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I'm quitting soon and need to decide how much notice I will give. My employer hasn't done anything to encourage longer notice: contractually guaranteed severance of the number of weeks requested would be appropriate, IMO - even giving two weeks feels like a great courtesy since they can fire me at any moment without any notice whatsoever. However, past employees that have left the company have tended to give about a month's notice. I'll note that this is a small venture-backed startup and that my departure will be crippling until they can replace me (good luck in this market), but... that's not really my problem, they should have managed their bus factor earlier. Nevertheless, if I give only two weeks notice, I expect my boss to comment on the short length of the period. How should I handle that, and how much notice should I give?

My start date is more than a month out, so I have complete flexibility, I just want to take as much time as is possible as vacation in between. Being unpaid and potentially using COBRA if necessary is fine by me.

  • 1
    How have they treated workers during their notice period? – Patricia Shanahan Jan 22 '17 at 15:30
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    Depends on what you're after. If you are really valuing your relationship with them and potentially want a reference then the way you do that is by stating 2 weeks but be accepting of a 3 or 4 week notice. If not, give 2 weeks. – The Muffin Man Jan 23 '17 at 4:30
  • It's nice to give as much notice as you can, if it doesn't harm you to do so. But there's no need to break your back to give more notice than your contract or local law in your area requires. The answer to your question really depends on how much you feel inclined to do them a favour. – Jonathon Cowley-Thom Jan 23 '17 at 11:46
  • I will reflect how this employer threat me. I think good employer should be rewarded because if good employers are not rewarded, it will be a lost for everybody in long term since their will have no incentive to thread people better than their contract. In my perspective, if you are not near a burn out and your employer was good, I would forfeit my vacation or I would try negotiate them with the new employer because it is impacting too much the current employer. World is small, if you cripple your team, there will always be a chance in next interview to meet someone that know someone – Sebastien DErrico Jan 23 '17 at 14:43
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However, past employees that have left the company have tended to give about a month's notice.

That doesn't bind you in any way. Feel free to have your hot dog without ketchup or mustard if that is your preference, regardless of what everyone else is doing.

I'll note that this is a small venture-backed startup and that my departure will be crippling until they can replace me

Employees frequently have this impression. My guess is your departure will be less crippling than you think, so don't worry about it. It's not your problem in any case.

Nevertheless, if I give only two weeks notice, I expect my boss to comment on the short length of the period.

And such a comment would affect you how? You can just politely say you regret any inconvenience caused by your notice while emphasizing that it meets the contractual obligations.

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It's up to the company to set a relevant notice period.

Work your two weeks and document everything you can to allow for a smooth transition. Try and mitigate your loss by leaving good instructions for others.

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