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I currently work in a small (< 10 employees) company, and basically we make web sites and services to clients. Currently we have 3 developers, including me. The other developers have much less experience than me, and lack knowledge in certain areas of the job that I handle.

I'm not very happy in my job. I've tried fixing what's wrong in the company, but it isn't really working. A few days ago I had an interview with a larger software development company, and I'm to start after summer. That means I start in 3 to 4 months.

Considering the state I will leave things when I leave the company, I think it's safe to say they're ****ed, and I feel like it's my fault. If I notified them now, they would have that 3 to 4 months to find a replacement for me. I don't want to sound arrogant, but my replacement will have pretty large boots to fill, and the job market isn't exactly filled with people that have a similar skill set, and the competition between employers is tough. Sure, they'll find someone eventually, but that might take time.

Then again, if I notify them now, I'm almost certain that the environment will turn toxic, I might even be let go because the leaders in this company have some temper. Even if I were to keep my job (firing me would be a very dumb move), how am I to work 3 to 4 months in a toxic environment?

What should I do? My rational side tells me to not worry about it and give my notice when I'm about to use my vacation time, but the emphatic side feels bad for the other developers.

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    Cannot find a duplicate but there has to be one. Two weeks is pretty standard. A longer notice could go poorly for you in many ways. – paparazzo Mar 22 '17 at 20:09
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    I know someone who gave 6 months notice, trying to be kind, and was immediately dismissed. And that person really could have used the money.... – mcknz Mar 22 '17 at 21:27
  • Not voting to close (it's not really a duplicate), but this question might apply to your situation. Is it naive to tell my current employer that I'll be leaving, months in advance? – Chris E Mar 22 '17 at 22:03
  • Two weeks is not standard in the UK. It is a month. Same in lots of Europe – Ed Heal Mar 22 '17 at 22:29
  • It's really annoying that I marked it as a duplicate. I did not. I marked it as off-topic because it's asking for advice what to do when it says "what should I do?" :) – Chris E Mar 22 '17 at 23:48
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In an ideal world you could go tell your boss that you're leaving, and work on a training plan to bring the other two developers up to speed.

However, the world is rarely ideal. What I would suggest is that you start tying up loose ends in your code, and commenting your projects to the greatest extent that you are able. Maybe subtly start imparting to your fellow developers some knowledge which you think they lack.

You may also wish to draw up some documentation for them to fall back on once you're gone.

Then, if you're feeling confident, with about a month left to go, inform your bosses that you are quitting, and ask them what they'd like you to focus on over your last month there (maybe also offer to conduct training for your coworkers).

If, however, you feel that they would react poorly, and that you wouldn't enjoy spending an entire month under that cloud of negativity, give them the standard 2 week notice and leave it at that.

And let's make one thing abundantly clear: if they're in a bad spot due to your leaving, that's on them. They're the ones who should be ensuring that their workforce is trained, educated, and ready to push on should any one of them leave.

  • Good answer and I would add that they may not even accept your month, regardless of how desperate they may appear to be. I saw a company accept notice (this was 3 weeks) but terminate after 4 days when they found someone faster than they expected who was highly skilled. I've seen more than a few companies refuse to accept notice as a matter of policy. Some feel you could "poison the well" leading to other resignations. – Chris E Mar 22 '17 at 22:21
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AndreROM's answer gives a good overview of the actions you can take to lessen the impact your leaving will cause your employer. However, you also should take into account how it might impact you. If you give extra notice, it's possible that your employer will respond by letting you go before your notice is served, perhaps even immediately. In that situation, you've suddenly lost out on whatever salary you would have collected during the notice period. If you can't afford (or don't want) to miss out on that money, don't give extra notice.

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Wait until you find something else and give at least two weeks notice. Be gracious for your experience, but also make sure you can support yourself.

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