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Feelin' Solexy
 
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Is it ever OK to give less than 2 weeks notice?

So I have a close friend named Roger (he is a real person, not an alter-ego) and he asked me for some advice today about resigning from his job. The circumstances are a bit unique... here's the lowdown:

Roger has been employed at a Boston area pre-profitability startup company for about three years. Three weeks ago he was informed (along with the rest of the company) that the company is laying off all but a handful employees and going into a "quiet period." Rather than laying him off outright, he was told that he will be employed through the end of December, with a specific final day (I think 12/20 or so if that matters).

As you might expect, Roger has been working his contacts to find a new job. Today he got a solid offer that he is going to accept, and he plans to tender his resignation tomorrow after he and the new company decide on his start date etc. He and I met for beers and burgers today to celebrate this new job and the conversation turned to his resignation. His question was, "Do I give them two weeks?"

Now normally I would advise anyone in just about any circumstance that two weeks notice is the professional thing to do, as it allows time to ramp down, transfer knowledge, etc. In this case, his entire group is being laid off so the knowledge transfer is pretty much a moot point. In addition, he is essentially already fired albeit not the same as being escorted out of the building. I didn't really get the feeling that his new job is pressuring him to start in less than two weeks, but he made it clear that he's pretty miserable at the current gig and wants to get started with the new one. I told him that two weeks was the right thing to do, but now I'm starting to wonder if that's so.

Pelican brain trust, what do you think?
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:58 PM
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Time to move on, but I always like to give notice.

He should start the new job ASAP, but should speak with current employer about it, he might be helping them out by leaving sooner rather than later.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:00 PM
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Give notice to avoid burning bridges, but considering that they're getting rid of him anyway..... I would vote to give as much notice as possible. Ultimately you can only concern yourself with doing the right thing, and notice is the right thing, no matter how many days it is. He should simply do the best he can.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:07 PM
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I'd say look at it this way....the company already gave him like 7 weeks notice. I'd be gone that afternoon.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:07 PM
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You give two weeks notice.

That he has a hard date that he will be laid off is not relevant.

If I ask a candidate who is currently in another position "when can you start"?

And they respond with less than 2 weeks it's a red flag for me.

Always take the high road.

No telling when you may end up working with a former colleague or supervisor in some capacity or another.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:08 PM
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Tobra: "...speak with current employer about it, he might be helping them out by leaving sooner rather than later."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
An employer for 29 yrs.:
I always wanted the notice period to match the pay period.
I paid bi-monthly - so two weeks was fine w/me.
.
Nothing like having a friendly chat w/employer, like Tobra said.
They may be delighted to cut him away.
I had more grief w/employees who were on the covert side.
All employers love it when you're straight-up.
It says that you're honest.
Who knows, he may some day need a fuzzy from his current company
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:26 PM
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One time I gave less that two weeks notice. I never felt good about it but I needed OUT! They were running me ragged and I did the best I could not to burn any bridges but giving less than 2 weeks is most certainly going to regardless of the situation. In the end I wish I hadn't done it on principal alone.

A recent departee of my current company gave a week's notice. His manager was irritated with it. It is unprofessional but in the same breath - if you are at will your company can fire you at any time with generally no reason. Still, the professional thing to do is 2 weeks. Can't hurt.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:32 PM
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Most companies do not have to give you 2 weeks notice in a layoff, why should you have to give them 2 weeks notice?

I would work out a start date with company B, then tell your present employer you are leaving. Unless company B needs you tomorrow.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:45 PM
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It's really not that hard of a position to be in. First he talks to the new company and asks how soon they would want him on board if he was able to move right away, and how long they're willing to wait if he needs to wrap up loose ends.

Once he knows the new employer's parameters he goes to the old employer and tells them that he ha a new job and that he is going to be leaving but he's willing to work with them on the timing. He would like to leave on such and such a date, but is willing to move as soon as X but no later than Y. X and Y being the soonest and latest dates given by the new employer. As suggested above, it's likely they'll opt for the fastest they can get rid of him, but that's a decision best left to them. You never want to burn bridges and you should act classy all the time, even if the other guy doesn't deserve it.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:48 PM
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I have to think that current employer will ask Rog if he wants to leave earlier, circumstances being what they are.
Expect it, but don't depend on it, plan to work 2 more weeks. make sure the new firm understands this is what you're doing.
This is just business, another negotiation.
BTW - is there a severance pack that goes along with the potential layoff?
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:07 PM
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Would ask them if its possible to give less than two weeks and go from there. Both sides know that he is gone, but be professional and do not burn bridges.
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:37 PM
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It is a poor start at the new job to show you have no loyalty to your employer.

Give them two weeks.
Old 11-05-2009, 07:58 PM
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I would tell my current employer: "I have a job offer and they have asked if I could start in xx days. I want to give you ample notice, will this timeline be ok?" At that point, you come to something that is mutually agreeable.

As far as the new company, you tell them that you will start when your employer releases you.

If you think about it, a few days change in your start date does not really matter to the new employer. At this point in time, you are perfect and they should be accomodating.

Like others said, it is a negotiation.
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:05 PM
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Yep!

Quote:
Originally Posted by onewhippedpuppy View Post
Give notice to avoid burning bridges, but considering that they're getting rid of him anyway..... I would vote to give as much notice as possible. Ultimately you can only concern yourself with doing the right thing, and notice is the right thing, no matter how many days it is. He should simply do the best he can.
Yep! He should give 2 weeks notice and the company can decide what to do from there... Don't ever burn bridges!
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Old 11-06-2009, 03:12 AM
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It sounds like roger is a professional and a severence package has to be in the equation, if there is no severence and the new company needs him now then I'd give 2-3 days, with all the lay off's that have happened they can call someone else to take his place. The old is gone and the new people are counting on him asap so I'd say go asap.
Looks like the old company will fold so why worry, I've never given more than 3 days notice, but finding work has never been a problem, it finds me, if you have a skill that people need then go, if your old company is going into a "quiet time" that means they have poor managment that can't find the work to keep them afloat. Go, Go now cause the new company is who are going to paying the bills. I have a distorted view as I'm sure a lot will agree but I go where the money is and have no loyality to where the money was.
Old 11-06-2009, 04:03 AM
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Be proffesional and give the 2 weeks notice if you have secured your next gig....................they may tell you to walk anyway..............................it's happened to me
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:18 AM
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As a business owner I would normally say yes give to weeks and let the business decide if you stay two weeks or not. In this economy I think Roger needs to jump to his new job ASAP. A week should be sufficient so the company is not in disarray with his unfinished work log. Also, unless his position is some sort of specialized position the company should be able to find a replacement in short order. In fact even specialised positions have a surplus work force. Unemployment up to 10.2% today.

Thats my .02
Old 11-06-2009, 07:36 AM
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Hey guys,
wow, lots of feedback!

I IM'ed with him this AM, and the new company (the one hiring him) has agreed to a start date of Dec. 1, but says if he is available earlier so much the better. He tendered his resignation today with the full two weeks notice, but apparently the people who would make the decision as to whether to have him serve out the two weeks vs leaving earlier are not available, so no clarity on what the company will decide regarding his last day.

Also as far as severance (since some asked) he's getting a week of pay for each year employed (so 3 weeks of pay total) if he stays until his scheduled end date. I believe that the hiring company did something to sweeten the pot for him in terms of signing bonus, so I guess he is cool walking away from the severance package.

I will be seeing him Sunday (he's one of my best friends, lived next door to me in my Freshman dorm) and I'll update the thread if there's anything new then.
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Old 11-06-2009, 08:36 AM
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He should send his boss this postcard:



Just kidding.
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Old 11-06-2009, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tishabet View Post
Hey guys,
wow, lots of feedback!

I IM'ed with him this AM, and the new company (the one hiring him) has agreed to a start date of Dec. 1, but says if he is available earlier so much the better. He tendered his resignation today with the full two weeks notice, but apparently the people who would make the decision as to whether to have him serve out the two weeks vs leaving earlier are not available, so no clarity on what the company will decide regarding his last day. ...
At this point, the old compnay does not matter anymore. He provided notice. They can respond or not. Worse case is that he gets a few weeks to decompress. If old employers says "go now" (and they should pay him him for the last two weeks since he provided notice), he can see if he can start early at the new place.

Best of luck at the new place.
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Old 11-06-2009, 09:04 AM
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Old 11-06-2009, 09:04 AM
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