I've seen some other questions with good answers regarding long notice periods, but here's a specific situation I'm wondering about. Where I live notice periods can get quite long for both being laid off or resigning. It is based on the time worked for the employer, type of employment and salary, but it can run up to 13 weeks. Now, the common wisdom says not to resign until you've signed a contract with a new employer. The issue then is that the potential new employer may not wish to wait 13 weeks until their new position can be filled in. If you go to your current employer to negotiate a shorter notice period, they'll know you wish to resign before you've signed with a new one. If you sign with the new one to start on a date before the full notice period would run out you could get in trouble with the current employer. What is the best approach here?
One consideration I've made is that if a new employer wouldn't wish to wait 13 weeks to get a valuable asset on board who might work there for many years, it already reflects badly on them anyway. It might mean they're understaffed and in a rush to bring in more resources, or have a high turnover, or don't value long-term career development. But in some cases, like with startups, it's quite understandable.
- If the new employer is willing to sign with the max notice period, do so and then negotiate with the current one for a potential shorter one. Not all employers might want to do so.
- Ignore employers who wouldn't want to wait it out. But this decreases your pool.
- Make sure you would be offered the job if you can start sooner, then negotiate with your current employer. Very risky because you don't have anything in writing yet and if you can't shorten your notice, you might be left with no new job and your current employer knowing you plan to leave.
- Take the dive and resign, then look for a job. Again risky, but less so if there's many opportunities and lots of demand for your work. Also, in my country this gives you a right to two half days (or one full day) off per week for the purpose of finding a new job. An additional risk is your employer decides your notice is shortened, and I'm not sure if you can then enforce it from your side.