In my conversations with managers and HR professionals over the past few months, there has been a disturbing trend surfacing. Not only are people quitting without notice. Sometimes they aren’t even informing their company they aren’t coming back at all. So let me get this straight. Not only are you leaving your job and giving me no time to make plans for your departure, but often it’s even my responsibility to figure out that you aren’t here?
This is a bad idea on so many levels, but I want to just look at it from a career perspective for a few minutes. So, if you are thinking about making a job change, spend a few minutes to see why it’s always a good idea to give notice. Two weeks is standard, and depending on the type of work you do, more may be required. Here are three reasons you shouldn’t quit without notice:
- It damages relationships. There are many people at work who depend on you, care about you, and like you. Work is often where you develop friendships that span a lifetime. These same people are the ones that have to pick up the slack when you leave unexpectedly. In addition, one or more of your “friends” may have to figure out how to do your job in addition to their own until some is hired to replace you.
- It damages your reputation. By failing to follow the simple protocol of giving notice, you gain the reputation of being a person who is unreliable, and worse, unprofessional. These are the types of memories that don’t fade over time. Even if you felt justified in your decision to ditch your current employer, it will eventually come back to haunt you. When all is said and done, it’s an extremely small world. You may apply for a position some day in the future, only to find someone there who had to clean up your mess after you left without notice.
- It damages your references. Unfortunately, even if you were a star employee before you decided to leave, people checking your references will always hear that you left without notice. Those people have no choice but to assume that if you left one job without notice, you will leave others as well. After all, past behavior predicts future results. This situation is no different.
So, there you have it. If you are thinking about making a career or job change, be professional enough to give the required notice before leaving your job. The extra two weeks you have to put up with whatever you were dealing with that made you so mad will go along way to helping you with future work relationships. If you happen to be a manager who deals with employees like this from time to time, consider looking at a pre-employment assessment, which would help identify these tendencies before you make a hiring decision.