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I just accepted a job offer and am planning to leave the company where I've been for almost a year. Today is Tuesday, July 11th and my new job is scheduled to start Monday, July 31st. Unfortunately, my boss is out of the office today and I would prefer to tell her that I'm leaving in person rather through Office Communicator, which is how we usually communicate when she is working from home. It seems to me a bit disrespectful to not deliver the news in a face-to-face meeting. At the same time, I want to give as much notice as possible so as to avoid leaving her in a precarious position. It seems like a lose-lose situation and I'm not sure what to do. What factors should I consider in order to determine the best way to go about resigning without burning any bridges?

Edit: My contract is "at will" and I really have no idea what my expected notice time is. I do work in a very small department and my boss mentioned she spent a long time trying to fill my position so I don't think it will be easy for her to replace me. She will be back tomorrow, as far as I know.

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    just send a personal email, forget the Communicator. – Fattie Jul 11 '17 at 15:31
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    Since you start the new gig on the 31st and today is the 11th, you have until the 17th before "2 weeks notice". In the mean time, it's no big deal to wait a day or two before she's back in the office. – Dan Pichelman Jul 11 '17 at 15:33
  • @DanPichelman as long as his contract doesn't state a longer notice period for leaving, you are correct – SaggingRufus Jul 11 '17 at 16:00
  • Can you add what your expected notice period is and how long your boss will be out of the office to your question? – BSMP Jul 11 '17 at 16:51
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    One day is not a long time to wait, especially since you're still outside the standard (in the US) 2 week notice window. Just talk to her tomorrow. – David K Jul 12 '17 at 18:53
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In person is always the way to go, you never want to burn your bridges as you never know where you'll end up.

Give your standard two weeks notice to your manager when she gets back, also prepare an email for your coworkers and on your last day send it. Tell everyone what a pleasure it was to work with them all and thank them for all of their help and consideration. A kind word or two about how it was to work for your manager wouldn't hurt either.

Be professional and polite. You never know when you might run into these people again.

As Per Sagging Rufus's comment below, it would also be prudent to send an email after speaking to your manager saying "as per our discussion" and repeat your notice in writing, just to keep everything neat and tidy

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    It is also a good idea to send an email after the meeting to document when the notice was given in case the company tries to change your end date by saying you never gave written notice. That happened to me once. – SaggingRufus Jul 11 '17 at 15:55
  • @SaggingRufus Do I need to copy HR or anyone else on this email or is it enough to send it to my superviosr? – AffableAmbler Jul 13 '17 at 19:03
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    I would just send to whoever you are giving the verbal resignation to. That will create a paper trail and thats really all you need. – SaggingRufus Jul 14 '17 at 9:55
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It's really going to depend on the type of relationship you had with your boss. After a year, you should be able to gauge whether or not the news would be best delivered in person or via email. In addition, you also need to consider how much effort it will require the company to fill your position. The sooner you let them know (whether in-person or email), the sooner they can start the process to fill your position.

There are also those companies who interpret a resignation as an insult or a betrayal of sorts. Typically, those companies place themselves in precarious positions by not planning for the eventual departure of key personnel. Serving out the notice period for those companies could be almost considered a punishment. Rather than have you address certain tasks which should have been implemented or maintained while you were there, you now have two or three weeks where you are expected to complete them, in preparation for your replacement.

Regardless of your reasons for leaving, you should always take the time to consider what is in your best interest. It is possible to maintain professionalism and give short or no notice, especially if the situation is or has become untenable. The company will continue and find ways to heal itself. It may be inconvenient for a time, but, in the long run, they will find a suitable replacement for you. If you choose to give notice, don't simply do it out of a sense of obligation. Do it because you care about the company you're leaving and you want to finish what you've started before you go on to your next challenge.

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