Author Topic: How to leave after long employment?  (Read 6184 times)

itsbeenfun

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How to leave after long employment?
« on: July 22, 2014, 09:08:17 PM »
I figured since we're all on this same journey, I'd see how y'all would handle this.

I'm coming up on a decade of working at the same office that I have been at since fresh out of high school. What once was a cool job (because my friends were working food service, retail, etc.) has become cubicle hell. I love the company and my coworkers, it feels like family, but I am growing to hate my existence due to being cooped up all day (with no better options). I am currently strongly considering a career change and am looking to complete it or at the very least be actively applying by the beginning of 2015. (Giving myself time to stockpile cash in the checking account for any hiccups.) Though my retirement may come early, I can't do this line of work for another decade.

I'm curious about tactful ways to resign after so much time. It's a small company and there are some tasks I do there that none of my coworkers can do. How much notice should be given? How many "secrets" should be divulged? If they ask what price could make a guy stay, do you insult them with that inflated number that really would make you consider it? (Mine would be a 50% bump.) And if your best reference is your boss of so many years, is there any way to use that during the hunt?

Not directly related to early retirement, but I figure even if the journey is short, you might as well enjoy it.

medinme

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Re: How to leave after long employment?
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2014, 09:39:39 PM »
Its standard practice to give 2 weeks notice when leaving the workplace.  Write a tactful resignation letter- you can research templates online.  Best not to give them any excuses or burn any bridges over why you want to go - you can be vague-  when I left I just explained that I was moving on to a better opportunity-   Give the letter to your boss 2 weeks before you want to leave. 

That's all- you don't owe it to anyone to plan how they will handle the transition and you don't have to elaborate on why you are leaving. Also it is always best to have another job already lined up before you go.  It is rare that a company will ask you what it will take to stay and if they do it is not to your benefit to take them up on it- bad long term for your career- by handing in a resignation letter you make it clear to them you are interested in leaving and they will keep that in the back of their mind for future promotions/ raises or come time for layofffs.
 
So focus you efforts on looking for a better job now not in 2015! Update your resume. Contact a headhunter in your field of interest and look on monster.com and set up some interviews now-
 
Hope this helps
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 09:47:42 PM by medinme »

rmendpara

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Re: How to leave after long employment?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2014, 09:51:36 PM »
How much notice should be given?

2 weeks is customary. Zero is required. More is preferable. It's up to you. If someone offered me an extra $40k and said I had to start tomorrow, I'd quit via email and turn in my laptop in the morning.

How many "secrets" should be divulged?

I'm not sure what you mean by this...

If they ask what price could make a guy stay, do you insult them with that inflated number that really would make you consider it? (Mine would be a 50% bump.)

Yes. That's not insulting. It's the truth. It would be insulting if you tell them a 20% raise would be okay, when you would never take it. You're wasting their time and your own.

And if your best reference is your boss of so many years, is there any way to use that during the hunt?

On the application, when you list your manager, don't check the box where it allows them to contact your current company for anything but employment verification. Also, if they ask for references, and if you don't want to give your current boss, then find other people who you worked with or people outside your company who are in a position to speak in detail about your abilities. Otherwise, if they push you to talk to your current boss, then walk away or ask your boss for a recommendation... it's easier if they know you're looking already if you had the $$ talk and they can't meet what you require.

itsbeenfun

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Re: How to leave after long employment?
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2014, 10:06:49 PM »
How much notice should be given?

2 weeks is customary. Zero is required. More is preferable. It's up to you. If someone offered me an extra $40k and said I had to start tomorrow, I'd quit via email and turn in my laptop in the morning.
Imagine it as if I had been working for good friends in a company of ~50 employees for a decade. Does that make a difference? I feel two weeks is abrupt, but I also fear that's the most a future employer would be cool with.

How many "secrets" should be divulged?

I'm not sure what you mean by this...
I've created processes to increase efficiency and accuracy. There are certain things only I can do. I could see the possibility of working on an hourly basis as needed to do these things if I don't spill the beans before I leave. Could be a good way to earn extra cash.

So focus you efforts on looking for a better job now not in 2015! Update your resume. Contact a headhunter in your field of interest and look on monster.com and set up some interviews now-
Totally would but I want to do this right and have some extra cash just in case (always invested every extra buck). Looking at a change to an industry that pays well but has the possibility of lay-offs and down-time.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 10:09:10 PM by itsbeenfun »

StarryC

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Re: How to leave after long employment?
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2014, 11:20:55 PM »
I think you can leave differently, depending on the circumstance.  It is risky, and you have to know your workplace.  You could go to your boss and say, "I have really loved all that I've learned here, and I love the people I work with, but I don't feel that it's the best fit for me anymore.  I wanted to let you know that I'm looking for other work and I expect to leave in the next 2/4/6 months.  I'll definitely give you 2 weeks notice of when I find something and I'm happy to help train people now."

I have done that with part time jobs where there is some high turnover, or everyone knows it is usually "temporary" of 1-3 years.  They don't expect many lifers, and they are grateful for the warning and honesty.  However, I wouldn't do it any sooner than when you are about to start applying, because there is always a chance they say, "Good luck, your last day is tomorrow."   I think one way to evaluate is how the workplace reacts when someone 1) leaves to go back to school, 2) leaves to retire, 3) leaves to care for children full time, and 4) moves away, and 5) otherwise quits reasonably. 

Where I currently work, people give 2 weeks or a month notice, but are sometimes escorted out the door 3-5 days later. I wouldn't do this.  Loyalty is over valued here, and admitting you are going to work someplace else, even another STATE is disloyal. 

itsbeenfun

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Re: How to leave after long employment?
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2014, 11:27:16 PM »
I think one way to evaluate is how the workplace reacts when someone 1) leaves to go back to school, 2) leaves to retire, 3) leaves to care for children full time, and 4) moves away, and 5) otherwise quits reasonably.
In the past, retirees or those moving away have given advance notice (as much as a year) and stayed till the last day they wanted to stay. I think I'm probably safe with a longer than two week notice.

Noodle

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Re: How to leave after long employment?
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2014, 07:29:33 AM »
How much notice it's safe to give depends on your workplace. I have had staff leave with 4-6 weeks notice, and really appreciated it because it gave plenty of time for a good transition. Two weeks, however, is all that professionalism requires.

However, I do think you are investing in good karma to make life as easy as possible for your former colleagues when the time comes. So instead of keeping your "secrets," document them. Spend some time now making sure that your files are easily accessible (in public folders, attachments saved and not just in your personal email), write down your processes. You may need those colleagues someday, for references, networking, etc, and you want to leave with just as good a taste in their mouths as possible.

factory3

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Re: How to leave after long employment?
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2014, 09:24:36 AM »
I've been in your shoes, sort of, about 9 months ago. My wife got a good job offer in another state and we decided to move. Consequently I had to tell my employer of 12 years that I will leave the company. I had a good relationship with my boss and told her and the upper management personally 1 month ahead of my departure. During this last month I did everything possible to help my manager sort out the projects I was working on, finish open jobs and to transfer responsibilities to other employees. Then I went to each and every employee in the company and said farewell and explained the circumstances. I left on good terms and did not burn any bridges in the process.

For 2 month I was looking for a job in the new state and started to get frustrated/worried. Then one day I got a call from my former manager, asking if I would like to telecommute (I have a job where it is possible). This helped tremendously and I have worked remotely for them ever since.

You never know what happens in the future but don't burn any bridges on the way.

Seņora Savings

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Re: How to leave after long employment?
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2014, 12:01:33 PM »
The notice you give should also be dependent on how easy you will be to replace.  Do you think they would have trouble hiring for your position in two weeks?

I also second that if you want any positive feelings you need to be as clear as possible about how you do your job.  Even if they fire you the day that you tell them you're leaving it won't hurt as much as a justifiably unhappy boss on your record.

I once quit a job the wrong way (teacher, I quit at the beginning of the summer and they had to work over the summer to replace me) because I was scared that people would treat me poorly if they knew I was leaving.  In retrospect a few weeks of rude questions about my loyalty would be better than regretting it and loosing those references.

Freedom2016

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Re: How to leave after long employment?
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2014, 12:30:46 PM »
How much notice it's safe to give depends on your workplace. I have had staff leave with 4-6 weeks notice, and really appreciated it because it gave plenty of time for a good transition. Two weeks, however, is all that professionalism requires.

However, I do think you are investing in good karma to make life as easy as possible for your former colleagues when the time comes. So instead of keeping your "secrets," document them. Spend some time now making sure that your files are easily accessible (in public folders, attachments saved and not just in your personal email), write down your processes. You may need those colleagues someday, for references, networking, etc, and you want to leave with just as good a taste in their mouths as possible.

I really agree with this. When we've had employees leave our small firm after however much time, the extent to which they made efforts to help us transition had a direct impact on how we think of them long after the fact, and our willingness to serve as a reference far down the line. In other words, it's possible to burn up the good work/relationships/karma you've done over your 10 years with the firm by having a "bad exit" that leaves your employer scrambling.

Since you don't have another job lined up yet, you might consider starting to document your processes NOW during down time, that way if/when the great opportunity comes and the new employer does want you within 2 weeks, you can go to your current employer with all of your documented "secrets" already completed.

strider3700

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Re: How to leave after long employment?
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2014, 12:38:58 PM »
make sure you're 100% ready to be let go immediately if you give notice.   For security reasons the second someone is leaving the company we cut access to the systems.   If they're fired then whatever it's done with.  If they're being laid off then they get severance.   When resigning depends on the manager but almost always they spend their time documenting everything and cleaning crap out usually only for a week and then they're sent home.

Pinkie Mustache

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Re: How to leave after long employment?
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2014, 12:59:09 PM »
Be sure to check your contract! Contracts can require how much notice you need to give, and even clauses about training a replacement during that time. 

rocketpj

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Re: How to leave after long employment?
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2014, 02:27:31 PM »
I have a slightly more complex challenge when I leave my current job.  I like it well enough, and the coworkers and manager are amazing people.  But the pay just doesn't cut it, and there are some other issues (weekend shifts, overnights).

The hard part is that it takes several months to train someone up to the point where they can be alone at the worksite.  And someone has to be there 24/7/365.  When I started two (single) guys had been covering it 48 on/48 off for months, and they really needed me.  Now we've had 4 staff forever (no, there is no money for more staff, this is health care and screw the little people).

Last thing I want to do is stiff my coworkers and leave them in crisis mode for 6 months if I leave with short notice.  On the other hand, it is hard to give anything like 3 months notice when going to other employment or self employment.  The world just does not work that way.

I've been wrestling with this for a couple of years now.  Luckily I like the job, but it sure doesn't do much for long term financial health, the pay is just too low.  Eventually I'll just have to take the leap - my family needs it and so do I.

itsbeenfun

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Re: How to leave after long employment?
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2014, 08:11:18 PM »
Be sure to check your contract! Contracts can require how much notice you need to give, and even clauses about training a replacement during that time.
No contract so that's not a problem.

Eric

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Re: How to leave after long employment?
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2014, 08:52:42 PM »
I had a similar job that I gave 6 weeks notice on.  It was my first job out of college and I worked with my boss (that I loved) for 8 years.  That 6 weeks gave them time to hire a replacement and for me to train him.  And then I still answered questions as a freelance contractor for another couple of months.  Of course, I didn't have another job lined up at the time, so I was under no time constraints.  Your next job is probably the one that's going to dictate how long of a notice you can give them.  Most jobs want you to start right away, as they have needs to fill, otherwise they wouldn't be hiring.

Noodle

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Re: How to leave after long employment?
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2014, 09:46:45 PM »
I have a slightly more complex challenge when I leave my current job.  I like it well enough, and the coworkers and manager are amazing people.  But the pay just doesn't cut it, and there are some other issues (weekend shifts, overnights).

The hard part is that it takes several months to train someone up to the point where they can be alone at the worksite.  And someone has to be there 24/7/365.  When I started two (single) guys had been covering it 48 on/48 off for months, and they really needed me.  Now we've had 4 staff forever (no, there is no money for more staff, this is health care and screw the little people).

Last thing I want to do is stiff my coworkers and leave them in crisis mode for 6 months if I leave with short notice.  On the other hand, it is hard to give anything like 3 months notice when going to other employment or self employment.  The world just does not work that way.

I've been wrestling with this for a couple of years now.  Luckily I like the job, but it sure doesn't do much for long term financial health, the pay is just too low.  Eventually I'll just have to take the leap - my family needs it and so do I.

That's poor management. What are they planning to do if one of you gets hit by a truck? (In all seriousness, I had a co-worker pass away very suddenly a couple of years ago. It happens.) In that case, I would give as much notice as I could and do everything I could ahead of time to ease the transition, but you are not obligated to arrange your life to accommodate your managers' lack of planning.

dfwlurker

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Re: How to leave after long employment?
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2014, 10:10:43 PM »
I went through this over the past few months (with a resolution today).   Earlier this year I asked for a raise and I got it.  I was not real happy with it, so I told my boss that I would have to look at my options.   You may or may not be able to do this, depending on the relationship with your boss (my boss said he would be a reference).  Long story short, I quickly got an offer and put in my notice yesterday- 2 weeks and I assured them that I would continue to assist in the transition.  My suggestion is too keep quite about it (while you are looking), and then you may need to find a couple of colleagues to be references.