I and one other coworker will receive expensive two weeks training within the following weeks. But I am actively looking for a new job at the moment and I have some interesting opportunities, none of which I have a written contract by now.

Will it reflect poorly on me profesionally if I would still take the training and hand in my notice, 3 months if that's relevant, shortly after or maybe even during the training period? The software is widly used in the industry, and it will be beneficial in the future that I already received this training.

I dont want to leave this job burning bridges. I like the people here, but I realised this is not the tech and industry I want to work on/in for the next years.

Edit: For anyone that is interested, the situation resolved itself. We got an email sunday evening that due to shortterm budget cuts the training will be postponed.

  • 4
    Is there any paperwork that commits you to paying them back if you leave before X months? May 5, 2020 at 15:19
  • There is no part in my contract and i did not sign anything else. May 5, 2020 at 15:37
  • 2
    This will definitely burn this bridge. It may even start the next bridge smoldering. May 6, 2020 at 13:15
  • 2
    Did you ask for the training? Or did the company made the decision to send you to the training? May 9, 2020 at 6:48
  • You are contradicting yourself. If its not the right industry for you, how would you benefit from that training?
    – FooTheBar
    May 10, 2020 at 13:17

6 Answers 6


Will it reflect poorly on me profesionally if I would still take the training and hand in my notice, 3 months if that's relevant

Not your problem, not your money. It's just the costs of running a company, so really nothing new. As an employee, you are not shareholder. You have no responsibility on how they spend the money. You should only do whatever beneftical to you such as:

and it will be beneficial in the future that I already received this training

Do the training, use the skills for better job opportunity elsewhere.

  • 2
    Agreed. Also in Germany it's very unlikely that the new employer will get to know about it. Calling previous employers doesn't happen except for management positions or if both employers know each other by coincidence.
    – Chris
    May 10, 2020 at 9:46
  • They could however ask for the certificate (if there is any) and see that it was awarded just before changing jobs.
    – FooTheBar
    May 10, 2020 at 13:12
  • @FooTheBar Maybe. What's the problem for it?
    – SmallChess
    May 10, 2020 at 13:12
  • @FooTheBar When a company asks for certificates they simply want to verify training. Very, very unlikely that they are going to bother looking at dates.
    – DaveG
    May 10, 2020 at 14:56
  • A lot of certifications are only valid for some years so I think it's reasonable to expect them to look at the date.
    – FooTheBar
    May 10, 2020 at 17:36

It reflects badly on you. On the other hand, telling your company that you want to leave could be an expensive mistake, and if you want to leave you should be able to leave. You should feel bad about it, but not bad enough to reject a good job offer.

So it's just bad luck, a bit for you, and a bit for the company. Just unfortunate. This being May 2020, finding a new job might be harder right now, which solves the problem.

  • I don't think it reflects badly on them unless they asked for the training themselves, knowing they will be leaving shortly, and even then not necessarily. When I apply for jobs I always ask about training opportunities and consider them when deciding on whether to take the job. I then expect to have access to these trainings while working there no matter if/ when I decide to leave.
    – BigMadAndy
    May 10, 2020 at 9:10
  • Ethics differ, the answers here reflect that. While for some prople these will not reflect badly on the employee, because they assume no malicious intent, it will for some others, because the employee had this information prior to the training and knowlingly allowed the company to use their resources with no benefit to the company. Whichever it ends up being - the sole fact that the answers here are split on this means that it definitely can reflect badly, regardless whether it will. May 10, 2020 at 21:58

In my opinion: quite possibly yes, this will reflect badly on you professionally.

  • The job has to be advertised
  • The CVs received have to be read and filtered
  • The remaining candidates need to be interviewed
  • The accepted candidate needs to have paperwork drawn up, has to be inducted, and has to be added to payroll
  • The accepted candidate needs to be trained
    • By a third party specialist trainer
    • By an established employee who will not be doing their actual job while training you
  • And finally: while you're in training, I assume you're being paid a salary?

All of the above incur significant costs for the business: both in terms of time and money. Costs that will need to be paid again for your replacement.

You will almost certainly have burned your bridges with people in the senior positions in the company, and anyone who contacts this employer for a reference will probably be met with something far from glowing.


It's been pointed out to me there's nothing in your question that indicates you are a new employee; I'm not sure how I made that assumption. But I stand by my verdict: if one of my team was to push for expensive training, receive it, and then immediatley hand in their notice it would leave a very bad taste in my mouth.

  • 9
    How would you recommend proceeding, changing jobs will happen. If i tell them i cant do the training that is going to look suspicious since i initialied the whole prozess, that was over 6 Months ago things changed since. I also dont intend to tell them that i am actively looking for a new job. May 5, 2020 at 15:27
  • @siran71puser I'm afraid that's not a question I can answer. All I can tell you is that with the facts you've provided: leaving now will make you seem exploitative and could harm your future job prospects - either to the individuals who are privy to the facts currently employed with you, or to future employers who seek a reference.
    – Scoots
    May 5, 2020 at 15:30
  • 7
    Disagreed with answer. In my opinion, provided bullet points are not relevant to question. These are very often problems of company and HR department (how to hire a replacement employee and how much does this process cost). Otherwise, we will all get one job in life and stuck there forever because of the points mentioned above. The problem is that the company invests money in employee and this investment does not “pay off”.
    – omalyutin
    May 5, 2020 at 15:50
  • 6
    There's nothing in the question that says the OP was just hired and is being put on "Get up to speed so you can start the job" training. They are just bumping along doing their thing and someone is going to give them a two week course on something relevant throughout the industry. Then they might give three months notice which gives the company some time to benefit from having trained them. I think your answer is far too strongly worded and may be flat out wrong. May 5, 2020 at 17:15
  • @KateGregory You're right, I think I must have been subconciously musing on another post I had read earlier. I stand by my verdict however.
    – Scoots
    May 6, 2020 at 8:27

Of course HR/your manager will be mad, but that's just the cost of doing business for your current company, so don't bother too much.

Since you're german-based it's not likely that a potential new employer will officially call old employers and ask them about you - as long as you don't tell them to, especially with GDPR in place...

If your old and potentially new employer are located in the same area, it realistically can happen that HR-people/managers from your old/new company know each other personally. So there is a good chance that you will come up as a topic, which wouldn't work in favor.

One thing I strongly recommend: as soon as you get your certificate of employment (Arbeitszeugnis), let a professional (someone like HR-people/lawyer/manager) check it for bad wording and then demand to have it changed. By law a certificate of employment must be phrased benevolently.

  • There is no need to talk to the old employer. Just look at the certification and when it was issued.
    – FooTheBar
    May 10, 2020 at 13:15

It will reflect badly on you and you will definitely burn this bridge. (But I guess you already knew that)

Two weeks of training is a big investment into you and there is of course the expectation that you will use this new knowledge for your current company. The current company has not a lot of legal possibilities as they forgot to setup a clause in the contract (but this could come up before the training!), but all your future employees will see when you did the training and that you immediately afterwards left the company which will be a huge red flag.


Will it reflect poorly on me professionally if I would still take the training

Only if you're unprofessional about this when you give notice.

Replacing employees is expensive. It always has direct and indirect costs. The timing of someone's departure can impact this cost in both directions. In your case, the fact that your employer paid for a training they will no longer get a return on investment for is unfortunate. But that's a cost of doing business.

The universal advice when job searching remains to not disclose your search until you have signed or accepted an offer. There are a number of exceptions to this, but you'd know if you were in one. If you have a very good relationship with your manager and they actively push you to succeed and recognise that you've reached a dead end in your current role for instance, it would often be fine to be open about a job search. But even then there are risks involved. If an economic downturn forced your manager to lay someone off, you'd likely be the first out even if your job search would suddenly be much harder.

Which is to say that there are good reasons not to disclose your job search which also means you operate at work as if you're not leaving. This will keep your job secure while also being good in case your job search takes longer than you expect. And that means going to this training. Good employers will know that this is just how this works.

Of course, you do need to acknowledge that the timing is unfortunate. A simple "I realise the timing is poor given that I was just able to attend this training but I got an offer I just couldn't refuse." or some variation on that is all it takes. Under no circumstances should you offer or agree to repay any costs involved. That's not how this works.

If you originally pushed to attend this training, you owe your employer a bit more of an explanation but presumably it still boils down to you wanting to go before realising you might leave. If you pushed for approval even when you were likely already taking interviews then that's a pretty bad look and it can sour the relationship. But the advice remains the same: acknowledge and move on.

I'd also encourage you to read this off-site article by Ask a Manager: should a resigning employee have to reimburse us for costs of a future conference he signed up for?.

  • (@OP - I realise your situation already resolved itself, but I didn't really agree with the existing answers your question received.)
    – Lilienthal
    May 20, 2020 at 22:00

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