I have been at my job as a Jr. Developer for about a year an half and it is now time for me to leave and find work closer to home. I am in the middle of a smaller project, one I should have finished in a month or so, and about to start a rather large project that will last at least the rest of the year.

If I leave before the smaller project is completed it would not create that big of a headache for the company as the software should be fairly simple for any other developer here to finish off. On the other hand, the large project is a complete system upgrade of 14 remote locations. I will be working on this project with 1 other person, who is the ONLY other person that could work on this project. Part of the job description when I was hired was to be the backup for the guy I will be working with.

With the knowledge of how large this project I am about to start is, and the fact I am currently the sole developer on my smaller project. Is it appropriate to leave after the large project has started or should I find some way, appropriate and ethical, way of either backing our or delaying the start of this large project?

  • Depends on how you can it will impact your resume. If the only thing you can say about a company is that you left in a middle of the project, you won't look good in front of another potential employer. If this is a 10th project of yours, then it does not matter, you'll find what to say on your interview. Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 13:27

3 Answers 3


There will never be a time when you aren't in the middle of a project. You need to leave when you get another job and not worry about the company. They can hire a replacement. The company won't worry about your needs if they decide to make you redundant.

  • 1
    Exactly. If there were routinely timespans where you aren't in the middle of a project, the company would probably be out of business soon. Maybe talk to your superior about this, depending on how good your relationship is.
    – René Roth
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 7:29

It is honorable that you feel compelled to finish a project or to not start a bigger one before you leave.

However, you really do not owe the company anything. One thing that I have learned over the years is that no one is irreplaceable. This goes from the CEO down to the janitor.

So don't feel guilty about leaving. You should however, do everything you can to finish that small project up if you find other employment before you finish.

There may be hurt feelings when you turn in notice, it has happened to me, but you should always look forward and when looking back on your time with this company remember all the good work you did, not necessarily how you left things.

  • My story is quite different. Ive been working for 1year. I spent the first 6 monhts in trainings(my supervisor gave me some activities then learn from it). And now, I am a part of a large project but my salary is still same as of my probationary period, and I am not contributing good as well. So is it okay for me to resign? Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 10:09
  • 1
    @boi_echos again, unless you are contractually committed to work some period due to the training, you owe them nothing. If you are not contributing well though, that might be a reason you are still on probationary period salary. Bear in mind as well the probationary period goes both ways. It's that time where either side can say, hey this just isn't working out. I wouldn't leave unless you find something else, but don't feel bad leaving. Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 14:23

It is totally within your rights and within reason to leave your job when you feel compelled to do so (whether that is for personal or professional reasons). You should never feel guilty about this if it is the best decision for your personal situation or for your career.

Professional etiquette centered around leaving a job is a very tricky subject. Bottom line, you must do what is BEST for you. Here are rules that I follow to protect myself when leaving a company:

  1. Do NOT give your official, written notice until 10 work days before your last day (just in case something with your new job offer falls through such as a background check).

  2. Do NOT notify your employer that you are job-seeking under any circumstance if you fear any type of negative repercussions.

  3. If you do not fear repercussions and feel obligated to divulge that you are attempting to leave the company, only do so AFTER you have secured an offer -- and do NOT notify them in writing except for the official 10 day notice (this usually will allow the employer an extra week or two to start the process of finding your replacement).

These three steps are simply to protect you in the case you are unable to secure an offer as quickly as you may have thought.

In regards to your other concerns if you want to "do right" by your current employer:

  1. Try your best to complete the small project. If you are not able to complete it, provide reasonably complete documentation with a list of remaining tasks. In either case, leaving behind solid documentation will be very valuable to the company.

  2. If you do not secure new employment before the large project starts, then give full effort to keep documentation on everything you do on the new larger project so that the hand-off to your replacement will be easier.

Your company will greatly appreciate any documentation you produce that helps in the transition.

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