I am making plans to leave my company. Nothing super urgent - the work just simply not challenging to me.

The issue is that in the next month or so, I am about to be sent on a 2 day training for Agile/Scrum PM (~$2k). The training has already been booked and paid for by the company months before I made the active decision to leave.

So my dilemma is how should I leave with that in mind? I have not yet actively applied for new jobs yet - just going through ads and researching companies. Nor am I in a rush to change jobs yet.

Some options I have heard

  • quit after 1-2 months of taking the training
  • try to wiggle out of the the training session (the hardest without hinting them that I plan to leave)
  • pay company back for the training after I leave
  • Who do you envisage being your replacement, or would they have to hire to replace you?
    – AakashM
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 8:44
  • 2
    I am waiting for opinion of experts: Would it be appropriate in such situation to hint that someone else should go to the training so benefits of it will stay in company? And how to make such hint without hurting myself? Commented May 2, 2014 at 13:42
  • Why is this bothering you? is your real Question "will the company try and recover the cost of the training if I leave"
    – Pepone
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 18:21

4 Answers 4


At this stage of your job search, you don't know what is going to happen. There may not be a better job out there. Your company may find new work to do that does challenge you (you have told them that you don't feel challenged, haven't you?). Even if you do end up leaving, you don't know how long it will be. It would be premature to start making plans as though your departure were definite, while simultaneously doing damage to your position at the company, which is what you would be doing if you turned down training. For all you know your company may value you enough that they will better any offer a rival makes for you.

I would say nothing, and only start to talk about the training when you have a definite job offer. If it hasn't happened, they can pick someone to replace you at it. if it has, then that's just the way the cookie crumbles. The training will probably be useful to you in your future job.

Frankly, $2K of training isn't actually a big cost to the company compared with all the other expenses they will have when you leave, things like advertising and recruiting your replacement, training your replacement in things you already know about, lost productivity while your replacement comes up to speed. They probably won't worry about it, and neither should you.


Every day you go to work, you work, perform, and plan as though you will be there until retirement.

Every evening when you are done, you update your resume, network, save your money, and plan as though you will be laid off tomorrow morning.

You go to the training. You participate fully in it, and you use the skills you gain when you come back.

Until you actually have a signed and accepted job offer, there is nothing to do any differently than if you weren't even considering other jobs.


You're a free man so you're free to leave when you think it will be good for you. The companies are aware of the risk someone will leave soon after an expensive training and are calculating it. Either as their risk or they give the 'loyality paper' to sign before sending to the training.

From what you've written, there was no 'loyality paper', so you're not oblidged to pay anything in case you leave. If your company has decided not to ask you to sign anything, it was their decision. They risk exactly what would probably happen, you leaving soon after the training. But otherwise they would risk employees not willing to go to training because of the 'loyality paper'.

There's nothing unethical in you planning to leave. It would be unethical if you'd say you don't plan to leave (in next 1-2 years) in order to get the training, but actually plan to leave. If you're sure you'll leave soon, you should however communicate it. You would leave a bad impression if it would be known you have planned to leave before the training but didn't say anything only to get the training.

However, your company may try to make a 'moral pression' on you, that you shouldn't leave because of training. It would, on the other side, be a bad sign from their side. There's nothing like moral obligation to stay because of money invested in the employee. Such cases are dealt with 'loyality papers'.

  • 3
    "It would be unethical if you'd say you don't plan to leave (in next 1-2 years) in order to get the training, but actually plan to leave." - I'm not sure I agree on this point. Planning to leave is a long way from actually leaving, and if you don't leave for whatever reason, saying you plan to leave will be you shooting yourself in the foot in most cases. Not that I think it's particularly likely (or appropriate) that they'll actually ask you whether you're planning to leave in the next 1-2 years, as this seems to imply may happen. Commented May 2, 2014 at 15:44

The general rule is that until you have accepted another job and started it, you continue on your current role as if you wanted to keep it forever. This means, even if you are interviewing elsewhere, you're still a star employee at your current company and if interested, you still plan to go to the training.

There are a couple reasons for this:

  • You don't know for sure when/if you'll find a new job worth leaving for. Don't sabotage your existing role.
  • You should always make decisions in a win-win mindset. Such that whether you stay or whether you go, you're playing each side to be successful and win. Otherwise, a win-lose mindset gives you a 50% chance of losing, or ending up hurting yourself.
  • As for the company, it's a business. They only need to account for you not going to the training when you officially resign. They'll make it work, a contingency plan will be enacted. Everyone leaves eventually, and until then it is business as usual.

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