questions about resigning — while your boss is on maternity leave, when your boss is hard to find, and when your coworkers are leaving too

Resigning! It always stresses people out (except for when it just elates them). Here are three questions about it.

1. Should I resign while my boss is on maternity leave, or on her first day back?

I’m in the final stages of negotiating an offer and hope to be able to resign from my current position soon. Based on how conversations are going, I think it’s reasonable to hope I could give notice as soon as this week. I have not yet negotiated my start date.

My boss is set to return from maternity leave in two weeks, and I’m trying to decide how best to time my resignation, mulling over what you wrote here. My ideal would be to give two weeks notice on Monday, and overlap with her for a week. But is telling her on the last week of leave too much of a jerk move? Or is it actually better than telling her on her first day back? I truly have no guess as to what she might prefer. I will give two weeks notice regardless of when I tell her.

I am extremely eager to leave, but I don’t want to be unprofessional or insensitive. I’ll be able to transition my projects smoothly regardless. What are your thoughts on the best approach?

Who are you reporting to in her absence? I’d give your notice to that person on Monday, so that the clock starts ticking on your two weeks. And then talk to your manager in person on her first day back the following week.

I get the impulse to let her know personally now, but she’s still on maternity leave, and she’s entitled to have uninterrupted leave time where she doesn’t have to think about work problems. That’s especially true in this case, since there won’t be anything she can do to start working on the vacancy or the transition until she’s back, which means she’ll have the stress of knowing it without being able to do anything. (Or she’d need to start working earlier than planned, which is not a good outcome.)

2. How do I resign if I’m not sure my boss will be in the office?

I’m moving to a new job soon, and I’m really excited! I have one question about timing for giving notice. I’m planning to give my two weeks’ notice to my boss next Monday. However, his schedule is unpredictable, and I have no way of knowing whether he’ll be in the office or available for a meeting. Scheduling a meeting in advance is possible, but it would be an unusual move for us and would stand out. If I do schedule a meeting, he also might want to move it up if he has free time on Thursday or Friday (he does that sometimes).

My boss has sometimes reacted badly when people leave, so I don’t want to give notice before Monday if I can help it. Any thoughts? Should I just plan to try to meet with him Monday, and call him if he’s not there?

If he’s out of the office, is it usually pretty easy to reach him by phone? If so, then I’d plan to do it Monday — but start trying to get in touch with him first thing in the morning on Monday. If it turns out he’s not going to be in that day, then call him. If you get his voicemail, leave a message saying that it’s important and you need to talk to him that same day. And if you haven’t heard back from him by mid-afternoon, call him again. In other words, be pretty aggressive about making sure that you get ahold of him that day.

Related: how do I resign when I can’t get time to meet with my busy manager?

3. I was planning to quit — but two coworkers did it first

My partner and I are planning a major move about two months from now. We haven’t told our employers yet, but I have a good relationship with my boss, so I was planning to give her plenty of notice — say, three to four weeks.

A few weeks ago, one of my coworkers quit. I was offered the position (a promotion) but politely declined.

Then, another coworker quit.

Our department is quite small, and this kind of turnover is pretty unusual. My boss has mentioned that with these new hires, she is looking to restructure the department and redistribute some of the responsibilities.

It feels awful to keep quiet, knowing that I will also be giving my notice in a month or so. One part of me wants to make sure she has all the information before she starts making these new plans. But the other part worries about working such a long notice period, and adding to the stress of everything else going on with our team (which may feel a bit more resolved four weeks from now).

Would you want to know?

Good lord, yes. But that doesn’t mean that you should definitely tell her.

Some employers are great about long notice periods. Others push people out early. So when you’re considering giving an extra long amount of notice, you want to know which type of employer you’re dealing with.

That said, you’re probably in the clear here. You have a good relationship with your boss, and you’re only talking about two months of notice, which actually isn’t a hugely long time. Plus, she’s making a bunch of new plans, so she’s likely to be particularly grateful that you spoke up.

But in case there’s information that I’m missing, make sure to think that through.

{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

    OP#3, I just wanted to echo/emphasize what Alison said. If your boss is a reasonable human who will not behave badly when you’re on your notice period, then it would be really kind of you to give her a head’s up sooner than later.

    If she’s using this turnover period as an opportunity to restructure, knowing that a key position will soon be vacant is going to factor into her approach. It also gives her the chance to recruit and hire for all positions at the same time, which is a little more efficient (in most cases) than concluding one search, only to reopen a second round.

    Again, you don’t owe her early early notice, but if you have a good relationship with each other, it would be a nice thing to do.

    Reply
    1. Detective Amy Santiago

      Agreed. If you can be reasonably certain that she won’t ask you to leave immediately (which I’m guessing she won’t under the circumstances) then I think it would be a good idea to let her know your plans so she can factor that in to her restructuring.

      Reply
    2. Another person

      Agree also. I’m not giving more than 2 weeks to my boss because our relationship has had its ups and downs and I know she’s going to take it very personally (pretty sure she won’t walk me out, just make my last 2 weeks miserable) but the OP’s relationship and reason for leaving is very different than mine. If I felt it wouldn’t be so horrible for me I’d give more notice to smooth the transition of my projects to help my colleagues out and in the OP’s situation, it sounds like the boss may be more appreciative than angry.

      Reply
    3. AnonymousNow

      I agree, especially so because the reason you’re quitting is because your family is moving. There’s nothing for someone to get upset about there, and even managers who get upset about people who quit usually don’t get upset when the reason is because you’re moving. She’ll appreciate that you told her extra early.

      Reply
    4. Emi.

      And I think the fact that you’re moving makes her less likely to react badly. If she’s thinking “Why is everyone leaving on me all of the sudden?” then in your case, the answer is “Wakeen is leaving because Wakeen et al. are moving to a different city,” which is harder to take personally.

      Reply
    5. Lablizard

      I had a boss give me the silent treatment throughout my whole notice period, up to and including not telling me who to transition my projects to. I figured one of us had to act like an adult, so I briefed all my co-workers and created a project guide/document locator that I emailed out to everyone, including the silent treatment boss. I never could figure out why she would prefer shooting her own team in the foot to a smooth transition

      Reply
  2. Anon Anon

    OP#3, if you do give your boss a heads up sooner, make sure that you are clear about when you last day would be. I have a couple of friends who quit with long notice periods but without a definite end date and their notice period kept getting stretched out. One by a few weeks, the other by a few months!

    Reply
    1. AnonymousNow

      I think it won’t really be a thing that could happen to OP3, because she’s moving. But I would stress that she set a real last day if she wants extra time to pack and handle anything else with the move.

      Reply
  3. animaniactoo

    I would disagree on letter #1 only to say that I think this is in “know your boss” territory. Some people would want to know ASAP because they might have people they’ve been keeping an eye on and would want to get in contact with as soon as possible, or put the word out to their network that they’re looking for someone before an ad is officially placed, etc. Some would want to know just not to have to deal with the “shock value” of being hit with it on their first day back while they’ve got a totally different picture in their head of how the day is going to go, and will adjust better even if they’re not going to do anything before they get back.

    If you feel fairly strongly that your boss would be one of those people, then I think you should say something to her while she’s still out on leave.

    Reply
    1. Giudecca

      Yes, this exactly. I am one of those people who would definitely at least want a heads up. A couple of things happened in my department while I was on maternity leave, and I was appreciated the heads up (just a quick text that was unobtrusive and I could deal with it or not whenever I wanted to). I didn’t really work beyond providing the name of a trusted consultant who could help them out in my absence. If one of the people reporting to me had given notice, I would have really wanted to know.

      Reply
    2. OP1

      I’m OP#1, and I like the idea of talking to my boss’s boss and getting her sense of whether boss would like to know. Boss has been super present throughout her leave (because she’s a control freak?). And I agree that the shock value could feel really cruel. Selfishly, I like the possibility of only having to deal with her for 50% of my notice period, but I’m still waffling on whether it’s the right thing to do.

      Reply
      1. designbot

        Look at it this way–she didn’t factor your job plans into her pregnancy/maternity plans, did she? So why would it be incumbent upon you to factor those into your personal plans? People leave jobs all the time, people get pregnant all the time, sometimes those things line up with each other in less than ideal ways. But if you’ve got a reason in mind why you’d like to leave on a certain date, you’re entitled to arrange your life around that instead of around someone else’s life.

        Reply
        1. OP1

          Wholeheartedly agree, and am definitely leaning toward the most expeditious departure– though I’ll fully admit that since many of my current colleagues will stay in my professional orbit, I did feel like I needed this outside validation of what’s most likely to leave a good impression.

          Reply
      2. Is it Friday Yet?

        OP1, I was once in a very similar situation. I had just accepted another offer and needed to give 2 weeks notice ASAP, but my boss had just left the day before because his wife had a baby. I ended up telling his boss, and I explained that I felt conflicted over whether or not to call my own boss who was now on paternity leave. It only complicated matters because when I gave my notice, the company decided to “walk” me since I was going to a competitor. (It was/is very common for the industry that I work in.) I was paid for the 2 weeks. But still, it would have been odd for my boss to see social media posts from me while I would normally have been working… and I’m sure he would have heard it through the grape vine anyway.

        In the end, my boss’ boss felt it would be best if I reached out to my boss. So I texted him and asked if he was available to talk. I called him and explained it over the phone, and he was very understanding.

        Reply
        1. Bob

          I once told my landlord (who I was sort of buddies with) that I was actively house shopping when he inquired. The next day I got home from work and he was waiting with two pieces of paper – an eviction notice and a new 1-year lease (I was month-to-month at the the time). He said he had another tenant lined up so I needed to sign one. I took the eviction notice and it all worked out in the end. I was under contract on a house before the eviction period was up, moved in with my parents for 3 weeks and then into my new house. You could make an argument it actually worked out better the way it went down. Though I try to remember how screwed I would have been if I wasn’t in my hometown and lived on my own as I do now. It would have been a pain to find temporary housing.

          Anyway, this doesn’t sound like it would be an issue for OP but it’s a lesson I will always remember. Most people will use information you innocently gave them against you if it benefits them. Maybe OP’s boss had the perfect candidate for OP’s job submit their resume last week but didn’t follow up because they have OP? I don’t blame people for putting themselves or the company first but I now keep this kind of information private until I choose to disclose it when it benefits me the most.

          Reply
  4. Bea

    We just had a moment where someone was going to give their notice and the Monday before the Friday they planned to tell us, we had an internal discussion about needing to let someone else in the department go at the end of the week for budgetary issues. That forced the persons hand and saved us a huge issue if he waited and we certainly are grateful he pushed his notice up in that case. He saved someone’s job because of actions.

    I had to drop notice on my hard to pin down boss at the end of the year. It was so nerve wrecking to need to tell him but not know when. You hopefully know your boss well enough to know when they’ll still be extremely bummed out but won’t lash out! If they’re hotheads, protect yourself. If they’re good bosses with a strong relationship involved, break the bad news to them with as much buffer as possible.

    Reply
  5. NPO Queen

    OP 3, I had two coworkers quit within a month of each other at one job, so it was just me and my boss in the department. I wanted to go but then she would have been all alone AND she had an “around the world” trip planned for the month after everyone left. I ended up staying there for another two years, but I also didn’t have concrete plans to move anywhere. I just wanted to leave that job. If your boss is trusting and she won’t be the only one left in the department, you’re probably okay to tell her. If it was me, I’d appreciate the heads up and would probably hire for your position first, just so you would have time to train the new person. Passing on knowledge directly is invaluable when you get a chance to do it.

    Reply
    1. hbc

      It really depends so much on your boss, the company, the job, and your personal standing. I gave notice as soon as my husband signed his offer for an out-of-state job, and gave a general exit time frame of 4-5 months. They loved me there, so the only way it could have backfired was if they had layoffs, and even then I would have been okay with being the person cut since I’d get at least three months severance.

      Reply
    2. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2

      No.

      You might change your mind and you might not be able to take back the resignation.

      Reply
    3. Savannnah

      Depends on the job. In my current role, anything less than 2-3 months would be a huge slap in the face to my boss and team. At the director level and up its not unheard of to give 6 months+.

      Reply
      1. Cindy

        2-3 months? And even 6 months+? I’ve never heard of that before. But very logical if there are lots of projects to take care of. I’ve only seen what appears to be the standard 2 weeks on this site (I’m guessing American standard).

        Reply
        1. Soupmonger

          I’m in the UK, and 3 months is common for senior management posts; 1 month is standard. To me, the US norm of 2 weeks or so seems really tight.

          Reply
          1. Ramona Flowers

            Yep, this. And there’s usually a set notice period for each side set out in your employment terms.

            Reply
        2. Mel

          My senior year of high school, I was able to give six months notice when I got my scholarship award letter. I work part-time at a library, and everybody got a good chuckle out of the situation.

          Reply
      2. Al Lo

        My work is based around the academic year, and involves committing to an artistic season (especially for our contract staff). For the most part, we like to know by March or so if someone’s not coming back the following year, as long as they know. We’d never push them out at that time, but it gives us the time to hire properly and involve the new hire in the artistic planning process for the following year.

        So, in most cases, it ends up being about 6 months notice to not renew a contract, although life happens, and sometimes it’s less. (It does make it really tough, though, when a very specialized role finds out in July that they’re moving and can’t work the season that starts in September. That’s nearly impossible to find someone with the right credentials and experience, and give them enough time to have input into the process so that they feel ownership over the repertoire that they’ll be doing over the entire next season.) Sometimes it’s more — we know at times that someone is giving us one more year and then moving on, and we love knowing that.

        In my role, which is a hybrid office/artistic job, but less tied to the rehearsal schedule than some, I wouldn’t give less than 6-8 weeks notice, unless it was an extenuating circumstance. I know my workplace, and I know that I wouldn’t be pushed out or treated poorly, and I would want to give them the best possible transition I could.

        Reply
      3. Parenthetically

        It REALLY does depend on the job. If I were to decide now not to come back after my maternity leave in August, I would probably be giving JUST enough time for my boss to hire my replacement. If I made that decision in June or July it would be a NIGHTMARE because 95% of teachers in the area would already be signed on for 2017-2018 and some of them would already be in their classrooms. We’re asked to make a decision about the next school year by the end of February if possible.

        Reply
      4. Callie

        Definitely depends on the job and the situation. I’m in academia, and a colleague told us at the beginning of the academic year that she was retiring at the end of the year–and the process to replace her has taken all year. On the other hand, another colleague just gave his notice of retirement effective at the end of this semester. He’s been intending to stay another few years even though he’s been eligible for retirement for some time, but recent bad health has convinced him that the time is now. A current adjunct has been hired to replace him for the upcoming year, and a search for a permanent replacement will happen next year.

        Reply
    4. Cindy

      I am certain about resigning because I will be moving to another part of the country to be closer to family. The reason I want to tell early is because my boss said that it is hard to find temps and if I tell her before summer starts, she would probably be able to find my replacement before the holidays and then we could “overlap” those months. I just know that my coworkers will be sad because we really need more workers and the working days are stressfull. (Another reason for my resigning.)

      In my field we are required to give one month’s notice. Another coworker resigned recently and said that she was generous by giving two months’ notice. I talked it over with her and she thought I could easily tell my boss now. I guess I’m mostly worried about the reactions of my co-workers :(

      Reply
      1. Soupmonger

        Honestly, having had multiple jobs and now my own business (where people come and go all the time) it’s not an issue. Don’t let it stress you – just do what you need to do to live your life!

        Reply
    5. tigerlily

      I’ve had two situations where I gave about four/five months notice. In both cases I was moving and I had wonderful relationships with my bosses, so to me it just made sense to let them know as soon as I knew. Then I didn’t have to feel like I needed to be on my guard and not let anything slip out about moving plans. And they were both situations where I was the lone administrative person in a non-profit full of direct service staff so it was nice for them to have a good long while to find someone to replace me and have me train them instead of a bunch of drug and alcohol counsilors suddenly having to cover my requisitions and reports until they found someone. But that situation’s not the same for everyone, so it’s really a “you know best” situation. You know your boss and your organization and what’s going to be best for YOU.

      Reply
    6. Cindy

      Thank you so much for all your replies!!
      It was nice to know that it is not uncommon to give a long notice and the reassurances that I should not worry too much about resigning :) As some of you may have guessed, this is the first job where I didn’t have a fixed ending date and actually need to resign to move on. Your answers helped calm me down :)
      I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

      (And sorry, Allison, for posting it here instead of the friday thread. I realised later that would have been more apporiate so that people could focus on the actual letters in this post.)

      Reply
  6. Sibley

    I used to work on a smaller team, about 15 total. 3 of us gave notice in 2 days. Tom (names changed) gave notice Monday, then Alex gave notice on Tuesday. I also gave notice on Tuesday. It happens sometimes.

    Reply
    1. NJ Anon

      Our entire agency has 14 employees. 3 people quit in a month. Each only gave 2 weeks notice. I have a second interview tomorrow. If get offered the job, I will be the 4th in less than 2 months. It’s never a good time but shit happens and if it were a better place to work, people wouldn’t be jumping ship!

      Reply
      1. Gadfly

        It even can be a good place that just doesn’t offer enough beyond a certain point. There can only be so much upward mobility, and there are always more peons needed than senior roles.

        Reply
    2. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2

      I once worked in a place (back in the early 80s) – where some promises were broken to some people. These were people in computer operational situations – who had their opps to advance to technical work pulled out from underneath them.

      One guy goes out, gets a job at a fast-growing competing firm – to do what he would have at company A. He resigns. He’s told “ha ha ha , I didn’t make those promises to you, don’t let the door hit your a…” — and the manager had a good ho-ho.

      However, he was not chuckling three weeks later – when the remaining four team members all resigned on the same day – to go to the same opportunity that their co-worker had acquired at company B.

      For the record, counter-offers were extended, restoring the promises given but only two accepted. They were still in trouble, operationally.

      Reply
    3. TCO

      Yeah, I was one of four coworkers on a team of ten who resigned within about six weeks. My boss knew I was looking (it was a healthy team with a great boss, but low pay) so that made me feel a little less bad about being the third to give official notice. She wasn’t surprised, at least.

      Reply
  7. Red Reader

    I worked in an understaffed department — there were two and a half of us in a particular role, when the department had been planned for five. (We weren’t short-staffed for budgetary reasons, we just had a hard time finding qualified staff.) The half was long-term stuck on a project. So I gave ten weeks notice when I was ready to move cross-country. Not only did they not get my job posted before I left, but about three weeks before I left, the other one of us pulled everyone into a conference room to announce that he was dropping to half-time immediately because of an inoperable, probably terminal, cancer diagnosis. I understand he passed away about two months after I left. I have no idea what ended up happening, but the organization is still running.

    Reply
  8. imakethings

    I have resignation fantasies every day, although I know it will actually be super anticlimactic. Still, it’s fun to dream.

    Reply
    1. OP1

      I have fantasy exit interview talking points– things I won’t say because they’re not constructive and would burn bridges but that would be REALLY satisfying to blurt out in the moment.

      Reply
      1. NJ Anon

        I do the exit interviews at my job. As I said up thread, 3 people out of 14 quit in a month. I keep imagining the answers I would love to give if/when I quit. (I have a second interview tomorrow!)

        Reply
      2. Gadfly

        At job before last I actually kept a list of things I would say and do on my last day if I knew I’d never need a reference. It was rather cathartic.

        Joke’s on me though–after I left they shut down that branch and I can’t locate any way to contact the out of state headquarters (not that they’d have much on me beyond hire and end dates) and we never had a supervisor stay long enough to be a reference. In other words, I couldn’t get a reference from them if I wanted to. If not just a job but my very life depended on getting a reference from them I would be SOL.

        Reply
        1. Gadfly

          Just to clarify, because people ALWAYS suggest I look online–Yes, I have looked. Everything goes to their customer service number. As that was my job, I know they do not have access to the information either. I might be able to call them, ask for a supervisor and hope it is actually one and not the type I used to play, and maybe eventually get connected to that branch’s hr people and see if I can get a number out of them. But it seems like a lot to do for hire/end dates and doesn’t fix the reference problem.

          Reply
      3. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2

        Sometimes criticisms may come up and they can be conveyed –

        – lack of security in a position (e.g., company is on the ropes, there have been layoffs, etc., outsourcing)
        – lack of advancement opportunities – and you wish they were at the current position but aren’t
        – money (generally doesn’t offend anyone if you say that)
        – be careful with this, but being passed over for a position you’ve been performing on an interim basis

        Reply
        1. OP1

          The most constructive ways I can think to articulate my main points would be: This body of work could benefit from some strategic planning and some management coaching (i.e., there’s no vision or leadership and this person is a nightmare).

          Reply
    2. EddieSherbert

      When I left ToxicJob I had a (very well-thought out and calmly stated, I promise!) rant for my exit interview that I was so pumped to go through.

      The HR person nodded sympathetically and asked followup questions and I was ECSTATIC…. and then the HR person wrote “moving closer to family” on the exit interview paper. Right in front of me.

      Fail.

      The ironic part is that ToxicJob was only an hour from most of my family and I was moving 4 hours away for the new job….

      Reply
  9. Regina Doublemint

    OP#2, I’m not sure why it would be a problem if scheduling a meeting in advance would “stand out.” Your boss may guess what the meeting is for, but that’s okay! It doesn’t need to be a surprise.

    Reply
    1. OP2

      I think if my bossed guessed that I was resigning, he would force the conversation earlier than I want. (And as I said, he might move up the conversation even if he didn’t guess.) I don’t want to give notice any earlier than I have to. There’s a reasonable chance that my boss will take my leaving as a betrayal, so things may get unpleasant around here as soon as I give notice.

      Reply
      1. Katherine

        OP, while it’s not good when bosses make the office unpleasant – you’re already leaving! You have an end date by which to survive any unpleasantness, and it is a great way to remind yourself just why you are leaving. In addition, you could also borrow some of Alison’s lines and speak to your boss: “You seem to be very unhappy that I am still in the office. Perhaps you would rather we moved my final day up to the end of the week instead of next week?”

        Reply
        1. OP2

          I mean… sure. I would be fine. But I’d rather have 2 weeks of unpleasantness than 2.5 weeks of unpleasantness, if that makes sense. And while I can have the conversation you mentioned, I’d rather not. I’m trying to preserve a good relationship with this employer. Also, if I leave early—either because I cut short the notice period or my boss does (and he might)—I won’t get paid for the rest of my notice period, and on balance, I’d like to get paid. It’s not an option to start the new job early, so I would lose money for that time.

          Reply
    2. designbot

      I’m not the OP, but my office culture is one where the subject of a meeting is prior knowledge. If I or anyone else in my office got an invite to a subject-less or vague meeting, we’d immediately call the person and ask what it was about. It’s just not done here.

      Reply
      1. OP2

        My office is very informal, so we don’t even send meeting invites to each other, but it’s a similar deal. Whenever my boss and I meet, it’s to discuss something specific. I considered saying something like, “Can we meet to talk over my projects and where everything stands?” which would be fine to say. I rejected it because there’s no way to make sure that that would happen Monday (could be earlier, could be later) and because there’s a strong chance that if my boss happened to be in the office, he would just say, “Sure, what do you want to talk about?”

        Reply
        1. designbot

          Could you try to catch him as you’re headed out the door on Friday? Like, “oh hey, let’s make sure to make time to talk on monday, there’s something I want to catch you up on.” ? That way it’s on his radar, and if he does the “let’s just talk about it now” thing, there’s not really a substantial difference between friday night and monday morning.

          Reply
          1. OP2

            I’ve thought about doing that. I think, in my situation, Friday vs Monday makes a difference. (I had been thinking about giving notice on Friday, so this has been on my mind.) My boss doesn’t unplug on the weekends, and I’m concerned he would spend the weekend stewing and/or sending me emails and texts about things I need to get done before I leave. I’d rather start the process on Monday so that I can try to get working on the transition immediately, without a lot of unstructured time in between. It’s entirely possible that my strategy will fail anyway… but I can try.

            I might ask him if he’ll be in the office Monday, though. That would give me some information about when I might be able to have the conversation.

            Reply
  10. Notthatbutton!

    Once I had to give notice when I was working for the federal government and we were shut down – the Clinton-Gingrich budget standoff. I had NO idea what to do.

    Luckily, we re-opened at a point where I could still give ALMOST 2 weeks notice.

    Reply
  11. It's all fun and dev

    I’ll hopefully be giving notice in the next few weeks, but I have a slightly different connundrum – my boss has lately been taking Mondays and Fridays off (that’s a whole separate story), but I’ll want to give notice as soon as I have accepted the offer. No problems if I get the offer on a Tuesday-Thursday, but what if it’s a Friday? Do I wait until the following Tuesday and thus have my notice go three days longer than I planned (which I might not be able to accommodate), or call her at home?

    Reply
    1. Gadfly

      What would you do for a similar must speak to a supervisor can’t wait until Tuesday situation? That might give an answer or at least someone to check with on making the decision to call or not.

      Reply
    2. OP1

      I feel like the advice in the column that’s linked to in the post applies here– you set the terms, phone if you need to, and presumably email is there as a last resort.

      Reply
    3. Ask a Manager Post author

      In addition to what Gadfly and OP1 said (which I agree with), you won’t necessarily be accepting the offer on the spot. It’s normal to ask for a few days to think about it, and so you could pretty easily time it so that your acceptance day fell where you want it to fall. (Plus, “can we set my first day for two and a half weeks out since I won’t be able to give notice to my boss until Tuesday” is a perfectly okay thing to say.)

      Reply
      1. It's all fun and dev

        Thank you so much for this advice! The reason I want to give notice as soon as the new offer is final is that I want to leave this toxic job as soon as humanly possible, but I am partially responsible for some large events coming up in May and June. I want to be able to start the handoff to my coworkers right away and not have to keep pretending that I’ll be here in two months. Here’s hoping I accept a job on a Tuesday or Wednesday!

        Reply
  12. paul

    In the case of the hard to reach boss; is it considered bad to email them your two weeks notice? I’ve never really run into this myself but that’d be my first thought. Is it a faux pas?

    Reply
    1. MicroManagered

      I think best practice is to give notice in person, but there are situations where it isn’t feasible and that’s ok. I saw a resignation by email once where boss and grand boss were both out available on Thursday and Friday, with Monday as a holiday, so an email was the most prompt way to get the notice in. I think if you acknowledge that email isn’t the preferred way to do this but you must for reason X, it’s fine.

      Reply
  13. One Day More

    Thank you so much for this post. This is very timely for me because I’ve decided to not renew my contract for the next year and I will tell them tomorrow. I am slightly worried about the guilting later, but I need to o this for my sanity.

    Reply
  14. ArsenioBHam

    This feels eerily apropos, since I am stressing about giving notice at my job tomorrow (especially because, in addition to being a department of one, I’m expected to take on a lot of my boss’s duties when she goes on maternity leave this summer).

    Just gotta power through!

    Reply
  15. Kinder and Gentler Manager

    OP #3 – if I were the boss in this situation this would be the best time to get me to agree to a remote work situation. I am just throwing that out there with no idea whatsoever if that is something you would consider.

    Reply
  16. Erin

    Wow, really great questions and answers.

    #3 – I would lean towards telling her sooner rather than later. Think about what would happen, worst case scenario – it’s an unpleasant conversation and they push you out early. Would you be okay? Would your partner financially (and otherwise) support you?

    If you decide to go ahead and resign early, emphasize how you’ll help her get everything into place before you leave, offer to help hire and train your replacement, etc. etc. She’s going through a lot of changes and restructuring anyway – I’m sure she’s appreciate both the help with this and all the information she really needs.

    I’m not sure why you’re moving or if you have a new job lined up already, but giving her additional context might help in light of what you say is unusual turnover. “I’ve really loved working here and would absolutely continue to do so if I were staying in the area, but plans have changed. My partner received a job offer we couldn’t refuse and relocating just makes sense right now.” Or whatever the situation is and what you feel comfortable sharing. It’ll soften the blow and help this whole transition go smoother, hopefully. Good luck to you!

    Reply
  17. Mrs. Fenris

    I just resigned. I had known I was leaving for a bit, but I was nervous about my boss finding out too soon. My last boss fired me on the spot when I gave 2 months’ notice, and it was possible my current boss would do the same. It was more likely she would just be kind of a jerk during my notice period. Surprise-she was super nice about it and I am about to have the nicest job transition in history. :-)

    Reply
  18. OP2

    OP #2 here—just wanted to say thanks, Alison! My boss is pretty easy to reach by phone, so this should work whether he’s in the office or not.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Please follow the site's commenting rules.
You can report an ad, tech, or typo issue here.

Subscribe to all comments on this post by RSS