A Moving Experience: When to Resign

When the decision was made my girlfriend and I would be moving back to Minnesota, our first priority was deciding when. For the past several years, apartment leases were dictated by the start of the school year. This time around, we really had free reign to move whenever — May, June, July, August.

I have a career. My girlfriend has a job. We’ve each taken different approaches to informing our employer we’ll be taking off in late July. Namely, I’ve told my employer and my girlfriend hasn’t. Here’s a little reasoning:

Why I Gave My Employer a Three-Month Notice

Though I work the 8-to-5 at my company, the work cycle is broken into fifths every year. In other words, they need the same group of employees to be on-board for each two-and-a-half month period. I brought our impending move to the attention of my manager back in April. Understandably, he asked if I would be leaving before or after the next cycle — leaving in the middle wasn’t an option.

I respect my employer. This has been, after all, my first big boy job. This is a job I want to refer to on my resume and in future job interviews. The skill building, the professional development, the autonomy — what a great first job to have after college.

Given the options, I decided I would ride out the next cycle, which we are now in. Essentially, I gave a three-month notice. This hasn’t caused any awkward tension at the office. From what I’ve seen from other co-workers who’ve resigned, I know I’ll be treated fairly until the day I leave.

Why My Girlfriend Will Wait to Give Notice

The first and most legitimate an hourly employee might have after giving long-term notice of resignation is a cut in hours, followed by a work environment turned hostile or dismissive. My girlfriend will wait and give a two-week notice so she can continue to save up for the move free of stress over scheduling. It makes perfect sense.

Oregon — from what I’m old — has hire-and-fire laws that gives employees the right to resign one day before their next scheduled shift. On the other hand, employees can be fired without reason. If that’s true — and again, my source is a lifelong Oregonian, not a lawyer — then it’s incumbent upon my girlfriend to protect her interests as her employer will protect theirs.

Verdict: Observe the departures of fellow co-workers before you give notice. If you don’t have that opportunity, know that it’s always best to leave a company on good terms. Make your exit with as little disruption as possible. If that means your employer needs time to find, hire and train your replacement, give them good warning. If you can be replaced on a moment’s notice, two weeks should do.

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