Is it possible to give notice of your resignation too soon? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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Is it possible to give notice of your resignation too soon?

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Question: "I am planning to move out of state this summer. When would be the appropriate time to let my current employer know of my plans? I would like to give them enough notice so they can find a replacement, but I'm concerned that if I let them know sooner rather than later, they might replace me. I would like to work as much as I can." - Nancy

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

PB March 28, 2017 at 12:06 pm

My family is moving out of state also probably the end of June. I was going to give notice April 1st as I am the only secretary for 4 attorneys. There is no other person answering phones or anything. I act as office manager, secretary, receptionist, plus. I have been here for 36 years.


Nicole Kirk February 9, 2017 at 9:42 pm

If I give a letter of resignation 4 months early with an end date and your employer hires someone before that date and let’s you go before your stated date are you entitled to collect unemployment? My boss asked me to turn in my notice now and I intend to work 4 more months


Muguwa Joseph February 3, 2016 at 2:45 am

Imagining that it is an ideal situation, it would be important that you follow and respect the rules of the organisation and as indicated in the job contract agreement you willingly signed at the beginning. However, some situations may demand a quick/abnormal exit ( for example, one has been sitting on hot coals for most of the time), disillusioned about not getting what s/he had expected. In such cases, it may be an inevitable relief to such a person. Then there can also be cases where one surely had the best relationship with the boss and entire staff but, naturally, all of us ambitious for higher and pleasing working situations. In this case, one may even feel “guilty” or a betrayal to the entire organisation. This may then force one to go “un-announced” so to speak. Well knowing even that it will leave the firm traumatised by the departure, a lot of anxieties, theories. In conclusion, i would seriously advocate following the laid down procedures but there should also be room for the out-of-norm situations as well.


Mark January 29, 2016 at 10:55 am

I think it really depends on the culture of your organization and your boss. There are some organizations, such as ours, where we greatly appreciate as much notice as possible, and we will keep the person until the date they spelled out in their notice. We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have as much time as possible to find a suitable replacement and get them trained. We’ve had one employee give a year notice the day he was hired (he was joining the Marines the following year), we’ve had at least three or four people give six months notice, and we’ve had some give several lessor months notice. We think it is phenomenal when employees can do that. BUT, on the other hand, I know there are employers who will let you go as soon as they get a replacement hired, and others that will let you go as soon as you give notice. (A business in town is like that. You could be a 30-year faithful employee, but if you tell them you would like to retire in two months, you are escorted by security to your desk to clear everything out and then escorted to the front door.) It all goes back to your the employer’s corporate culture/policies.


Barbara C January 28, 2016 at 9:50 pm

Hi Nancy
You should provide notice according to your letter of offer / contract. Should your company replace you sooner than your notice period, they should pay you out the remaining notice period (of course this all depends on your countries HR legislation.


Tracey, Utah January 28, 2016 at 6:30 pm

I gave a two month notice once and was replaced within two weeks and let go. I had thought I had a good relationship with the manager but he did what was best for his company. I was devastated personally and a little monetarily. I had to do temp work for a month to keep up with the bills until our move to another state. Good luck!


Jackqueline January 28, 2016 at 5:44 pm

It largely depends on your employment contract, if it states 2 weeks I would give 3 or 4, but then again we are protected in Australia with wrongful dismal legislation.
If you would only like to give a short amount of notice I would start building a SOP, for your position.
Then when you give notice, if they haven’t found the right fit before you leave there is something to hand over to the new person when they start.
Good Luck with your move


Robyn B January 28, 2016 at 5:16 pm

I’m planning a similar move and was wondering as well. I have a really great relationship with my CEO and I know it will take them at least 6 weeks to post, interview and make a decision. I’m planning to give her at least that much notice (our policy states 3 weeks). Thanks everyone for your comments!


Tracy January 28, 2016 at 5:06 pm

There is a delicate balance between taking care of yourself and burning your bridges. When I moved out of state in 2005, I provided six weeks notice. I knew that giving that much notice would be very appreciated, and I was not at all concerned about them filling my position and ending my employment before I was ready. I was right. The notice that you provide will really depend upon your relationship with your employer/supervisor and the employer’s and supervisor’s morals and ethics.


Cheyenne January 28, 2016 at 5:06 pm

My organization is an at-will company–either the employer or employee can terminate at any time, without giving notice. An employee giving 2 weeks’ notice is a common courtesy; however, it is not required. Personally, I think 3 weeks’ notice is fine. Your supervisor will appreciate it, and it will give you time to put together at least a basic procedures book (if you have not already done this) of your routine job responsibilities.


KMS January 28, 2016 at 4:50 pm

I believe 30 day notice is appropriate. It is always best to give as much notice as you can. This not only benefits you, but also your employer.


Pam Hoyle January 28, 2016 at 4:50 pm

Depending on your relationship with who you direct report to, and how long the hiring process takes for your company, the earlier the better, at least verbally. Our home sold much more quickly than expected, and I ended up needing to leave about a month earlier than I had anticipated. Because I had a decent relationship with my boss, she was not unaware. Once I had a go date, I communicated it in writing. It also helped, because it took about 6 weeks for the hiring process to complete and I could help onboard my replacement. At this job, they couldn’t post for my position until they had received in writing a resignation. If you don’t already have a desk manual, or something like it, in place, start one. Communicate that you are working on it and make it as detailed as possible–you can possibly eke out a little extra time to pad your resignation, if necessary. Happy trails!


Claudia January 28, 2016 at 4:43 pm

I worked at a place that was known for escorting people to the door once they knew you were going to leave, but I thought I should give 2-weeks notice and preferred to give a longer notice since I was leaving the state. I waited until I had nearly everything packed and could actually leave anytime, then gave 3-weeks notice knowing that if they did not accept that, I could go ahead and move. My manager was shocked that I was moving, and thankful that I gave such long notice since no one else knew all of my job. I did work those 3 weeks and ended it with a wonderful surprise party!


KS January 28, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Off the top of my head, I’d suggest one month’s notice or whatever is stated in your employee handbook.

However, much depends on what your job is, how much training is needed to do it, if anyone else in the organization can do it, and how hard it would be to find someone with the skills & credentials necessary to perform your job. If you have a highly specialized position, it may be better to give notice a little sooner, maybe six weeks. It is nice of you to be thinking of your employer, but be sure to look out for yourself first.


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