In the US it's customary to give two weeks' notice when you resign and it would be considered very unprofessional to resign immediately, even if you're legally allowed to. At the same time, it's often said that companies who escort employees out when they resign or who've shown that they'll make those last two weeks miserable for the employee have forfeited the right to have employees give notice.
While that does make sense, wouldn't it still reflect badly on me if I resigned without giving notice? I feel like the kind of companies who make giving notice impossible also wouldn't be beyond holding it against former employees when they "walk off the job". I could ask my next employer if I could start earlier if this happens but what if that's not an option and being out of a job for two weeks would be a financial burden?
If I know that my company won't respect my notice period, is it still unprofessional to resign with immediate effect? Should I have an explanation ready for (potential) future employers? If so, how can I word this without appearing to badmouth the company?
To be clear, I'm asking specifically about a company that dismisses resigning employees without pay. In some industries it's common to send people home or limit the work they're given but still pay them for the duration of their standard notice period. That practice is often called garden leave. And while I appreciate the concern in some of the comments I want to point out that this is intended as a canonical question, I'm not currently facing a situation like this.
Note that we have some related question that cover others aspects of this:
- The risks of resigning without notice (excluding illness or emergency): Do I owe them a two week notice?
- When your company has placed you with a client that doesn't allow notice: How do I go about resigning in a company that doesn't allow two weeks' notice?
- Why companies might not respect notice periods: Why would a resigning employee be immediately escorted out?
- Why notice periods in the US are by convention and not legally required: Why is giving two weeks notice a professionalism issue (and not a contract issue)?