I manage a team of 8 software engineers, and have found a new job to start in about 10 weeks. My company has been on a hiring freeze for quite a while, and I don't think they'd be able to replace me quickly.

How long can I professionally wait to resign without subjecting myself to 2 months of discourteous behavior?

Edit: This is in the US and my work contract specifies only 2 weeks are needed. That would put my director in a terrible bind, so i'd like to give more.

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    Which country are you in and what is the standard notice there? Does your employment contract specify a time interval for the notice? In the US, the standard notice is 2 weeks unless the employment contract specifies something else. Can the offer be rescinded at any time during the next ten weeks? In other words, you don't want to give ten-weeks' only to have your next employer send you a note rescinding the job offer a couple of weeks before your official start date. – Vietnhi Phuvan May 15 '14 at 3:32
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about regulations or agreements that are company-specific and don't have universally applicable answers. – gnat May 15 '14 at 8:22
  • In the UK, for example, I've never had a contract with less than a month's notice period once a probation has been passed. This tends to be increased to 3 months through promotions to more senior positions. – Edd May 15 '14 at 12:03

How long can I professionally wait to resign without subjecting myself to 2 months of discourteous behavior?

2 weeks is the standard notice that companies accept in the U.S. & elsewhere. But if you want to be helpful, see if offering 3 weeks or 4 weeks would work.

But the reality is no matter how long your last weeks are, they will not be happy you are leaving. And you will not be happy staying. You will be gone at the end of that period and the hiring freeze issue exacerbates it.

Perhaps the best solution—if this is possible—is to give formal 2 weeks notice but then offer your services in a capacity that will keep you offsite but useful. Like perhaps you need to provide documentation to help others—or a future hire—complete your tasks. Maybe you can arrange a deal with your employer that after 2 weeks you would be gone, but for a period of 8 weeks after that you will remotely work on documentation & perhaps even field queries via e-mail or phone.

But like I said, they will simply not be happy you are leaving. And you will not be happy doing work in an environment like that for a full 10 weeks after you give notice. So best negotiate a balance that acknowledges the reality of your departure in a way that works best for you.

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    Be careful about that "& elsewhere". 2 weeks notice would not even be a legal contract in parts of Europe because the government sets 6 weeks as a minimum. – nvoigt May 15 '14 at 7:15
  • @nvoigt Fair enough. But the general spirit of my advice is if someone is leaving, they generally do not want to be at the place they are at now, would like to leave as soon as possible & even if a few weeks more than standard notice helps ease the transition, the fact they are leaving is an inevitability. They will be gone & no amount of preparation can ease that blow. – JakeGould May 15 '14 at 13:25
  • @JakeGould Conversely, norms of professionalism often have us to things that our inner child would prefer not to. Often the culture and its expectations can defuse these feelings into ones of "Well, this is just the way it is" for such circumstances. In the UK, 3 months would be the norm The contract has been designed to cope with transitions. Everyone knows - the resigning employee, the company that s/he is leaving, the new employer - that it'll take 3 months. – Euan M Dec 1 '15 at 1:57

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