Treated Badly During Notice Period: What To Do?


treated badly during notice period

The period after putting in your two weeks notice and officially leaving the company can be awkward and uncomfortable. If you’re a good employee, your team will be disappointed that you’re leaving. And if you had some rough spots with your boss, teammates, or colleagues, that could be a period where they put their guard down and use it as opportunity to beat you up a little bit. 

In either case, leaving the company may cause some additional work for the remainder of your team, which can cause some bitterness during the transition period. 

To that end, you may run into a situation where you’re treated badly during your notice period. If you’re currently experiencing that situation, you may be wondering what to do and how to handle it. This article will answer common questions around how you should respond if you’re treated poorly during your notice period.

Let’s dive in.

Treated Badly During Notice Period: What To Do?

If you’re being treated badly during our notice period, I think that you have four primary options for how you can handle the situation. Each of the four are reviewed below.

1. Have a Direct Conversation With The Person That’s Treating You Badly

relieved from job

If there is a particular colleague or manager that you find is treating you badly, your first course of action is to stand up for yourself and address the situation directly with them. While engaging in potential conflict is uncomfortable for many, it’s the most direct way to help manage the situation and request someone to change their behavior.

As far as how to approach the conversation, my favorite method for doing so comes from the book Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg.

Within the book, Marshall recommends a framework for pointing out negative behavior that goes like this:

  1. Start by saying “when you” and point out the specific behavior
  2. The effect is [state the effect that is has on you]
  3. Which makes me feel [state how it makes you feel]
  4. Could you please [change your behavior to this]

Within that approach, you’re not making general statements about the other person and their character, which often leads to emotional conflict. You’re focusing on the behavior itself, stating the impact, and communicating the change that you would like to see. 

Here is an example of how you could approach a conversation with a colleague that has been making rude comments about how you’re being selfish and letting everyone down.

“Hey [colleague name], when you commented on how I was being selfish in the last meeting, it took the focus off of the topic of discussion and also made me feel bad about what was already a difficult decision for me. Could you please not make any further comments about me leaving the company in future meetings?”

2. Talk to Your Manager

If you find that a member of your team starts treating you badly during your notice period, you can also elevate the issue to your manager’s attention. Be sure to explain the specifics of the behavior, who was responsible, and when, and you can ask them to have a conversation with that person to get it to stop. 

3. Talk to HR

job interview

Another option would be to talk to HR about the issue and ask them to address it on your behalf. This is probably the most appropriate course of action when it’s your direct manager that has started treating you badly.

4. Move Up Your Departure Date

If you’ve tried other options like having a direct conversation with the responsible person and talking to your manager, or HR, and find that you’re still being treated badly, you can also move up your departure date and leave earlier.

While you always want to resign professionally and on good terms, in this case, you would have taken appropriate measures to communicate your concerns about how you’re being treated during your notice period. If there was no behavior in change or action taken to address those, then it would be reasonable for you to say, look, I’ve been professional in providing a normal notice period and the company has been unprofessional towards me so I’m now going to look out for myself and leave early.

5. Stick It Out

work from home

The final option is just to recognize that you only have a short period of time until you officially depart the company and just stick it out until the end. You likely calculated your two weeks notice and provided a departure date accordingly. If you can just deal with some people being rude for a couple of weeks, then you can leave at your originally planned time and minimize any risk of burning bridges.

How Do You Deal With a Bad Boss During Your Notice Period?

toxic boss

As recommended in the previous section, if you have a potentially toxic boss that is treating you badly during your notice period then I would recommend following a specific sequence of steps with them. The first would be to have a direct conversation with them about the way that they’re treating you and ask for a behavior change. If that doesn’t work, I would elevate the situation to HR and ask for their support. Finally, if HR doesn’t work, then it would be reasonable for you to move up your departure date and leave earlier than you had originally communicated if the company isn’t handling the situation professionally.


Being treated badly during your notice period can be uncomfortable and unpleasant.

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to request to stand up for yourself and, worst comes to worst, you’ll only have to stick it out for a short period of time.

About the author

Dan Slocum

Dan is the founder of Best Fit Work and is a business professional with over 10 years of experience. He has been a hiring and people manager on multiple occasions, and has also gone through the hiring process himself at a variety of different companies. Dan writes to share content, tools, and resources to help people discover and thrive in their own best fit work.

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