I've been working at this on-campus job for over four years now. Last week I was extended an offer to return to my summer internship part time the rest of my school year, so this past Friday I gave a letter with two weeks' notice because I wanted to "end things the right way."

Normally I'm very respectful and they know me as being a great worker. Honestly however, this job has just been a real pain and rather than ramping down (having me write instructions for next person, etc.) they're having me continue large projects (projects I'd been told before would be ongoing longterm anyway) or working on new, large time-consuming tasks. Working with the particular coworkers on those things is incredibly rough and stress-inducing, which can't be healthy while I'm dealing with a harder than usual semester.. Normally this time of year they are very flexible around my school schedule and understanding that I may need less work shift time so I can study more, etc. But at this point I can't even ask for that time since I'll be finished next week.

Am I able to leave before the two weeks are up? Would that be unprofessional now?

It's just an office campus job and at this point job history-wise I have great positive feedback from multiple levels of management from my internship, so I would like to think leaving this job somewhat earlier won't have much of a lasting effect.

Any advice? Thanks!

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    I would strongly suggest you stick it out. It's only two weeks right? How you handle your remaining time there could make or break the recommendations and references you could attain. From the schools perspective, they are losing someone who it sounds like they relied on, so they want to get the most of their domain knowledge while they can. I bet if they were having someone shadow you they probably would be hesitant to give you extra time off because then that person would lose out on valuable training. – Sidney Oct 7 '15 at 18:25
  • No one is shadowing me. Realistically from today till my last day, I have roughly 20 hours left and at least half are needed just getting things finalized. I need to write instructions for some tasks and share how things work with people. But in the meantime they're having me continue projects that will severely limit the time I have to do those things. – Spike Oct 7 '15 at 18:32
  • Also, while that's a valid question that is somewhat relevant, the differentiator is it is for a full time job. This is just a part time office job for an office at my school. I'd think that means the situation can be handled slightly differently. – Spike Oct 7 '15 at 18:33
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    Its the companies loss if they dont want to schedule in an organised hand over, but at the end of the day thats their problem - work as you normally do and what happens after your last day isnt your problem. – Moo Oct 7 '15 at 19:29
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    Have you tried to discuss this very issue with your management? – PM 77-1 Oct 7 '15 at 19:44

You can leave your job early if you so choose, and there's nothing legally preventing you, however it would definitely look unprofessional. It's up to you to decide whether to accept that risk, but I would only consider leaving without two weeks notice in a small set of extreme circumstances, and this is not one of them. Part of being professional is to accept and deal with it when there are some circumstances that are disagreeable but still within reason.


Am I able to leave before the two weeks are up? Would that be unprofessional now?

Assuming you are in the US, and you don't have a contract that requires a specific notice period, then yes - you can leave at any point in time.

That said, a notice (typically two weeks) is considered a professional courtesy, and anything less would be less than professional. You would risk some of the "great positive feedback" capital you have built up over the past four years.

It's only two weeks and for you amounts to only 20 hours. The most professional thing would be to grit your teeth, stick it out for the two weeks, do whatever work they prefer you do in your final weeks, and do the best you can.

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    Even though this is a college job and not your eventual career, it is good to start behaving professionally now. There will be plenty of times in your career when you have to stick it out through less than perfect circumstances, might as well get used to dealing with that now. – HLGEM Oct 8 '15 at 14:19

Everything is voluntary. Of course, there are consequences and you'll have to determine if the consequences outweigh leaving.

If you have good rapport with your managers and would like to keep it that way, then I suggest leaving at the time you said you would. If they are giving you more work, make sure they got the notice. It wouldn't hurt to get a confirmation from a manager like saying, "Hey Joe, did you get my 2 weeks notice?" Just to make sure they have it. Don't just assume because you sent it by email they would have gotten/acknowledged it.

Normally you give a email and a written notice of leaving. Make sure you sign and date it.

  • Definitely. I actually told both my manager and my supervising coworker in person inside an office, and then sent a formal letter afterword. So it's not a question of whether they know or not. But pretty much the issue is they want me to continue larger projects I had originally been told would be continually ongoing, not something I'd be able to finish any time soon. So it doesn't make sense for me to continue working at them the entire time rather than setting up instructions for when I leave. – Spike Oct 7 '15 at 22:43

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