, workout out a notice is really all about your individual circumstance. If you’re unsure whether you’re making the right call, don’t be afraid to talk with your employer to reach an arrangement that works for everyone. The bottom line is to do what’s right for yourself and, if possible, your employer to the best of your ability–with what you have at the time.

Have you ever given more or less than 2 weeks notice? How did it go? Let us know in the comments section!

Featured image via Piyaphat_Detbun / shutterstock.com

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4 Comments

  1. My logic would actually be very simple – ask yourself “how much notice would a company give me, if they were to fire me?”. Whatever the answer is, match that.

    So if the company never cared about you, then why should you care about them or whether they’d be able to replace you fast enough? If they treated you like you were replaceable the entire time or like they could fire you at any moment (only when it’s convenient for them), then they don’t deserve any notice. You owe such employers absolutely nothing.

    If, on the other hand, the company actually cared (or at least pretended to care, since, let’s be honest, most corporate employers don’t really care), then provide some notice, whatever you see fit.

    Most of the time it doesn’t matter to you as an individual, if your skills are in demand. I would basically only provide notice if I really, really liked my employer or if I was friends with someone at work and I knew that me leaving would increase their workload.

  2. Hm… No cons at all?

    Here is one. The company does not have to accept your two week notice. This can leave the employee short of pay for those two weeks. Now a lot of companies will allow the employee to start the new job earlier that is not a given.

    There are many examples of companies terminating the worker immediately. Not all that uncommon, especially with hourly workers. The employee’s manager takes it personally and the employee is gone as soon as the notice is given.

    This can happen in a couple of different ways. The employee can be terminated and is allowed to remove personal items from desk or other work area. And a bit more extreme but happens more than you would think is the employee is escorted out of the building by security and told they will mail his belongings.

    A good percentage of employees leaving is because even though the company is not bad enough to be “toxic” the company is still not all that great or at least the manager is not that great. These are the exact same type of company or manager that will be more likely to terminate immediately.

    If you are set on giving two weeks notice than if nothing else remove all your personal items before doing so.

  3. I am HR in a company , we recommended 30 days job notice period , with no flexibility , no half day , no leave.

  4. I would believe 30 days notice should be given for any organisation according to government norums

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