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I've decided to accept an offer of another job from a different software company, and have an offer in writing.

Tomorrow, I hand in my resignation but also scheduled for tomorrow is a product planning meeting to discuss how we will progress with our program.

Do I:

  1. Resign in the morning, and allow the CEO to know about it before sprint planning the next sprint, and product speccing the next release, but endure an awkward environment because of this.

  2. Resign at the end of the day, avoiding creating an awkward environment, but potentially having to take part in planning of things I can't possibly ever be part of.

I'm leaning towards option 1, but I'd be interested to see if anyone comes up with perspectives I haven't considered.

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    You have an offer in writing, but have you accepted it and do you have a contract (it sounds like no and no)? It depends on your legislation whether an offer is binding (and legal questions are off-topic here) – Jan Doggen May 18 '15 at 10:20
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    You've ignored a third option: resign during the important meeting ;-) – EleventhDoctor May 18 '15 at 14:15
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    Only take the EleventhDoctor's advice if you plan to leave a lasting impression. – NotMe May 18 '15 at 20:07
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    Don't get too hung up on one meeting. In the long run it's going to be a rounding error. That said, if you resign prior to the meeting, you can tell the rest of the team verbally at the meeting. And then you can plan activities into the sprint to transfer knowledge to those teammates. – stannius Jun 1 '15 at 15:22
  • I'd wait for work to be allocated to me during the meeting and then tell everyone that it is not such a good idea because "I'm planning on resigning today". And at that point "since the subject has been brought up" you can hand the resignation letter to your boss. Everyone will know about it and plan/allocate resources accordingly. Problem solved. – Daniel Mar 10 '17 at 2:22
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If you've made the decision to resign, the best practice is to inform your company immediately after you've decided to accept the new offer, but before you actually accept the new role. There are a few reasons for this:

  • In terms of leaving on good terms, you do not want your current employer to feel like they've wasted their time. If they do a bunch of planning with the assumption you will be there when you know you won't be there, you've wasted their time.
  • Oftentimes, your current employer will counter-offer. It's best to give them that chance before accepting the new role. Even if you think there's nothing they'll offer you that will change your mind, giving them the chance is a show of respect for their position. In addition, assuming they offer you something compelling to stay, you won't be in the awkward scenario of accepting a role from the new company just to take back your acceptance later. This puts you in a position where you've potentially harmed your future chances at the new company.

Your hesitance toward not telling them immediately seems to stem from wanting to avoid an awkward situation where you are part of a planning meeting where people know you aren't sticking around. The problem here is such awkward scenarios will happen anyway and are part of that 2+ weeks of notice you give your current company. Much of what you will be doing is teaching others, giving advice, and generally preparing the company for the fact that you won't be there. The best thing you can do is face that head on and prepare them as much as possible. This makes you look good and puts them in a better position. Everyone wins!

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    Just something from my own experience; if I have decided to leave an organisation then it's normally more than just salary that has brought me to that decision. I wouldn't recommend taking counter offers because you will very rapidly remember exactly why you decided to leave in the first place but then be obligated to stay. It's sometimes known as a golden handcuff :) – Jane S May 18 '15 at 6:19
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    Yes, letting your boss know as soon as you have made, or are close to making, a decision is usually the way to go. One extra note: your boss might ask you not to tell anyone else, essentially pretending during the planning meeting that you are not going, to give them time to discuss the matter with HR and other relevant parties (so they can consider any potential counter offer and/or prepare a hand-over plan & so forth) before the news spreads around the company more generally. – David Spillett May 18 '15 at 10:25
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    Never resign before you accept the offer, because at that point they can still change their mind and retract the offer. If you don't have an agreement in place first you might end up unemployed. If you have issues with your existing company and can't approach your boss and talk them through without forcing him then you haven't really fixed anything. – JamesRyan May 18 '15 at 14:12
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    Accepting counteroffer will put you on the "fire this person later" list. They know you want to leave, and will fire you when convenient to them - regardless if you have job waiting or not. So second advice is WRONG – Peter M. May 18 '15 at 14:25
  • @PeterMasiar While what you say is likely true for some companies, it's very far from being universally true. Not all companies that make counteroffers do so in bad faith. – reirab May 18 '15 at 15:07
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Are you giving two week's notice?

Yes

The downsides of #2 don't matter much; you'll be working with a number of things during the next two weeks that you will not see the end of. Resigning in the morning will be better; otherwise, your team may have to replan or adjust, and that will be more awkward.

No

This is a less common choice. The morning is still a better time. Imagine yourself in your teammates shoes. I'd be perplexed that we just planned out everything and then after than one of my teammates quit in a premeditated manner.


Either way, unless your company is so toxic you can't stay there another minute, you should really give them time to make a counteroffer.

Companies optimize costs; they compensate you (salary and otherwise) the least they think they get away with. That's not malicious; that's business. Likely, that value is quite a bit less than what they are willing to offer.

Even if you won't accept it, they'll want to give one anyway, and it really won't take much of your time to say, "No". And you might be surprised what adjustments they'll make to keep you.

And in that case, you may have to wait a day anyway. Might as well do earlier.

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The time to resign is the latest you can wait and complete your notice period before your start date. Don't tell them until you have returned the signed offer letter to the new company.

Don't feel like you have to give the current company a chance to make a counter offer. The moment you tell them about the offer you are considered a risk to leave even if they give you a raise.

Any planning meeting between the decision to leave and telling the current will be bizarre for you, but telling them before you have to puts your income at risk.

  • Assuming you already have a written offer from the new company, when you tell your old company won't put your income at risk. You are already not counting on the old company to keep paying you-- you are resigning. – pkaeding May 18 '15 at 2:19
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    This smells like burning bridges. Or at least not showing consideration for the people you work(ed) with. The very same people that you might need or work with again a couple years later. Balanced against the (real) risk of getting escorted out a couple days earlier and spend your two weeks notice at the beach (paid), I'm not sure it's a good trade off. – ptyx May 18 '15 at 4:09
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    Before downvoting this answer completely: MHoran has a point mentioning 'returning the signed offer letter'. Depending on the country this is in, an offer may not be an agreement yet. The OP should tell them ASAP when his new job is secured. – Jan Doggen May 18 '15 at 10:23
  • @ptyx what about this is burning bridges? Someone following this advice would give and work out the proper notice period. Furthermore, nobody but the notice-giver knows the exact timing of everything; in the OP's example, for all the soon-to-be-former employer knows, the offer was emailed while the person was in the meeting, so the notice couldn't have been given in the morning. – stannius Jun 1 '15 at 15:26
  • @stannius depending what you're working on, you might need more than the standard two weeks to transition properly. If that's the case, and if you're leaving on good terms, then letting people know in advance (officially or not) is a nice thing to do. A software engineer is pretty much always at 'risk to leave' anyway. – ptyx Jun 1 '15 at 16:13

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