When I spoke to group of
Cincinnati high school students about why they should give a two
week notice when leaving a job, a 17-year-old said, “That’s so old school.
My generation doesn’t have to do that”.
An 18-year-old said, “I don’t give a girl
a two week notice when I dump her. Why should I do it for my
The fact that they even have to
ask illustrates how naďve they are. That's understandable with
kids who’ve never been in the workforce.
What’s amazing is when grown
adults are no more mature.
Lots of people who hate their jobs
secretly fantasize about living the classic country music song
“Take this job and shove it”.
Here’s an excerpt:
"One of these days I'm gonna blow
my top, and that sucker, he's gonna pay.
I can't wait to see their faces
when I get the nerve to say,
Take this job and shove it.
I ain't working here no more."
While most people don’t go that
far, many burn bridges behind them by badmouthing the
company to coworkers before leaving, going off on the company on
Facebook, or not giving a two week notice.
Successful people understand that
how they leave a job - even one they hate - will affect them in the future just as much as how they performed at the job.
Even if you plan to stay at your
job until you retire, the company may decide differently for
you. Or the economy may take a downturn and force layoffs.
If you want to take a clue from a
song, a far better one
would be Brooks and Dunn’s “That Ain’t No Way to Go”. Here’s an
"Lipstick letters across the
mirror this morning, Said ‘Goodbye Baby’.
You left with no warning.
That ain’t no way to go,
Girl it just ain't right.
Don't you think I deserve to hear
you say goodbye?"
Giving a two-week notice is called
a “professional courtesy”. If you don't offer this professional
courtesy, by definition you're neither professional nor
Even if you hate your boss, your job, and your company, you owe your employer
the professional courtesy of a two week notice when you leave.
And even if you don't believe you do, you owe it to yourself not to
sabotage your future ability to get a job by burning bridges
It shouldn't come as a surprise
that potential employers will check your references. (When I
said this to the18-year-old, he responded, "Dude,
I never thought about that".)
To Your Success,
This applies even when you're 63 and make $20,000,000 a year. Jay
Leno could have been bitter about being pushed out of The
Tonight Show, but refused to badmouth NBC. When
asked why, he responded, “What good
would that do me? Look at how that worked out for Conan
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