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Job Search Packet 5 - Leaving The Job

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Overview

When and how you leave a job can affect your ability to be rehired and if other companies are willing to hire you. Employers communicate, and if you leave one employer in a lurch or on bad terms; it will get out and employers will be less likely to hire you, trust you, or give you much understanding or leeway at work.

When you leave or quit a job make sure you always:

  1. Give a good reasons to leave a job
  2. Give "notice"
  3. Continue to be a good employee
  4. Work through the end of your time

Reasons to Leave

Employers in the US are in the business of making money. In order to stay in business, they need to have good employees that they can depend on.

When you leave a job, you need to have a good reason. Otherwise your boss will not consider you reliable or hire you again in the future if you want a job from them or give you a good reference for another job.

Acceptable reasons to leave a job are:

  • You have found a new/better job
  • You are moving from the area
  • Major Family emergencies including: death, life threatening conditions. (In most cases you should take a "leave of absence" - company approved time off to deal with the emergency. If you have been working for the same employer for longer than 1 year, you may qualify for time off under FMLA - up to 12 weeks off unpaid)
  • You become disabled and no longer are physically able to work.

Unacceptable reasons:

  • You want to look for a different job (don't have one yet)
  • Visiting family
  • Minor family emergencies including: family member giving birth, non-life threatening disease or hospitalization, weddings, holiday visits
 

Giving Notice/Work Ethic

When you leave a job, the employer will need to replace you. Hiring your replacement takes time. Two weeks notice is the standard minimum notice. For some jobs that are more difficult to find a replacement, a month's notice is customary. If you aren't sure how much time your employer requires, ask. It is best to be direct and honest about the situation.

Some employers will need a to be notified in writing, so if you are not sure what your employer needs, do it in a formal letter that includes:

  • Reason for leaving
  • Last date of work
  • Thanks for the work/opportunities/etc.
  • Personal signature

Work Ethic

Many employers have adopted policies that forgo the "notice" time to continue working. This is because many people stop working during their last weeks of work. It is a common problem that employers face.

lf your employer accepts your two weeks notice, then you will need to:

  • Be to all your shifts on time.
  • Work your whole shift every day.
  • Give a good days work every day.
  • Have a good "can do" attitude

Do Not:

  • Ask for time off
  • Be late
  • Leave early
  • Slack off
  • Be insubordinate

Employers talk to each other, so make sure you leave your employer happy when you quit.

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