Do I really owe an employer two weeks notice?
“Dear Ronnie Ann,
… my co workers often take advantage of me and expect me to do their work too. [Also} … now we are moving 40 minutes away and for a minimum wage job that won’t give me a pay raise I just can’t stay there any more … and some personal things happened over the weekend so I made the choice to finally quit.
I wasn’t planning on going back, but my mom seems to think I should at least put in a two weeks. I however think I at least owe my boss an explanation but here’s the problem. I’m horrible with confrontation and I’m afraid to talk to my boss he’s been very good to me and I can’t just screw him over so I thought of going in there and leaving him my keys and name badge with a written explanation of why I’m quitting.”
How to turn giving notice to your advantageHere’s some of my response with a few added thoughts:
“Even when you need to quit a job, it’s important not to use the opportunity to tell anyone off or list everything that was done wrong toward you – even if the real list feels long. You want to leave on the best note possible. You can’t undo the past, but you can choose to move forward on the strongest footing possible.
Moving 40 minutes away is a perfect excuse. Yes, two weeks would be the right thing to do, as hard as it might feel. I’ve had similar situations myself where it was awful, but just knowing I was leaving was enough to make those two weeks easier. And it’s even better when you talk about plans that sound fun or exciting – no harm dreaming out loud a little.
Since your boss has been so nice to you, do what you can to leave on good terms. And, if you can screw up the courage, even ask him what advice he’d give you to make the next job work better. There’s always something to learn, and this helps him feel he is being respected.”
Pushing through those nervesI also had a few more things to say about how she might handle this in a way that could work for her and yet not “screw over” her boss:
“Just so you know, most people would feel nervous in this situation. I know I would. The thing is, I’d go ahead anyway, even if I stumble over my words or have trouble expressing myself as well as I wish I could. It does get easier the more times you speak up for yourself, especially if you learn to keep it positive while still expressing real needs.
One thing that might help is for you to approach it with gratitude. That may sound strange since the situation is making you miserable. But since your boss has been kind to you, ask to speak to him privately and tell him that. And thank him.
You can explain that you’re moving and need to leave. And then ask for any advice to do better in your next job. And if he says you can leave sooner, fine, but if he asks you to stay for the two weeks, see if you can do it. You can even check in here and count off the days if it would help.”