Man quitting his job without notice.

Deciding to quit your job is a huge decision. It’s not something to consider lightly since it will have a huge effect on your life. Quitting your job while having another lined up is one thing, but leaving without a plan is another thing entirely. If you are fed up with your current job, it may be tempting to quit without notice. In today’s blog, we’ll evaluate when to quit without notice, and the effects it can have.

The biggest factor to remember when contemplating quitting is at-will employment. Most employers hire personnel at-will. This means that they can terminate your employment at any time, without having to provide a reason. However, this does work both ways. You can also decide to resign at any point without having to give notice. Before discussing at-will employment more, we should establish that you may not be at-will. If you signed an employment contract with your employer, there may be certain expectations set. If you signed any kind of employment contract, you should look into the requirements of that document.

Consider Possible Consequences

Under at-will employment, an immediate termination or resignation is usually a last resort. Both actions can have consequences, and damage relationships. If a company terminates you without any notice or reason, it will obviously sour you on the thought of working there and give them a bad reputation. On the other hand, quitting a job without notice can also have negative consequences for you.

Doing so can damage your relationship with your coworkers. In the future, your coworkers could play a role in helping you find a new opportunity, but that’s not likely if you jump ship without warning. Also, leaving without notice may ruin your opportunity to use your manager as a reference. Since leaving in that way can put a lot of hardship on your manager, and whoever you work with, they may not give you a glowing recommendation. So if you’re considering quitting without notice, it’s a decision you should seriously think through.

Try Fixing the Problem

Now that you know the stakes, you have to reexamine your reason for wanting to leave. In many cases, it’s better to give two weeks notice and stick it out. If you don’t enjoy the work, or find yourself constantly disagreeing with your boss, the issue shouldn’t be pressing enough to warrant quitting without notice. If you’re considering a long-term perspective, giving to weeks notice is the better career move. You still may end up being shown the door the day you resign, but it shows that you extended the professional courtesy.

Giving notice makes it more likely that things end professionally between you and your employer, without bad blood. If you have concerns about the work you are doing, you may want to have a conversation with your manager. It’s usually worth trying to talk things out before deciding to leave. However, there are circumstances when leaving without notice is more than justified.

When to Jump Ship

Any situation where illegal, unethical, or harmful activity is occurring is more than grounds for leaving without notice. In the most severe examples, physical harm, harassment, illegal activity, an unsafe work environment, or consistent unpaid wages are all justifiable reasons for leaving. No employee should be subjected to an environment where any of those things occur.

There is no perfect system to decide when and how you should depart from a company. You should always try to end things well and in a professional manner. However, circumstances may not allow a graceful exit. Ultimately, you are the best judge of your own scenario. We have laid out some of the possible consequences of leaving immediately or giving notice. If you’re unsure, consider talking the situation over with someone you trust, and getting their take on it. It’s a challenging position to be in, and we hope you are able to resolve it and find what you are looking for in your career.