When did you give your current employer your 2-weeks notice after receiving your cleared job offer?

I got a job offer with a defense contractor requiring a Secret clearance a month and a half ago and signed my final paperwork with HR 4 weeks ago. I was given an initial start date of September, 24th. This was before I received my e-QIP or fingerprint forms. I was then told a week prior to my start date that they would have to move my start date to October 8th. After submitting my e-QIP and other forms, I was told that I would “likely” start “around Halloween” although they would try to expedite my paperwork. I’ve already submitted TWO letters of resignation and a two-weeks notice to my current employer and it looks as though I’ll have to submit a third.

This is the first cleared job I have ever gotten, so I am unfamiliar with the way the process works. Is my case at all normal? I’m starting to think I erred in providing my 2-weeks as early as I did and I’m starting to get questions from people at my current job what’s going on. I don’t have any major blemishes on my record, other than one or two speeding tickets. Should I be at all worried my position will fall through?

My answer would be the last possible minute.

This past January, after an 18 month wait, I was approved to start my cleared job on a Wednesday. They asked me to start the following Monday. I tendered my resignation on Thursday morning.

In my case, both companies that I resigned from (a contractor and client) understood that the new job was over an hour closer to home. So they were pretty understanding. In fact, both have contacted me to see if I’m happy here and asked if I would have any interest in returning.


regarding to the two-week notice, it depends on the state you are in and your employment status. Generally, you are not legally required to give your employer a two-week notice unless it is specified in your employment contract. So, you can literally submit your resignation a day before the new job. One thing to consider is internal human resources policy. Some company has policy that penalized you for giving less than two-week notice by saying that you will forfeit your X-number of leave hours (ie: annual leave, paid time off, etc.)

If I were you, I would wait until you are actually given a firm offer before submitting the resignation letter.


Our advise has always been to never resign until your cleared and in your seat at your new job. Anything and everything has happened with clearances. I would stay put.


Thanks for the reply and I’m glad to hear it’s worked out for you. My supervisor has been very accommodating and sympathetic to my plight, even though he has had to delay the hiring process to select my successor. It just feels kind of humiliating to continuously answer questions from co-workers asking why I’m still at the company and if the job will even materialize.

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It isn’t required in my state, but I have been with my current employer for over ten years and I have made many contacts while working there and wouldn’t feel right not giving 2 weeks notice. It would also effect my leave as well. My new employer’s constant and optimistic start-dates did not do me any favors.

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If a person departs with no notice our HR puts a “not eligible for rehire” comment in the HR system. It is mainly a courtesy but in right to work states…you can quit and they can fire without a reason. Never burn bridges and always ease the transition between jobs. You never know when you need use someone as a reference or if they can help you in the future, or if you can help them.


Nice, general, advice but in this situation the OP doesn’t actually know WHEN his start date will be. He has already been given two or three. So . . . in a right to work state, he puts his job at risk by giving notice time after time.


Guilty as charged. I skimmed, should have read slower (end of day). I think you are on target, did due diligence. Just wait for a final…and real report date. Seems you are doing the right thing.


That is not possible for most people to do. So say for example myself. I am 3 states away from where my job will be. There are logistical things I need to square away well before being in my seat at a new job like.

Finding a new place to live, turning off utilizes at my current, closing bank accounts, finding/setting up movers.

For out of state people how long in advance should I be hoping for. In my mind I was hoping for getting a FJO and EOD date 2 months in advance. Maybe 2 and a half…I guess that is probably asking too much. I mean I’d leave in a week if I had to but the more time I had to prepare the less of a nightmare it will be.
But Ive also read horror stories of guys at the last minute getting contacted by their new job saying they were terminated or the position was no longer open what have you.

God IDK what I would do if I left my comfy job, picked up my family (and her leaving her job) and something like that happened. I know rare but it happens.

2 months would give ME (everyone is different) more than enough time to find a new place and do all the things I need to do to get ready to move. 1 month would be tight but doable. Less than that and Id be scrambling.

Even if I had 2 months to prepare Id work up until about 2 weeks out before my new employment started.

Once a had a firm start date.

@hopefulguy sounds like you are talking about getting hired by a government agency as a direct hire employee? You talk about FJO and EOD… anyway, in most cases you may be able to delay the actual start date to give yourself a couple of months. But sometimes it may be driven by class dates for required training which may reduce flexibility. At any rate, when you get your FJO you will have an opportunity to discuss the start date with HR.

And as somebody else said, wait until the last possible moment to give notice at the current job! Of course if you are already a fed and have to start the transfer process you may need to give them more than two weeks notice to get things rolling. Which can be awkward.

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So in my case what would the very lst minute be. When I get the call with a FJO and then letter with a EOD in the mail? Would I be safe then with a official EOD from HR?

Maybe… see the original posts that started this thread :slightly_frowning_face: If it is the Friday two weeks before the Monday you are scheduled to start then I guess you can drop the resignation. Don’t try to be a “team player” and give them extra notice, too many stories of that not ending well for the departing employee.

Dont forget there is also the possibility of some unforeseen event like a hiring freeze, budget cuts, reorganization, etc.

In all likelihood, things will go smoothly. But there is always a chance.

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Assuming that this is for a federal position, technically are not “safe” until you are on the agency roster, which is usually on the first day on duty. So, I wouldn’t ask for a start date in two months because anything can happened between final job offer (FJO) and start date as @sbusquirrel alluded. Instead, I would ask to start ASAP and be placed in Leave Without Pay (LWOP) status for a month or two.

Also, check and see if the agency offers Permanent Change of Station (PCS). You can check the job announcement that you applied and ask HR or selecting official. Keep in mind, Government doesnt always give this out and it depends largely on the grade and agency’s need. I find that agencies typically offer PCS if there are severe shortage and/or higher grade positions.

Finally, dont expect HR or selecting official to be sympathetic about your plights… (uprooting family, moving three states away, etc.)

This agency and position pay for relocation. Thats a big bonus for me. I think its wild that you really arent safe until you are in your chair.
I guess you have a point about starting ASAP. Ill make it work. Wouldnt want to get to the finish line only to botch something up then.

In Massachusetts at least, that tactic would be illegal. If you work in a right to work state, you have no legal obligation to give notice and your employer must pay all PTO/vacation time accrued.

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I understand what your saying, just remember they are under no obligation until your sworn in, and even after that there is a two year probation for new feds. I you think it’s worth the risk then be all means. I am just saying that I would not. In fact I was recently offered a job in Texas, I am in D.C. it was a promotion. they said that I would receive final offer after I am cleared but want me to move now. I said I will move once I am cleared.

I dont blame you. With this agency with the time and money they’ve spent on me so far im not worried but reading peoples past horror stories does kind of weight in the back of my mind. When\If I get the call Im cleared and when\if I get a FJO via telephone and a EOD. Then I will prepare. I plan to let me current employers know about 4-6 weeks out (if I know that far out) and work until 3 weeks out. Then move 2 weeks out and have that 2 weeks to settle in before the new job starts.

Now that sounds good on paper but everyone has a plan until they get hit. I can adapt easily and as long as Ive been waiting for this Ill find a way no matter what to make it work, of course easier and more time out would be better. Thanks for all the comments.

I’m in a very similar sticky situation. Im in the process of switching from contractor to federal government and ive received a tentative job offer and reporting instructions for 16 September. Still no FJO. i was told by the local HR rep that its at OCHR and he is waiting on the FJO from them but i should be startingon the 16th. the tentative job offer clearly states they recommend not putting in a notice until the FJO. i feel really torn because i believe the professional thing to do is put in a two week notice but im concerned because i haven’t received the FJO