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I planned on putting my two week notice in around a week from now. A colleague I work with just put theirs in. I am going to speak with them and let them know that I also plan to quit. This colleague is someone I have no worries about getting stabbed in the back by giving this info.

My problem is that there is going to be a week period where he and I have this knowledge but management does not. My boss is telling me to let this colleague train me on an embedded code base that he and another person have been working on for +12 months.

How do he and I "train" when we both have the knowledge that it is a waste of time?

I don't want to give the employer anything more than 2 weeks of notice. I don't trust that they won't fire me on the spot and I want the reference if future employers call them to check.

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    Any particular reason why you can't tell your manager about your intentions right now? It's only a week after all.
    – musefan
    Aug 11, 2021 at 16:40
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    As an aside, if you're worried that your colleague will feel weird about training you when they know you're resigning, you don't actually have to tell them.
    – BSMP
    Aug 11, 2021 at 16:57
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    Your edit doesn't make sense. If you are worried they will react badly to you giving 3 weeks notice, just imagine how they are going to react when you knowingly waste this whole week doing something you knew you wasn't going to be sticking around for. Them "firing you on the spot" and giving you a bad reference is still possible next week too... they just more likely to be pissed off more next week.
    – musefan
    Aug 11, 2021 at 17:05
  • As a manager I'd be much happier that you gave notice earlier so I could have you and the other person knowledge transfer to someone else. When I left my last job, I gave 4 weeks notice to my management (I was a manager too) so they could figure out next steps and 2 weeks notice to the general team. I didn't get fired and I left on really good terms, because I gave my management enough time to figure out what they wanted to do next.
    – jcmack
    Aug 12, 2021 at 6:54

5 Answers 5

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Contrary Opinion: Give 3 weeks notice

You state that your goals are:

  1. Not getting fired when resigning
  2. Optimizing the reference that you can get

You have two options

  1. Resign before the training with a 3 week period
  2. Resign after the training with a 2 week period

You do the company a favor by letting them know that they should train a different person. Many managers will see the benefit of this and appreciate it. If they don't, resigning after the training is only going to make it worse. Now your manager will be even more upset and might consider your actions as unethical or needlessly disruptive for the company.

So in summary

  1. They can fire you either way. It's less likely in the 3 week case and it's also legally iffy to fire someone in the notice period since it can be considered "constructive dismissal". Worst that can happen is you loose one week of pay, but you may qualify for severance and/or unemployment benefits.
  2. You are much more likely to get a good reference with a 3 weeks notice.
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  • Good answer. It's quite unlikely the company is going to jettison the employee after 2 weeks given the knowledge gaps they will be desperately trying to cover. Aug 12, 2021 at 4:02
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How do he and I "train" when we both have the knowledge that it is a waste of time?

Collaborate on writing some documentation and readmes for whoever will eventually take over the project. That’s probably what you will be asked to do anyway during your two weeks (assuming there are no other devs) so perhaps you might want to just go straight to that step.

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Tell your boss you don't believe you're the right person to do the knowledge transfer and suggest another colleague for it. Don't give any explanation beyond saying you don't think you're the right person for this project.

If the boss can't read between the lines and insists you do it, just agree and delay it until end of week when you give your notice. Independently since you're telling your coworker that you're leaving anyway, suggest they prepare good notes and docs instead.

Maybe you're showing your hand a bit by doing that, but you only need one more week before resigning, and no one will fire you preemptively on a hunch in a week. And you don't end up looking like an ass when you go hand in your notice in a week time.

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How do he and I "train" when we both have the knowledge that it is a waste of time?

The way you would normally do it if you were not resigning from the company. Sure, the training may be useless to you since you will no longer be with the company but unless you are terminated on the spot you are expected to do work during your two week notice.

When you actually do put in your two weeks notice, your boss may realize that you being trained is no longer necessary and may ask you to train another coworker. Just do what you have been asked until you no longer work for the company.

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I am going to speak with them and let them know that I also plan to quit. This colleague is someone I have no worries about getting stabbed in the back by giving this info.

Even if he did "stab you in the back", why would it matter?

How do he and I "train" when we both have the knowledge that it is a waste of time?

You're leaving. While you're still there do what you're asked and expected to do. Other than that, and beyond that, I don't see why you'd care.

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