Current Jobs

Walked Out or Not?

Did you give notice and get walked out the door?




Chances are if you quit your job or got fired, you got walked out the door the same day. Your manager escorts you to your desk and stands and watches as you pack up.. You give back any company keys and credit cards you hold. The last thing is an escort to the front door of the building. There you are on the street holding your work life. This is shocking if you aren’t expecting it.

Here are some of the pros and cons to being walked out. Understand why this happens and why it works best for you and for your employer.


Here are some examples:


You have a new job and you give notice on your current job.

Your  Employer can counter-offer, accept your notice terms or walk you out the same day. I’m a professional Recruiter and I see all of them, with mixed results.

Your Employer makes a counter offer

Is the Employee expecting one? Counter-offers usually mean upping the salary ante…and I think this is both unproductive and insulting to the employee. Yes, I know – everyone likes to feel valued and more money helps – but whatever the reason for giving notice – it’s probably still there even with more money. The question I ask is – if the Employee deserved more money – why not pay that raise before they gave notice? It seems to me the Employee might be left with an edge of bitterness despite the raise. It’s as if the Employer is saying the only way to get paid what you’re worth is to tell them you are moving on. From my perspective, this is a poor negotiating style.

The Employer accepts the notice. The Employee work out the notice period

Most of us want to work out our notice and leave our work completely organized. It’s a matter of professional pride.  i Working out your notice is not the best option for everyone. Is it best for you, your Employer and your co-workers?

Your Employer is probably disappointed to lose you and frustrated by the disruption and at the need to replace you. Your co-workers are likely sad to see you go and wondering how good your new job is. They’re also thinking – “hey – maybe I should look around too if you are leaving”! It’s only natural you are excited about moving on to “bigger and better” and your heart probably isn’t really focused on the job you’re leaving.

Your co-workers are intrigued and ask you questions like “why are you leaving?” and “Is it really a better job?”.  Of course you’ll tell them it’s a step up or better pay and better benefits and you’re really happy you got it. Now your co-workers  think, “what about me?” “Maybe I should get a better one too!”

Or you’re leaving because you are unhappy about your pay check, the workload, or a supervisor, or the way work is distributed among your team. You’ll feel free to openly discuss all this with your co-workers now you gave notice. They will think you are probably right.

Employers and Recruiters see it happen all the time. One person leaves and it triggers another two or three new resignations.

How should resignations be handled?

I have watched resignation patterning for twenty-five years. I’ve see-sawed back and forth, and here’s what I think should happen for everyone’s best long-term results. There are of course exceptions but…

When an Employee resigns,  walk the Employee out the door

In my ideal world, the day after you resign, your Employer conducts an open exit interview and listens carefully, making note of your suggestions.  An Employee can speak with respect, but articulate any suggestions they have for improvement, such as a market salary review, an improvement in work flow or more opportunity for in-house growth or promotion. The Employer has prepared a pay check that includes any salary/holiday time owed, plus payment in lieu of working out notice, and a letter of reference ready for this meeting.

Any discussions about the payment amounts owed could be completely resolved during this meeting. I’d like to hear the Employer show appreciation for the contribution the Employee has made during their employment, tell the Employee they regret their decision to leave and wish them luck in their new position. The Employee can thank the Employer for their consideration and best wishes, and the Employer can send out an inter-office memo letting staff know of your decision to leave in which they express their regret and wish you every success in your career.

A Clean Break Works for Everyone

I tell Candidates I place to prepare and be prepared for a walk-out and not to take it personally. It’s about an Employer guarding their turf – and being mindful of their Brand out there in the market. It’s important to them you can say you were treated well when you left.

The most powerful reference a Company can have is one that comes from a past or present employee. Rarely does an Employer think you are running off with trade secrets, but they do know by the time you’ve accepted a new job you are happy and excited about going somewhere else. This naturally causes some waves in the employees who are stay. You’ll cause minimal influence on other employees, likely be able to start your new job sooner, or have several weeks time off to rest up and prepare for a new role.

It is that true Employers will be “inconvenienced” by immediately losing an employee who gives notice. But in my view, the larger picture needs to be considered. Cultivating their market brand image and retaining the confidence of their current employees seems to me is a fair trade for the inconvenience caused by losing an employee.

Employers want to retain valued Employees.  Every unhappy employee who leaves a job  can cause nearly irreparable damage to the Employer’s reputation and is reflected in every new hire search. People talk to each other, and people in similar roles in a market talk to each other even more.

Employers can set a corporate policy and review it during the in-boarding process. Employees who are terminated or choose to leave need not work out their notice. Clean, easy and no surprise when you get walked out.

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