I handed in my notice last week and the CEO has been swaying backwards and forwards on when to make the announcement to the rest of my colleagues.

They seem to be worried that this news will appear negatively to new team members as two colleagues have already left in the past couple of months for the same reason I am leaving (we have not been consulted in any decision making and have had projects taken from us by the boss, there is not a lot of transparency and the secrets and poor communication have created an undesirable environment). I have told my boss that the reason I quit is to pursue a career in another field, I didn't not mention how fed up I was with it all.

I want to be honest with my team and tell them sooner rather than later. I was told to wait "until the team is ready" and that I am being unprofessional for wanting to tell them myself. I've been advised to wait another two weeks before telling them, but I'm uncomfortable with hiding this from them.

I have another two and a half months with this company, and I don't want to leave on a sour note (especially when I still need a reference).

  • Is announcing my departure the CEOs decision or mine?
  • Is my wanting to tell my team unprofessional?

Note: I do not want to tell any of our clients, just the team I have worked closely with for the last two years.

  • 2
    Welcome to the site Iria. Is your core question here whether management has final say on the timeline for telling others of your departure? Are you just asking that general question or do you also want to figure out how to push back against their decision? You've got a lot of text here and it's burying the question somewhat.
    – Lilienthal
    Sep 9, 2016 at 9:27
  • It might be useful to add your location and any contract stipulations that might come into play. Sep 9, 2016 at 10:36
  • 4
    Related: Resigning - should I tell coworkers or let the boss do that?
    – user8036
    Sep 9, 2016 at 11:36
  • 1
    You want to leave because of "the secrets that go round", and your boss wants to keep it a secret? Irony... Sep 9, 2016 at 12:54

3 Answers 3


As an answer to your second question, no it's not unprofessional to want to tell a team you've worked with for an extended time that you are leaving. By now, these coworkers may be friends, or at least something resembling friends, and it's natural to want to tell them (and they would probably want you to tell them too).

I have another two and a half months with this company, and I don't want to leave on a sour note (especially when I still need a reference).

I think this gives you the answer to your first question. In a situation where you want to leave on a good note, it doesn't really matter what their reasoning is, if they don't want you telling the team you shouldn't tell them. Most likely with over 2 months left they don't want a major disruption to the team as that would be a long time for productivity to slump. Also, executive management may have reasons for wanting to do it this way that they aren't telling you; maybe they're thinking of promoting from within your team or thinking of shutting the team down after you leave. Just because they didn't give you any reasons, doesn't mean they may not have them.

You're about to leave and you want a reference, but you still work for them, so keep your head down and do what they ask. If they continue to push back the date they want you to tell the team, keep open lines of communication with management and continue to tell them that you want to be the one to inform the team of your departure.


It's your boss's responsibility to structure the communication around your departure and to determine the associated timeline. "Good" managers will do this along the lines of "what is best for the remaining team". What exactly that is, will vary from case to case since every situation is different.

Extremely long notice periods like this are a bad for both parties: it's not good for a team to have a leaving member sitting around for month. Inevitably the conversation will move to "what's all broken here" and "what's a lot better over there". It's not good for the employee either: you are mentally done with the current job and you want to move on.

There is really no good way of handling this. The best you can do is to keep doing your job as if nothing has happened and go with your manager's decision. You can ask the manager that an announcement should be made at least one week before your departure. That gives you plenty of time to say your goodbyes and it's not long enough to create a significant disruption.

Another option would be to ask for the notice period to be shortened. In most legislations this can be done simply by both parties agreeing. I've done this once myself successfully.

  • 1
    "Extremely long notice periods like this are a bad for both parties" that depends on your workplace. In lots of places 2-3 month are not considered long, especially when that is the legal minimum.
    – kat0r
    Sep 9, 2016 at 14:18
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    @kat0r: I'm aware of the legal statutes and I worked in countries that had them. Just because it's the law, it doesn't mean it's a good thing. From personal experience I would say that it's best to get it over with as quickly as possible and I have seen multiple cases where "sitting ducks" turned into problems. If both parties agree its perfectly okay to go below the legal limit. Example for Germany see de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aufhebungsvertrag
    – Hilmar
    Sep 9, 2016 at 14:52
  • I disagree with this post. Your employment decisions are personal decisions and your employer has no right to dictate who you can and cannot discuss your personal decisions with. Would you have the same opinion if you got married and your boss told you not to tell anyone you work with? Sep 9, 2016 at 15:12

You are not obligated to immediately tell all your friends everything you are planning. It does not seem unreasonable for your supervisors to ask for at least a couple of days to decide how to break the news. They likely want to be able to explain their plan for moving forward at the same time as announcing your impending departure.

Weigh the potential for the damage of making an announcement before it is a complete announcement. If they announce your departure and people are concerned with the road forward, it could create unnecessary worrying and distraction. People fear change but even more they fear uncertainty.

Also consider that giving your co-workers an 8-week notice is not that different than giving them a 10-week notice.

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