Is “Two Weeks’ Notice” Outdated?

A post on LinkedIn is circulating and leading to arguments on both sides of the fence about whether or not giving a two weeks’ notice when quitting a job is necessary or not.

The Boomer generation is the first to say it’s “unprofessional” to leave a job without giving them a two-week warning. But what about the fact that you can be fired at a moment’s notice without a two-week cushion to help you find a new job? Younger generations are arguing that several companies are giving layoffs and letting go of people without warning, so why can’t they leave without warning, too?

Here’s a few comments from both perspectives:

  • “If your employer can let you go at any time with no warning whatsoever, why can’t you start a new/exciting/better job whenever you want to? How about if the new job pays more? You’re losing money staying two weeks stuck in the past. Why is looking out for your own best interest “unprofessional”?
  • “Professional courtesy is a personal choice and it’s about how you want to be viewed and remembered.”
  • “The higher up you go, the longer your contractual resignation notice is. I have been required to provide a 30- to 60-day notice for most of my jobs in the last five years. I mean, HISTORICALLY if you are getting laid off you get a 30+ day notice period, so it’s fair. I think that the problem with the recent layoffs is that there was no notice period … which is a poor way of handling it IMO.’
  • “THIS is not a debatable issue!! It is always a two-week notice and if the employer asks you to train or help interview your replacement. It’s what professionals should ALWAYS do. How your company treats you is IRRELEVANT!!”
  • “Two weeks’ notice is and has always been a courtesy. If my employer has been professional and respectful, I am happy to give that two weeks to transfer any work or knowledge to my teammates and manager. However, if I am leaving because I have been subjected to a toxic and disrespectful workplace, that bridge was burnt long before a notice was given.”