I have given my notice period of 1 month in a startup company after working 4 months of an extendable contract job originally intended to be 6 months long. Now, I have another job offer at hand.

I know that it is unprofessional on my part not to work for the entire notice period, but I find working in the notice period is depressing. I find the treatment given to me is a bit different from my superior after my resignation.

How should I act during this period? Frankly, I think I should do nothing so that they can relieve me earlier.

I should mention one more thing: I was doing a 3 year experienced person role as a fresher and alone as a single person with no mentor. I developed the thing to my best, but there are too many things need to be known to finish it completely, which is my real problem.

  • 40
    You need to get over it. Just do your job. You should act like you did during those 3 other months. Why did you give yourself such a long notice period?
    – Donald
    Commented Jun 28, 2012 at 15:17
  • 2
    Everyone has given you great pointers. I will only draw your attention to the fact that you only have to endure this for a few more days ( keep counting down to your release date). Remember this to make the notice period more bearable.
    – moonstar
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 11:19
  • 13
    suck it up and deal with it, this is the real world and you should be professional, you have what is called short-timers-syndrome, not uncommon, but not professional to act upon.
    – user718
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 13:51
  • 2
    Are you sure you were treated well before the notice?
    – user8365
    Commented Sep 11, 2012 at 16:21
  • 3
    "Why did you give yourself such a long notice period?" ? One month is average. You can't really walk into a job and say 'oh yeah can you lower the notice period for me in case I leave you guys soon?'...
    – insidesin
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 13:59

7 Answers 7


You should behave exactly the same as if you weren't on your notice period.

You are still in your contract with your employer so you should behave accordingly - even if they don't.

If you feel that you cannot contribute during this period, for whatever reason, have a conversation with your boss/HR about gardening leave:

Gardening leave describes the practice where an employee leaving a job is instructed to stay away from work during the notice period, while still remaining on the payroll.

  • 32
    I have found that I have done some of my best work during my notice period. The politics are gone, the games are over, management can't make threats... there's near zero worries. At that point, it's all about the work and nothing else. Commented Jun 28, 2012 at 13:50
  • 4
    @SnOrfus: Wouldn't it be nice if work were always that smooth? Commented Jun 28, 2012 at 20:43

The communities in which we work throughout our lives are generally pretty small. You never know when you might come across some of the same folks you're working with now. And you can't predict if they'll be in a position to decide whether or not you get some job or some promotion.

You don't say how much time you have left on your notice period, but if it's just a couple of weeks, I'd suck it up and power through. Make sure all of your work is done, any transition stuff is prepared, etc...

Your manager is treating you differently because they're likely taking your departure personally. This happens all the time and I'd just ignore it, do your job and thinking about how great things are going to be in your new gig in a couple of weeks.


Concentrate on leaving a good professional image of someone who contributes to the last minute and who doesn't leave a mess behind for others to clean up. That means spending some time documenting anything your replacement will need to know. This can include possibly making sure active project emails are in a separate .pst file (Outlook) fromm your normal email file so that they can be easily passed on to someone else.) Sometimes having access to the history of a project in emails is invaluable.


In addition to the other answers, make sure you mention to the new job that you're unable to start before your notice period is over.

Unless there's a specific reason to cut short the notice period (being locked out of the necessary resources, for example, or outright abuse), then continuing to work the full duration of your notice sends a message not just to your current employer, but to future employers ("When his time here is over, he will continue to act professionally and complete his tasks"), whereas cutting your time short without good reason sends the opposite message ("If he puts in his notice, he's likely to waste time twiddling his thumbs or try to duck out early".)


I've observed teams' behaviours during the notice period. They seem to work their way through a gradual transition from "You are one of US, working to compete against THEM. We trust you, and we have your back." to "You are one of THEM. You are to be treated like any other civilian. Civilly, but not to be trusted." Eventually, it turns into "Oh, are you still here? Why haven't you gone yet, so we can get on with our lives?"

In my experience, this process takes around two weeks, give or take. I think this is the optimal time for an employer to retain a staff member; enough time to transition the work, but not so long that people resent the person's presence.

If you have been asked to stay longer than that, there's not much to do but put on a brave face, and deal politely and professionally with people as they work through the transition. It is only for a short time.


First of all, you should do a good job, leave on good terms, and wrap up all loose ends. Make it as easy as possible for whoever is taking over your responsibilities to pick up where you left off.

Cutting your notice short doesn't sound appropriate in your situation. I can think of only two situations where it really would be reasonable.

Circumstances beyond your control force you to leave earlier

"The new company wants me to start sooner," is not an example of this. "My spouse's job relocation got pushed up and we're leaving now" or "I need to drop everything and care for a sick family member on the other side of the country" are what I'm talking about here.

Your work situation becomes untenable

This is more than just your supervisor not treating you as well as they did before. It's expected that things will be a little awkward and that they won't be happy you're leaving, especially after so long. But if the supervisor is verbally abusive or is "punishing" you in some way, it's reasonable to move your end date up.

If you do decide you want out early, despite all the advice to the contrary, you really should tell your boss this up-front. Doing nothing in order to make them shorten your notice period is even more unprofessional than shortening it yourself.

As a note for the future, a month is a lot of notice (in the US, at least). Assuming you work somewhere where you choose how much notice to give, it's worth considering the next time you're in this position. Some employers are thrilled to have long notice periods and will treat people well when they're leaving, because it results in a smoother transition. Others make your last days miserable, or even walk you out when you give notice. In your next job, pay attention to how people who leave are treated. That will help you decide how much notice to give. (This is all based on Alison Green's excellent advice at Ask a Manager.) Why you're quitting is another useful thing to consider. If you're leaving a job because you hate it, giving more notice than the two-week minimum just seems masochistic.

  • Not to your answer specific, but i see alot of people here talk about the notice like it is for the person to set? In my country (The Netherlands) the notice period is decided when signing the contract and that notice, counts for both sides. So to be sure you can find a new job when fired (for whatever reason) you would want that notice period atleast a month, just in case right? That said, one can always just take a vacation in his notice period, atleast that's what we do in here anyway, as else they would have to pay the free days also on the salary and they prefer you to use them beforehand Commented Sep 10, 2012 at 8:30
  • @MrMichael, that's a good point. Notice is very different from country to country. In the US, most jobs are "at will." That means you can legally quit at any time for any reason, and your employment can legally be ended at any time for any reason. You can have a contract that stipulates a specific amount of notice, but most people don't. Two weeks is usually the expected amount of notice that it's considered professional to give when quitting a job. There are fields where more notice is expected. (Nursing is one example.) Commented Sep 11, 2012 at 15:19
  • 2
    Its important to note that in many instances people are paid twice a month. This is the reason giving a 2 week notice is typical amount of time. The basic idea is you give a standard pay period of time.
    – Donald
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 14:45
  • The OP said "I have given my notice period of 1 month ... after working for 4 months in a ... contract job of 6 months...". So, even though it sounds like 30 days is a long time for a notice, it is still leaving 1 month before the contract is up. So, if the 1 month notice is accepted, I imagine the OP might consider themself lucky. Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 8:41

Was there any explicit deliverable in the contract? If there are then focus on getting those done.

Discuss with management what they expect to get from you during this transition time. Some expect you to keep working on the task. Others expect you to train your replacement. Others expect nothing but a clean office when you leave.

They may be treating you differently because they don't know how to act. They might be upset you are leaving early. They might feel betrayed. Talking to them about goals for the rest of the month can help both of you.

If they don't have specific goals it can help you relax because you know that you tried to understand their expectations, but you don't have any special obligations during the rest of the month.

You want to be able to stay for the entire month. It keeps putting money in your pocket.

If it gets really painful: If you have any vacation that you must take before you leave, this would be a good idea to do so.

  • 4
    Most places I have worked will not allow you to take vacation during the notice period. I had one try to refuse me bereavement. Commented Jun 28, 2012 at 12:45
  • 2
    ow. I hope you went anyway. Commented Jun 28, 2012 at 13:21
  • @MichaelDurrant - Yes and even though the manager was not happy I still get a good reference from the company. Commented Jun 28, 2012 at 13:33
  • Yup, ethics count for a lot for good managers. Commented Jun 28, 2012 at 16:10
  • 1
    At the extreme other end of what Chad described are companies who'll send you packing immediately on giving your notice. This is as counterproductive (no opportunity to transition knowledge, etc) as it is generally futile since that sort of policy will quickly become known and anyone stupid enough to do anything malicious on their last day would just do it before handing in their notice. Commented Jun 28, 2012 at 20:42

You must log in to answer this question.

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