Whether you’re giving notice or going through the departure of a deputy, here’s how the world generally interprets length of notice.
• Several months to a year. Applies to the retirement or transfer of a top executive who’s leaving on excellent terms.
• Four weeks. This is the notice period for a senior person on good terms, someone who is interested in making a smooth transfer.
• Three weeks. The company is caught flat-footed and needs a week beyond the standard notice period to cushion the departure of a valued professional. No bridges are burning.
• Two weeks. While this might be a shockingly short period in the case of an executive, it’s fine for both parties if they agree it’s time for a change.
• Less than two weeks. It’s chintzy on either side and indicates trouble. In sales, finance or HR, it suggests the company doesn’t want the employee around data but has a specific reason to hold him there.
• Now. Usually it’s a layoff or a breach of some kind involving a legal, policy or security issue. Barring that, such a precipitous departure tells everybody there’s been a major error or a cataclysmic disagreement.
— Adapted from “Need to Resign From Your Job to Take My Offer? Here’s What Your Length of Notice Means,” Kris Dunn, HR Capitalist, www.hrcapitalist.com.
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