Background: I want to quit my job and leave to another company and I haven't told my current company anything yet. Everything at the new company is locked in, but the start time is flexible and they are aware of my situation. So I have leeway to postpone quitting for up to 4 months without fear of losing the new job. However for reasons I won't go into, I'm unhappy with my current job and would prefer to leave ASAP. Although, I will say that I have a great relationship with my boss/coworkers and am not worried that quitting will "burn bridges".

Problem: The issue is that I recently found out that my current company is significantly raising my salary and making the pay bump retroactive to the the end of last year. This means I get the difference between my old salary and the new one as a lump sum payment sometime this month (no actual date specified yet). It's a decent chunk money that I could really use.

Question: If I put in my 2 week notice before the money is actually in my bank account, will I lose that payment? Especially for those who have been in similar situations, are there any other nuances I'm overlooking here?

Edit: Based on the downvotes it looks like this was a bad question. Just putting this edit here for anyone seeking answers to a similar question. It seems like the consensus is that I definitely can't quit before payment and expect to receive anything. Additionally, even waiting to quit until after receiving it might be unethical and make people upset. Based on that, the options are to either quit beforehand or stick around for some time afterwards so as not to take advantage.

  • 1
    There's really no way for us to know if you'll lose it. It's totally situation dependent. What kind of company do you work for, how big is it, how far along in the process are they, etc. I definitely think it's a possibility. It would have to be a really crappy job for me to not stick around a couple of weeks for a "decent chunk of money" – Kevin Mar 10 at 19:04
  • 2
    One more thing to consider though is that, while leaving early may not burn any bridges, sticking around just long enough to get the money then turning in your notice might – Kevin Mar 10 at 19:05

This is a question you can answer better than we can... but it doesn't look good for you.

Money is money. It moves around because people tell banks to move it around. If the people at your company tell it not to move, it won't... and then what recourse do you have?

Realistically, this raise is probably because they've realized that you're getting unhappy and they want to try to keep you, and this is their way of trying to make things up to you. If you straight-up leave, then my guess is that it's highly likely that they'll decide that throwing money at you in the hopes that you'll stay isn't such a good investment after all. Still, you know them better than we do. What do you think?

Unless you have some sort of legal document signed in writing that you're going to get that money (which seems highly unlikely), it isn't yours until it's yours... and even if you do have such a document, you still might not get it.


It appears someone in your leadership team was in agreement that you should get a raise, whether it was because your business unit did very well or because they knew you were unhappy, etc...

While I think plenty of companies are faceless enterprises that have no problem stabbing you in the back, it's likely that someone locally put their neck on the line to help you out. In my company, leaders get a lot of flexibility, when warranted, in determining raises, and I have been involved when giving one employee 24% and another 0.

Leaving under these circumstances can look poorly on your direct leaders and put into question their decision making abilities with upper leadership. Since it's retroactive, it's likely your leader has been working on this a long time.

So, I think it's in VERY POOR TASTE if you take the money and run.

If you still plan to go, I would recommend you have a sit down with your leaders and tell them you are planning to leave and think it's a good idea if they forgo the lump sum. It's still possible they give it to you, but there's less potential for fall out for you and your leaders.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .