Normally this is a pretty easy question for me to answer, but my current situation makes it difficult. One week ago, I was approached by a recruiter for a potential job. Within the week, I went through 2 interviews and they sent me a offer letter the same week. Everything moved very fast. I have verbally accepted the offer and have every intention to sign the contract. They have offered a start date 2 weeks from today, pretty standard.

While that is all great, my current company has a large trip planned for a client. I have to go on this trip because of the nature of the deal and I leave tomorrow.

I am unsure when the appropriate time is to hand in my notice and if I should accept the start date 2 weeks from now, or push back on my next employer and request a start date 3 weeks from now.

The problem: I leave for the trip tomorrow... Do you recommend I should....

1.) Handing in my 2 weeks notice today: Might distract everyone from the trip with the client. After returning, I would only have a week to help them transition. In effect, this would really only be 1 week of work. Bridges might be slightly burned because of the short notice period and this will completely blindside them (me leaving).

2.) Handing in 2 weeks notice after the trip: The trip would go as planned with no distractions, everyone would be focused. I could then spend 2 weeks after the trip helping them transition. Cons would be that I have to push back on my next employer and revise the start date a week later. Another Con would be I might be looming over the conversation I have to engage in when I return from the trip.

Any suggestions?

** I understand that I do not owe my current company anything, But I really like the people and they have done great by me, it is just time to move on. Plus, it is the same industry and in the same city, so I would want to limit the "burned bridges"

EDIT: This is being done through a recruiter. I asked the recruiter if pushing back the start date is viable. The recruiter informed me to do what is comfortable but they advised to try and stick to the start date in the original contract. Wondering if they just get paid quicker? Not sure



2 Answers 2


There is never a convenient time to hand in your notice. There will always be a business trip where you are needed, or a project that needs your skills or a meeting that needs to be attended or a person who will be inconvenienced. Your first priority is to do what is best for you.

If others are distracted on the business trip by your resignation, that's their problem, not yours. You just do your job as expected while waiting out your notice period.

Remember: if a business is properly run then nobody is indispensable, not even the CEO.

  • Thanks. I know only I can make this decision but interested in your thoughts. You would hand the notice before the trip?
    – pm1391
    Jul 12, 2018 at 15:02
  • 2
    @bm07 personally, yeah I would. Jul 12, 2018 at 15:04
  • Thank you again. I will be taking this route. Going to be a fun and awkward day tomorrow....
    – pm1391
    Jul 12, 2018 at 16:03
  • 1
    Don't be so emotional, it's just business. The important is to be professional and kill them with kindness if you smell burnt bridges (especially if you care about it).
    – Cris
    Jul 12, 2018 at 19:02

The cost to your new employer of you starting a week later than planned is probably very low. Yeah yeah, every hiring manager says they need you to start immediately, but in my experience it's rarely true. On the other hand, the cost to your relationships with your current company and coworkers of you giving notice before the trip sounds higher.

There is no harm in asking, stressing the professionalism angle, something like:

Can we move my start date a week later? I'm already booked for an important customer visit this week and I'd like our team to be able to focus on that instead of my transition plans. I'd therefore prefer to give my two-week notice after that trip, on $date.

I've pushed start dates back for less, like taking vacations between jobs, and never had trouble getting a later start date. It's only a week; things would be different if you wanted a long delay.


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