I already have a contract signed for a permanent position with another firm, have announced my resignation and gave my standard two-weeks notice to my current employer. The day after my resignation, my current employer asked for me to stay longer as my leaving puts them in a rough situation with a new client. Following this, I was able to make arrangements with my new employer to postpone my arrival for 3 weeks.

A friend, who also happens to be a manager at my current firm, mentioned that I should have negotiated money from my boss (who's also the local CEO) given that they need me and that they would probably be willing to pay for this service.

  1. Is this a common practice? In some ways it feels like extortion but it can easily be justified by using simple supply-demand economics.
  2. How can I come up with a fair compensation?

Do note I have no intention of burning bridges, but I do not like leaving money on the table.

  • 7
    This seems to be primarily opinion based. My take on it is if you decide to extend your stay with the current employer and choose to ask for additional payment, the salary that your new employer would offer is a fair amount to ask for. After all, by sticking around for 3 more weeks at your old job, you are earning a lower salary than you would have earned if you were at your new job. (Assuming, of course, that your new job actually offers a higher salary, which is usually the case.)
    – Masked Man
    Aug 29, 2017 at 2:46
  • 2
    @MaskedMan I really don't understand how this would qualify as primarily opinion based. I'm asking if this is common practice, which is factual. The definition of "common" may vary from one person to another, but that would be really obtuse to flag for this. The second sub-question asks for benchmarks (facts) which are usually used (if this is common) to fairly value such compensation. I am not asking for a recommendation on my particular case.
    – ApplePie
    Aug 29, 2017 at 2:52
  • It seems I had misunderstood the question, I have retracted my close vote now.
    – Masked Man
    Aug 29, 2017 at 2:58
  • Sorry this is poorly worded. I did not get enough sleep!
    – ApplePie
    Aug 29, 2017 at 3:09
  • So you already signed or agreed on 3 more weeks at certain price (the same as you had I suppose)? Or can you still negotiate?
    – DarkCygnus
    Aug 29, 2017 at 3:37

4 Answers 4


Is this a common practice?

You could say yes, but it depends on your negotiation skills and also on what terms you are leaving the company (if you burned bridges they most probably won't be happy to compensate your extra work). It also depends if it is worth asking for more money, given the amount of extra time you will work, so you don't come across as too greedy.

Experienced professionals could easily recognize such opportunities and negotiate good compensation, turning the "puts us in a tough situation" to their benefit. This ability mostly comes with time, as you face new job experiences (like this one).

What are some benchmarks that can be used to come up with a fair compensation?

Assuming that your new job has a better salary, you could use the difference to increase your current compensation, so your income does not decrease during that time (as mentioned in comments).

It could also be the case that postponing your start date at the other company would represent some expenses on your or the new company's behalf, such as (these are the ones I could think of):

  • legal expenses required to postpone contract
  • no health coverage or other benefits during that period
  • other salary compensations delayed (retirement or lay-off bonuses)
  • deductions from your salary by the new company because of other measures they took

Now that you have a better idea of how much you could ask for compensation, I can think of two ways you could negotiate to obtain them:

  1. Charge them on a weekly basis, dividing that amount between the extra weeks
  2. Negotiate an upfront payment of the total amount that covers the expenses.

Remember to add any extra compensation you decide should be mentioned when proposing this.

All this being said, it was not clear to me if you already agreed on a price for those 3 weeks. If you have not, it would be worth attempting to get better compensation. If you already accepted an offer, however, it would be unprofessional to go back on your agreement. In that case, let it be a lesson for future salary negotiations of this sort you may encounter. Hope this helps.

  • I assumed based on how the question is worded, the extra week would be just based on his current salary at the company, no additional fees were requested.
    – Donald
    Aug 29, 2017 at 15:07

Is this a common practice?

I've never done this in my career. Nor has anyone who left my team. Perhaps it's common elsewhere, but in my part of the world I don't see it.

My feeling was always that I was delaying my departure as a favor, not as a money-making opportunity. If I didn't want to do my boss or former employer such a favor I would simply decline. I don't expect compensation for favors, other than goodwill and perhaps a nicer reference somewhere down the road.

In one case where I did not delay my departure, I helped out my former company after hours for a few weeks. I didn't charge them for my help. I wasn't doing it for the money.

How can I come up with a fair compensation?

I suppose it depends on how much your delay is worth to your employer, how much it is worth to you, how nice you want to be, and how badly you want to get out of there.

Ask for megabucks if you don't really want to do it, or if you have your employer over a barrel and want to stick it to them.

Ask for very little if you want to be compensated something, but don't want to leave a bad impression. Perhaps the difference between your current salary and your salary in your new company would be appropriate.

  • "Perhaps the difference between your current salary and your salary in your new company would be appropriate." This is exactly what i have done in the past when asked for an extended departure date. Fair, without gouging.
    – Neo
    Aug 29, 2017 at 11:16
  • This was only done by me if they asked for more than my original 2 or 3 weeks notice. ( not during the standard notice period ) After that, I am costing myself money. For instance, I gave an employer the standard notice, they came back and asked for 6 weeks. I got the ok from my new employer, but I wasn't going eat 1 month worth of the salary difference, which was substantial. I would only do this if the time span was significant, and the money difference was too ( the whole burning bridges thing )
    – Neo
    Aug 29, 2017 at 11:26
  • I do agree though, in a normal notice period, its not a good idea to be greedy as you never know when you may need to go back.
    – Neo
    Aug 29, 2017 at 11:32

I've had this come up once, and I agreed to stay for longer (in my case, 2 months, so longer than you) if the company would match the salary of the new company for that extra period.

While I'm perfectly okay with helping out my former company (they were nice folks and I didn't leave on bad terms) I'm essentially taking a (considerable) pay cut if I keep working on the old salary when I should be getting the new one.

My company thought this was completely reasonable. My goal was not to make extra money off of their hardship, but it was also not my desire to lose out on a fair sum of my own income. This way, both parties could get pretty much what they wanted.

(The only party that didn't really get what they want, was the new employer because I had to move back my starting date. But given the very unusual and unpredictable reason that my employer needed me to stay longer, they could understand the choice.)


This isn't really that uncommon. It's difficult to fill a position in two weeks, so companies often find themselves in this type of situation. If you are able to help them out, you are no longer a regular employee, but are acting as a contractor. Contracting rates are usually significantly higher than employee rates for very qualified people (which you would seem to be) because of the lack of benefits, etc. You may be able to find out what a contracting rate for that type of work is and could use that. As a rule of thumb though, 1.5X your previous pay on a 1099 is about right.

  • That's exactly what I wanted to write so I'll just vote this up instead :-(
    – gnasher729
    Aug 30, 2017 at 4:34
  • You should renegotiate this before the extra week is worked. If they still have you on the payroll they are probably expecting just to pay you another week's salary. If not, you can charge extra as stated above and should do this before you work that last week. My predecessor did this to train me and used weekend time to do so, with an hourly rate and a maximum number of hours to complete my training.... Aug 30, 2017 at 18:53
  • Nobody can force you to postpone your exit. Give notice, work the notice, stop being an employee, return the next day as a contractor.
    – gnasher729
    Aug 30, 2017 at 21:11

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