The reason I’m resigning essentially comes down to the fact that I’m moving across the country in less than two months, and also that the nature of the position has changed significantly in the year I’ve had the job.

When I first started working here, it was a 3 month contract for an excel job designed to be on the level of L1 helpdesk, with average L1 helpdesk pay for our area. The project deadlines kept being extended and are currently extended indefinitely. My responsibilities have increased significantly but I’m still on an L1 salary (this is non-negotiable, I’ve checked). I’ve also been postponing my cross country move for a year now, figured I’d wait until the project is over but now it’s starting to look like it’s going to be another few months.

We’re deploying tens of thousands of computers across the state. My job in all of this is easy enough so that I think anyone could do it, but it’s time sensitive so I’m not sure if they could hire someone else in the time period necessary to get it done (mid-summer is our deadline).

What’s an appropriate amount of time to give my resignation? Should 3.5 weeks be enough? Does that chance if we’re in the middle of a project?

  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Should I give additional notice period?
    – gnat
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 17:38
  • 1
    Would it benefit you to see the project through to the end? ie. would it look good on your CV? > still on an L1 salary (this is non-negotiable, I’ve checked) > This part here tells me that you do not need to take responsibility for the project's success/failure. Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 5:43
  • @gnat - you linked to a question that in itself is also a duplicate. However, both this and the linked are different from the original, in that there is a concern about leaving in the middle of a project. Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 17:26

4 Answers 4


Unfortunately the general answer is to give the notice you are required to give in your contract.

While it seems kinder to give more notice where you can, unless you are fine with them giving you their minimum notice at the moment you give them yours, you put yourself at risk of them firing you early for one reason or another, even if that seems unlikely right now.

It is the employer's responsibility to ensure the employee's minimum notice is adequate, and it is essentially their problem if it is not.

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    Just curious - why is the general answer "unfortunate?" The reason why a notice period is specified in a contract is because both parties are able to agree that this specific notice period is acceptable upfront, in order to remove any chance of the notice period being unfortunate when one party chooses an undesirable notice period later on. I don't see how it could be implied that the period both parties have agreed to at the start of the job is "unfortunate." In fact I'd say the opposite: "Good news! Your contract may already have an answer to this question!"
    – dwizum
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 17:08
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    @dwizum: It's unfortunate because in most cases you know they haven't included enough time, and that the burden may well fall on your coworkers who had no hand in it. Yes, ultimately, the employer is responsible, but in most cases the human factor is rather more complicated.
    – Phil H
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 9:27

There are a few ways to answer this question - if you have a contract or job offer letter from when you started the job, look at that to see if a notice period is specified. If not, the "typical" notice will depend a bit on your culture/location/career. For instance, in most IT positions in the US (which is what your situation seems to be), 2 weeks is considered fairly normal. In some other career paths, it might be 4 weeks or something else.

Generally, it's expected that people leaving a job will stick to these norms and not make exceptions because of a "long project." In other words, if you have a 2 week notice specified in your contract, and you quit, your employer isn't going to be upset that you didn't give 2 months notice. They signed the contract which specified the 2 week notice, so that's what they're agreeing to. The project is your employer's responsibility after all, you have no obligation to account for it when making your own personal plans, outside of anything agreed to in a contract.


It sounds like you're hanging on on behalf of the company, and wouldn't mind if they did let you go right now. Given that, I'd let them know immediately. It might mean that they let you go early, but you apparently don't have a problem with that, or would even welcome it. It gives them that much more time to find someone to replace you as well.

Now, if you only cared about yourself in this case, then yes, you should decide when your optimal time to leave is, and then give whatever the minimum contractually required and/or socially acceptable notice is before that (two weeks, for the "reasonably professional" default for most of the US). It sounds like you actually care about the company you're leaving, though, and the job isn't all that great. Given that, the moral high ground and emotional benefits thereof are probably worth it for you... and if they start treating you poorly between now and your departure date, to the point where you don't want to hang around, you can give your two week's notice then... or just decide to quit on the spot. You are in an at-will state, after all. If they're going to punish you for doing them a favor, that's on them.


2 weeks is standard. More is always appreciated.

FWIW: If they increased your responsibilities and didn't increase your pay, they knew the risk they were taking.

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    Standard notice varies by country (not stated) and contract type.
    – thelem
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 17:16
  • I would also note that 2 weeks is just a courtesy, and anything written into a contract/offer supersedes it.
    – GOATNine
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 17:18
  • @thelem The OP does give their location very precisely... Town, State & Country...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 17:49
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    But not in the question. In a year, he might be located in Europe, and then the implicit connection to his personal location would make an answer here wrong.
    – Aganju
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 2:44

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