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I have been working for one of the big tech companies for the last year, but I plan on leaving in August to start a Ph.D. The company I work for has a reputation for not always treating all of its employees well under all circumstances (e.g. making people they don't like miserable until they quit), so I am very wary about letting anyone know of my plans to leave until two weeks beforehand. On the other hand, I have a manager and mentor that have done a lot to help me in my current job, and I have good relationships with them that I would like to keep. Leaving with only two weeks notice will certainly have a negative impact on both of them, and I would like to avoid that if possible.

other relevant details:

  • I don't think any of the coworkers in question would support my decision to do a Ph.D., as the way to get higher up in this company is to stay in it, not to leave to get a Ph.D.
  • I don't ever plan on returning to industry, but it still seems like a bad idea to burn bridges

Can I ensure no negative impact on my coworkers while also ensuring no negative impact on myself?

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    Suggest putting this on Workplace.SE instead, since it fits the scope there much closer. – Allure Mar 1 at 7:02
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Be sure to consult your employment contract.

The professional thing to do is to give two weeks notice. It is your manager's job to be prepared for the departure of employees. You are not responsible for that job beyond giving the two weeks notice.

If the company treats you poorly during the two week notice period, all you can do is offer to leave immediately. In that case you may loose two weeks pay.

Thank your manager for mentoring.

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You have worded this such that it is impossible to guarantee everything you want. However it does seems rather one-sided to me; if you give short notice, their difficulties are assured. While if you give long notice, you only have rumors and worries about a potential for some spiteful behavior.

Either way though, I disagree with other posters. The danger here is hardly worth mentioning. If you care about your co-workers, just suck it up and give them the notice they need (a few months perhaps). Doing others a favor can expose you to risks sometimes.

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Just give them the two weeks, given what you say about the company.* People get hired away by competitors in tech all the time for more money and leave with 2 weeks (or often zero) notice. Your managers won't be happy to lose you. But it's not even as annoying as going to a competitor.

Really, companies have people leave all the time. Just be pleasant and professional. But don't overthink it.

*I gave three months but I worked for a much cozier company and had savings, etc. so that I was happy with leaving immediately if they had reacted badly. [Instead they just forgot I was leaving until 2 days before my exit!]

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