Resigning: Exit Through The Chop Shop

The two week resignation notice is garnering huge debate time on the internet. Mistreated workers contend that you no longer have to give two weeks notice when leaving a job, while others say it is still a must. Honestly, I have resigned both ways. Giving two weeks notice is professional, gives you time to complete projects or to write hand off notes on them for the next person. But there are workplaces where the bosses and co-workers are less than professional, and resigning feels like you are being fired or “chopped.” Unfortunately, if you are moving on to a company that is a competitor of your current company, you can expect your professional two weeks notice to be tossed out the window and an escort through a quick exit interview at the “chop shop” or HR and out the door. Sometimes, it isn’t personal. Having you around for two weeks makes it difficult to discuss confidential company matters.

Unfortunately, sometimes the reaction to your resignation is going to be personal. Your bosses or mentors may be angry or hurt. They may have put a lot of time and energy into training you and helping you to do your job. Now they have to start all over again with someone else. This is where a formal letter of resignation and exit interview can help. Your letter should state your reasons for leaving in a professional manner and the date of your last day of work. An exit interview gives you an opportunity to discuss why you are leaving and how you plan to finish up your projects before your last day. Everyone should be clear about what is happening. Get HR involved if you think your exit interview will get dicey and your boss will handle it unprofessionally.

Your company may not accept your letter of resignation, demand more time from you or even let you go immediately. If you are let go immediately, contact your new company. They may be able to bring you on board right away. Unless you have signed a contract, you are under no obligation to meet your company’s demands if they do not accept your resignation. If you want to stay on for two weeks in this case, you will have to present a strong argument. You may be due at your new company in two weeks, so give your boss a detailed plan on how you will complete or hand off your assignments.

How you resign is your own personal decision, but whether you give no notice and hand in a formal resignation letter to both your boss and HR, or you give two weeks notice — be professional, even when your boss or company isn’t. Your reputation in your career field is valuable, and a messy, unprofessional resignation can hurt it. If you stay for two weeks, finish your projects, do not complain to co-workers about how unfairly you’ve been treated, and say good-bye to co-workers and bosses on the last day. I feel strongly that you do not have to thank your bosses and the company for giving you the opportunity to work in a job where you have been mistreated if that is the case. However, you should thank those who have helped you along the way.


3 Responses

  1. Great advice!
    “Your reputation in your career field is valuable, and a messy, unprofessional resignation can hurt it.” is something we should all keep in mind/

  2. Thanks. I sometimes wish I would listen to my own advice. Hope you had a good day today, Ellen.

  3. I did have a good day. Thanks! Hope you did, too.

    Sometimes it is hardest to hear our own best advice. I am frequently guilty of letting other voices shout down my own good sense…

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