I'm not sure if it's better to notify them as soon as possible or if two weeks is actually the best padding to give.

I've never had to do something like this before. It's actually the first time I'm leaving a job by my own accord.

What should I do?

  • Does your employee handbook or other employment documents you may have signed indicate what the company expects? – jcmeloni Jun 2 '14 at 16:26
  • I hadn't thought of that, but I will have to check. I don't know at this time. @jcmeloni – Kehlan Krumme Jun 2 '14 at 16:28

This varies by country and employer so you will need to do some research to find the correct answer. Check your contract, employment agreement or HR policy guide to see if there is a stated requirement. You might also need to check the law in the city/country where you work.

There is just as much possible risk from early disclosure as there is possible benefit. Some companies/bosses might appreciate the early notice, others might start treating you like you are gone already. I would stick with whatever notice period you find in your research.

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This depends on what kind of relationship you have with your boss at your current company. If you have a generally cooperative and honest relationship, then be nice and give them the most possible warning.

Don't just say "I'm outta here in 4 weeks.". Something in a more cooperative spirit would be better: "I'm leaving in 4 weeks. I'm telling you this now because Acme Company and you have always been fair to me, and I want to give you the most time to plan and figure out how I can best use my remaining time to make this as smooth as possible for you.". Unless the boss really can't stand you and was looking for a opportunity to dump you, you're not going to get terminated early.

Don't be surprised if a lot of your remaining time is spent making sure whatever you worked on is properly documented, and your current project is transitioned to someone else. That's just how this works, and should not be taken as a insult or lack of confidence in your abilities.

The worst the existing company can do is lay you off on the spot, in which case you'll still get paid for 2 of the 4 weeks at minimum, unless you have a very unusual employment contract. However, the upside is more substantial. You may not need anything from your current company now, but it's always good in the long term to leave on good terms. Next job change, being able to use your current boss as a reference could be quite valuable. It's never good to burn bridges behind you. In fact, it's worth some effort and some risk to try to do the opposite. By giving them early notice, you do them a favor on the way out. Unless your boss is a complete jerk, that won't be forgotten.

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