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I turned down a job offer because I didn't have enough time to give my current employer proper notice.

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 2nd, 2021 3:18 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 1, 2018
7 posts
4 upvotes

I turned down a job offer because I didn't have enough time to give my current employer proper notice.

It was a government job. I spent a lot of time and effort polishing my resume for this job. Finally they called and asked me to start in two weeks, which was not enough time to give my current employer notice of resignation and to move to another city. Did I make a wrong decision? At the time, I feared if I would get sued if I didn't give at least two weeks notice. What should I do if I run into a similar situation in the future?
23 replies
Deal Addict
Oct 24, 2010
1527 posts
1293 upvotes
Ottawa
Did you explain the situation to the employer making the offer?

I started with the government last year. I also had to move across the country. I gave 2 weeks notice and started right after the notice period remotely from my old home. They couriered me a laptop. I didn't actually move cities until about 6 weeks later.

There is no legally required notice period for resignation in Canada, though there is a common law expectation of "reasonable" notice.
Deal Addict
Jul 13, 2009
4632 posts
2740 upvotes
Dynatos wrote: There is no legally required notice period for resignation in Canada, though there is a common law expectation of "reasonable" notice.
Unless the intent was malicious (set the office on fire, steal clients), no company will pony up lawyer fees to sue someone for quitting.

You could have asked for more time to start and they should have asked you. Moving across country that's a 3-4 week thing! 2 weeks is tight.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 4, 2007
1125 posts
599 upvotes
mojoakasaikei wrote: It was a government job. I spent a lot of time and effort polishing my resume for this job. Finally they called and asked me to start in two weeks, which was not enough time to give my current employer notice of resignation and to move to another city. Did I make a wrong decision? At the time, I feared if I would get sued if I didn't give at least two weeks notice. What should I do if I run into a similar situation in the future?
Ya you made the wrong decision. Should have asked new employer to give you more time.
THE CHILDREN ARE FINE!!!
Member
User avatar
Nov 30, 2007
273 posts
101 upvotes
I think you made the wrong decision. If you're lucky this happened this morning and you can call back quickly and explain the situation. If you're not, they likely had a runner up or two that they contacted immediately after you declined. With the work situation in the last year they would have been able to make a short term accommodation and as long as you're not in terrible standing with your current role, a short notice is not ideal but understandable.
Member
Feb 15, 2018
335 posts
407 upvotes
Your odds of being sued by an employer for not giving notice are virtually zero. Even if they were to sue, they would have to prove that your departure really put them in a serious bind, not just an inconvenience. The real risk of not giving sufficient notice would be burning bridges.

I would call the new employer and tell them that you just spoke to your current employer and managed to work out a transition plan that allows for you to leave in 2 weeks.
Newbie
Mar 7, 2010
48 posts
26 upvotes
Toronto
What you need to do now is call the hiring manager and explain the situation ASAP. You might be able to salvage this mistake.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
35550 posts
21614 upvotes
Center of Universe
Even with a non-compete clause, the chances of being sued is slim.
There are people that take vacation days during their notice.
Deal Addict
Feb 14, 2016
1754 posts
1174 upvotes
contact government HR person and explain the situation,

No government really need someone to start working within two weeks... Not sure what lvl of Gov, but hiring process takes like 1+ years, so they can def wait two additional weeks
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
12116 posts
8445 upvotes
Edmonton
mojoakasaikei wrote: It was a government job. I spent a lot of time and effort polishing my resume for this job. Finally they called and asked me to start in two weeks, which was not enough time to give my current employer notice of resignation and to move to another city. Did I make a wrong decision? At the time, I feared if I would get sued if I didn't give at least two weeks notice. What should I do if I run into a similar situation in the future?
BTW, did you make a counter offer? Something like "I'd really like to join your organization, but I'd like to some additional time with my current employer to ease their transition. Is it possible to start after the New Year?".

And then, when you give your current employer notice, they'll walk you out the door that same day... :)

Basically, if you don't ask, you won't get. Same goes with starting salary, starting paid vacation days, etc... Everything is negotiable.

C
Member
Jan 31, 2007
449 posts
253 upvotes
I have left a few jobs, never gave more than 2 weeks. Have also had employees quit. Let’s just say in 20+ years I have never heard of any employer suing anybody for ANYTHING.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 13, 2012
7415 posts
989 upvotes
Ottawa
mojoakasaikei wrote: It was a government job. I spent a lot of time and effort polishing my resume for this job. Finally they called and asked me to start in two weeks, which was not enough time to give my current employer notice of resignation and to move to another city. Did I make a wrong decision? At the time, I feared if I would get sued if I didn't give at least two weeks notice. What should I do if I run into a similar situation in the future?
Did you sign an employment contract that specified a period longer than two weeks? Even if you did, the courts would likely find that it is unenforceable unless it was considered "reasonable" (for example, you have a highly specialized role and it takes a long time to find/train candidates).
Was the government job offer casual, temp or indeterminate?
As mentioned above, I suggest contacting your contact ASAP. Your refusal can likely be reversed unless they've made an offer to someone else in the meantime.
Deal Addict
May 23, 2006
1030 posts
243 upvotes
Vancouver
Ops, did you explain your situation to your prospective employer?

If yes, are they not willing to accomodate?

If that's the case, you probably wouldn't want to work for such employer anyway....as they don't seem to accomodate even in reasonable circumstances.
Deal Addict
Aug 31, 2017
4298 posts
2191 upvotes
OP, is the real reason because you didn't want to leave? Sometimes fear of the unknown clouds our judgement.
Banned
Jul 10, 2020
177 posts
160 upvotes
wow, sounds like you passed up a great opportunity because you were afraid to talk to people, or, do what's best for yourself.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jul 29, 2005
8655 posts
2576 upvotes
Mississauga
What city was this new job? It's too bad you didn't take a couple of days to think over your decision.
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Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2006
2274 posts
858 upvotes
You gave up a GOVERNMENT job because of an unfounded and baseless fear? Yikes. Really bad choice there sorry to say.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 8, 2007
5101 posts
1276 upvotes
If true and OP is not trolling (highly improbable), this is the saddest post of 2020.
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Banned
Sep 14, 2020
437 posts
239 upvotes
I smell troll, or the biggest mistake someone can make.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 10, 2004
6558 posts
2244 upvotes
Vancouver
I am not understanding the hate towards the op with all the "omg, can't believe you passed a government job". I am either not understanding the job he was applying or the comments are extremely ignorant. Some of you need to understand why there are so many call-center opportunities every year -many don't go back. Same with other positions. If you have a good head on your shoulders and well educated, the private sector will pay you more and can offer better benefits. There's nothing wrong with saying no to a government position if you are already working and like your job. Many government jobs are dead end and boring and pay isn't that great for mid-level+.
Some of you think of a government job as an opportunity of a lifetime, get over it! I just can't believe the ignorance and the comments here. There are no details provided, to make any negative statements. If OP stated he/she works at McDonalds flipping burgers and passed it - yah, a dummy. If OP works for one of say Top 100 employers, there are some amazing salaries and benefits far better than anything government can offer. For one, 2-week vacation time is absurd while in the private sector many offer up to 4 weeks right from year 1! Same with benefits, many cover everything the coverage starts from day 1. Pay also can be significantly higher too. Again, some of you need to chill and maybe look around before making statements
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