What to do right before putting in a two week notice (Resignation)

Posted on 2011-04-26
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I just accepted a new position at a startup company and I wanted to hear some advise as far as what to do before putting a two week notice.  The last person who left our company, who did put a two week notice, left to a competitor of ours and was let go as soon as he put in the notice.  I'm hoping that this does not occur with me, although I'm not leaving for a competitor.  

I'm planning on copying all my files over to a portable USB drive, but asside from that, what else should I be doing?

Any advise from past experiences?

Question by:ee4itpro
    LVL 44

    Expert Comment

    Make sure that all of your assignments are complete, or leave enough information that someone else can complete them.

    Talk to your boss/manager, and explain the reasons for your move.  Make sure that there is no animosity between you.

    LVL 32

    Accepted Solution

    1. Don't copy files to an external drive, or email to yourself.  This looks bad.
    2. Don't delete _any_ files, or do any re-organization of files.  This looks bad too.
    3. Be prepared to turn in your keys, credentials, any company property, etc.  It's not uncommon to shut out employees simply for security reasons.

    I've had to deal with employees deleting files, emails, copying installation discs, stealing software.  Don't do anything that looks like that.  It could result in a lawsuit that costs a lot of money.  Or bad referrals from anyone inquiring about you.

    If your new job falls through, you'll be listing _this_ job...and if a potential employer gets no referral or a bad referral, you're still jobless.

    4. If you want to keep on good terms, then be prepared for a quick brain dump of all open projects, quick documentation of critical access/passwords, and accounting of assets that were assigned to you (laptop, phone, tools, etc.).
    LVL 73

    Expert Comment

    If you have heightened privileges, it's not uncommon to be terminated immediately upon notice.
    It's nothing personal, it's just good business practice.

    There's nothing wrong with copying your own stuff to a usb drive.
    but, just because you worked on something or even wrote it entirely that doesn't mean it's "yours", likely the intellectual property belongs to the company.
    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    ^ I agree that what's your is yours, but some companies monitor files copied to external media.  That would trip a flag to see many GB or TB copied off, then have an employee give notice.

    As the admin, I copied files for an employee who was leaving.  Some were personal files, some were working files used for an art portfolio (which was agreeable to the company).

    Emails were not allowed, but I have retrieved contacts and personal messages and forwarded them to outside accounts...but that was all as an admin.

    I'm a bit gun shy, as I also had a terminated employee maliciously delete hundreds of files...pretty much anything that that employee had touched.  We had backups, but potential damage could have been more.  That's what happens when IT is the last group to know there is a change in employment status.
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    In the UK, the company would own all the files on a works PC, even if you worked on them in your own time.  In theory, you shouldn't take the files, not that I wouldn't take them myself though.

    If they have a policy of people leaving immediately when they resign, then it might well apply to you as well.  Do they pay the two weeks of notice in that case?   If they pay the notice then treat it as a holiday.

    Once you've left the company, just forget about the place.  

    Don't upset anybody or speak your mind to anyone, you might be burning bridges and it might come back to haunt you.
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    ...let go as soon as he put in the notice.

    Is this an "at will" employment position? If so, then giving notice may be meaningless. If it's not, then I would expect to be paid for the two weeks even if I was 'let go as soon as...'. If not paid (and not "at will"), there should be cause given for summary termination. Keep in mind regulations that may apply for unemployment purposes after termination without cause; the employer will almost certainly have them in mind.

    I wouldn't be copying files. It's hard to see how you could be right in doing that.


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