I work at a software company and I am about to resign from my job due to getting a better job offer. The only problem is I was informed today that another member of our team is leaving and he will start training me as his replacement.

To make matters worse this member who is leaving has a very specialized, but very important, role which I am completely unfamiliar with. In reality I am not a good replacement, I am essentially "all they got". Our team originally had 6 people but two of our team's senior developers left earlier this month. After myself and the other team member leaves, there will only be two team members doing the work of 6. One of these remaining team members started 2 weeks ago and is fresh out of college.

Believe it or not, management is actually not bad. All of us are not leaving due to work problems. The timing is mostly a matter of coincidence. How should I deal with my resignation? I generally like the company and I feel that being "professional" and simply giving a two weeks notice would be a huge kick in the nuts. Is there a more graceful way of resigning than a strictly business and formal approach? Also, should I even be concerned about this?

Update: Well, I followed the advice given. I am sorry to say that my boss was visibly hurt when I gave him my resignation. He is a nice guy and I have always been a real team player (staying late to meet deadlines, volunteering to train others, being the informal team lead, etc.) So I think he was expecting me to ride this out. Anyway, me and my co-worker will be documenting everything we can about our jobs for two weeks. To end on a positive note, they will be interviewing new people next week. Hopefully it works out well.

  • do you have a flexibility in your join date? Mar 5, 2015 at 5:36
  • Unfortunately no. Mar 5, 2015 at 5:41
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    That question is close but the issue here is not that someone else is resigning at the same time as me, but that I am also supposed to be this persons replacement. Mar 5, 2015 at 6:36
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    It only seems different @Ferret; it's not actually because at some point you are going I have to say "I resign". Yes, you have a slightly different situation, and so will most people, but the answers to the question and all going to be the same.
    – Ben
    Mar 5, 2015 at 7:07

4 Answers 4


Kevin's answer will be good in most situations but provided you

  • already have the signed contract from the new company
  • and could afford to go without the money from your old company if push came to shove
  • and you think your boss would value your help in transitioning
  • and the company doesn't usually walk people of the premise the moment they resign

then you can take a different approach.

Tell your boss in an informal 1 on 1 that you're planning to resign but would like to wait with your notice till "date x" so you can finish project y and help colleague z to get up to speed on topic w.

I did this and my boss appreciated the heads up. He did tell his boss in the same informal manner and I stayed at my old job and finished my projects and helped with the transition until the day before starting my new job. I got a great reference out of it, too.

  • I had assumed once the contract is signed and it's all certain the usual thing is to immediately give in the official notice?
    – Nathan
    Mar 5, 2015 at 7:52
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    @NathanCooper That depends a lot on the legislation and company culture and how early you get the new contract signed. For example, I signed with my new company more than two month before the starting date. In some places, if I had given official notice then, my old employer could have laid me off and I'd have had two month without income. Mar 5, 2015 at 7:59
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    Well, they only wrote that they have "an offer" - around here that can mean anything from an informal email to two copies of a pre-signed contract where they only have to sign both and send one back. Mar 5, 2015 at 8:24
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    @Sumyrda - I don't see how this helps the OP or the employer. The OP can't help with the knowledge transfer, they say they NO knowledge of the subject, and using the OP is just wasting the employer's time as they would be better to get the other worker to brain dump as much as they can into documentation before they go, no train someone who is leaving. Mar 5, 2015 at 9:58
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    @TheWanderingDevManager the intent is to let the OPs manager know NOT to train the OP on that particular topic and also to allow the OP to train others on his topics and make the planning so much easier for the manager while deferring the bureaucratic hoops to the last two weeks of the OPs employment. Mar 5, 2015 at 10:32

No, you should not be concerned. You are resigning because you got a better job. You write that "management is not that bad" but they have a staffing problem. You don't have a problem.

Just do the usual. Turn in your resignation and let them figure it out.

  • Yes, as I put in a comment on Sumydra's answer, you can't add any value here if you don't know the other worker's knowledge, so just proceed as if it was just you leaving, nothing else to be done here. Mar 5, 2015 at 10:01

Lay down your cards: Tell your manager about your new offer. Informing them early is the first help you could do for them. You mentioned that you feel you are not the best replacement. So they could replace you with the fresher and start their training at the earliest. During your time at the current company offer help and train the replacement to the best of your knowledge.


Proceed as usual. Giving early notice is a bad idea for a host of reasons already covered on this site.

In your particular case: it's unclear whether your offer is solid offer yet. What would do if it fell through and you had to remain at the place you've essentially already resigned from? No. Terrible idea. Your notice should be enough to handle any subsequent handover, that's what it's for.

Perhaps you could encourage your colleague to document things (or document things yourself) rather than just teach you, to make it easier for the next guy to pick up.


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