I got a job offer which wants me to start very soon (next week). Unfortunately, the notice period at my current job is much longer, 1 month.

I would like to take this job but do not want to leave prior to my notice period expiring.

How can I approach the company which made the offer to get them to move the start date? I want to accept the new job, but out of respect to my prior company do not want to only give 2 days notice.

  • 2
    Hi Claire, We don't solve your problems for you we help solve specific workplace issues. We have other questions here already related to giving notice, have you tried searching for those?
    – user5305
    May 16, 2013 at 10:10
  • As above. Usual answer is talk to the new company though.
    – Michael
    May 16, 2013 at 10:19
  • Your choices are give the company the month it needs or leave them face the consequences of leaving early and start the new company. I would start with the company making the offer and let them know the earliest start date you are available and go from there. May 16, 2013 at 12:44
  • 3
    I made some edits to bring this on topic here. I think this is a good question at core but asking for us to write a email response is not really appropriate for the site.
    – enderland
    May 16, 2013 at 14:22
  • 1
    Remember the golden rule. A company that thinks it's Ok for you to do the dirty on your current employer isn't going to think twice if they ever feel it is necessary to do the dirty on you. May 17, 2013 at 0:15

3 Answers 3


How can I approach the company which made the offer to get them to move the start date? I want to accept the new job, but out of respect to my prior company do not want to only give 2 days notice.

You are right to want to take a professional approach toward giving proper notice to your current company. That's the mature thing to do.

You can explain to the offering company that you don't feel right about giving only a 2 day notice, that you don't feel it is fair to your current company, and that you are sure your new company would want a similar amount of respect.

Hopefully, that will convince them to wait until you are available - even though 1 month really is a long time in some locales/cultures.

There are situations where the hiring company really cannot wait. Perhaps their needs are so critical that a month just won't do. In that case, you have a decision to make. You can give in, and go with their suggestion of 2 days and live with the fact that you don't feel it's proper. You can refuse the job offer and know that you are doing what you feel is proper. Or both sides could compromise - more than 2 days, but less than 1 month - and each will feel a little worse, but a little better.

Clearly your approach depends on how strongly you feel about the 1 month notice period, and how immediate is the hiring company's need.


I would talk to them about it. Find out why they need you to start next week and it might make it clearer to you if there is going to be any flex about this (if they have a contractual obligation of some sort to have someone in place by Monday, they won't budge).

If there is no legal barrier to a longer transition time, then tell them you are obligated to your company to give a months notice (if you are legally obligated) or that you would prefer to give 2-4 weeks notice so that the company is not left in the lurch when you leave. Be aware that if you think giving a month's notice means you will train your successor, it is very rare that the new person would be on board anyway before you left. If you are close to a project deadline, explain that you need to be there when this project goes live next week and for at least a week afterwards. Good companies respect people who are willing to risk losing an opportunity because of their obligations to a current employer. It means you are far less likely to leave them at a bad time.

Or perhaps you can broker a compromise where you work part-time for them and part-time for your old employer if they need someone immediately and you want time to transition.

If you decide to skip the notice (and you aren't contractually required to give notice) and take the job because they won't budge, at least leave as professionally as you can. Get everything on your projects organized so someone can easily take them over (make sure everything you are working on is committed to a source control (in a separate branch if it isn't ready for prime time) and document information your replacement will need to know such as exactly where things stand and where to find certain key pieces of information) and then go take your resignation letter to your boss along with the documentation you assembled to help the transition.

Explain the lack of notice as due to the other job offer being contingent on an immediate start date and offer your contact information for them to call to if they have questions. You could even offer to work in the evenings and weekends until your replacement is hired or to train someone on your off hours once they have a replacement. Since you are not giving them the courtesy of notice, I would go the extra mile in what I could offer instead so that you don't burn bridges. In no case, leave them a mess to clean up.

Do be aware that a company that won't budge may not be the best place to work especially if there is no legal/contractual reason why they need someone next week.


Ultimately, it depends on how badly you want the new job, and whether there are any contractual obligations to your current employer. In my area, everything is "employment at will" (Source), meaning you can quit/be fired whenever and for whatever (obvious exceptions apply, and seriously, don't take anything I say as legally binding). The professional courtesy is two week notice, but it is not required.

But the first step is to talk to the company that made the offer. If they will not budge on the start date, this might indicate some issue. I have never met an employer that would specifically tell you that you cannot give notice to your current employer. That looks bad for everyone involved.

In my experience, the new employer will be flexible. I recently accepted an offer, and my original start date would have been Monday (20130520), but my current employer wanted an extra week for knowledge transfer. My new employer stated the start date was up to me, but they would of course take me as soon as I could possibly start. To me, this is a sign of a good company, although only time will tell.


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