Give more quitting notice during the holidays?
December 12, 2013 12:38 PM   Subscribe

I'm likely going to be able to accept a new job (Yes, no resigning until I have a written offer, I know) but I am concerned about giving only 2 weeks notice during the holidays. For example, if I resigned 12/17 and my last day is 1/31, no one will be working for most of those two weeks. I supervise 6-7 other social workers and an intern; if I leave during a break I worry that they will not have A. heard about it and B. been able to sort of make any coverage plans. I know I'm not irreplaceable; I just don't want to burn bridges.

Snowflakes: My current employer may just say "you're done" the same day; that happens a lot. Also, I'd like to not "hang on" any more than what is polite; any time longer than 2-3 weeks to me just seems like drama. Morale at my current job is very low- we've been hemorrhaging employees for about 18 months. My new job would like me to start ASAP; I'm sure I can negotiate with them. Thanks in advance.
posted by ShadePlant to Work & Money (11 answers total)
Get started right now on a transition plan. Write down everything you do day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month and year-to-year. When you give your supervisor your two weeks' notice, present with it a detailed scheme to hand over your responsibilities to your successor, starting that very day.

And in your next job, have that transition plan ready from Day Two and update it at least quarterly.
posted by Etrigan at 12:42 PM on December 12, 2013 [7 favorites]

negotiate an extra week or so with the new job so that you'd be leaving after the new year, if it bothers you enough. It reflects well on you that you want to cause minimal difficulties at a job you're leaving which, as you've described it, does not deserve more than the two week courtesy period.
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:43 PM on December 12, 2013

On the other hand, remember that they wouldn't hesitate to fire you during the same time period on the grounds that you would have a hard time finding a new position during the holidays. Do what you need to do for you.
posted by thatone at 12:51 PM on December 12, 2013 [11 favorites]

I'd be more concerned with burning a bridge with the new job than burning the (soon-to-be) old one. If their MO is to tell people to skedaddle after they decide to leave, then no, by no means do you ever want to give more than two weeks notice.

If you need those two weeks of pay, then do what you must to ensure you keep it. They can let you go at will, afterall.
posted by inturnaround at 12:52 PM on December 12, 2013 [8 favorites]

When you say "no one will be working" do you mean your office closes, or just most people are on vacation? If it's the former, you should not, in my opinion, count days the office is closed as part of the two weeks. If it's just that no one will be around, that's not your problem. Don't forget, two weeks is nice, but not required. They would not give two weeks if they were laying you off.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:08 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

The office is closed some days, and other days (e.g. 26th) we do not have the day off and it's just a ghost town.
posted by ShadePlant at 1:10 PM on December 12, 2013

Opportunities happen when they happen. You should give two-weeks notice and start when it works for you. You don't have control over the holidays or who will be out during them. This is your boss's concern, not yours.

You won't burn bridges, especially if you document what you do, and have a transition plan sketched out. Do as much as you can now, to mitigate any hassles, but don't go nuts. They may want to change a bunch of crap around when you go anyway.

Enjoy the new year in your new gig.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:32 PM on December 12, 2013 [4 favorites]

Two weeks. No more. They'd likely let you go on the day you came into work after they realized they didn't need you anymore. It's a purely BUSINESS relationship. I'm sick of this shit where employers expect employees to treat them better than vice versa.

All you gotta say is what they would say to you, "It's just business."
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 6:13 PM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

No. They have an MO of letting people go immediately in this situation. Unless you really, really don't need the money, do not give 'extra' notice.
posted by J. Wilson at 6:21 PM on December 12, 2013

I would focus on trying to end well with your direct reports. Collect people's personal contact information now. After you give notice, invite all of your direct reports to a "thank you/farewell event" that will take place off-site and their own time (like evening or weekend) just after the holidays. Even if most people can't/don't come, the invitation itself will act as a warning that you are leaving, and an expression of your appreciation for the relationship. Include at least one form of personal contact (e.g. email) so people who want to have a chance to say good-bye.
posted by metahawk at 9:38 AM on December 13, 2013

You're allowed to want to do more than what's legally or contractually required of you. You're allowed to want to feel good about how you treat people, even at work, and that doesn't make you a sucker. Just because other people act callous doesn't mean you have to.

However, with that said, your priority needs to be what you feel good about. It sounds like you want to make sure you give the people you supervise the best odds you can of not having a gigantic mess on their hands, but that's ultimately not something you can entirely control. I agree that it's inconvenient to give your notice over a period where everything is shut down; if you think you'd feel better offering another week and it's not a big deal with the new job, why not? You're not doing it because you owe it to your managers; you're doing it because you want to make life a little easier on people who are in a bad situation just like you are. I don't think at all that you have to do that, and if the new job pushes back, then forget it. But if you want to do that? Sure, maybe you'd leave feeling better. I don't think two weeks will burn bridges, but in an uncertain market, it never hurts to make people grateful that you did your best to be considerate.

In the end, though, say your goodbyes, don't feel bad, and have a good new beginning. Based on what you've said (no special rules to consider), two weeks is customary; anything more is what you're doing to ease your own mind. Do it or don't, and don't feel bad.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 10:15 AM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

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