So you’ve found another job and are about to resign! While this is an exciting time, I’ve noticed that there is a persistent concern present in candidates who have accepted a new job offer and are turning in a resignation notice: What if my current company ends my employment before the standard 2 weeks’ period has passed? While some people would welcome a few extra days off in between jobs, others do not want any down time or can’t afford a large gap in between paychecks.
While I’ve written on resignations before, I feel the need to comment on this common question. Although you can’t ensure that your current employer will keep you on board for the remainder of your employment, here are a few thoughts on how to help make sure you get to work your last 2 weeks:
Give a full 2 weeks’ notice. Professionals give an entire 2 weeks’ notice. There may be some situations where you’ll be inclined to give less, but we always advise giving the full 2 weeks’ notice. This shows respect, gratitude, and responsibility. No matter what pressure you’re feeling from your next employer, close out your time in a classy way with your current gig.
Have a strategy. In the conversation between you and your manager, tell him or her how you will spend your last 2 weeks with the company. What projects will you be working on? Who will you need to cross-train so that the company can continue to run smoothly? What customers do you need to transition to someone else’s care? The more you show them that you really need 2 weeks to transfer your workload and train other team members, the more likely it is that they will keep you on board that whole time.
Work hard. Since you’ve already resigned and no longer have a future with your current position, I know it might be tempting to slack off a little bit. But if you begin slowing down immediately, your employer may choose to ask you to end your tenure early, and you could end up with less-than-positive references for your lackluster performance. It’s much better if you work hard for them and help them see that your work is necessary for the full 2 weeks.
I worked with one candidate in particular who was changing jobs around the holidays. He was really concerned that his employer might let him go early to save money. If this happened, he’d have a large, unwanted gap between paychecks that would ruin his ability to buy Christmas gifts! We had a lengthy conversation about the above principles, and the way he handled his resignation made his current company realize they needed him.
If you want to make sure you get to work your last 2 weeks, think like the professional you are! Give a full 2 weeks’ notice, have a strategy that demonstrates how necessary you are, and keep working hard till the very end. Showing your current employer that you continue to bring great value will decrease the likelihood that they’ll ask you to leave before your time is up.