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I perform work for a company with somewhat frequent travel requirements. I intend to put in my two weeks notice next Thursday, the 31st of Dec. This would make my final day Thursday, Jan 14th; I'm hoping for a long weekend before starting at the new position.

There is currently a trip scheduled that I may be asked to travel for on the 11th that would span until the 15th, the day after the end of my two week period.

Would it be inappropriate/unprofessional to either ask that I return home that Thursday (which would put a decent amount of burden on my coworkers as they'd have to drive me back to the airport) or offer to work that day as a contractor at a certain rate for the day (I believe a fair/competitive rate would put the day at $800 + expenses)?

Ideally my solution would be to not go on the trip, but that would likely be seen as shirking my work duties, as I am still an employee of the company during the two weeks.

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    You could put in your 2 weeks notice a couple days earlier, so you could have your last day be on the 11th, therefore you wouldn't be going on the trip at all. – New-To-IT Dec 22 '15 at 21:59
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    To be honest, if you give two weeks notice and ask for $800 + expenses for an extra day, instead of giving two weeks + 1 day notice, there's a good chance you would be fired instantly (if that is legal). – gnasher729 Dec 23 '15 at 12:47
  • Why not just make your last day the 15th? If you're willing to go on the trip, you're willing to work the extra day. Two weeks is the customary minimum, but nothing says it can't be longer. – Wesley Long Dec 28 '15 at 18:11
  • I know I'm late to this party, but why not give notice right now, and tell them you don't want to go on the trip? That gives the boss time to get someone else to fill in or even reschedule. If I were the boss I wouldn't send someone who had one foot out the door to another city. It's more important to make sure all his stuff was turned over instead. I would be very surprised if the boss agreed to a contract rate, but let us know how it goes. – Nolo Problemo Dec 29 '15 at 19:44
  • @DaveisNotThatGuy because bonuses are paid out on the 31st :) – Mitch Dec 29 '15 at 19:48
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I agree with Bill Leeper's answer. It isn't necessarily unprofessional to ask for a contract rate once you're no longer an employee, but the situation you've described is at least awkward.

It would be more professional to decide if you're going to work the 15th at all and arrange with your employer to either not have to work that day at all, or to work and have your last day be after the trip. As the scenario is presented, it's like your last day is the 14th, but not really, as you'll still be working an additional day. What is wrong with giving a notice of 2 weeks and a day and ending neatly at the end of the trip on the 15th? If you quit the 14th and still work the 15th, you haven't really gotten the long weekend anyway, right?

Once your employer understands the situation it might be possible they will make the decision for you and not require you to make the trip, thus negating your concern about shirking work. If you stay until the 15th, then you end cleanly and all is equally well.

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Is it unprofessional to ask to be paid as a contractor for additional work after a two weeks notice period?

Often times, this is just fine. Over the time of a career, this probably doesn't matter either way. Even so, in your case the short answer is it is unprofessional to do what you are suggesting.

A "two week notice period" is the normal minimum notice period a professional provides to allow for sufficient time to transition without undue hardship or inconvenience for the employer or the employee. In your case you are aware of the inconvenience it will introduce to your employer on your planned termination date and you want a long weekend or additional compensation. That is not professional.

You should either give notice through the 15th or else provide earlier notice to terminate prior to the trip, to give your employer time to modify plans. Perhaps they will negotiate the entire trip with you as a contractor or find someone else that is qualified and/or can be trained. However, you are free to do what you like, of course.

As a side note, "2 week notice" is generally two full weeks of work following a notice. With Dec 31st being a Thursday and assuming Friday is a holiday, I would expect an employee resigning on that day to work the following two full weeks, similar to resigning on Friday the 1st. That would be an expectation of your last day being Jan 15th.

If you state otherwise, it is likely to surprise your employer that you intend to work until Thursday while you are scheduled to be on a business trip. And you will not work through Friday unless you get contractor compensation. That just sounds like a strange conversation. Of course that's just one interpretation, but that could make your negotiation more difficult and possibly more annoying to your employer.

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    Two weeks notice really means "no less than two weeks.". You can give more than the contracted notice period if you wish. – Jane S Dec 23 '15 at 14:04
  • @JaneS - I agree that needs to be emphasized. I edited my response. – Jim Dec 23 '15 at 18:24
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You should bring this up with your employer.

Decide in advance if you are willing to work this day. They will be unlikely to pay you as a contractor for that day, so that limits your options to terminating employment while out of town, terminating and not traveling, or traveling and extending your last day.

Then discuss that you would like your last day would be the 14th. Be prepared with your answer based on what I said above when/if they bring up the currently scheduled travel.

As for inconvenience to your co-workers, you need to use a cab/uber/bus/train to get yourself to the airport/train station/etc if you return early and turn that in as an expense or if that is not normal for your employer, pay for it out of your pocket. It would be highly unfair as you noted to put that on someone else. They will already probably be a bit bitter you are leaving, that's normal.

  • I misread the contractor work day part, so you are a full time employee. I'll try and update. – Bill Leeper Dec 28 '15 at 15:26
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For all the companies I have worked for, the last day of work has to be local. The company expects you to return your badge, credit card, computer, and any other equipment. They will ask that everything of yours be removed from the company office. They may need you to complete an exit interview, and to sign documents.

They generally will not be prepared for you to stop being an employee while you are on company travel.

As your manager I would ask that either you extend your last day until one workday after you return from the trip; or I would not let you travel and have your last day while the rest of the team is on the trip.

Note: make sure that you submit all the required documents for travel reimbursement as soon as you return, that way you don't run into the issue of being unable to submit your travel claim after your email has been turned off.

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