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Contract Professionals! Is Two-Weeks' Notice Really Required?

Like full-time professionals, if you are a contractor leaving for a new position or you’re unhappy with your current role, it’s still important to give proper notice. If the company decides to let you go immediately, that’s their choice, but you have done the right thing and can leave with your head held high.

Here are five reasons why it’s important to give your notice when leaving a contract (or permanent) job.

1. It’s your reputation.

If you leave without giving notice, the one you could be hurting most is yourself (and your reputation). People talk. If you leave abruptly, your manager and co-workers may spread the word. By giving the company time to transition, you are helping them, of course, but ultimately you are helping yourself by preserving and strengthening your reputation.

2. They are counting on you.

The company is counting on you to do the work. Leaving abruptly will leave your team scrambling to find someone new. In addition to adding stress and work to your manager’s plate, you are taxing your co-workers. It’s unfair, and it will only lead to the company and the employees feeling negatively toward you. Giving notice will allow them time to find a replacement while allowing you to leave on a positive note.

3. References are important.

Ideally, in the future you want to be able to call on a reference from as many of your jobs as possible. Additionally, you may apply for a position in which the hiring manager happens to know people from your past; if he or she conducts a “back door” reference and learns you walked off a job, it could ruin your chances of landing the role. 

4. Remember the golden rule.

Treat your managers and your employer the way you would want to be treated. If you are in the middle of a crucial project and are counting on team members to help you get the job done, how would you feel to have someone walk away with no advanced warning? Likely not good. The golden rule applies to many of life’s situations, including leaving your position.

5. It sends a message to your new employer.

If you accept the offer and tell your new manager you can start in two weeks, it will likely reinforce his or her decision to hire you; there will be an understanding that you will likely do the same thing if and when you leave your new job. Giving notice demonstrates to your new employer that you are polished and professional in all aspects of your working life.  

Whether you are leaving on good or not-so-great terms, offering your employer two weeks’ notice will ultimately be beneficial to you and your career.

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