I work at a large international company as a software engineer. I'm part of a small specialized team of me and 3 electrical and systems engineers (I'm the software specialist of the team).

In two weeks I'll be taking two weeks of approved PTO, and two weeks after I get back (6 weeks from now), I'm planning to resign and move more than 1000mi (~1700km).


This is my first job (and will be my first resignation) so I tried to do some research here. After reading online, it looks like it's almost never a good idea to give more than two weeks of notice. However, I'm worried it might reflect poorly on me if I take two weeks off and get back and drop a letter of resignation on my boss. I'm on friendly terms with everyone around the workplace and I'm hoping to keep it that way in case this move doesn't work out and I have to ask for this job back.

Should I give my letter of resignation before I take my two weeks of PTO (more than a month before I'll be resigning)?

Edit: If I do end up handing in my resignation after the PTO, it will probably be on Monday or Tuesday (depending on when my boss is free) when I'm quitting the next Friday. Would that be enough for two weeks?

  • Why do you think giving more notice would enable you to get your job back if it didn't work out. The position would be filled by then I would think. – Kilisi Jul 22 '18 at 23:58
  • @Kilisi my skills at the company are broad enough that in that case I wouldn't be worried about getting the exact same job back. It's more a matter of the etiquette here. Would it look rude to leave for two weeks and then get back, schedule a meeting with my boss and hand in my resignation immediately? – chumpbot Jul 23 '18 at 0:00
  • FYI If you turn in your 2 weeks notice on tuesday your employer may want you to work the monday after you intend to resign. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Jul 23 '18 at 12:40

If your contract stipulates 2 weeks notice, then that is what you should give.

Giving a months notice is unlikely to enable you to get your job back if it doesn't work out. The position would be filled. There is also no reason why two weeks notice would create a bad impression, it's what is in the contract, what is normal and expected, and a perfectly reasonable way to resign.

Giving more notice doesn't advantage you and can cause you problems. They may decide to terminate you immediately, you may change your mind about leaving etc,. a lot can happen in a month.

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  • I don't know how it works in USA, but in France only the day worked count. If you take one week off, the end date of your notice will be pushed back by one week too. So OP may need to clarify that point. – Walfrat Jul 24 '18 at 7:39

Imagine if the situation was the other way around - employer decided to terminate you. Would the company give you more time if you asked nicely?

Two weeks notice means exactly that, and it is perfectly OK to give them only this much time.

In your case I woudln't give the letter before the vacation because they may cancel your time-off if they know that you're resigning.

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In terms of etiquette, no one should fault you for giving the minimum notice required by your employment agreement or at least 2 weeks. Giving your notice after your vacation is perfectly okay too.

Some folks may feel like giving more notice is better to properly transition your projects and will leave a good impression on the company you're leaving. Personally, I prefer to give exactly two weeks notice.

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I cannot count the times I've seen employees trying to be "nice" and give more notice that has turned out being very bad for them.

Once you give your notice, they can tell you to clean out your desk and leave immediately. The only exception to this is if there are laws that say otherwise or union contracts.

By giving more than two weeks, you are putting yourself in a vulnerable position. Give the notice, and move on.

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