How to Handle Giving Four Weeks Notice & Then Leaving After Two

When we read this piece in today’s New York Post, we couldn’t nod our heads more in agreement. Not that we agree with the scenario but that we’ve seen it happen time and time again.

Loyal employee decides to give four weeks notice to a current employer before jumping ship — ample time, right? Out of respect, the employee wants to wrap things up and leave things on a really good note.

Screeeeeeech! Yes, that would be the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard.

Lo and behold, the employer turns around to tell you they only need you for two weeks and after that, you’re free to leave. And they’re free to stop paying you. 

Technically, you can look at the bright side of two weeks of personal time to mentally clear your head before the new gig starts. Of course, there’s always the income issue of not having Benjamins coming in the door for those two weeks.

Gregory Giangrande, HR officer at a major media company, writes in his column, “Unless your employer explicitly confirmed they were paying you through a certain date and are now reneging, simply announcing when you’d like your last day to be does not obligate the company to accept it.”

You can still try to negotiate a longer notice period and stake your claim on why it’s important for a long transition but you can also ask your employer to push your start date up by a week or two. Granted, if it takes a while for background checks to clear they may not be able to physically let you in their door.

Giangrade also points out you can speak to your current employer to indicate you were trying to be flexible for them and pushed your own start date back which is now set in stone. Maybe they can reconsider keeping you on staff for the final two weeks.

Net net: When giving notice that exceeds two weeks, be prepared for possibly being shown the door prior to what you initially anticipated.