You can never go wrong if you give sufficient notice that you're quitting your job. True or false? Though some people think it's dangerous...

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You can never go wrong if you give sufficient notice that you’re quitting your job.

True or false?

Though some people think it’s dangerous to declare you’re leaving more than two weeks in advance, Gayle Johnson, a medical assistant in Edmonds, Wash., says longer is better.

And she’s twice put her approach to quitting into practice:

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“After nearly 10 years in one office, I wanted to give adequate notice [of 30 days] but doubted my employer would let me stay once I submitted my resignation,” said Johnson, who has also doubled as office manager and clinical assistant.

“I planned my resignation so that I would be financially able to leave at any time, but had no firm commitments elsewhere for a month in case my boss wanted me to stay that long.”

That meant she had to work at the job longer than she wanted to in order to beef up her bank account, but she was prepared for any contingency. And what happened after she gave a month’s notice?

“As it turned out, my boss had me stay for the entire 30 days,” she said.

Johnson also gave 30 days’ notice in another job.

To her surprise — she expected her boss to let her go immediately and save paying her one month’s wages — her employer kept her on until the end, “took advantage of every minute and ultimately gave me a pretty warm send-off.”

The ripple effect of acting professional: “Subsequent employers respected that I would not leave them in the lurch and expected that I would show them the same consideration if the situation arose,” Johnson said.

And let’s hope that being considerate is a two-way street — and workers who give fair notice aren’t fired immediately.

Raising raises

What kind of response can employers expect when they give raises this year? That’s a question HR.BLR.com, a Web site for human-resources professionals, posed to 348 bosses.

Asked what the reaction would be to raises in 2005, 43 percent replied, “Disappointment.” An additional 6 percent stated, “Anger.” Even worse, 19 percent said, “What raises?”

But it wasn’t all bad news: 31 percent expected employees to be satisfied. And 1 percent anticipated the reaction will be “glee.”

I like the 1 percent response the best.

By degrees

Carol French, a senior account executive at FedEx Services in Monroeville, Pa., had owned a retail business for 18 years when she closed it in 1993.

Here’s what the mature worker did next: She enrolled at a university and got a marketing degree in 1998. “Less than two months later, I got my present job and now am working toward my master’s degree in industrial and labor relations,” said French, who hopes to get her doctorate in organizational behavior before she retires.

Her philosophy: “Part of getting your education later in life is loving change and being ready to jump at every opportunity.”

E-mail questions to Carol Kleiman at ckleiman@tribune.com. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.