I have a 4 months notice period. I would like to leave much sooner. I never negotiated a reduction in the notice period: should I do it before or after resigning? Can I give HR the full 4 months and then get it updated? I don't want HR to stall my resignation.

  • 2
    I don't know how you would bring up reducing it without resigning first.
    – David K
    Jan 21, 2016 at 17:34
  • @DavidK To HR: "So a friend of mine is planning..." :)
    – mikeazo
    Jan 21, 2016 at 17:36
  • 1
    What country? What's the terms of your contract? Can you just leave anyway?
    – user42272
    Jan 21, 2016 at 18:34
  • Just go to your manager and tell him (her?) that you are about to resign and ask if it would be possible to reduce the notice period. At worst it will be 4 months, but most managers will settle for less. Why would they want an employee is there just for the hell of it and will not be working with there heart in the role for 16+ weeks?
    – Ed Heal
    Jan 21, 2016 at 19:28
  • 1
    If you manage to get pay in lieu of notice when you resign any company in the world will want to hire you as a negotiator :-)
    – gnasher729
    Jan 22, 2016 at 8:47

1 Answer 1


You should do it when you resign - not before ("hey, I'm going to resign, but before I do can we change my notice period") or after - but be prepared to be stuck with the full period.

Simply state in your resignation letter that you recognise that the full notice period requires you to work to "x" date, but that you would like to negotiate a shortened period, if possible. What happens next depends pretty much on your current role, the situation regarding projects and such, and the personality of your manager(s). Whatever the response is, you're stuck with it and it won't be worth fighting a negative response.

If this is because you have another position lined up, but need to provide a start date, negotiate a start date that accounts for your full notice period with an option to start sooner. That way, you won't get caught short if the new job evaporates before your notice period ends, or your notice period is reduced but then you have a gap before your new job.

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