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I am a software developer that is leaving my current company in roughly 3 months. I'd like to do my exit as nice and professional as possible. At the moment the line manager and the project manager know about me leaving (for over 2 weeks now), but it wasn't yet announced to my colleagues (fellow devs) in the daily meeting.

So I'm wondering when would be the good time to tell my colleagues that I am leaving soon (given that I got another ~3 months to stay)? And should I tell them myself or leave it to the project manager?

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    If there are close colleagues whose work would be impacted in a specific way, I feel like it's okay to tell them privately before the official announcement. But as Joe Strazzere implies, people generally can't keep secrets, so take that into account.
    – Pete W
    May 18, 2021 at 12:51
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    Say nothing and leave it to the company. It is none of your business, when, the company decides to say or not say anything about such matters to the company's employees.
    – Fattie
    May 18, 2021 at 13:51
  • When I left my last job, I simply shook the hand of my co-worker (Sunday night at the end of the 80 hour week) and said it was nice working with you. He looked at me kind of strange. I let the supervisor inform the team that I had quit.
    – David R
    May 18, 2021 at 19:28

4 Answers 4

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The professional thing to do is leave it to the company to announce.

Announcing it yourself early can lead to morale or other issues in the team. Normally your manager will make the call and in my experience it's usually well towards the end of your notice period.

In some cases the other employees might not know until you don't show up one morning.

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    In my experience, the manager often allows the employee to let people know at their own leisure. Nothing bad can come from asking the manager what they prefer though. May 18, 2021 at 12:35
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    @GregoryCurrie that sounds reasonable. Least disruptive for the company is just to announce at handover preparation time though. They have stuff to do before then.
    – Kilisi
    May 18, 2021 at 12:40
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    Downvoted because you don't owe the company your future goodwill with your coworkers. If your management has a sensible plan then it's fine to go along with it, but if the management plan is that you just don't show up one day then you should let people know anyway (stick to the facts and not "so long, suckers!"). Then they can be angry at management and not at you. (And if a simple thing like someone leaving causes a huge morale problem...that sounds like there may be something bigger management should fix, rather than suppressing the fact that someone's leaving.) May 18, 2021 at 22:26
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It depends

It depends on a lot of things. There may be a policy in place. If so, follow that policy. Otherwise, it will depend on why you are leaving (I certainly would be more restrained if I were leaving on bad terms), and how independent/responsible/professional your team is.

My current team consists of only senior people (both in the sense that they've been with the company for a long time, and their level of professionalism). One of our team will be leaving at some time during the summer (exact date hasn't been determined yet), which he announced last December. This gives us plenty of time to distribute responsibilities, transfer knowledge, and shop for a replacement.

Now, he could have left it to our manager, but our current manager wasn't even part of the team in December.

I would tell my coworkers sooner than later, and I prefer to know sooner than later if a team member leaves. But then, I haven't worked in a place where our daily tasks were set by a manager for decades.

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And should I tell them myself or leave it to the project manager?

Typically that's your manager's responsibility. What they "should" do is to create a "transition plan" that determines what's happening with your ongoing work and projects, identifies which skills/knowledge and who it needs to be transferred to. Once that's done, there should also be a communication plan followed with an official announcement: The people you transfer knowledge and work to need to to know why.

Three moths is still a lot of time: Just ask your boss how they want to handle it. Keep doing your job as if nothing has happened unless someone tells you otherwise.

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A special case that might be worth mentioning:

  • If your departure will put some staffing pressure on the group
  • And, you have a colleague in the group who is dissatisfied with their salary
  • And, your colleague has an annual review between now and your departure, or was considering asking for a raise in that time frame

In this case, you have the opportunity to give the colleague a discreet heads up, as it would be a small but meaningful help in their negotiation. It's possible your higher-ups would not appreciate this though, so it would be better for everyone if the colleague would not give away that they know, if you think that is the case. If it works out for the colleague, they would appreciate it in the future.

Alternatively if you are closer to the management, or are just more interested in staying on good terms to have e.g. your manager as a reference in the future, you could help conserve the group's budget by not saying anything to anyone.

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  • @NotMe From the OP, it sounds like leaving in 3 months is a done thing. May 18, 2021 at 22:27
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    my comment was confusing a different (very similar) post with this one. The problem I mentioned is beyond unlikely.
    – NotMe
    May 19, 2021 at 13:12

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