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I have tickets (flight, hotel, conference) booked and confirmed for a conference I'll be attending in two weeks. But I'll have to hand in my notice immediately after the conference is over because I'll be starting a new job.

Although, I will still be working with the company 4 weeks post conference (& notice) would it be better to mention this to the company beforehand? If I do mention it, then there will probably be 3-4 weeks before I actually hand in my notice. Do I offer to pay for flights + conference. Or maybe I just shouldn't say anything....?

  • Is this primarily a trip to benefit the employer (i.e. you are manning a booth at the conference promoting the company product, you are going to give a talk about how your employer uses Technology X to do Amazing Thing Y)? Or is it primarily a trip to benefit you (i.e. you get to go learn about X and have fun at networking events)? Will the business gain any value from sending you now? Could the company send someone else instead if you didn't go? – Justin Cave Feb 21 at 20:10
  • The conference is for "training" (more or less). But the work trip following the conference is to sort out some internal company stuff. – crezefire Feb 21 at 20:14
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    The company could send someone else, but I don't think anyone else either wants to or is qualified to go. I work in a specialised team. – crezefire Feb 21 at 20:14
  • Say NOTHING. this is a standard thing about work. – Fattie Feb 21 at 22:04
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would it be better to mention this to the company beforehand?

Absolutely not.

Assuming your employment is at-will, you are free to leave at any time. Your employer is also free to terminate your employment. Any time you give notice, you risk being terminated immediately.

Telling your employer beforehand could mean no conference for you.

If you are feeling guilty about this, consider that the conference trip is -- in a way -- payment for work you've already performed. Companies usually don't send undeserving employees to conferences.

Also consider that most of the time, employees attend conferences for the benefit of the company. As a representative of the company, you are essentially providing advertising for them, either directly or indirectly.

Enjoy the conference, and give notice when you return.

Your employer made a business decision to send you to the conference, and did not make it conditional on your continued employment.

You are making a business decision to leave, and provide your standard notice.

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then there will probably be 3-4 weeks before I actually hand in my notice

Being shown the door earlier than you would like is not fun. If this is the US, you say nothing.

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You know how Senior Management keep secrets until the time is right... You need to see yourself as your own senior manager and do the same

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To me this is mostly about the morality of things and possibly about how you want to leave there ;-)

I can't answer that for you.

Apart from that: does your company have rules concerning these kind of trips? In my shop they would see that as part of the training budget which you will need to repay if you leave within a certain time frame. E.g. a higher percentage if you leave within a year and nothing after 3 years. Maybe you should check your contract?

  • Nope, luckily nothing in the contract about this. But good point about morality! – crezefire Feb 21 at 19:54
  • Your company comes after people who leave a year after getting training? That's rather excessive. – Acccumulation Feb 21 at 20:18
  • @Acccumulation It's fairly common in my neck of the woods, supported by court rulings. Depends on what you mean with 'comes after'... you benefit and the employer benefits from trainings, but as an employer you don't want to pay for people that leave 'immediately'. So yes, you need to repay part of what the costs were. If you leave early that is a higher percentage. If you leave later it is lower, and at some point 0%, as the employer will also have had some benefit of you having the training. – Ray Oei Feb 21 at 23:12

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