Would you walk?


Would you leave your employer without giving any notice after nearly 4 years…?

My current employer would very much be left in the lurch, with all kinds of things that no one else has training to do…

An agency has put me up for a job, but the new employer wants someone to start next week (and haven’t interviewed yet!).

I’ve told the agency I can’t walk - wont burn bridges, wouldn’t be fair etc… But on the other hand, my current employer has openly expressed her disdain for me (when I’m not jumping as high as she likes).



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My answer would be ‘it depends’.

If you’re likely to need them for a reference then I’d be careful about burning bridges and personally I’d be uncomfortable leaving an employer who’d treated me well without notice.

Also it depends upon your employment status somewhat, are you full time? part time? casual? contract?

Do you have accrued entitlements you might put at risk by leaving without notice?

None of that would stop me if the job offer was good enough, but it would have to be something special not just another job.

I’ve always felt I’d get a good reference from my current employer - not the owner, but every manager I’ve worked for… Walking out would certainly damage that. It’s not something I’ve done before - have always served my notice to at least write detailed notes on my job even if a replacement wasn’t ready to be trained…

I am full time, and ultimately it is “just another job” that I’m looking at - nothing groundbreaking, albeit a 20% pay increase!

The agency lady half gave me the impression she felt I was being stupid saying that I couldn’t walk, but then - she doesn’t get paid if she doesn’t fill the job… so her viewpoint is biased. Not to mention from what she told me - they are actually having to replace someone that they only recently placed with the company, as the person has now elected to move interstate - hence the urgency.

Don’t burn bridges. I learned that lesson the very hard way 40 years ago. Its not worth it. Especially when the interviews havent happened yet. You have no guarantee of employment


In many respects, I’d go for the interview with a “I’m willing to negotiate an agreeable start date”. Work out if you want the job then negotiate, if they can’t/won’t come to the party you just stay where you are.

Mind you, I’m already wary of an employer who expects someone to leave their current job without notice. Fair enough if they need someone to start right now, but for the right person/fit you’d make it work with random temps for a few weeks.

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Seems to me there is only one question to be answered: Can you survive without employment. If the answer is “No” then stay put. If you walk out and then the other mob interview and someone else gets the job, you’re screwed.

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Interview and if you get the new job then resign.
Try to negotiate terms with new employer to start a week or so later. If they really need you to start ASAP, then that’s what has to be, and give minimal notice to current employer.
How permanent/stable would the new job be?

You been posting on here for a while about how crap your current job is.
If something better comes along I’d grab it with 2 hands and not look back.

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I personally think that would be madness.

You haven’t interviewed for the position so it might not even be yours, and I’ve known people who’ve got offered jobs that have been reneged before the start date.

I also see it as a red flag that someone would ask you to quit without notice. I think that’d be the agent talking, not the employer. Would the employer want that done to them? If not then why would they ask you to do it to someone else.

It’s got to be your call man. If it were me I wouldn’t do it like this, no way no how.


If you being treated like sh!t then nothing guarantees your current employment anyway.

I was loyal for over 10 years for one employer only to find out I was missing out on $$$

Few years ago I would say to you don’t burn bridges, but you know what, you are not going to burn bridges. You will only assert your position and get extra $$$ in the end.

I’m an employer. I generally don’t appreciate people leaving on short notice, though it does depend on how good they are. I had someone leave after a less than stellar performance review who just never came back. That was very unprofessional of them, but I figure that’s their problem and they weren’t very good at their job, so I didn’t mind losing them too much. I had someone else in the business who could pick up their role, so it was ok anyway. Generally speaking though, I would be pretty shitty if someone just walked. We look after our employees well and we appreciate them responding in kind, which they mostly do.

That your current employer would be left in the lurch because nobody else knows how to do certain things is absolutely their problem if they can’t manage it given reasonable notice. We have procedures for most things and people are required to keep them up to date. Your employer’s lack of process is on them.

That said, the new potential employer may be asking you to act in bad faith to some degree. I would not ignore this. If they’re expecting someone good to fill this position they can’t expect that person to be available at a moment’s notice. If they’re worth jumping for they will accept that you can’t just walk out on your current employer. However urgent their need is, that is also not your problem.

I would apply for the job on the basis that you will need to give reasonable notice. That period should be in your contract or whatever you have, usually 7 to 30 days, so find out and tell them. Do the right thing by your current employer, even if they don’t always look after you. If the potential new employer can’t accept that then you may not want to work there.

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Resigning without notice or with insufficient notice


This is important. I would feel really uncomfortable about an employer that expects me to do what I believe to be the wrong thing… I would never trust them.

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Thanks for the thoughts on this everyone. It is greatly appreciated!!

First to be clear - I wouldn’t quit my current job before being invited to work for someone else… (Even after erroneously receiving an email in which the owner said very unpleasant things about me… I didn’t quit…)

Yes, @Leon - my current employer is not pleasant to work for; over Xmas/Jan last year 8 people walked with no job to go to - due to the way the owner treats people. I’ve been there around 3.5 years, and there would be maybe 4 people (out of 40) who were there when I started, and many roles have been filled multiple times over.

I have suggested that I write some kind of manual for my role/s a few times, and been told “that’s pointless”. However if I did walk out the door, the CFO would be picking up the pieces for a long time… One of my team members left 6 months ago, and her replacement is still only doing 1/2 of what was being done in that role, with the rest farmed out to other people - similarly, I’m looking after several people’s worth of tasks that I’ve picked up along the way - If they did have to replace me, there’s no way they’d be able to get 1 person to do it all…

I have heard that this particular job agency has no qualms putting people up for jobs they “don’t fit” just to get a placement (they’ve asked me several times already to go for Accountant roles, and I’m not a qualified accountant), so wouldn’t be surprised if it’s also a case of them being the ones pushing for an immediate starter - especially as they filled the role with someone who has then left “early” to go interstate (or so I’ve been told… Could be a bad sign in itself!)

Even with things as bad as they are where I am, I wonder if/when I leave, whether it’ll be a case of out of the frying pan, into the fire…

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IN a word… YES. Don’t leave until you have a firm offer IN WRITING.


A potential employer who isn’t reasonable about a start date isn’t going to be reasonable about lots of other things later on… however it might be the recruiter trying to get a pre-Christmas commission rather than the employer desperate for a quick start. Go through the process and negotiate with the employer directly if you’re successful. Good luck!


Karma’s not a liar… she keeps receipts. Don’t burn bridges before you’ve even built another one, but you’re an adult and should do whatever you want.

Hmm. That’s a pickle. I personally would see how the interview with employer goes and ask them directly how important an immediate start is.

I personally wouldn’t feel right walking out on my current role without notice. That sort of thing put a black mark against you. Depends if you work in a small industry and reputation would get around.

Though this would look bad on new employer as well. Asking someone to leave current role without notice.

I’d agree with others and it could just be employment agency wanting to fill role quickly to make up for previous placement. Which isn’t your problem. You need to look after yourself and future career.

Well, I never heard back, so - well, actually - the agency lady did contact me to say she’d had no word yet on the job at @#$ - however that wasn’t actually the job she’d told me about…

Either way - no, I wont walk. (Caveat - Unless/until next time she accidentally cc’s me on an email in which she says I’m f’d… Then I’ll re-review.)

Hold on bro, someone at your current employment is saying your are faked ??!

About 18 months or so ago, I had to quote a job for one of the owner’s close relatives. This quote went back and forth a number of times between the owner and myself, because evidently I either was charging too much or too little… At some point, the family member ended up CC’d on the conversation. Eventually the owner was happy with my quote, and I went home believing all was good. I then arrived at work the next day to find that the owner had emailed the relative to say “God cosmic is fucked!”. (That was the sentence used, obviously with my real name…) The owner hadn’t taken me off the CC…

I emailed a copy to my wife and she told me to walk. I’ll admit I did very little work all that day, instead contemplating forwarding Her email to my full address book (but that would be unprofessional). About 3pm-4pm the owner called me into the conference room, and said sorry about “that” email - it obviously was meant to say “God cosmic, this is fucked.” Personally I just believe a word…

On another occasion she called out from her desk across the open plan office - “it’s a shame you’re so unreliable, cosmic - I had a great opportunity for you but I can’t trust you with it”.