When Your Current Employer Wants More Than Two Weeks Notice

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter explains how to respond when your current manager asks for more than two weeks notice.


I want to talk with you about those instances when you are giving you notice in your current employer turns around and says, “No! No! No! Not two weeks notice. We need four, six, eight weeks notice two months notice! Two years notice!” Whatever it is, it’s more than two weeks.

Here’s how you respond to it. I want to understand that the reason you doing this is that if you agreed to their unreasonable request (and it is an unreasonable request), it has an impact on your relationship with your future employer. That’s where you are going to be for the next period of your life, not with your former employer.

You just very simply respond by saying, “I understand your concern. I want you to know that I’m very prepared to do over time in order to ensure that this is a smooth transition. I given a commitment to my future employer on a particular date. My commitments are important to me; it’s important to them as well and I’m going to be there on that date.”

“If you need me to work overtime or participate in the interviewing for my replacement and assist with the hand off , I can take phone calls, not a ridiculous number of phone calls but I can take a phone call or two when my new job and will be happy to answer the new person’s questions. However, again, I need to be there on this particular date.”

If you work for big or midsized company, you don’t have to worry about this, because sometimes we work for a small firm or the owner is very hands-on you, may have to contend with an owner who says, “What! If you feel that way, get out of here now!” And they throw you out of your job now. If that happens, they obviously didn’t need you for more than two weeks, right? If you want to start sooner at your next employer you can contact them and say, “The person I was working for decided it would be better if I left now and I would like to join sooner.”

“Why did they feel that way?”

“They had an emotional tantrum when I gave them two weeks notice and they asked for four and I said I’m going to keep my commitment.”

That reinforces an ethical quality in the mind of the next employer in you.


Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com is there to change that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

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