I'm a part-time employee (full-time student) on a limited-time contract and I'm in my last two weeks of my three-months probation. The decision has been planned and is not rushed, however failure to resign within the last two weeks means that quitting afterwards requires a longer notice period and I'd like to take the easy way out if possible. I'd like to take the opportunity to quit today, but all of my bosses are out of the office. Now I have a few choices and am unsure which one I should choose:

  1. Give my notice to the HR department regardless of the availability of my bosses.

  2. Wait until Monday and hand it in to my boss.

I would also like to discuss my departure with my coworker whom I spend a lot of time with. Is it a good idea to do so ahead of my resignation, as in talk to her about it today if I'm planning on waiting until Monday to tell my bosses/HR?

  • Cool it off. You will ruin everybody´s weekend, including yours. Talk with everybody Monday, it is more wise. People will be people, she will call your bosses, it will be a mess. Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 8:48
  • 5
    @RuiFRibeiro Please don't answer in the comments as it prevents users from evaluating your answer or commenting on it properly.
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 9:01
  • 5
    Handing you resignation to the HR department instead of your direct superior is a perfectly legal way to resign. Everything else in your question is subjective.
    – Philipp
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 9:03
  • Do not tell your coworker ahead of telling your boss, ever. You will find that many places ask you not to tell (for reasons that are unclear to me because hey they are going to notice eventually) before a certain date. In any event it s their call not yours when to tell others.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 16:20
  • Related / possible duplicate - How should I give notice if my boss is on a long vacation and there is no HR dept? Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 21:07

4 Answers 4


You are at a company. Any communications with the company (for example a resignation letter) take effect at the time the company should be aware of it. You can hand over your resignation to HR, and it is valid right then (if you don't trust them, ask for a receipt for the letter). If your boss is on a six week holiday, that's not your problem.

In an extreme case, if you sent a letter by registered mail and the company refused to accept it, legally they would have "received" the letter at that time.

On the other hand, if there is a sudden reason why you want to quit, then spending a weekend thinking about it might lead to a better solution.

  • 3
    Since the OP is nearing the end of the probation period, the notice period will soon increase. That's probably the reason the OP wants to resign now. Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 9:32
  • @IAE Please edit your question if what CodesInChaos suggest is indeed the case. Your question does not make clear why you would want to quit today, that info should be present as well.
    – user8036
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 9:47

It's usually better to hand your notice to your line manager or immediate supervisor, to discuss reasons for quitting, hand-over requirements, etc.

However, it's worth remembering that notice is just that, notice. You're putting the company on notice that you will be quitting (usually on such-and-such a date, in line with the terms of your contract), you're not asking permission to quit.

As such, in the absence of your line management and especially if there's a time-critical aspect to your need to submit notice by a certain date, it's perfectly reasonable to hand your notice to HR.

With regard to discussing your intention to leave with colleagues, I would suggest that you absolutely not do so prior to submitting your notice.

I'd also suggest being very careful about what you do discuss with colleagues prior to speaking to your supervisor. If you wish to discuss your discontent (assuming that's why you wish to leave!) then I simply wouldn't do so at all, no good will come of it.

I'm suggesting caution above because even now as a student, you should be looking to build and enhance a reputation for professional behaviour at all times while at work.

If you wish to hand projects over then ideally I'd suggest waiting until you've talked with your supervisor first but again, if this is time critical (e.g. you wish to hand in notice during your probation notice so you can quit and finish work completely today) then obviously you'd need to hand things over to a colleague rather than just walk away and leave things floating.


The main point is that you're a part time worker/student, I doubt the place would crash to a halt if you left.

Hand in your resignation to HR in your timeframe and don't worry about where the bosses are. They don't have to be there for it to be effective from that time. I see no need to wait.

  • Do reach out to your Bosses as soon as they are back in the 'office'. Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 16:41

You still have the next week. You have not done it this week, cool it off. You will ruin everybody´s weekend, including yours.

Talk with everybody Monday, it is more wise. Do not discuss it with your workmate, People will be people, she has a sense of loyalty, or she may want to cover her needs. She will call your bosses, it will be a mess. Your superior might even call you during the weekend, or make a rushed appearance at the end of the day. Summing it up, it wont be wise discussing it with any of your colleagues before taking with your direct manager. It is a simple rule of work etiquette.

If by next Monday your boss is not in again, absolutely deliver the resignation letter directly to HR.

  • 5
    Normally it's good advice to resign in person to your line manager but in view of the time critical aspect of this, I'd say "not in this case". I also don't agree with "run everybody's weekend". Business is business. No one sensible needs to take an emotional impact of this home with them and fester over it just because it happened on a Friday.
    – Rob Moir
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 12:13
  • 1
    Are you saying that resigning on a Friday will ruin everyone's weekend in this case? If so, why? Otherwise, it seems you're saying people should never resign on Friday because it will ruin everyone's weekend.
    – GreenMatt
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 16:10

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .