I'm a consultant who's in the middle of a very significant project that would be nearly impossible to handover to another team member without putting the deadline at significant risk.

On Monday, I"m resigning. I'm in a position where I can provide extra notice period to my employer to allow the project to be completed. Should I do this? Should I feel obligated to do this (as I do)? If so, is there anything I should ask for in exchange or should this just be considered professional courtesy?

  • 5
    In my opinion, this has much to do with the reason you're resigning, the nature of working relationship and the chances of working with these people again, if you could give a little more detail (naturally it's understandable if you can't) maybe I could give you an opinion that can count as an answer.
    – Didi Kohen
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 4:43
  • 1
    Related: workplace.stackexchange.com/q/1262/437
    – Jim G.
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 13:33
  • @Lilienthal Potentially - but I posted this two years earlier!
    – Michael A
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 0:12
  • @Codingo Duplicate votes aren't meant as a slight. This is a fairly common question so I've linked a few together with duplicate votes. You can start a meta thread to discuss merging/grouping/relinking of these related questions if you'd like.
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 7:14

4 Answers 4


Obviously you are obligated to fulfil your notice period, but any time beyond this is totally up to you. You shouldn't feel obliged to stay the extra but it may be the good thing to do - you never know if you may end up working with the company again so if you can leave on a really positive note that's always going to go in your favour.


First of all understand your contract regarding your obligations to stay, their obligation to keep paying you, and any penalties involved with leaving early.

Note on Monday you are not resigning, you are telling them that you intend that some specific day in the future will be your last day.

Yes giving them the maximum advanced warning is great for keeping your options open for working with them in the future. But you have no idea how they will react to your announcement.

If you are obligated to a specific notice period why are you wanting to give them extra notice? The moment you announce you are leaving they can decide at that moment to terminate your employment. Lets say you have to give them one months notice, but your work at will. Then when you decide to give them three months notice, they can decide that they would rather move in another direction because the project will not be completed in time. Two days later your are now unemployed.


I'm not seeing the negative consequences of giving more notice. If you're able to give more notice, does that mean you don't have another job right away?

You can give the agreed upon notice and see if they want to negotiate the extended period. Maybe you're burned-out and look forward to some more time off. If you have fulfilled your contract up to this point, it would be a shame to burn the bridge right at the very end. Let them make the first move and let them know you're willing to consider other options.

Don't be too sure to feel you're not replaceable. Someone over there may have a kid fresh out of college that they think would be perfect for your job.


At least in the projects I work on, time estimates are pretty elastic. Therefore, giving them extra notice doesn't mean you'll be finished by the extended date, it just means the project will be farther along. The best thing you could do is introduce them to someone you think could take over, however that may not be within your reach.

If you're taking on a new job, the new employer may have policies against working 'on outside projects'. If so, there's not much you can do. At the very least, you should offer to interview people they find as your replacement, to see if they really would work out.

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