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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: jeromedawg on September 24, 2015, 07:52:45 PM

Title: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 24, 2015, 07:52:45 PM
The bad: came into work this morning thinking it would be another day in the office. Boy was I ever so wrong. It started off with a coworker walking by my cube with an HR person, while my lead and I were discussing an issue, and briefly saying "It was nice working for/with you. I just got laid off." Then the carnage was unleashed... we kept hearing news of multiple people in my group getting the axe. It was as if the entire team I'm on was dissolving before my very eyes. My manager who originally hired me when I used to work at the same division a long time ago also got the axe, and I felt compelled to help him pack up and walk him out. After saying my goodbyes, I teared up briefly walking back into the office. Considering that this is one of the worst things that can happen barring violence, they had to also do it at the worst possible time of day - starting in the morning. I guess they figured they needed the whole day because the HR people are all from out of town, so they probably wanted to swoop in and not extend the visit to more than one day. By lunch time, virtually all the leads except for a few were axed from my immediate group. And several others in other groups suffered the same fate. As if that weren't enough, they held a short 10 minute meeting at lunch, telling us about how they're "transitioning" our product to be supported and developed between China and Canada. Sounds like keeping our office in SoCal was too expensive. But good luck supporting a product that brings in over a billion dollars of revenue.

The bittersweet: I got called in to meet with one of the directors and an HR person. They basically gave me advanced notice that my "target termination date" is next June (2016). So while there's some reprieve that I'm "safe" for that time being, it still sucks, and I still resent that a ton of coworkers on my team were let go. It's the worst feeling ever and I feel checked out already... just another great reminder that the company is loyal to nobody. Anyway, they offered a $35k bonus *if* I stay through to the end of my termination date (it feels so weird having to reference that as a date) in addition to 20 weeks of severance (though I have no idea what the severance pay would be). Sounds pretty good out of the gates, but I really don't know if I can (or would be willing) to stick it through given everything that happened today and also in anticipation of some crazy-low morale and coworkers leaving in droves...

The company as a whole had layoffs like this in the past and at a couple different locations in the US. We only *heard* of how crappy it was but now we're in the middle of one ourselves so we can totally empathize. And I hate how PC management has to be about it all, referring to this time as a "transition" period... just call it for what it freaking is: a major round of layoffs and eventual closure of this branch. People aren't stupid, and everyone is going to talk about it whether or not you want them to... I guess they're hoping to get the best of both worlds: squeezing every ounce of knowledge out of the key people before dumping them for cheap labor.

As I mentioned, I felt checked out the moment they let go of my manager. I don't know if a $35k bonus + 20 weeks of severance (after a 9 month commitment of working through low-morale and a crappy work environment to-come) will be enough to convince me otherwise to stay. My lead was trying to give me the glass half full perspective in that I could "prove" my value and possibly retain my job or move into a different role blah blah blah. At this point, I'd rather prove my value to someone who actually wants to hire me... rather than to prove myself again to some company that is ready and willing to dump me by X date.

I don't know, what are your guys' thoughts?  Time to move on? Prior to this, I was content with the company but also not crazy-happy about them. But I never really resented my job until today...
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: pbkmaine on September 24, 2015, 07:59:55 PM
I would certainly start looking. When you get an offer, the severance package can be part of the negotiation. DH delayed a job change in order to vest in a pension plan. The hiring company was very understanding about it.


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Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 24, 2015, 08:53:05 PM
I would certainly start looking. When you get an offer, the severance package can be part of the negotiation. DH delayed a job change in order to vest in a pension plan. The hiring company was very understanding about it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

So it sounds like the suggestion you have is to look and interview now but try to find a hiring company who would be willing to delay hiring me until next June?! That's quite a long time from now... not sure who would want to do that.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 24, 2015, 08:56:42 PM
Wow.  That's rough.

I hope this doesn't sound callous to you/insensitive to what your colleagues are going through, but if you are at all open to living in China this might work in your favor -- they will need people who understand how the US side of the business was managed if they are going to navigate this successfully.  If you could get a great expat package (including housing, school fees (a ways out for you guys, but important to negotiate up front), good global insurance (Cigna is great), home leave, etc) this could potentially be a great opportunity for you.  Just something to throw out there as a possible way to make some lemonade out of this rather large crate of lemons.  Of course not everybody is willing/able to consider a move to China.  I lived there for 13 years, though, so if you want insights (good and bad), let me know.

I believe 20 weeks severance typically means they pay you what they would have if you had worked an extra 20 weeks past your termination date, as long as you stay that long.

That is an idea, but I feel like they would want someone in a mgmt position who would be willing to do that. Since I'm only a senior technical level person, they'd probably just write me off as replaceable (once the knowledge transfer is complete). In fact, that appears to be how they're treating everyone in the office (which is a big mistake IMHO because there are a quite ton of smart people there who probably, if they wanted to, could easily land a job at Google, Facebook, Apple or any of the big tech giants). Anyway, it might be something to ask if I'm toying with the idea but at this moment I don't think it's something we would consider; I think this would be hard logistically and on my wife too. Of course, she speaks some Mandarin so it wouldn't be *that* bad but she has no desire to move there.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: pbkmaine on September 24, 2015, 09:02:47 PM

I would certainly start looking. When you get an offer, the severance package can be part of the negotiation. DH delayed a job change in order to vest in a pension plan. The hiring company was very understanding about it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

So it sounds like the suggestion you have is to look and interview now but try to find a hiring company who would be willing to delay hiring me until next June?! That's quite a long time from now... not sure who would want to do that.

No, sorry, wasn't clear. My suggestion is to interview now and when an offer comes up, use the severance in the negotiation. (Also, it could take you a while to find a job you like.) Just make sure the hiring company knows you have these golden handcuffs. It could sweeten the deal.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: okits on September 24, 2015, 09:14:25 PM
Agree with pbkmaine, start interviewing now, leave for something good that has a future.  Who knows what kind of hell/squeeze your current company will put you through between now and June, because they figure the golden handcuffs have you trapped. Will they grind you so hard you break down and quit just before your target date?  Totally possible.

You have a new baby so you 1) want to work someplace decent so you're not consistently unhappy during this great time in your family's life, and 2) know you have a situation arranged with paycheques coming in for the foreseeable future (unless June 2016 was your FIRE date, or close to.)

Sorry for the sucky day and depressing situation. At least you have a job while you look for your next thing.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Daisy on September 24, 2015, 09:54:32 PM
Sucky situation.

You could just suck it up and stay in your position until June, knowing you will get $35k plus 20 weeks of pay (more than a third of your salary). Depending on your costs, after the separation you could live a while on that while looking for a job. Take a sabbatical.

Or, you could suck it up through the end of the year and not worry about looking for another job, knowing you have 6 months until June next year to find something. Enjoy your holidays and all of the extra days off surrounding them. Don't put in any extra effort at work, but do your best on your tasks with a positive attitude. Then after the new year starts, begin looking for new work. Ideally you can start around March and let any potential companies know you have the golden handcuffs until June. This may be the best plan because companies don't tend to hire much over the holidays at the end of the year.

But if you are really pissed off at your company, then start looking for a new job right away. Apparently your company has let go of a lot of people and then kept some around to do the work that was necessary to transfer jobs overseas. You can take your revenge by thwarting their plans and not being able to rely on you for this transfer. By you finding a new job, you can create a pretty good epic FU money story for us to read about in the Epic FU money stories thread http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/epic-fu-money-stories/. (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/epic-fu-money-stories/.)
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: LAGuy on September 24, 2015, 09:57:10 PM
I'm going to take the opposite point of view. I'm at a company now where we've been waiting for the layoff axe for what seems years. Yet we keep limping along. I'm just sticking around waiting for the fat retention bonus and severance. Should it happen, I'll then take some time for a sabbatical. In the meantime I just totally kick it, cruise the web, take 3 hour lunches and maybe work for 2 or 3 hours if that. For me, it's a pretty sweet deal since I work in a technical job that's in demand. Pay is good, but it's not much of a career so I don't need to worry too much about extended time out from the work place or gaining new skills or any of that stuff.

So, if you're working a "job" like me, consider just sticking around and belly up to the gravy train. If, however, it's more of a career that you can't or don't want to take a break from, then yeah take this time to find something new.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 24, 2015, 11:24:12 PM
I'm going to take the opposite point of view. I'm at a company now where we've been waiting for the layoff axe for what seems years. Yet we keep limping along. I'm just sticking around waiting for the fat retention bonus and severance. Should it happen, I'll then take some time for a sabbatical. In the meantime I just totally kick it, cruise the web, take 3 hour lunches and maybe work for 2 or 3 hours if that. For me, it's a pretty sweet deal since I work in a technical job that's in demand. Pay is good, but it's not much of a career so I don't need to worry too much about extended time out from the work place or gaining new skills or any of that stuff.

So, if you're working a "job" like me, consider just sticking around and belly up to the gravy train. If, however, it's more of a career that you can't or don't want to take a break from, then yeah take this time to find something new.

LOL! Difference in this case is now that they've already gone through several rounds of layoffs, there's more scrutiny on those who are still around... they don't screw around with the division I'm in - you've gotta get your chit done so slacking off too much will be even more noticeable with less people around. Now that we're short at least one person on the team, I imagine my workload and expectations will be increasing too. The biggest 'shield' for us was my manager who got let go though - they had to filter pretty much everything through him and he had the best gauge on what the team could/couldn't take on. Now that we don't have that, I don't have the same confidence I do as before. We'll see how the environment is for the coming weeks, but I think those of us who are left are under the gun. In a sense, they do need us for the knowledge transfer, but at the same time they've already shown us that we're dispensable. As far as this being a job or career, it's just a job for me. And it somewhat strays from the career I'm more interested in. Earlier on I was involved more in what I was interested in primarily because my old lead was a really good manager. Ever since he moved on to bigger and better things, my current lead just doesn't have the same perspective that I like - he's more technical and seemed to like to keep his team in a cage without really rallying for our personal growth much.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 24, 2015, 11:28:02 PM
Sucky situation.

You could just suck it up and stay in your position until June, knowing you will get $35k plus 20 weeks of pay (more than a third of your salary). Depending on your costs, after the separation you could live a while on that while looking for a job. Take a sabbatical.

Or, you could suck it up through the end of the year and not worry about looking for another job, knowing you have 6 months until June next year to find something. Enjoy your holidays and all of the extra days off surrounding them. Don't put in any extra effort at work, but do your best on your tasks with a positive attitude. Then after the new year starts, begin looking for new work. Ideally you can start around March and let any potential companies know you have the golden handcuffs until June. This may be the best plan because companies don't tend to hire much over the holidays at the end of the year.

But if you are really pissed off at your company, then start looking for a new job right away. Apparently your company has let go of a lot of people and then kept some around to do the work that was necessary to transfer jobs overseas. You can take your revenge by thwarting their plans and not being able to rely on you for this transfer. By you finding a new job, you can create a pretty good epic FU money story for us to read about in the Epic FU money stories thread http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/epic-fu-money-stories/. (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/epic-fu-money-stories/.)

I do agree with this for the benefits part especially. We just had a kid and the company gives us 4 weeks of parental leave. I'd also qualify for FMLA and the job protection that comes with it. Of course, now that the team member is gone who was to take over my responsibilities while I'm gone on leave, I'm sure it'll put more stress on my manager and team.

LOL @ the latter recommendation. If I were truly Mustachian, I suppose I'd suck it up and not make an emotional decision... unless that emotional decision results in me making at least twice as much as I make now....!!! LOL
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 24, 2015, 11:29:21 PM
Agree with pbkmaine, start interviewing now, leave for something good that has a future.  Who knows what kind of hell/squeeze your current company will put you through between now and June, because they figure the golden handcuffs have you trapped. Will they grind you so hard you break down and quit just before your target date?  Totally possible.

You have a new baby so you 1) want to work someplace decent so you're not consistently unhappy during this great time in your family's life, and 2) know you have a situation arranged with paycheques coming in for the foreseeable future (unless June 2016 was your FIRE date, or close to.)

Sorry for the sucky day and depressing situation. At least you have a job while you look for your next thing.

Yes, this is a huge consideration considering we have a newborn. Being stressed outside of work is no bueno. Despite the apparently decent benefits I could receive should I stay through the 'golden handcuff' period, it could be at the expense of my overall health.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Daisy on September 24, 2015, 11:34:51 PM
I'm going to take the opposite point of view. I'm at a company now where we've been waiting for the layoff axe for what seems years. Yet we keep limping along. I'm just sticking around waiting for the fat retention bonus and severance. Should it happen, I'll then take some time for a sabbatical. In the meantime I just totally kick it, cruise the web, take 3 hour lunches and maybe work for 2 or 3 hours if that. For me, it's a pretty sweet deal since I work in a technical job that's in demand. Pay is good, but it's not much of a career so I don't need to worry too much about extended time out from the work place or gaining new skills or any of that stuff.

So, if you're working a "job" like me, consider just sticking around and belly up to the gravy train. If, however, it's more of a career that you can't or don't want to take a break from, then yeah take this time to find something new.

LOL! Difference in this case is now that they've already gone through several rounds of layoffs, there's more scrutiny on those who are still around... they don't screw around with the division I'm in - you've gotta get your chit done so slacking off too much will be even more noticeable with less people around. Now that we're short at least one person on the team, I imagine my workload and expectations will be increasing too. The biggest 'shield' for us was my manager who got let go though - they had to filter pretty much everything through him and he had the best gauge on what the team could/couldn't take on. Now that we don't have that, I don't have the same confidence I do as before. We'll see how the environment is for the coming weeks, but I think those of us who are left are under the gun. In a sense, they do need us for the knowledge transfer, but at the same time they've already shown us that we're dispensable. As far as this being a job or career, it's just a job for me. And it somewhat strays from the career I'm more interested in. Earlier on I was involved more in what I was interested in primarily because my old lead was a really good manager. Ever since he moved on to bigger and better things, my current lead just doesn't have the same perspective that I like - he's more technical and seemed to like to keep his team in a cage without really rallying for our personal growth much.

Uh...what are they going to do if you don't put in extra effort? Lay you off?  Oh yes they already told you they would do that anyways. Worst case is they lay you off before June and you only get a regular severance. I'd say do a good job but don't kill yourself with OT and stress when your company is already screwing you and your coworkers. You have the power and knowledge in your hands. You are valuable enough that they kept you around for a reason. Use your FU money wisely and don't let them overwork you.

Be kind and hard working, but set your boundaries and act with confidence.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 25, 2015, 12:22:28 AM
I'm going to take the opposite point of view. I'm at a company now where we've been waiting for the layoff axe for what seems years. Yet we keep limping along. I'm just sticking around waiting for the fat retention bonus and severance. Should it happen, I'll then take some time for a sabbatical. In the meantime I just totally kick it, cruise the web, take 3 hour lunches and maybe work for 2 or 3 hours if that. For me, it's a pretty sweet deal since I work in a technical job that's in demand. Pay is good, but it's not much of a career so I don't need to worry too much about extended time out from the work place or gaining new skills or any of that stuff.

So, if you're working a "job" like me, consider just sticking around and belly up to the gravy train. If, however, it's more of a career that you can't or don't want to take a break from, then yeah take this time to find something new.

LOL! Difference in this case is now that they've already gone through several rounds of layoffs, there's more scrutiny on those who are still around... they don't screw around with the division I'm in - you've gotta get your chit done so slacking off too much will be even more noticeable with less people around. Now that we're short at least one person on the team, I imagine my workload and expectations will be increasing too. The biggest 'shield' for us was my manager who got let go though - they had to filter pretty much everything through him and he had the best gauge on what the team could/couldn't take on. Now that we don't have that, I don't have the same confidence I do as before. We'll see how the environment is for the coming weeks, but I think those of us who are left are under the gun. In a sense, they do need us for the knowledge transfer, but at the same time they've already shown us that we're dispensable. As far as this being a job or career, it's just a job for me. And it somewhat strays from the career I'm more interested in. Earlier on I was involved more in what I was interested in primarily because my old lead was a really good manager. Ever since he moved on to bigger and better things, my current lead just doesn't have the same perspective that I like - he's more technical and seemed to like to keep his team in a cage without really rallying for our personal growth much.

Uh...what are they going to do if you don't put in extra effort? Lay you off?  Oh yes they already told you they would do that anyways. Worst case is they lay you off before June and you only get a regular severance. I'd say do a good job but don't kill yourself with OT and stress when your company is already screwing you and your coworkers. You have the power and knowledge in your hands. You are valuable enough that they kept you around for a reason. Use your FU money wisely and don't let them overwork you.

Be kind and hard working, but set your boundaries and act with confidence.

Good point..... my lead was being a bit optimistic about the whole thing. I don't know what his situation is and whether he also has a target termination date but he did say that he went through something like this at an old company (and when he had a first newborn). Ironically, despite him telling me to work hard and try to prove myself etc, he told me that he found a new job elsewhere after his company told him they were letting all of them go that coming summer hahaha. I don't know, this is a lot to process and today was mentally exhausting. Hopefully 'survival mode' kicks in; usually when that happens I'm pretty determined. I haven't interviewed in a while though and I always hate the process but it's a necessity at this point. Yea, at this point I think it's time to revert to bare minimum with them. In the meantime, I really need to pick up on and develop the skills for the stuff I'm more interested in (web app/software security). It's hard to load up on courses and doing that stuff now that I have a kid though. I was studying for the CISSP (security cert) but once the kid came it's been sitting on a back-burner.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: happy on September 25, 2015, 07:23:26 AM
It sounds like you had a really big emotional day.  Probably best not to make any decisions right now…just let it sit for a while.  Personally I'd play it both ways: I'd plan to stay whilst refusing to get sucked into crazy expectations regarding workload, and I'd start to  think about options for other work. I'd try not to let my anger over the recent events drive my actions:  I'd go for what suits you best personally. If you can stick it 35K + 20 weeks sounds good.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on September 25, 2015, 08:01:49 AM
The good news is, it's Friday and you have tons of time to make a decision. I think you would be best served just focusing on your family this weekend and come back to thinking about it on Monday. Having a newborn is tough emotionally anyways, I'm sorry to hear that you have this additional stressor. But really, you have tons of time. The baby might be walking in June!
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Guses on September 25, 2015, 08:20:21 AM
In theory, can they lay you off earlier (say May) and not pay the 35K$ or the extended severance?

What is stopping them from dangling the carrot and giving you the stick when they get what they want?
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 25, 2015, 08:33:40 AM
In theory, can they lay you off earlier (say May) and not pay the 35K$ or the extended severance?

What is stopping them from dangling the carrot and giving you the stick when they get what they want?

That's my concern... they have the right to terminate my employment earlier if they want to. Telling me about all these benefits is great and all but at the end of the day, I'm still not going to trust them 100% at this point, seeing what they did to my friends and coworkers.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: rmendpara on September 25, 2015, 08:36:55 AM
Seems like a very fair offer since they know the company will be downsizing. They also gave you about 9 months notice, so plenty of time to think.

Do you have to accept/reject the June'16 contract, or is that just an incentive with no commitment on your part? 35k plus 5 months pay (if your base salary is 80k, let's call it another 30k = 80 * 20/52), that's a huge bonus for staying through June. So, $65k at the end of June? More/less depending on your base salary...

Not sure exaclty what you do or how employable you are, but based on what you said, it seems you could easily get a new job next summer and also collect a big fat check at the end of June. Of course, you could job hunt now, and take something sooner if you don't think you can handle the stress of staying through next year.

If it were me, assuming:
1) I thought I could start job hunting in Mar-Apr and get a job starting in Jun
2) I could handle the stress/discomfort of knowing I won't have a job past Jun
... then I'd take the deal and be happy for a big bonus next year, plus getting a new job!

Another thing to consider, if you are a key employee, or one of few people left, you can negotiate the "severance agreement" they offered you. Maybe ask for $40 or heck, $50k if you agree to stay on through June? The worst they could do is say no and stay at $35k. They could also lay you off now, but that just means they would pay you 20-week's of pay as a severance benefit now.

Seems like a good deal to me, assuming your skills are in reasonable demand.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: rmendpara on September 25, 2015, 08:39:30 AM
In theory, can they lay you off earlier (say May) and not pay the 35K$ or the extended severance?

What is stopping them from dangling the carrot and giving you the stick when they get what they want?

That's my concern... they have the right to terminate my employment earlier if they want to. Telling me about all these benefits is great and all but at the end of the day, I'm still not going to trust them 100% at this point, seeing what they did to my friends and coworkers.

It's not about trusting them. If you "accept" the deal, you will sign a contract with them to stay through June in order to get $35k bonus plus cash equivalent of 20-week's salary.

It's not an under the table handshake deal that they can back out of.

Also, you can write it in the contract that they must pay you through June plus the incentives they mention if they decide to lay you off early... like February.

Look up "severance negotiation" online and you'll see some helpful tips. Google search, Quora, and Askamanager are some quick places to start.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 25, 2015, 09:14:21 AM
Seems like a very fair offer since they know the company will be downsizing. They also gave you about 9 months notice, so plenty of time to think.

Do you have to accept/reject the June'16 contract, or is that just an incentive with no commitment on your part? 35k plus 5 months pay (if your base salary is 80k, let's call it another 30k = 80 * 20/52), that's a huge bonus for staying through June. So, $65k at the end of June? More/less depending on your base salary...

Not sure exaclty what you do or how employable you are, but based on what you said, it seems you could easily get a new job next summer and also collect a big fat check at the end of June. Of course, you could job hunt now, and take something sooner if you don't think you can handle the stress of staying through next year.

If it were me, assuming:
1) I thought I could start job hunting in Mar-Apr and get a job starting in Jun
2) I could handle the stress/discomfort of knowing I won't have a job past Jun
... then I'd take the deal and be happy for a big bonus next year, plus getting a new job!

Another thing to consider, if you are a key employee, or one of few people left, you can negotiate the "severance agreement" they offered you. Maybe ask for $40 or heck, $50k if you agree to stay on through June? The worst they could do is say no and stay at $35k. They could also lay you off now, but that just means they would pay you 20-week's of pay as a severance benefit now.

Seems like a good deal to me, assuming your skills are in reasonable demand.

They didn't make me sign anything or ask me to go home and think about it and come back and let them know... the offer packet just states "as an incentive to continue your employment, you will be eligible to receive $35k..." blah blah blah and that the condition to earning the bonus is that I "continue to devote my full time and best efforts through the release date" - also, there's a clause stating that this offer isn't intended or should be read as creating a contract for definite term. So employment is at will and either side can terminate employment at any time. This probably gives them more reason to let go of me earlier for "performance reasons" or whatever. So I still don't feel I can trust anyone there at this point in time. Even my lead... part of me thinks he knew *something* was coming and was probably told to keep quiet, considering he's the *only* lead left on our team of 20-30 people (he and 3 or 4 others were direct reports to my manager - all of them except for him were let go...)
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: humbleMouse on September 25, 2015, 09:20:05 AM
Sounds like a great situation to me.  I would kill for a $35k bonus and free 20 weeks PTO!!
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 25, 2015, 09:24:49 AM
Sounds like a great situation to me.  I would kill for a $35k bonus and free 20 weeks PTO!!

It sounds nice up-front... if you're okay working at a place where everybody suddenly hates working there and you end up taking on other peoples' duties who left I guess. I still wonder about this - if I continue to go bare minimum with them and they try to pile work on but I say "sorry that's not my job duty" as drawing another boundary, I'm pretty sure they could consider that 'not performing' and terminate me. If that happens, bye bye to the $35k... I guess severance would be OK but it would still feel like I just wasted my time being there if I make the $35k part of the end-goal and end up getting let go sooner. Since there's no guarantees per the 'offer' I received that still makes this very up in the air. I think that in order to get the full bonus, I'll probably have to work my rear off.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: LAGuy on September 25, 2015, 09:26:59 AM
Sounds like a great situation to me.  I would kill for a $35k bonus and free 20 weeks PTO!!

I know! Me and my coworkers sit around daydreaming up scenarios that play out just like this. You've totally hit the golden ticket, man! This is probably just your first time dealing with a layoff situation. It sucks for your coworkers, but it sounds like your employer probably took pretty good care of them. You've got to make your decisions based on what's best for you and your family - not out of loyalty to your laid off colleagues.

If you really score, they might need to extend your layoff date! If so, really stick it to them for another fat bonus!
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: happy on September 25, 2015, 09:27:58 AM
Quote
They didn't make me sign anything or ask me to go home and think about it and come back and let them know... the offer packet just states "as an incentive to continue your employment, you will be eligible to receive $35k..." blah blah blah and that the condition to earning the bonus is that I "continue to devote my full time and best efforts through the release date" - also, there's a clause stating that this offer isn't intended or should be read as creating a contract for definite term. So employment is at will and either side can terminate employment at any time. This probably gives them more reason to let go of me earlier for "performance reasons" or whatever. So I still don't feel I can trust anyone there at this point in time. Even my lead... part of me thinks he knew *something* was coming and was probably told to keep quiet, considering he's the *only* lead left on our team of 20-30 people (he and 3 or 4 others were direct reports to my manager - all of them except for him were let go...)

Ah, see this would make me worried. No guarantee of anything really. All you know  for sure is that you won't have a job past June 2016. I wouldn't trust them either.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Daisy on September 25, 2015, 09:30:17 AM
Seems like a very fair offer since they know the company will be downsizing. They also gave you about 9 months notice, so plenty of time to think.

Do you have to accept/reject the June'16 contract, or is that just an incentive with no commitment on your part? 35k plus 5 months pay (if your base salary is 80k, let's call it another 30k = 80 * 20/52), that's a huge bonus for staying through June. So, $65k at the end of June? More/less depending on your base salary...

Not sure exaclty what you do or how employable you are, but based on what you said, it seems you could easily get a new job next summer and also collect a big fat check at the end of June. Of course, you could job hunt now, and take something sooner if you don't think you can handle the stress of staying through next year.

If it were me, assuming:
1) I thought I could start job hunting in Mar-Apr and get a job starting in Jun
2) I could handle the stress/discomfort of knowing I won't have a job past Jun
... then I'd take the deal and be happy for a big bonus next year, plus getting a new job!

Another thing to consider, if you are a key employee, or one of few people left, you can negotiate the "severance agreement" they offered you. Maybe ask for $40 or heck, $50k if you agree to stay on through June? The worst they could do is say no and stay at $35k. They could also lay you off now, but that just means they would pay you 20-week's of pay as a severance benefit now.

Seems like a good deal to me, assuming your skills are in reasonable demand.

They didn't make me sign anything or ask me to go home and think about it and come back and let them know... the offer packet just states "as an incentive to continue your employment, you will be eligible to receive $35k..." blah blah blah and that the condition to earning the bonus is that I "continue to devote my full time and best efforts through the release date" - also, there's a clause stating that this offer isn't intended or should be read as creating a contract for definite term. So employment is at will and either side can terminate employment at any time. This probably gives them more reason to let go of me earlier for "performance reasons" or whatever. So I still don't feel I can trust anyone there at this point in time. Even my lead... part of me thinks he knew *something* was coming and was probably told to keep quiet, considering he's the *only* lead left on our team of 20-30 people (he and 3 or 4 others were direct reports to my manager - all of them except for him were let go...)

In that case, time to pull out the FU money option. The company may not hold up their end of the deal. They can use almost any excuse to blame you for poor performance and screw you out of the $35k and severance pay.

I'd wait until early next year to start looking for work. Take these next few months to see how they treat you. Plus, you can take advantage of the holiday days off and get paid for them instead of quitting now. I find in the tech world not much hiring occurs at the end of the year anyways so you will have a better chance to find work in January.

And when you quit, reuse their terminology they used on your coworkers and say "I regret to inform you that you have been terminated as my employer. Good luck with your plans."

Edit to add: The sooner you quit, the worse it is for the company. Once you start approaching June, at that point you would have already had time to train your replacements so they will be somewhat knowledgeable. But if you quit earlier on, the company would be desperate for your help. Actually, let's say you find another job in January. Before fully accepting a new offer, go back to your employer and tell them you have another offer. At that point your current company may try to pay up to get you to stay so that you can train your replacements.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 25, 2015, 09:34:43 AM
Sounds like a great situation to me.  I would kill for a $35k bonus and free 20 weeks PTO!!

I know! Me and my coworkers sit around daydreaming up scenarios that play out just like this. You've totally hit the golden ticket, man! This is probably just your first time dealing with a layoff situation. It sucks for your coworkers, but it sounds like your employer probably took pretty good care of them. You've got to make your decisions based on what's best for you and your family - not out of loyalty to your laid off colleagues.

If you really score, they might need to extend your layoff date! If so, really stick it to them for another fat bonus!

I've never been in this situation before directly. The company has gone through layoffs but our group has only been affected in a minor way. This time around was absolutely devastating. Yea, I'm sure they all got decent and 'fair' severance packages and what not. Maybe I make evil employers out to be even more evil than they actually are... I'm not much of a "give them benefit of the doubt" kind of guy though. Anyway, I don't plan to immediately jump ship unless I score a huge offer from a much higher profile company (which I'm quite doubtful about), but I plan to start the resume shipping process for that earlier just because those are bigger targets. Otherwise, yea I'd be in no rush to leave for something else and wouldn't want to backpedal to something I don't really want. Yea they did mention the possibility of the target date changing. I heard a bunch of people who were in another 'all-hands' meeting didn't get termination packets. There were only a few of us who weren't invited to that meeting, so I think their hedging their bets as we're the outliers.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 25, 2015, 09:37:36 AM
Quote
They didn't make me sign anything or ask me to go home and think about it and come back and let them know... the offer packet just states "as an incentive to continue your employment, you will be eligible to receive $35k..." blah blah blah and that the condition to earning the bonus is that I "continue to devote my full time and best efforts through the release date" - also, there's a clause stating that this offer isn't intended or should be read as creating a contract for definite term. So employment is at will and either side can terminate employment at any time. This probably gives them more reason to let go of me earlier for "performance reasons" or whatever. So I still don't feel I can trust anyone there at this point in time. Even my lead... part of me thinks he knew *something* was coming and was probably told to keep quiet, considering he's the *only* lead left on our team of 20-30 people (he and 3 or 4 others were direct reports to my manager - all of them except for him were let go...)

Ah, see this would make me worried. No guarantee of anything really. All you know  for sure is that you won't have a job past June 2016. I wouldn't trust them either.

Exactly, if you read between the lines it sounds like they're saying "you can't qualify for the bonus and severance if we fire you at will, sucker!"
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 25, 2015, 09:42:54 AM
Seems like a very fair offer since they know the company will be downsizing. They also gave you about 9 months notice, so plenty of time to think.

Do you have to accept/reject the June'16 contract, or is that just an incentive with no commitment on your part? 35k plus 5 months pay (if your base salary is 80k, let's call it another 30k = 80 * 20/52), that's a huge bonus for staying through June. So, $65k at the end of June? More/less depending on your base salary...

Not sure exaclty what you do or how employable you are, but based on what you said, it seems you could easily get a new job next summer and also collect a big fat check at the end of June. Of course, you could job hunt now, and take something sooner if you don't think you can handle the stress of staying through next year.

If it were me, assuming:
1) I thought I could start job hunting in Mar-Apr and get a job starting in Jun
2) I could handle the stress/discomfort of knowing I won't have a job past Jun
... then I'd take the deal and be happy for a big bonus next year, plus getting a new job!

Another thing to consider, if you are a key employee, or one of few people left, you can negotiate the "severance agreement" they offered you. Maybe ask for $40 or heck, $50k if you agree to stay on through June? The worst they could do is say no and stay at $35k. They could also lay you off now, but that just means they would pay you 20-week's of pay as a severance benefit now.

Seems like a good deal to me, assuming your skills are in reasonable demand.

They didn't make me sign anything or ask me to go home and think about it and come back and let them know... the offer packet just states "as an incentive to continue your employment, you will be eligible to receive $35k..." blah blah blah and that the condition to earning the bonus is that I "continue to devote my full time and best efforts through the release date" - also, there's a clause stating that this offer isn't intended or should be read as creating a contract for definite term. So employment is at will and either side can terminate employment at any time. This probably gives them more reason to let go of me earlier for "performance reasons" or whatever. So I still don't feel I can trust anyone there at this point in time. Even my lead... part of me thinks he knew *something* was coming and was probably told to keep quiet, considering he's the *only* lead left on our team of 20-30 people (he and 3 or 4 others were direct reports to my manager - all of them except for him were let go...)

In that case, time to pull out the FU money option. The company may not hold up their end of the deal. They can use almost any excuse to blame you for poor performance and screw you out of the $35k and severance pay.

I'd wait until early next year to start looking for work. Take these next few months to see how they treat you. Plus, you can take advantage of the holiday days off and get paid for them instead of quitting now. I find in the tech world not much hiring occurs at the end of the year anyways so you will have a better chance to find work in January.

And when you quit, reuse their terminology they used on your coworkers and say "I regret to inform you that you have been terminated as my employer. Good luck with your plans."

Edit to add: The sooner you quit, the worse it is for the company. Once you start approaching June, at that point you would have already had time to train your replacements so they will be somewhat knowledgeable. But if you quit earlier on, the company would be desperate for your help. Actually, let's say you find another job in January. Before fully accepting a new offer, go back to your employer and tell them you have another offer. At that point your current company may try to pay up to get you to stay so that you can train your replacements.

I'm also wondering how I could leverage the FMLA protected leave in this case. We can get up to 12 weeks of leave protected by the state. Of course, only 6 or 7 of those weeks would be paid/partially paid. I get 4 weeks fully paid between work and state should I take this option. And then 2-3 weeks of partial pay from the state. I can decide to take the remainder of the time unpaid but it'll also be protected. I'm not sure what that protection entails but I know I can spread the time out and use it 1 week at a time if I want. Not sure if it's worth taking advantage of the FMLA through the unpaid period during this time though.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: LAGuy on September 25, 2015, 09:44:21 AM
Quote
They didn't make me sign anything or ask me to go home and think about it and come back and let them know... the offer packet just states "as an incentive to continue your employment, you will be eligible to receive $35k..." blah blah blah and that the condition to earning the bonus is that I "continue to devote my full time and best efforts through the release date" - also, there's a clause stating that this offer isn't intended or should be read as creating a contract for definite term. So employment is at will and either side can terminate employment at any time. This probably gives them more reason to let go of me earlier for "performance reasons" or whatever. So I still don't feel I can trust anyone there at this point in time. Even my lead... part of me thinks he knew *something* was coming and was probably told to keep quiet, considering he's the *only* lead left on our team of 20-30 people (he and 3 or 4 others were direct reports to my manager - all of them except for him were let go...)

Ah, see this would make me worried. No guarantee of anything really. All you know  for sure is that you won't have a job past June 2016. I wouldn't trust them either.

Exactly, if you read between the lines it sounds like they're saying "you can't qualify for the bonus and severance if we fire you at will, sucker!"

I don't think I'd worry too much about them screwing you. Sounds like they're a company with pretty deep pockets. They're not going to want to risk lawsuits. Just work your 8 hours, do a reasonably good job, and then leave it all behind at the office. With a bunch of the managers and leads gone, sounds like there's nobody left to ride you. And if there is, they're probably in the same boat as you and have one foot out the door as well. Nothing wrong with shopping the resume though. Just tell them what's up, and you probably have a good chance of somebody making you an offer starting after your June termination date.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 25, 2015, 09:54:45 AM
Quote
They didn't make me sign anything or ask me to go home and think about it and come back and let them know... the offer packet just states "as an incentive to continue your employment, you will be eligible to receive $35k..." blah blah blah and that the condition to earning the bonus is that I "continue to devote my full time and best efforts through the release date" - also, there's a clause stating that this offer isn't intended or should be read as creating a contract for definite term. So employment is at will and either side can terminate employment at any time. This probably gives them more reason to let go of me earlier for "performance reasons" or whatever. So I still don't feel I can trust anyone there at this point in time. Even my lead... part of me thinks he knew *something* was coming and was probably told to keep quiet, considering he's the *only* lead left on our team of 20-30 people (he and 3 or 4 others were direct reports to my manager - all of them except for him were let go...)

Ah, see this would make me worried. No guarantee of anything really. All you know  for sure is that you won't have a job past June 2016. I wouldn't trust them either.

Exactly, if you read between the lines it sounds like they're saying "you can't qualify for the bonus and severance if we fire you at will, sucker!"

I don't think I'd worry too much about them screwing you. Sounds like they're a company with pretty deep pockets. They're not going to want to risk lawsuits. Just work your 8 hours, do a reasonably good job, and then leave it all behind at the office. With a bunch of the managers and leads gone, sounds like there's nobody left to ride you. And if there is, they're probably in the same boat as you and have one foot out the door as well. Nothing wrong with shopping the resume though. Just tell them what's up, and you probably have a good chance of somebody making you an offer starting after your June termination date.

Yea, again this is a "benefit of the doubt" thing that I'm not good at doing and can be paranoid about lol. I can tell my lead is stressed out too probably wondering what's going to happen to him and if he'll have to fold a ton of people into the group now. Who knows... all I know is most of the people in the company seem to be staying longer-term. There's much speculation of them just closing the office down though - already, the place isn't filled to capacity and they've cut even more people, so it seems like it would be extraneous cost to keep the building (unless they plan to expand the teams out again lol).

For FMLA, does anyone know what the provisions are once you're back at work? Can they fire you the next day you come back to work? Or is there a period of time where your employment termination is hands-off for any reason. E.g. What if I took unpaid FMLA in May to "protect" the bonus and severance, come back in mid-June, and then wrap things up until my 'release date' - could they still somehow screw me over? Or could I pull that off? Is it worth it? For a month and a half of my salary, I lean towards saying yes IF I could do something like that.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: snogirl on September 25, 2015, 09:58:43 AM
My sister went through this. 
FWIW she did stay on till the end (about the same as your timeframe) for the bonus & the severance & is in a much better place today.
Though I didn't experience it first hand, I did see what she went through dismantling a very successful scientific laboratory.
She had been with the company for about 18 years.  Many of the employees double that in longevity.
I wish you the best in your situation.  Sorry this has happened.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: CommonCents on September 25, 2015, 10:17:16 AM
Are others offered this deal (or a similar one) as well?  Are they all aware they could terminate you in May for failure to perform and not have to pay out?  Maybe time for some collective discussions on the topics, and then negotiate with the company to get in writing that they must pay out the bonuses if they terminate you early. 
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 25, 2015, 10:24:52 AM
Are others offered this deal (or a similar one) as well?  Are they all aware they could terminate you in May for failure to perform and not have to pay out?  Maybe time for some collective discussions on the topics, and then negotiate with the company to get in writing that they must pay out the bonuses if they terminate you early.

LOL, HR explicitly told us not to discuss our termination packets with other employees... of course, that's not going to happen in reality - people are going to talk to each other, and maybe not share the specifics but they will talk about what they are comfortable with sharing (which still goes against what HR wants). And I don't know what recourse there is if we were actually to try to 'counter' the company as a group - it could potentially make things even worse and get all of us fired immediately.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: LAGuy on September 25, 2015, 10:25:35 AM
Are others offered this deal (or a similar one) as well?  Are they all aware they could terminate you in May for failure to perform and not have to pay out?  Maybe time for some collective discussions on the topics, and then negotiate with the company to get in writing that they must pay out the bonuses if they terminate you early.

Yeah, I don't think now is the time to start a collective bargaining campaign...
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Daisy on September 25, 2015, 10:32:35 AM
Are others offered this deal (or a similar one) as well?  Are they all aware they could terminate you in May for failure to perform and not have to pay out?  Maybe time for some collective discussions on the topics, and then negotiate with the company to get in writing that they must pay out the bonuses if they terminate you early.

LOL, HR explicitly told us not to discuss our termination packets with other employees... of course, that's not going to happen in reality - people are going to talk to each other, and maybe not share the specifics but they will talk about what they are comfortable with sharing (which still goes against what HR wants). And I don't know what recourse there is if we were actually to try to 'counter' the company as a group - it could potentially make things even worse and get all of us fired immediately.

Oh man this company is pissing me off more and more now. Of course they don't want you to talk to your fellow workers. They NEED you. They probably assume some of you will quit before June so they figure some of you are expendable. They've probably kept back more people than they needed knowing there will be further attrition. But if you all band together, then they are screwed...because they NEED you to train your replacements.

How specialized is the technology you are transferring? How good is the existing documentation? If only your group of people is knowledgeable then you have a lot of power in your hands because if you all band together and threaten to leave if not promised this payout, then their plans to train offshore people will fail and the transition will take much longer and they will lose money. If not so specialized and/or there is good existing documentation and the replacements can easily learn the technology then you have less power.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: CommonCents on September 25, 2015, 10:35:31 AM
Are others offered this deal (or a similar one) as well?  Are they all aware they could terminate you in May for failure to perform and not have to pay out?  Maybe time for some collective discussions on the topics, and then negotiate with the company to get in writing that they must pay out the bonuses if they terminate you early.

LOL, HR explicitly told us not to discuss our termination packets with other employees... of course, that's not going to happen in reality - people are going to talk to each other, and maybe not share the specifics but they will talk about what they are comfortable with sharing (which still goes against what HR wants). And I don't know what recourse there is if we were actually to try to 'counter' the company as a group - it could potentially make things even worse and get all of us fired immediately.

At the moment, you have legally binding promises that are easily dodged.  It sounds like they need some (though perhaps not all) of you for this transition, so if you truly did get collective action going, it'd be hard for them.  On the other hand, if you're a ringleader, it's easy to terminate you and hope that nips it in the bud and the rest don't speak up.  Maybe don't try to officially agitate but it still wouldn't hurt to comment to others that "I'm worried because I heard they could just terminate me in a few months and they wouldn't need to make good on any promises."

That's not discussing a specific package, which they've told you not to.  It's very general.  (Note, it may not be legally permissible for them to forbid this type of discussion as protected free speech.  You could look into it and also whether they are prohibited from retaliating by firing you.  There was another thread on this a bit ago I think.)  It's also suggestive that someone else is the point person, not you (and yet, still truthful as you heard it here!).  But, it serves to warn your colleagues, so they aren't caught unaware.  And it might raise enough awareness to push the company into more concrete and binding promises.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 25, 2015, 10:40:18 AM
Are others offered this deal (or a similar one) as well?  Are they all aware they could terminate you in May for failure to perform and not have to pay out?  Maybe time for some collective discussions on the topics, and then negotiate with the company to get in writing that they must pay out the bonuses if they terminate you early.

LOL, HR explicitly told us not to discuss our termination packets with other employees... of course, that's not going to happen in reality - people are going to talk to each other, and maybe not share the specifics but they will talk about what they are comfortable with sharing (which still goes against what HR wants). And I don't know what recourse there is if we were actually to try to 'counter' the company as a group - it could potentially make things even worse and get all of us fired immediately.

Oh man this company is pissing me off more and more now. Of course they don't want you to talk to your fellow workers. They NEED you. They probably assume some of you will quit before June so they figure some of you are expendable. They've probably kept back more people than they needed knowing there will be further attrition. But if you all band together, then they are screwed...because they NEED you to train your replacements.

How specialized is the technology you are transferring? How good is the existing documentation? If only your group of people is knowledgeable then you have a lot of power in your hands because if you all band together and threaten to leave if not promised this payout, then their plans to train offshore people will fail and the transition will take much longer and they will lose money. If not so specialized and/or there is good existing documentation and the replacements can easily learn the technology then you have less power.

The technology is relatively specialized but is starting to phase out as "legacy" despite the billion dollars in revenue it brings in for supporting long-time customers who have been using it. It's basically a backup product, so there are quite a few long-time customers whose data we're holding hostage (essentially... LOL). Banding together is a good idea *only* if you can trust everyone. At this point, I'm wary of the key players and who their loyalty & allegiance is to. If we were to start a coup of sorts, and just one person is a defector, it could be disastrous in some way, shape or form. The documentation is probably sufficient but with products like this, there's still a lot of back-end knowledge. Case-in-point, the support team is *constantly* busy supporting customer issues etc. I've been on some of these escalations and customers are pretty clueless. And there are quite a few cases where the support guys have to escalate upwards. To have the innate ability to troubleshoot issues on this particular platform is an understatement... the guys who are able to do this are wizards. Not sure how easy it is to replicate and knowledge transfer that sort of ability/skill/knowledge.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 25, 2015, 01:05:11 PM
More updates... it sounds like my lead is getting promoted to the position our manager was in, because they let go of all the other leads besides him. It would make the most sense.

Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: rmendpara on September 25, 2015, 06:15:52 PM
Even if your employment is "at will", most companies will not fire/lay off without severance. The reason? When you sign your severance agreement, and if the company pays you whatever you agreed to, then you also agree to not sue them (in more words, but that's the jist).

I would ask the questions you are wondering about directly to HR, so you understand what you are signing and what you are agreeing to do and what they are agreeing to do.
- Does signing this mean I am not allowed to quit early?
- Does signing this mean you can fire me early and I will not be paid 35k plus 20 weeks pay?

for #1, I think you can quit at any time, but you won't get the payouts. For #2, they would probably have to still pay you severance (I'm guessing 20 weeks pay), but probably not the staying bonus of 35k. Again, ask and clarify anything you sign your name next to!!! If you don't understand, then don't sign.

It is perfectly reasonable to ask questions. Also, don't just take their answers. Make them point out in the agreement where it says what you are talking about so you understand.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Noodle on September 25, 2015, 10:17:29 PM
I'm sorry. Lay-offs are wretched for the people who are let go, of course, but also for those left behind. As to what to do next, there's no need to decide right now even though it probably would feel good to have a plan. See how it goes in the new landscape, and start looking around for new positions. If you get an offer, evaluate it against X more months plus $35,000 and see which looks better. Rinse and repeat until you either run out the clock and get the severance or have a new job. And honestly, I get that right now your employer seems completely unreliable and suspicion-worthy, but I wouldn't put too much emotional energy into worrying that your employer will do you wrong and somehow you won't get the 35K. The worst possible scenario here is that they keep you nearly to the end and then let you go, and you don't get the staying bonus. So...you have a steady paycheck coming in while you're networking and resume polishing and then you get the standard severance. You're still better off than the folks who got laid off today.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: NorCal on September 25, 2015, 10:38:50 PM
I'm sorry to hear this.  My condolences.

My recommendation is to start looking for new work now.  Two years from now, the most important thing in your life will be whether you're working in a job that you're happy with (or at least don't hate).  This is more important than $35K.  By looking now, you are generating options.  You can always say no if the change isn't worth $35K.  And you never want to be in the situation of taking a job because you have no other choice.

I also recommend getting that $35K in writing.  You don't even know that the HR person who promised you $35K will still be around 9 months from now.  That will clarify their obligations to you, and your obligations to them.

Several points on the documentation (no, I'm not a lawyer, so don't treat it as legal advice):
1.  You don't HAVE to sign anything.  Anything you sign will be giving up your rights in some way shape or form.  However, severance money will likely be conditional on your signature.  Just be sure you're comfortable with whatever you sign.
2.  Even if you do agree in writing to stay until June, you still have the right to walk out the door any day and never come back.  Anything else would technically be slavery.

I am unfortunately going through something similar at my company.  I'm the finance guy running the Excel models on who's going to get laid off.  It will be a significant part of the company.  No one knows yet, so I have to act like nothing is going on.  Talking to my friends that have no idea it's coming is pretty depressing.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: mozar on September 26, 2015, 01:19:25 PM
Quote
When you sign your severance agreement

It may be that the OP doesn't sign anything. I recently was laid off with severance and there was nothing for me to sign. Just "here's the package, you can leave now"
I think companies have realized they give people unnecessary leverage when they ask someone to sign something.

I would leave as soon as possible.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: TomTX on September 26, 2015, 07:05:54 PM
Start looking for a new job (with better pay) today.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Rosy on September 26, 2015, 07:46:46 PM
Two things:

1. This is the time to work hard on that certificate you want/need in order to get a job in the area you like best.

2. Polish up your resume, talk a deep breath and consider staying put until January.

How long will it take to get that certificate?

Forget about your current job - it is already gone. In essence, worst case scenario, you or they change their mind and sever ties before June 2016. So make good use of that time, get that certificate while you still have a paycheck.

You will be fine, don't run scared, it is only a job, not the end of the world. You are young, skilled and have every motivation in the world to succeed - so go for it.
Look at it as a gift - shift your perspective, this layoff is giving you the opportunity to go for what you really wanted to do. You no longer have anything to lose, but everything to gain.

Like some guys already mentioned - this is the stuff you dream about, 35K is a golden opportunity - so use the time to your advantage and remember this is only temporary. Anyone with a 35K motivation can hang in there for a few months. Don't lose sight of what you really want to do.


Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Trudie on September 26, 2015, 08:04:26 PM
Keep your head about you, but also realize that they can terminate you at any time.  Having been in this situation before, and watching morale disintegrate around me, there is usually a patently unbalanced shift of power.  I know they didn't force you to sign anything, but I was forced to sign saying I'd be a great employee, wouldn't bad mouth the company, blah, blah, blah.  Oh, and couldn't discuss my severance package.  So it's golden handcuffs/indentured servitude.  If you get a better offer, go.  If it's unbearable to be there, don't do it for the gravy train.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 27, 2015, 12:22:39 AM
Two things:

1. This is the time to work hard on that certificate you want/need in order to get a job in the area you like best.

2. Polish up your resume, talk a deep breath and consider staying put until January.

How long will it take to get that certificate?

Forget about your current job - it is already gone. In essence, worst case scenario, you or they change their mind and sever ties before June 2016. So make good use of that time, get that certificate while you still have a paycheck.

You will be fine, don't run scared, it is only a job, not the end of the world. You are young, skilled and have every motivation in the world to succeed - so go for it.
Look at it as a gift - shift your perspective, this layoff is giving you the opportunity to go for what you really wanted to do. You no longer have anything to lose, but everything to gain.

Like some guys already mentioned - this is the stuff you dream about, 35K is a golden opportunity - so use the time to your advantage and remember this is only temporary. Anyone with a 35K motivation can hang in there for a few months. Don't lose sight of what you really want to do.

What I'd really like to do is take advantage of my paid paternity leave (4 weeks of it), and at the very least also my 2 or 3 weeks of partial disability pay through the state. As far as taking full advantage of the FMLA job-protected leave (which would be 5-6 more unpaid weeks on top of the paid leave) I'm not so sure though - my job would be protected to a certain extent I think. Doing this could disqualify me from the bonus if they decide to change my job title or whatever (which they could do and then decide to lay me off after that to avoid the $35k payout). But it seems like I'd at least be protected in the sense that they'd definitely have to pay be severance and wouldn't just be able to fire me straight out.

My wife is currently on leave and plans to go back in November, so my original plan was to take my leave through mid-November through at least the rest of the year and possibly into January. I suppose that would make sense to do if I want to take that route. And if that's the case, I'm not sure I'd want to jump ship just yet. It seems like a better option to do it this way and to take advantage of my current benefit...
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: mozar on September 27, 2015, 11:02:31 AM
So you could take the 2 and a half months leave starting in November, and if after you come back after some period of time they fire you before June, who cares? You will have had a bunch of time off. And if they don't fire you then stay.
I say use all your leave which is a benefit you are owed, instead of sitting at work, twiddling your thumbs nervously. They can fire you either way.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Daisy on September 27, 2015, 11:11:23 AM
Not a lawyer here, but I think that FMLA stuff you are suggesting is tricky. After all, they are only keeping you around to train your replacements and you are useless to them on FMLA leave. I know you think you are protected and all, but what do you gain with that? Don't you forgo pay while on FMLA? I'm not an FMLA expert either but had looked into it myself for potential parental health issues.

I think by going on FMLA you can kiss your bonus and possibly severance goodbye. What's the difference between quitting and going on FMLA if you are not getting paid anyways? If you want to take time off with your newborn, why not just ask to get laid off now along with the others? At least you will get some severance.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 27, 2015, 11:17:11 AM
Not a lawyer here, but I think that FMLA stuff you are suggesting is tricky. After all, they are only keeping you around to train your replacements and you are useless to them on FMLA leave. I know you think you are protected and all, but what do you gain with that? Don't you forgo pay while on FMLA? I'm not an FMLA expert either but had looked into it myself for potential parental health issues.

I think by going on FMLA you can kiss your bonus and possibly severance goodbye. What's the difference between quitting and going on FMLA if you are not getting paid anyways? If you want to take time off with your newborn, why not just ask to get laid off now along with the others? At least you will get some severance.

Yea, I'm not 100% sure about it either so I'll prob end up not taking it... at least the additional 6 weeks where it's unpaid. But as far as the paid/partially paid benefits, I want to take advantage of those. And I've already discussed taking *that* time off with my lead, and this was well before all the events that transpired on Thursday, so I think he'll be understanding about it... if not, then that'll just give me more motivation to get out of there. But at least I'll have gotten that benefit out of it.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Rosy on September 27, 2015, 12:03:10 PM
Not a lawyer here, but I think that FMLA stuff you are suggesting is tricky. After all, they are only keeping you around to train your replacements and you are useless to them on FMLA leave. I know you think you are protected and all, but what do you gain with that? Don't you forgo pay while on FMLA? I'm not an FMLA expert either but had looked into it myself for potential parental health issues.

I think by going on FMLA you can kiss your bonus and possibly severance goodbye. What's the difference between quitting and going on FMLA if you are not getting paid anyways? If you want to take time off with your newborn, why not just ask to get laid off now along with the others? At least you will get some severance.

Excellent points.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: NorCal on September 27, 2015, 03:19:06 PM
Not a lawyer here, but I think that FMLA stuff you are suggesting is tricky. After all, they are only keeping you around to train your replacements and you are useless to them on FMLA leave. I know you think you are protected and all, but what do you gain with that? Don't you forgo pay while on FMLA? I'm not an FMLA expert either but had looked into it myself for potential parental health issues.

I think by going on FMLA you can kiss your bonus and possibly severance goodbye. What's the difference between quitting and going on FMLA if you are not getting paid anyways? If you want to take time off with your newborn, why not just ask to get laid off now along with the others? At least you will get some severance.

I'm not a lawyer either, so take it for what it's worth.  You're actually on pretty solid ground taking the leave on your own terms, and it might even be beneficial to you.

As it stands right now, it sounds like you have nothing in writing.  They could lay you off next week or in May to avoid paying severance.  If there's one thing companies fear in this situation, it's being sued.

If you take FMLA protected leave and they change the terms of your employment or severance (in writing or not), then you have a legitimate case for claiming that they retaliated against you for taking leave.  If they pull any more shenanigans, a simple threat of an FMLA lawsuit will help you immensely.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: JRA64 on September 27, 2015, 05:05:34 PM
Tough situation, I'm sorry to hear this is happening to you.

I don't like the part about being "eligible" for a $35K bonus, especially if it's not in writing. Sounds too much like being entered into a sweepstakes drawing.

My company is also going through furloughs and layoffs. There are rumors that the severance policy will be changing to something far less generous. Check the employee handbook and if there's a clause in there that the policy could be changed at any time. Current rumors are going from one week severance per year of service to a flat two weeks for everyone. Point is, even the 20 weeks may not be guaranteed.

Personally, I'd take the leave as planned - you will never regret the bonding time you have with your child.

Ask lots of questions. I've been amazed what I've learned by asking "stupid" questions. Some of those expectations sound pretty subjective, like being a "good" employee. If the company fires you "for cause", I don't think they have to pay severence (I'm not a lawyer though). I personally don't do well with much overtime at all, so I'd be asking very pointed questions about overtime and travel expectations. One of my questions would be, would you consider laying me off now? especially if their expectations for overtime, etc were not reasonable for me.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: mm1970 on September 27, 2015, 05:16:25 PM
Honestly, I'd start looking.  My company has had 3 rounds of layoffs, and the last one had no severance.

Many of the people left are looking, and several have recently left.

No reason to go down with the ship.  I'd take some FMLA and use it to job hunt.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: mozar on September 28, 2015, 12:35:54 PM
Quote
What's the difference between quitting and going on FMLA if you are not getting paid anyways?

The difference is that the OP definitely will not get severance if they quit (per my understanding). I say take the fmla, and see where the chips fall.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: CletusMcGee on September 28, 2015, 01:39:38 PM
I know it's a long shot, but is there any chance your company's name rhymes with "Gardetto?"
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Forcus on September 28, 2015, 03:24:17 PM
Coming in on this thread a little late, but my company is doing something very similar, roughly 10% of the workforce or 9k people not including agency which are a large portion of our workforce. They are giving them essentially 3-4 months to find a new job within the company and if that doesn't pan out (which it won't for many), a calculated severance.

There has been major league uncertainty for the last month. I can say with certainty I checked out and was working at maybe 20%. Not so much trying to screw the man as knowing that different parts / all of my work don't matter depending on the final resolution. That being said, it got better after things starting sorting themselves out. I don't have a "termination date" but to be honest, the way this company and our industries are heading, anyones termination date could be any time. In a way I'd love to have June / July 2016 in my pocket because it gives you an end date. But of course it they are saying you are gone then, I could see someone viewing it as tacit acknowledgment that their work doesn't matter...

So just having been through this with a slightly different result - here are my takeaways:
- You have to figure out a way to mentally deal with this. Therapy, medications, etc. If you have a strong defense mechanism / survival mechanism you will need less of this.
- You have to look at the positives. You have time to figure stuff out, really, with severance, around a year. That's tons of time to figure out things like living situation, finances, etc. Maybe it will end up pushing you to a different, better career or workplace.
- A positive for me is understanding a little bit better that there is no benevolence in business. Business has no loyalty to you but the flip side is that you can make decisions without no loyalty to the business. Before I learned this I listened to people like my supervisor who really didn't want me to leave / apply for jobs for selfish reasons (e.g. no backfilling of a position) and therefore missed out on what might have been good opportunities with more stability.
- I tend to forget to be frugal when things are good. Things like the above really drive me back to where I need to be financially.

Just some thoughts..
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 28, 2015, 04:27:41 PM
Just spoke with my lead and he said he thinks the new person in charge of our group will likely 'prefer' presence and participation for priority matters despite my parental leave.... Presumably working from home is OK but stull - If that's really what it sounds like, I wonder if I should look for a new job now and accept an offer sooner than later
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 28, 2015, 04:39:36 PM
Quote
What's the difference between quitting and going on FMLA if you are not getting paid anyways?

The difference is that the OP definitely will not get severance if they quit (per my understanding). I say take the fmla, and see where the chips fall.

I think the catch-22 here might be that my mgr has to approve of my FMLA in order to take it... At least, it sure seems that way. In that case, he may not approve it and I'll be SOL.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Daisy on September 28, 2015, 05:41:46 PM
Quote
What's the difference between quitting and going on FMLA if you are not getting paid anyways?

The difference is that the OP definitely will not get severance if they quit (per my understanding). I say take the fmla, and see where the chips fall.

I think the catch-22 here might be that my mgr has to approve of my FMLA in order to take it... At least, it sure seems that way. In that case, he may not approve it and I'll be SOL.

What about talking with your manager and letting him know with the new baby you might not be able to put in that extra effort and they should consider laying you off now with severance. So you are not technically quitting but giving them an out. Would you get a decent severance? Much better that either quitting or sticking it ou there with the extra load at work.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 28, 2015, 06:11:09 PM
Quote
What's the difference between quitting and going on FMLA if you are not getting paid anyways?

The difference is that the OP definitely will not get severance if they quit (per my understanding). I say take the fmla, and see where the chips fall.

I think the catch-22 here might be that my mgr has to approve of my FMLA in order to take it... At least, it sure seems that way. In that case, he may not approve it and I'll be SOL.

What about talking with your manager and letting him know with the new baby you might not be able to put in that extra effort and they should consider laying you off now with severance. So you are not technically quitting but giving them an out. Would you get a decent severance? Much better that either quitting or sticking it ou there with the extra load at work.

That's an idea potentially worth considering. I did just come across this - http://kielichlawfirm.com/5-fmla-myths-might-believe/

Point 4 indicates that it's actually OK for work to contact you within reason. I wonder if this falls within expectation of my manager expecting that I "get my stuff done" but also "being present even if it means working from home" for meetings/concalls.

I still have yet to feel out how things are with the new management (the director basically has taken the reigns). I hear not necessarily positive things about her, but not necessarily negative things either. I don't know what severance would be if I were to be let go now. They didn't even discuss that in our meeting, saying that we wouldn't need to talk about severance until closer to my target termination date.

Tomorrow there will be QA-wide meetings with the new director(s) - apparently there was only one but he's on the Canadian East Coast so I guess they felt like they needed one for our location too. I want to see how these meetings go to get an even better feeling of whether or not more immediate action needs to be taken by me.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 28, 2015, 06:39:00 PM
I know it's a long shot, but is there any chance your company's name rhymes with "Gardetto?"

lol no, that's not it.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: chasesfish on September 28, 2015, 07:10:23 PM
I think you take the offer, kick back and work on your LinkedIn, then start looking for a new position.   Most people would kill to basically have one year to look for a new company and get paid a bonus to do it!  (8 months + 20 weeks).  If you find a great job, move, if its average, ask if you can start later.

We had an excellent analyst we waited over a year for during the financial crisis because the FDIC kept paying him bonuses to help resolve the Bank he worked for.  Its not much different. 
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 28, 2015, 08:45:42 PM
I think you take the offer, kick back and work on your LinkedIn, then start looking for a new position.   Most people would kill to basically have one year to look for a new company and get paid a bonus to do it!  (8 months + 20 weeks).  If you find a great job, move, if its average, ask if you can start later.

We had an excellent analyst we waited over a year for during the financial crisis because the FDIC kept paying him bonuses to help resolve the Bank he worked for.  Its not much different.

This goes back to what "taking the offer" really means. I'd be hesitant to bank on an 'offer' that isn't binding or contractual... seems the company could change their mind at any given moment and I'd be SOL. Well, I suppose the best I'd get out of it would be severance. And if they let me go for whatever they define as "underperforming" that could be grounds for taking them to court if I can somehow prove otherwise. None of this stuff is really defined in the offer letter... here are some clauses:

"you must continue to devote your full time and best efforts to the performance of your job duties..." and then they talk about how if you are released earlier for any reason besides "cause" then you're eligible for the bonus and severance. They go on to define "cause" as: a) violation of employment agreement, business conduct, relevant policies, or for *poor performance* - lol so basically, they can define what "poor performance" looks like vs "best efforts" yet it all sounds super subjective. I suppose "best efforts" can probably be baseline-defined as "get yer sht done" but I think that sort of becomes a burden if and when your leads and managers start piling up responsibilities (and stress) onto your plate. Already speaking with my lead today, he's looking to shovel more stuff onto me. So I don't look forward to it. If I'm going to take on new levels of responsibility and more effort for an expiring position, it seems I'd be better off just getting a job elsewhere (of course, severance and bonus would have to be considered but those aren't even guarantees for the current offer) 
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: JRA64 on September 28, 2015, 09:15:49 PM
I'd zone in on "continue to devote your full time and best efforts to the performance of your job duties..." with the key word being "continue". How many hours, how intensely, are you working now? This could roll into the conversation another person posted, about how with a new baby you won't be able to increase either the hours or the intensity, and if they are expecting something significantly different they should consider laying your off now...

I agree with you about just looking for a different position if they are expecting a lot more work.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 28, 2015, 10:01:38 PM
I'd zone in on "continue to devote your full time and best efforts to the performance of your job duties..." with the key word being "continue". How many hours, how intensely, are you working now? This could roll into the conversation another person posted, about how with a new baby you won't be able to increase either the hours or the intensity, and if they are expecting something significantly different they should consider laying your off now...

I agree with you about just looking for a different position if they are expecting a lot more work.

Currently it's pretty much 8am-5pm more or less... usually less haha. They've always been relatively 'flex' about working from home and coming in when we want as long as we get our work done. I'm not familiar with the new director's management style but based on how my lead responded today when I asked him about leave, she seems more stringent about "showing face" in the office or at least checking into work off-hours and what not. I suppose I wouldn't take up too much issue with this as long as it doesn't become extremely overbearing. Again, I don't want to get ahead of myself, assuming that it'll be a cakewalk but if things are OK with them the way they've been then it would sort of be one. I can't help but think that's part of the reason why they've been laying people off though - it has been a bit slow, and not to the fault of any one person.

Either way, I still feel a large sense of distrust in how the company has even handled things up until this point and especially how they went about the layoffs (of course, this is the first time I've been through something like this so I'm sure I don't know any better). Even if my immediate lead and the QA director say that we're "safe" it's no guarantee and I feel like anything could happen at any moment. I don't want to get caught up in that trap... this is exactly what happened to an ex-coworker of mine who ended up getting laid off at a previous company we worked at. He thought he was OK because he was a key knowledge holder but they let him go in the blink of an eye.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: LAGuy on September 28, 2015, 10:15:01 PM
I think you take the offer, kick back and work on your LinkedIn, then start looking for a new position.   Most people would kill to basically have one year to look for a new company and get paid a bonus to do it!  (8 months + 20 weeks).  If you find a great job, move, if its average, ask if you can start later.

We had an excellent analyst we waited over a year for during the financial crisis because the FDIC kept paying him bonuses to help resolve the Bank he worked for.  Its not much different.

This goes back to what "taking the offer" really means. I'd be hesitant to bank on an 'offer' that isn't binding or contractual... seems the company could change their mind at any given moment and I'd be SOL. Well, I suppose the best I'd get out of it would be severance. And if they let me go for whatever they define as "underperforming" that could be grounds for taking them to court if I can somehow prove otherwise. None of this stuff is really defined in the offer letter... here are some clauses:

"you must continue to devote your full time and best efforts to the performance of your job duties..." and then they talk about how if you are released earlier for any reason besides "cause" then you're eligible for the bonus and severance. They go on to define "cause" as: a) violation of employment agreement, business conduct, relevant policies, or for *poor performance* - lol so basically, they can define what "poor performance" looks like vs "best efforts" yet it all sounds super subjective. I suppose "best efforts" can probably be baseline-defined as "get yer sht done" but I think that sort of becomes a burden if and when your leads and managers start piling up responsibilities (and stress) onto your plate. Already speaking with my lead today, he's looking to shovel more stuff onto me. So I don't look forward to it. If I'm going to take on new levels of responsibility and more effort for an expiring position, it seems I'd be better off just getting a job elsewhere (of course, severance and bonus would have to be considered but those aren't even guarantees for the current offer)

They're not going to seek to screw anybody. Otherwise word will get out and they'll never be able to hire anybody again. The "for cause" stuff just sounds like standard boilerplate. Don't get in a fist fight, steal, or tell your boss off. Anything else that's "for cause" (such as performance) requires multiple instances of documentation and counseling with you. If they don't go through with it, then you have a case for suing them for not coughing up the bonus that they agreed upon. Unless they have some sort of history of not paying, or financially are looking like they might go under, I don't think you need to worry about them trying to give you short shrift on what they're claiming they'll pay you. All this stuff is pretty standard during layoffs. I do think your concerns should lie with how hard you think they're going to ride you, however. More then likely, they'll have their heads up their asses for the next 6 months and you can just fly under the radar.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 28, 2015, 10:29:31 PM
I think you take the offer, kick back and work on your LinkedIn, then start looking for a new position.   Most people would kill to basically have one year to look for a new company and get paid a bonus to do it!  (8 months + 20 weeks).  If you find a great job, move, if its average, ask if you can start later.

We had an excellent analyst we waited over a year for during the financial crisis because the FDIC kept paying him bonuses to help resolve the Bank he worked for.  Its not much different.

This goes back to what "taking the offer" really means. I'd be hesitant to bank on an 'offer' that isn't binding or contractual... seems the company could change their mind at any given moment and I'd be SOL. Well, I suppose the best I'd get out of it would be severance. And if they let me go for whatever they define as "underperforming" that could be grounds for taking them to court if I can somehow prove otherwise. None of this stuff is really defined in the offer letter... here are some clauses:

"you must continue to devote your full time and best efforts to the performance of your job duties..." and then they talk about how if you are released earlier for any reason besides "cause" then you're eligible for the bonus and severance. They go on to define "cause" as: a) violation of employment agreement, business conduct, relevant policies, or for *poor performance* - lol so basically, they can define what "poor performance" looks like vs "best efforts" yet it all sounds super subjective. I suppose "best efforts" can probably be baseline-defined as "get yer sht done" but I think that sort of becomes a burden if and when your leads and managers start piling up responsibilities (and stress) onto your plate. Already speaking with my lead today, he's looking to shovel more stuff onto me. So I don't look forward to it. If I'm going to take on new levels of responsibility and more effort for an expiring position, it seems I'd be better off just getting a job elsewhere (of course, severance and bonus would have to be considered but those aren't even guarantees for the current offer)

They're not going to seek to screw anybody. Otherwise word will get out and they'll never be able to hire anybody again. The "for cause" stuff just sounds like standard boilerplate. Don't get in a fist fight, steal, or tell your boss off. Anything else that's "for cause" (such as performance) requires multiple instances of documentation and counseling with you. If they don't go through with it, then you have a case for suing them for not coughing up the bonus that they agreed upon. Unless they have some sort of history of not paying, or financially are looking like they might go under, I don't think you need to worry about them trying to give you short shrift on what they're claiming they'll pay you. All this stuff is pretty standard during layoffs. I do think your concerns should lie with how hard you think they're going to ride you, however. More then likely, they'll have their heads up their asses for the next 6 months and you can just fly under the radar.

Thanks for the reassurance. Guess we'll just see how things play out in the next few weeks to months; that should give a good reading on how it'll be. I am expecting some stress and busyness going into the end of the year. And if I'm planning to take parental leave, I'm not sure how that will all pan out with them shifting additional responsibilities to me and then expecting me to follow-through with them [strictly within their time frame]. At this point, it just seems very difficult to want to do anything productive... at least, that's the feel I get in general from just the feeling in the office. Maybe the mood will shift. Who knows...
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: LAGuy on September 28, 2015, 10:55:33 PM
This is just the realities of life in today's corporate America. Frankly, none of our jobs are anymore safe then yours from any one day to the next. I'm sure it's one of the reasons it motivates all of us on this board to FIRE. Sometimes when I talk to people about my early retirement plans, they always say something along the lines of "Yeah, but what if..." My response is, "Oh? You think that's more risky then relying on your employer for your financial well being?" The day I quit for good and have to rely on my 4% SWR is the the day I'll feel financially safe and secure. I sure don't get that from any employer.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Axecleaver on September 29, 2015, 08:12:38 AM
I would be really careful with the FMLA leave. They can't fire you because you're on leave, but they can change your job duties and put you on a list of "next to be laid off." This would practically guarantee you'd be in the next wave of layoffs, and lose out on the retention bonus.

You could also be subject to the "key employee" provision of the FMLA, which can exempt your employer. It sounds like you're in precisely the kind of situation this provision was written to handle. I don't have direct experience with FMLA cases but if you do decide to exercise this option, consider talking to a labor lawyer before you do.

I agree with the posters saying you should ride this out and take the payday at the end. Do you feel confident in getting a new job within 5 months? Also check the terms of your severance, they can structure it to pay benefits only until you find a new job, or as a lump sum payout on your last day. The latter is obviously a much better deal for you. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Gone Fishing on September 29, 2015, 08:38:30 AM
Ask for 26 weeks and a contract.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: LAGuy on September 29, 2015, 10:37:45 AM
Ask for 26 weeks and a contract.

They're not going to give him that. They've already decided he's disposable. He asks for a contract, they'll say "bye!" It's either play ball on their terms or ask for severance now. I don't know the rules on family leave, but I wouldn't expect that's going to be an "out." Last round of layoffs at my work and a girl that was like 8 months pregnant was let go. This is America. Employees have only one right. And that's the right to GTFO.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 29, 2015, 11:30:17 AM
Ask for 26 weeks and a contract.

They're not going to give him that. They've already decided he's disposable. He asks for a contract, they'll say "bye!" It's either play ball on their terms or ask for severance now. I don't know the rules on family leave, but I wouldn't expect that's going to be an "out." Last round of layoffs at my work and a girl that was like 8 months pregnant was let go. This is America. Employees have only one right. And that's the right to GTFO.

I just got called up by a recruiter at a major financial institution for a 100% telecommuting position that seems to fit almost exactly right up an alley I'd be interested in. I'd be in a similar role and I'm pretty sure the pay would be at least $10k more, but would have to negotiate upwards... can I leverage the severance + bonus pay offered by my current place in any immediate negotiations should I get that far in the process? If so, when should I tell them that my company has arranged this "package" for me? And could I pretty much negotiate upwards based on whatever they offer? E.g. let's say I make $80k per year now and have the $35k bonus + severance. If the new company offers $100k, how much more could I reasonably negotiate up? $110k? $120k?
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: LAGuy on September 29, 2015, 11:34:43 AM
Ask for 26 weeks and a contract.

They're not going to give him that. They've already decided he's disposable. He asks for a contract, they'll say "bye!" It's either play ball on their terms or ask for severance now. I don't know the rules on family leave, but I wouldn't expect that's going to be an "out." Last round of layoffs at my work and a girl that was like 8 months pregnant was let go. This is America. Employees have only one right. And that's the right to GTFO.

I just got called up by a recruiter at a major financial institution for a 100% telecommuting position that seems to fit almost exactly right up an alley I'd be interested in. I'd be in a similar role and I'm pretty sure the pay would be at least $10k more, but would have to negotiate upwards... can I leverage the severance + bonus pay offered by my current place in any immediate negotiations should I get that far in the process? If so, when should I tell them that my company has arranged this "package" for me? And could I pretty much negotiate upwards based on whatever they offer? E.g. let's say I may $80 per year now and have the $35k bonus + severance. If the new company offers $100k, how much more could I reasonably negotiate up? $110k? $120k?

Well, make sure you get an offer before you discuss salary unless they bring it up first. Then, I'd just be straight up/honest with them. Tell them what your situation is and that you're genuinely conflicted i.e. stick it out for the big payout, or leave early for the new job. That'll give your new potential employer the opportunity to either hire you later in June/July or match your current severance offer with a sign on bonus.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 29, 2015, 11:37:33 AM
Ask for 26 weeks and a contract.

They're not going to give him that. They've already decided he's disposable. He asks for a contract, they'll say "bye!" It's either play ball on their terms or ask for severance now. I don't know the rules on family leave, but I wouldn't expect that's going to be an "out." Last round of layoffs at my work and a girl that was like 8 months pregnant was let go. This is America. Employees have only one right. And that's the right to GTFO.

I just got called up by a recruiter at a major financial institution for a 100% telecommuting position that seems to fit almost exactly right up an alley I'd be interested in. I'd be in a similar role and I'm pretty sure the pay would be at least $10k more, but would have to negotiate upwards... can I leverage the severance + bonus pay offered by my current place in any immediate negotiations should I get that far in the process? If so, when should I tell them that my company has arranged this "package" for me? And could I pretty much negotiate upwards based on whatever they offer? E.g. let's say I may $80 per year now and have the $35k bonus + severance. If the new company offers $100k, how much more could I reasonably negotiate up? $110k? $120k?

Well, make sure you get an offer before you discuss salary unless they bring it up first. Then, I'd just be straight up/honest with them. Tell them what your situation is and that you're genuinely conflicted i.e. stick it out for the big payout, or leave early for the new job. That'll give your new potential employer the opportunity to either hire you later in June/July or match your current severance offer with a sign on bonus.

So the recruiter did ask me what I'm looking for in terms of a general number and I gave them my 'low-range' number through my 'high-range' number. But didn't say anything about my current situation with the current place. Should I have just disclosed that to the recruiter? Or is it best to wait till further on, assuming things move forward, and discuss that with the hiring manager?
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: NorCal on September 29, 2015, 11:46:44 AM
To be 100% clear, you have the option to take FMLA leave within the eligibility window whenever you want with no repercussions whatsoever.  The company doesn't get to "approve" this or not.  It's your choice.  If they do anything that feels like a reprisal, then you have a a very easy lawsuit.

Besides the all-important time with a new kid (trust me, it's worth it), I recommend taking some FMLA leave anyways as you actually end up with better legal protections on your job than you would otherwise.

It also generally pisses me off when companies approach legally guaranteed leave as something they get to be upset about.  Spending time with a newborn is literally some of the most valuable time you will have in your entire life.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: robartsd on September 29, 2015, 11:56:54 AM
I haven't read the FMLA law and am not a lawyer; but, I'd be inclined to believe that the "key employee" provision only applies where litterally no other employee can do the work you do.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: clarkfan1979 on September 29, 2015, 12:58:00 PM
Getting the can sucks, but it's possible to turn it into a positive. Three of my friends were recently fired. Two of the three have bachelor's degrees and very socially well adjusted. They ended up getting more money and better jobs after getting the can. I love the third friend to death, but he doesn't have a bachelor's degree and is a little socially awkward at times, so he has struggled to find a replacement job.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 29, 2015, 02:07:28 PM
To be 100% clear, you have the option to take FMLA leave within the eligibility window whenever you want with no repercussions whatsoever.  The company doesn't get to "approve" this or not.  It's your choice.  If they do anything that feels like a reprisal, then you have a a very easy lawsuit.

Besides the all-important time with a new kid (trust me, it's worth it), I recommend taking some FMLA leave anyways as you actually end up with better legal protections on your job than you would otherwise.

It also generally pisses me off when companies approach legally guaranteed leave as something they get to be upset about.  Spending time with a newborn is literally some of the most valuable time you will have in your entire life.

I'll probably try to file for leave towards end of Nov/start of December going through January. But if I get an offer elsewhere before then I'm not sure what I'd do. I'm assuming I'd still qualify for FMLA even at the new company but that may affect when they actually want to onboard me, I'm guessing. I do want to take advantage of the 4 weeks of full pay my company gives us at the very least. But if I get an offer from the new company, I'm wondering if this could also all be part of the negotiation (since I potentially will not have taken my leave yet at that point). What do you guys think?
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: lsalinas on September 29, 2015, 02:30:34 PM
Employers can not reject your request for FMLA if you qualify.  They can only check to see if you qualify or not.  What makes your situation sticky is that both FMLA and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) say that your job is protected and the company has to reinstate you UNLESS the job is eliminated and you would have been laid off if you weren't already on leave.  So I guess they could technically say while you are on leave that the job elimination was accelerated and you have no job to go back to. 

I personally wouldn't wait it out for a severance package.  If I were you I would take FMLA and look for another job.  You do have to be at an employer for at least a year to qualify for FMLA so you wouldn't be able to take leave at your new company.  Also I wouldn't tell recruiters and potential employers about your current situation.  I am not sure that telling them about your severance package would positively influence the wage negotiation.  They might be disinclined to give you more money because they might think soon you will be laid off and desperate enough for a job that you would take the same pay or even lower.  On the other hand if they didn't know you were going to be laid off they might think there is a risk that your current manager would counteroffer to keep you and that might lead them to give you a higher offer.  If you don't say anything they might make some assumptions to your benefit. 

Also my last thought is that whatever you decide you should spend as much time with your baby as you can.  My twins are 14 months old and I already miss the newborn baby stage.  It goes by too fast.  Snuggle that baby as much as you can while you can!  If your baby is anything like mine as soon as s/he learns how to walk s/he will not want to snuggle anymore and will give you a "don't let the door hit you on the ass" look as s/he runs away from you and into the daycare. 
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Daisy on September 29, 2015, 02:45:39 PM
Oh man...new offer?!?! Go for it! You have nothing to gain from your current employer.

I'd wait to get an official offer from the new place. Don't bring up all of these pay requests before you get an offer. I had a friend get offers rescinded twice when she got too smart with her requests. I'm guessing that being so complicated in the negotiating process can be a red flag for a trouble employee and they'd rather rescind the offer than get stuck with a demanding employee that is difficult to work with.

I think what you most want is to have a job and get time with your newborn. If I had to negotiate with the new company I'd focus more on delaying the start date to when you wanted your paternity time to end. Mention the newborn and that you'd rather start the new job with a fresh mind.

Then once you have an offer and a favorable start date, ask your current company to lay you off with severance because you can't commit to the new job responsibilities and extra time.

Bingo. Your severance is your paternity pay.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Jouer on September 29, 2015, 03:08:32 PM
(I'm not a lawyer)

If you are even thinking of accepting the severance (plus $35k bonus), please contact an employment lawyer to go over the severance offer. It's almost never prudent to accept the initial severance offer. The lawyer will help you understand the bullshit language in the offer and help you with a counter-offer.

For instance, I'd want the language changed so that the $35k WILL BE paid next June. Remove the language around "being eligible" for a bonus. I'd also ask for the $35k to be paid even if they lay you off between now and then. If they won't budge....get the eff outta dodge.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: nobody123 on September 29, 2015, 03:23:56 PM
Take the company paid leave NOW before they eliminate / suspend that benefit for "business reasons."  Look for a new job while you and your spouse share child care responsibilities.  If you get an offer you want to accept, ask to start after your paid leave runs out.  There is no way they are going to lay you off after you return, they will be too afraid of being sued.

Personally, I would stop asking so many questions of your supervisor or their superiors.  Keep your head down and do what you are supposed to do.  They are probably worried about their futures, and don't give two craps about your situation.  Why draw attention to yourself?  Employees that ask tons of questions and make their manager's life difficult are probably going to be moved up the "cut" list.

Frankly I don't see the severance payout as much leverage at all, especially when it's so far away.  Unless you have a super-unique skill-set, there is always someone else ready to accept the position for what the company is willing to offer.  If someone I was trying to hire mentioned a stay-on bonus and severance, I would most likely counter with "I'm offering you a job with a future, they're offering you a trip to the unemployment line."  It's not like it's a quarterly performance bonus or some part of your standard compensation that you're counting on that you're being asked to forfeit. 

If you decide to ride it out, negotiate the severance and get it in writing.  I would suggest $5K for signing the agreement, then $5K that vests on the first of each month that you are employed, the total vested amount payable upon termination.  That way, you're protected if they decide to let you go earlier than you had planned.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 29, 2015, 04:26:12 PM
Take the company paid leave NOW before they eliminate / suspend that benefit for "business reasons."  Look for a new job while you and your spouse share child care responsibilities.  If you get an offer you want to accept, ask to start after your paid leave runs out.  There is no way they are going to lay you off after you return, they will be too afraid of being sued.

Personally, I would stop asking so many questions of your supervisor or their superiors.  Keep your head down and do what you are supposed to do.  They are probably worried about their futures, and don't give two craps about your situation.  Why draw attention to yourself?  Employees that ask tons of questions and make their manager's life difficult are probably going to be moved up the "cut" list.

Frankly I don't see the severance payout as much leverage at all, especially when it's so far away.  Unless you have a super-unique skill-set, there is always someone else ready to accept the position for what the company is willing to offer.  If someone I was trying to hire mentioned a stay-on bonus and severance, I would most likely counter with "I'm offering you a job with a future, they're offering you a trip to the unemployment line."  It's not like it's a quarterly performance bonus or some part of your standard compensation that you're counting on that you're being asked to forfeit. 

If you decide to ride it out, negotiate the severance and get it in writing.  I would suggest $5K for signing the agreement, then $5K that vests on the first of each month that you are employed, the total vested amount payable upon termination.  That way, you're protected if they decide to let you go earlier than you had planned.

You make plenty of good points towards not showing your hand in fear of losing the upper-hand (for both situations). I'll probably stop saying anything to my lead - I don't think I can trust him even though he's pretty nice, but it's clear he was never truly looking out for my well-being like my previous lead was (previous lead who is now in product mgmt offered himself as a reference in the future, which is kind considering I'm the one usually asking for references. To me, it shows he still cares for me even though he's not my lead - that's a true leader). As far as my paid leave goes, I don't know how willing my lead would be to allow me to take it sooner than later just because I've already sort of told him my plans... it'll put more suspicion on me especially when I haven't secured another offer or interviewed anywhere else at this point.

I was wondering about the severance payout and why a hiring company might want to hire you if they know you're gonna get cut... seems like you'd be showing them your desperation hand in telling them anything about getting laid off. Although, this particular position does seem to require a unique skillset (that being a combination of both extensive QA and infosec knowledge...). Either way, it might be too risky to try to negotiate upwards if I've already given them a target range (which I think is pretty reasonable and is still higher than what I'm currently paid). Wouldn't want to lose out on something good because I was too greedy.

At this point, morale is shot in both feet at the company. I can just tell when I'm trying to work with coworkers on stuff... it's obvious nobody wants to be here. Who knows? Maybe the mood will change in the coming weeks or months, but the immediate mood is still one of most people being distraught and not really wanting to care anymore at the same time.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 29, 2015, 04:33:04 PM
Oh man...new offer?!?! Go for it! You have nothing to gain from your current employer.

I'd wait to get an official offer from the new place. Don't bring up all of these pay requests before you get an offer. I had a friend get offers rescinded twice when she got too smart with her requests. I'm guessing that being so complicated in the negotiating process can be a red flag for a trouble employee and they'd rather rescind the offer than get stuck with a demanding employee that is difficult to work with.

I think what you most want is to have a job and get time with your newborn. If I had to negotiate with the new company I'd focus more on delaying the start date to when you wanted your paternity time to end. Mention the newborn and that you'd rather start the new job with a fresh mind.

Then once you have an offer and a favorable start date, ask your current company to lay you off with severance because you can't commit to the new job responsibilities and extra time.

Bingo. Your severance is your paternity pay.

LOL I wish it were that quick and I had an offer on the table! I literally just spoke with a recruiter today and am slated to talk with another one for a more extensive screening tomorrow or Thursday. And from there probably the hiring manager and whoever else on her team. I need to start preparing myself for all this. It's been the longest time since I've interviewed... and one of my prior experiences still haunts me to this day: I literally was tongue-tied off the very first couple of questions they asked me which were supposed to be "softballs" - it looked really bad and I'm pretty sure is 95% of the reason why I didn't land the job... well, that and also the fact that one of my old senior level coworkers applied for the same job and got it.

As far as asking the current company to lay me off, I'm not sure about the strategy(ies) to go about doing this the right way. Obviously if I get an offer where the new company wants me to start working ASAP, I would likely lose out on that. But could I really negotiate with the new company to say "hey I think I might get severance, can you delay my start date a few months?" I dunno, that just seems weird...
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Daisy on September 29, 2015, 05:58:06 PM
No, the reason to start later at the new company is to go on paternity leave. The sooner you can get a new offer the sooner you can quit your current job. I'd only try to get severance as a bonus if you are leaving anyways and they are in the middle of layoffs. You were shocked with this information and had time to think about it and would rather get severance and go on paternity leave - is what you tell your current employer - when you have a new job.

The important thing is to get a new job. Don't tell your new job anything about severance, bonus, etc. Continued employment is the most important thing with a new baby in your family, not some vague promise of a bonus or severance in June.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 29, 2015, 06:06:21 PM
No, the reason to start later at the new company is to go on paternity leave. The sooner you can get a new offer the sooner you can quit your current job. I'd only try to get severance as a bonus if you are leaving anyways and they are in the middle of layoffs. You were shocked with this information and had time to think about it and would rather get severance and go on paternity leave - is what you tell your current employer - when you have a new job.

The important thing is to get a new job. Don't tell your new job anything about severance, bonus, etc. Continued employment is the most important thing with a new baby in your family, not some vague promise of a bonus or severance in June.

So either way then, it sounds like if I get an offer, I should try to make my start date either January or February, given that I want to take my paternity through December and potentially January where it's partially paid. But as an extra measure of FU, I could say right now (assuming I get an offer say end of this week) "I'm willing to be let go now because I can't handle the additional workload and this all came as a shock to me" and try to get them to lay me off? I'm still not sure about the logistics on that one because isn't the key to that getting them to lay you off (rather than walking away and quitting)? Also, would that mean that I take my paternity up front now and then get severance pay until I start the new job? Is it even possible to 'combine' severance with paternity leave so that they're 'stacked' up like this? It seems like they wouldn't allow this or would make provisions against it.

Couldn't the new company also come back and say "no we need you to start NOW or you don't get the job?" And it seems like paternity leave would be out the window.

I don't want to get too ahead of myself on all these scenarios so best to take things a step at a time so I'm not all super discouraged when I find out I didn't get an offer or whatever.

EDIT: reading through the packet again, it seems as though they bundle both the bonus and severance with each other in the conditional clause that states I'll be eligible to receive those as long as I am let go by the company for any reason other than "cause" - so if I tell my manager "this all came as a shock and I'd rather not be here" - that would probably be cause for them *not* to give me severance merely because I volunteered that sentiment.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Daisy on September 29, 2015, 07:44:14 PM
I would only ask to be laid off after you have another job. Worst case no severance and you quit. But at least you have the certainty of a new job vs sticking around in Low Moralville With Unreal Expectations And Work Overload.

Don't try to optimize too much. If you have a new job, what's a couple of months on paternity leave of your own funding worth to you?

I wish you the best.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Dee18 on September 29, 2015, 09:57:23 PM
Just a heads up re leave at a new job.  The law may have changed, but back when I first became a mom I did not get FMLA because I had not been in the job a year.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 29, 2015, 11:20:12 PM
Just a heads up re leave at a new job.  The law may have changed, but back when I first became a mom I did not get FMLA because I had not been in the job a year.

You are correct - you need to be at your job for at least a year to qualify for FMLA. That's not a problem in my case as I've been with my current company for a few years now.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on September 29, 2015, 11:26:05 PM
I would only ask to be laid off after you have another job. Worst case no severance and you quit. But at least you have the certainty of a new job vs sticking around in Low Moralville With Unreal Expectations And Work Overload.

Don't try to optimize too much. If you have a new job, what's a couple of months on paternity leave of your own funding worth to you?

I wish you the best.

Wouldn't most places figure asking to be laid off is no different than asking to be let go (so it would be voluntary)? I guess there's ways to ask without officially asking haha.

Thanks for all the advice!
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: nobody123 on September 30, 2015, 07:02:59 AM
I was wondering about the severance payout and why a hiring company might want to hire you if they know you're gonna get cut... seems like you'd be showing them your desperation hand in telling them anything about getting laid off. Although, this particular position does seem to require a unique skillset (that being a combination of both extensive QA and infosec knowledge...). Either way, it might be too risky to try to negotiate upwards if I've already given them a target range (which I think is pretty reasonable and is still higher than what I'm currently paid). Wouldn't want to lose out on something good because I was too greedy.

You are being laid off, not fired.  From a business perspective, we look at other companies' layoffs as opportunities to grab some top talent that might not otherwise be available.  I view it as a positive that folks aren't going to go down with the ship when they have other options to control their own destiny.  You are being compared to all of the other applicants that are in the pool, the hiring company doesn't really give a crap about your current company's potential layoffs.  Get it out of your head that you are in some sort of disadvantaged position because you're slated to be laid off many months from now. 

Negotiate your salary and benefits as you would with any other job offer.  Worst thing is they say no.  If paternity leave is important to you, negotiate for it.  And if they somehow know that your company is undergoing layoffs and they try to use that to lowball you, you know that's probably a company you don't want to work for anyway.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on October 01, 2015, 12:22:06 PM
So I found out from a product mgr here that there is an entry level pm position opening up here at the office. Different chain of command from the engineering group and he was saying he thinks they're relatively stable because they have to continue driving the product lines. I have yet to reach out to the director/hiring mgr but it seems like another potential opportunity. Just not sure if I want to necessarily go down the PM route at this point in time. This would be one of those less technical day-to-day roles but requires a pretty deep technical knowledge of the product still. Whereas the position I'm interviewing for with the financial institution would be more technical and similar to what I'm currently doing. Of course, nothing is on the table at this point in time but i guess it wouldn't hurt to talk with the hiring mgr. I also had my resume forwarded on by my friend who is going over to a company that does background checks. Apparently they're revamping their entire it and development orgs.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: robartsd on October 01, 2015, 01:06:19 PM
In your shoes, I'd certainly begin entertaining offers at any employer you might want to work for. When you receive an offer for a job you might want to accept, negotiate salary and benefits before discussing start date. Once you get to a position and compensation that you'd say yes to if it were already June, start negotiating start date.

If you've decided that the bonus for staying 'till June is worth it for you, you might tell the potential employer that you've been working on a long term project (your current job) that will complete by June and you expect if you stay until the end you'll get a significant bonus. If you're being subtle about this and they ask why you've been looking for a job, let them know that you don't see good prospects for opportunities for new rewarding projects at your current employer after you current project concludes. Depending on how important it is to them to aquire your talent sooner rather than later, they may sweeten the deal by being OK with the delayed start date or offer a signing bonus. Regardless of decisions about sticking it out to June, be firm in your requirement for time off with your newborn. Again let them choose between hiring now with an agreement to give you December off paid, or setting the start date in the new year.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on October 01, 2015, 04:44:01 PM
Thanks. I've spoken at length to a few product mgrs at this point and the pm position here seems like a good opportunity to grow and broaden my skill set. It won't be fun or glamorous and will be highly challenging but it sounds like it would be both rewarding and stable. Of course, I'm still at conflict with *wanting* to work here after the turn if events but there are some very good ppl on the PM team and it just seems like a good opportunity in general. Less technical but I could probably maintain some technical skill.... This is moreso a position exposing me to the business/mgmt side of things. I guess the decision lies in whether I want to venture out or stick with growing and expanding my current technical skillset
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on November 09, 2015, 09:39:57 PM
In your shoes, I'd certainly begin entertaining offers at any employer you might want to work for. When you receive an offer for a job you might want to accept, negotiate salary and benefits before discussing start date. Once you get to a position and compensation that you'd say yes to if it were already June, start negotiating start date.

If you've decided that the bonus for staying 'till June is worth it for you, you might tell the potential employer that you've been working on a long term project (your current job) that will complete by June and you expect if you stay until the end you'll get a significant bonus. If you're being subtle about this and they ask why you've been looking for a job, let them know that you don't see good prospects for opportunities for new rewarding projects at your current employer after you current project concludes. Depending on how important it is to them to aquire your talent sooner rather than later, they may sweeten the deal by being OK with the delayed start date or offer a signing bonus. Regardless of decisions about sticking it out to June, be firm in your requirement for time off with your newborn. Again let them choose between hiring now with an agreement to give you December off paid, or setting the start date in the new year.

Just a quick update: a lot of things have happened since the layoffs. Apparently, the layoffs were just a prelude to an even bigger event - my current company got bought out by another company (which is a private tech firm). LOL, some of you can probably figure out who I work for by now... anyway, this private tech firm has a reputation for making cuts and being cheap. They've taken on a good amount of debt as well so as far as the "deep pockets" they're presumed to have, I don't think I can bank on it or the $35k bonus being promised (which was promised under the terms of the company that was bought out). So there are just really a lot of unknowns and uncertainties about the bonus. Sure it would be good to stick around and try to stick it through but the facts that A) they didn't have us sign anywhere for this "offer" and B) a private company bought out a public company and is now carrying debt (and there's news that they're looking to cut different divisions etc), makes me wonder if they'll get to the point of pulling the bonus rug out from under....

That said, I got a call from the recruiter at the large financial institution who I interviewed with for a 100% telecommute position, confirming whether or not I'm still interested (which I am of course). She replied saying, in more or less words, that the company is interested in me and I should expect to hear from them (presumably with an offer) within the next day or two... we'll see about that but that was good relief. I've also interviewed with a cloud gaming platform company in my area (which is a smaller division of a larger tech company), and it sounds like a pretty exciting opportunity. But I'm not sure if the pay would be as good as what I think the large financial institution will pay. The large financial institution position would be pretty "boring" and not as in tune with my interests, in comparison to the cloud gaming position. I haven't heard back about the gaming position but the interviews went well overall (there were some hiccups with the last person I interviewed with). Anyway, if I get an offer on the gaming position, it's going to be pretty tough deciding between the two.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Meggslynn on November 09, 2015, 09:53:02 PM
I have not read all the comments but wanted to let you know I just went through something very similar. I suggest you start looking now. If your environment becomes as toxic as mine did it is not worth the money, especially after taxes.

Good Luck.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Bearded Man on November 09, 2015, 09:55:01 PM
Bulk up on skills and certs, be a linkedin fiend. Take the extra money, then negotiate a better offer to start after your last day as it draws closer. You get to bank a ton of money, better opportunities await.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on November 09, 2015, 10:07:45 PM
Bulk up on skills and certs, be a linkedin fiend. Take the extra money, then negotiate a better offer to start after your last day as it draws closer. You get to bank a ton of money, better opportunities await.

I have what looks to be an incoming offer and I seriously doubt I could negotiate a start date of next June haha. If I start looking now, I think in most cases I'd need to start several months out. The only way to get the extra money would be to try to 'time' everything which is risky since I feel like they could pull the bonus rug out from under or find a reason (or more) not to pay it out. And if they get sued because of that, it doesn't seem like they'd care much anyway.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on November 09, 2015, 10:10:37 PM
I have not read all the comments but wanted to let you know I just went through something very similar. I suggest you start looking now. If your environment becomes as toxic as mine did it is not worth the money, especially after taxes.

Good Luck.

Thanks, yea I've been on the hunt and may have some opportunities. I'm not sure *what* will happen in the next half year. Especially with news of the big buyout. I don't know if they'd even keep us around until June. They have said that if they let us go earlier, we'd still qualify for the bonus. Then again, none of this required any sort of signature and with the situation the company is in I feel like they could 'rightfully' take away the bonus rights (e.g. "sorry all bonus packages have been cancelled because the company took a huge hit in Q1 and or Q2")
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Daisy on November 10, 2015, 11:36:07 AM
At this point, I wouldn't bank on any bonus. If you get it, great. But you need to look for other opportunities and put this current position behind you. Congrats on the 2 interviews! That's a good sign. You'll be happily employed at a new place soon.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on November 10, 2015, 01:21:21 PM
At this point, I wouldn't bank on any bonus. If you get it, great. But you need to look for other opportunities and put this current position behind you. Congrats on the 2 interviews! That's a good sign. You'll be happily employed at a new place soon.

Yea, I'm not counting on it at all. Wondering if I'll be able to parlay the bonus into a signing bonus or something with any new opp that comes along. Hmm....
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on November 12, 2015, 07:44:21 PM
Well, some good and bad news. The good, I heard back from the large financial institution and they basically made a verbal offer. I am trying to negotiate the start date (hopefully in January) as well as a potential signing bonus (delayed or immediate but I doubt it'll happen). They offered at the salary I was targeting, more or less, and this would be a 100% telecommute position as well. I also had a number of questions I still wanted to hash out with the hiring manager. Part of my response was to buy more time (to hear back from the other company) because they seemed to be pressing for an answer then and there. They should be getting back to me tomorrow hopefully.

I immediately emailed the cloud gaming company within the hour after getting the verbal offer call and just just heard back from about half an hour ago. The bad: they are not interested in making an offer with me... This would have probably been a better career-growth and experience opportunity but likely at less pay too, so it would have been a tough decision either way.

But I guess the decision has gotten narrowed down: I can go with the offer I got OR I can risk passing it up in favor of trying to stick it out for the bonus at my current place and/or extending my job search for my "dream job" lol

The logistics of 100% telecommute are pretty foreign to me, so I still need to hash out those details either way. But at this point, I'm conflicted just because of the nature of the work - is it what I *really* want to be doing long-term? But the overarching question too I suppose is how much longer do I want to keep working in general and what is my FIRE goal. I haven't quite figured that out yet...
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Axecleaver on November 13, 2015, 08:02:49 AM
You should do it, but 100% telecommute can be very isolating. It's a good idea to do at least a week orientation with the people you'll work with. See if there are any regular get-togethers like a quarterly meeting. If you have stuff like that mixed in, telecommute is great. No wasted time and money commuting, and it's a lot easier to fit your life into the job.

Make sure you have defined working hours and you try hard to keep them, it's easy to overwork. Also have an office space you can close off from roommates or family. Don't try to set up a laptop and phone in front of the TV or on the kitchen table, this is asking for distractions. Many expenses are reimburseable - phone, internet, office supplies. The company saves a ton of money not having a permanent space for you.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: norabird on November 13, 2015, 08:51:38 AM
I would take the offer, I think? If they let you start in Jan.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on November 13, 2015, 09:43:02 AM
Thanks guys, I'm close to taking the offer (100% telecommute) at this point, especially since it's the only offer. They couldn't negotiate my start date to be in January so they said any time before the end of the year. So I may tell them Dec 31st LOL! Anyway, I still wanted to talk to the hiring manager directly about some questions I had about the job and opportunity itself before committing. Other than that, things are really lining up. They were also able to get me a small signing bonus (it's a fraction of the "bonus" I've been promised at my current place but it's at least something and should at least cover a good chunk of the tuition assistance reimbursement I'll end up owing when I leave since it was taken less than a year ago).

Anyway, I'm excited to move on. I think the telecommute aspect will be challenging primarily because it's new to me and I don't know what to expect. It sounds like a certain level of discipline is in order so we'll see. Good thing though is that the expectation of work hours is pretty standard (8-5 or whatever schedule I want to set, as long as I'm available between those hours). With no real "on-call" schedule or anything like that (though there is an expectation of being reasonably available on standby in case of 'emergency'...).

The only thing left considering is how I'll make my exit at the current place. I'm wanting to get in on the parental leave (11/30-12/18) so I wouldn't want to give notice right after accepting. I think I might give notice during the last week of my parental leave (so around 12/18) and tell them that my last day is December 30th or something (the day before what I'm hoping my "official" start date will be with the new place on 12/31). I figure, not much is going to be going on around that time either way since it's literally the year end. Technically, I'm back at work on 12/21 but will be working remotely too as I'll be out of town. What do you guys think?
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: catccc on November 13, 2015, 11:00:54 AM
Congrats! 

I wouldn't bring up the tuition assistance pay back, maybe they won't ask for it?!  My old company had a written policy like that.  But they never asked for it back.  (we work in accounting, so we knew that it wasn't enforced...) Then one time they did.  My coworker that was quitting and 1/2 way through her two weeks notice.  And she was like "hell no, we don't enforce that on anyone, we aren't starting with me."   And our asshole boss said, "sorry lady, yes we are, it will be withheld from your last paycheck "  We were paid currently, not in arrears, which is unusual, but she was like "I'm not working for free."  And she left and never came back.   Which I thought was awesome.  (IDK, maybe some will disagree with me since that was the written policy.  Maybe you had to know first hand what an ass our boss was to appreciate this.)  When I left I only gave a week notice to ensure my annual bonus payout.  I don't regret it at all. 

Anyway, my point is that companies have little in the way of loyalty to their employees, or courtesy when it comes to laying people off.  So I don't think employees need to have it, either.  Give whatever notice is best for you, I don't think you need to be courteous to them.  Good luck!

Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: norabird on November 13, 2015, 11:04:03 AM
Definitely go ahead with taking leave and giving notice mid/late Dec if you can.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on November 13, 2015, 12:09:51 PM
Thanks guys, they agreed to a start date of 12/31 haha - I think it's for getting me onboard for the headcount before end of year more than anything.

I've pretty much accepted the offer so now just waiting for paperwork.

The other concern I have is that I filed for FMLA with my current company for the last few weeks of January. I don't want to be in a situation where my current company knows that I've taken another offer before I tell them - I don't think FMLA would have any bearing on this as it sounds like the FMLA status is pending my active employment status at the current place (e.g. so if I give notice on 12/21 for instance, my current company would notify MetLife for FMLA and effectively cancel it)

Actually, I wonder if I could say my last day is 1/8/16 at my current place because that week is actually my very last week of the parental leave benefit. So 11/30-12/18 and then 1/4-1/8 - this would be instead of giving notice that my last day is 12/30 or whatever. This could give way to burning bridges but I can only really see that happening if I still had a big workload that had to be transitioned and it wasn't done yet... seems like trying to extend out the parental leave benefit carries other risks anyway, so I guess the cleanest way to really do this is to give notice while in the office and while actively only employed at the current place. And giving an end date *before* I start with the new employer.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: nobody123 on November 13, 2015, 01:57:19 PM
The other concern I have is that I filed for FMLA with my current company for the last few weeks of January. I don't want to be in a situation where my current company knows that I've taken another offer before I tell them - I don't think FMLA would have any bearing on this as it sounds like the FMLA status is pending my active employment status at the current place (e.g. so if I give notice on 12/21 for instance, my current company would notify MetLife for FMLA and effectively cancel it)

Actually, I wonder if I could say my last day is 1/8/16 at my current place because that week is actually my very last week of the parental leave benefit. So 11/30-12/18 and then 1/4-1/8 - this would be instead of giving notice that my last day is 12/30 or whatever. This could give way to burning bridges but I can only really see that happening if I still had a big workload that had to be transitioned and it wasn't done yet... seems like trying to extend out the parental leave benefit carries other risks anyway, so I guess the cleanest way to really do this is to give notice while in the office and while actively only employed at the current place. And giving an end date *before* I start with the new employer.

This is confusing.  So, you are going to start at your new company on 12/31 then expect to take FMLA in January?  Or are you saying that if you call to cancel it you're worried your current company will think something is up?

Just take your parental leave, and give your two weeks on 12/16 saying your last day is 12/30.  Be prepared for them to say you abused the leave policy and not pay you for the last two weeks (essentially firing you for cause).  Or, at the very least, say you're no longer eligible for leave because you have a resignation on file, so come into the office for turnover.  If your turnover activities are truly important, they'll choose the latter.  If not, they may simply choose the first.

Congratulations on the job offer.  Whatever you do, don't breathe a word of it until you have a countersigned offer in hand and are exactly two weeks from the start date.  And +1 for creating a home office with a door.  Make sure your wife knows that when the door is closed you are working and cannot be disturbed unless the house is on fire.  No looking after the baby while she takes a shower, or runs to the store, etc.  You need to focus on your job.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on November 13, 2015, 02:49:59 PM
The other concern I have is that I filed for FMLA with my current company for the last few weeks of January. I don't want to be in a situation where my current company knows that I've taken another offer before I tell them - I don't think FMLA would have any bearing on this as it sounds like the FMLA status is pending my active employment status at the current place (e.g. so if I give notice on 12/21 for instance, my current company would notify MetLife for FMLA and effectively cancel it)

Actually, I wonder if I could say my last day is 1/8/16 at my current place because that week is actually my very last week of the parental leave benefit. So 11/30-12/18 and then 1/4-1/8 - this would be instead of giving notice that my last day is 12/30 or whatever. This could give way to burning bridges but I can only really see that happening if I still had a big workload that had to be transitioned and it wasn't done yet... seems like trying to extend out the parental leave benefit carries other risks anyway, so I guess the cleanest way to really do this is to give notice while in the office and while actively only employed at the current place. And giving an end date *before* I start with the new employer.

This is confusing.  So, you are going to start at your new company on 12/31 then expect to take FMLA in January?  Or are you saying that if you call to cancel it you're worried your current company will think something is up?

Just take your parental leave, and give your two weeks on 12/16 saying your last day is 12/30.  Be prepared for them to say you abused the leave policy and not pay you for the last two weeks (essentially firing you for cause).  Or, at the very least, say you're no longer eligible for leave because you have a resignation on file, so come into the office for turnover.  If your turnover activities are truly important, they'll choose the latter.  If not, they may simply choose the first.

Congratulations on the job offer.  Whatever you do, don't breathe a word of it until you have a countersigned offer in hand and are exactly two weeks from the start date.  And +1 for creating a home office with a door.  Make sure your wife knows that when the door is closed you are working and cannot be disturbed unless the house is on fire.  No looking after the baby while she takes a shower, or runs to the store, etc.  You need to focus on your job.

Sorry for the confusion. My current company offers 4 weeks of parental paid leave. I'm only taking 3 weeks of it initially in December but also filed to take the last week in the first week of January. I guess I just wanted to see if I could start the new job while still receiving benefits of the last week of parental leave (and essentially not tell my current employer anything or just tell them like on 1/8 for instance that I'm not coming back) but it doesn't sound like that would really work and would probably burn bridges.

For the 2 week rule, do I really need to give them *exactly* 2 weeks notice? Couldn't I just give my notice on 12/18 (which is the last day of my 3rd week of parental leave) and say that 12/30 will be my last day?

Thanks, yea I don't plan to say anything to my manager until I have everything in writing and up to the point that I decide to give the 2 weeks. In the meantime, I'm just putting my head down (with a smirk) trying to finish off whatever work is left. It sorta works out because my workload is *somewhat* starting to wind down and diminish.

Yea I'll have to create some "space" as far as an office is concerned. I have the room for it and will definitely need to set the boundary - my wife is pretty good about staying out of my hair if she knows I have work. I also asked for a remote office location setup to go into on an as-needed basis but I may end up making it a point to go once or twice a week in case I start going crazy from being at home all day.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on November 13, 2015, 02:54:29 PM
Something else I'm concerned about is health coverage. Looking through the benefits for the new place, they don't kick in until after a month of service at the company. If I give my notice on December 30th, and start on the 31st, it sounds like there will be a gap in health coverage for all or most of January. What provisions do I have in light of this? We have an appointment for our son scheduled in January so I don't want to be left shorthanded.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: reader2580 on November 13, 2015, 03:05:25 PM
I would not go without health insurance even if you had no appointments scheduled.  Emergencies can come up at any time.

I wish I could telecommute.  I work in an office by myself remote from the rest of my team.  If I am going to be remote why not from home?  I occasionally go to the main office and hear about all kinds of projects and such that I never heard about not being there.  Management from the top down wants everyone in the office and not at home, even if it costs the money extra for office space.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on November 13, 2015, 03:21:43 PM
I would not go without health insurance even if you had no appointments scheduled.  Emergencies can come up at any time.

I wish I could telecommute.  I work in an office by myself remote from the rest of my team.  If I am going to be remote why not from home?  I occasionally go to the main office and hear about all kinds of projects and such that I never heard about not being there.  Management from the top down wants everyone in the office and not at home, even if it costs the money extra for office space.

I think we might be covered by COBRA for instances like these... I'd have to look into it more. But I'm pretty sure if I give noticed by year end, I won't have benefit coverage from my current place spilling over into January...

I dunno, should I ask them if they can negotiate starting health benefits immediately? Or is it a pretty standard given that companies need a month of 'ramp-up' before getting you the health benefits, etc?
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: seattlecyclone on November 13, 2015, 03:47:04 PM
Sorry for the confusion. My current company offers 4 weeks of parental paid leave. I'm only taking 3 weeks of it initially in December but also filed to take the last week in the first week of January. I guess I just wanted to see if I could start the new job while still receiving benefits of the last week of parental leave (and essentially not tell my current employer anything or just tell them like on 1/8 for instance that I'm not coming back) but it doesn't sound like that would really work and would probably burn bridges.

For the 2 week rule, do I really need to give them *exactly* 2 weeks notice? Couldn't I just give my notice on 12/18 (which is the last day of my 3rd week of parental leave) and say that 12/30 will be my last day?

What two-week rule? Are you not an at-will employee? If you are, you can quit at any time with no notice required. It's possible they have a policy saying you can't get paid for a leave if you never return to work. What if you took a vacation day from your new job to go back to the old job after your leave to read your email, send in a resignation note, and pack your desk? Not something you would want to do if you ever want to work for that company again, but they're about to lay you off anyway so maybe you shouldn't be as concerned about burning bridges.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on November 13, 2015, 04:11:16 PM
Sorry for the confusion. My current company offers 4 weeks of parental paid leave. I'm only taking 3 weeks of it initially in December but also filed to take the last week in the first week of January. I guess I just wanted to see if I could start the new job while still receiving benefits of the last week of parental leave (and essentially not tell my current employer anything or just tell them like on 1/8 for instance that I'm not coming back) but it doesn't sound like that would really work and would probably burn bridges.

For the 2 week rule, do I really need to give them *exactly* 2 weeks notice? Couldn't I just give my notice on 12/18 (which is the last day of my 3rd week of parental leave) and say that 12/30 will be my last day?

What two-week rule? Are you not an at-will employee? If you are, you can quit at any time with no notice required. It's possible they have a policy saying you can't get paid for a leave if you never return to work. What if you took a vacation day from your new job to go back to the old job after your leave to read your email, send in a resignation note, and pack your desk? Not something you would want to do if you ever want to work for that company again, but they're about to lay you off anyway so maybe you shouldn't be as concerned about burning bridges.

Great point - yes the employment currently is "at will" - I guess the "two-week" rule is more along the lines of maintaining etiquette and staying on good terms with my manager (who I definitely wouldn't want to burn bridges with). Of course, I think he understands the predicament and probably would be fine either way I decide to terminate it but I also don't want to presume. I think the key thing is as long as I finish off whatever I need to finish without leaving a full plate for the next person, he would probably be fine however I decide to call it quits. This is all speculation of course... That said, I think I'll stick with the plan of giving some advanced notice on either 12/18 or 12/21 when I'm back at work, with 12/30 being my official last day. Not sure I want to mess around with trying to gain that extra last week of parental leave during the first week of January when I'd technically be employed and working under the new employer (then again, all this is around the New Year anyway when nothing is really going on hahaha)
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on November 13, 2015, 06:16:39 PM
I am surprised that your he
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: catccc on November 14, 2015, 01:59:20 PM
It's only November, can you take that week of parental leave sooner?  Or take a day here or there and tell them it'll come off of the week you were planning to take in Jan?  Then give notice whenever you originally planned and say your last day is 12/30?  The two-week "rule" is just a customary thing and isn't really a rule, so don't worry about it.  You can make strides towards documentation of your processes and train anyone who might pick up your slack under the guise of cross training for your parental leave.  The aren't going to replace you in two weeks, so it really doesn't matter if you give them one or two or none.  If you are trying to do the right thing here, just work on transitioning your responsibilities, that's what really matters, not how much notice you give them. 
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on November 14, 2015, 05:34:47 PM
It's only November, can you take that week of parental leave sooner?  Or take a day here or there and tell them it'll come off of the week you were planning to take in Jan?  Then give notice whenever you originally planned and say your last day is 12/30?  The two-week "rule" is just a customary thing and isn't really a rule, so don't worry about it.  You can make strides towards documentation of your processes and train anyone who might pick up your slack under the guise of cross training for your parental leave.  The aren't going to replace you in two weeks, so it really doesn't matter if you give them one or two or none.  If you are trying to do the right thing here, just work on transitioning your responsibilities, that's what really matters, not how much notice you give them.

The current company sorta makes a big deal out of parental leave (it's a new policy) especially since it mixes in with FMLA, so they want a pretty good heads-up notice on when you plan to take it. I suppose I could request to take the week before Nov 30th (or even all of December) but if the former that really leaves me little runway for transition (and my manager would probably not be happy and likely suspicious). If I did it in December, I'm afraid my company might revoke the [paid] benefit accusing me of abusing it (e.g. if I'm on the last week of parental leave and give my notice then, they could say "well, we're not going to pay you out for it" or something along those lines). I guess I'm willing to forfeit 1 week of leave to "play it safe" and maximize the benefit. The main thing, more than anything, is that I don't have this looming target termination date hovering overhead anymore.

Actually, thinking about it more, I *could* take 11/30-12/25 for parental leave (they make you take it by the week, not by day). Then give my "notice" on 12/28 - my manager may not even be around or in the office at that time so I'm not exactly sure how effective that would be. But I suppose as long as all my transitional stuff is done by the end of this month, I should be OK. I just have a feeling everyone will be on vacation during that time lol. As far as giving notice, is doing it over the phone or via email OK if I may not be around and was planning to be "working from home" during that time?
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: nobody123 on November 16, 2015, 07:51:43 AM
COBRA will most likely be pretty costly.  I would see if the January doctor appointment could be moved up into December so it will fall under your current insurance.  You have some time to file for COBRA, so don't pay the premium unless you need to use it.  That's what I did when I changed jobs, but again that was before children. 

Personally, I would resign in person.  Even if all of your direct management is on vacation, you can hand your letter into HR with two weeks notice.  Do you really want to be known as the guy who resigned via email with less than two weeks notice while on the new leave policy?  It's a small world and a lot of your coworkers will be scattering around due to the layoffs, do you really want their lasting opinion of you to be that you didn't have the common courtesy to quit properly?
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on November 16, 2015, 05:13:52 PM
COBRA will most likely be pretty costly.  I would see if the January doctor appointment could be moved up into December so it will fall under your current insurance.  You have some time to file for COBRA, so don't pay the premium unless you need to use it.  That's what I did when I changed jobs, but again that was before children. 

Personally, I would resign in person.  Even if all of your direct management is on vacation, you can hand your letter into HR with two weeks notice.  Do you really want to be known as the guy who resigned via email with less than two weeks notice while on the new leave policy?  It's a small world and a lot of your coworkers will be scattering around due to the layoffs, do you really want their lasting opinion of you to be that you didn't have the common courtesy to quit properly?

We're planning to schedule in December instead.

As far as notice, we don't have HR on site here so giving resignation in person might be a real challenge of no managers or directors are around. I just found out too that my immediate manager is leaving end of this month lol... I'm not sure who they'll put in charge but regardless, if that person and the director are out of town I'm not sure how I'd give my notice in person. The office here is just a remote site for a division that they're going to phase out soon enough. Not sure if many people really would care about how someone gives their notice when everyone is too busy trying to lookout for themselves as it is.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on November 16, 2015, 09:56:19 PM
Do you think you might be able to check with your supervisor and see if he would be willing to approve you for full four weeks of family leave from Nov 30-Dec 25, and then once it is approved put in your notice for Dec. 30th being your last day?  Seems like somebody who is leaving himself won't really care what happens after he goes.  That is giving them more than 2 weeks notice.  If the leave policy is in writing, they can't very well withhold it from you.

The thing about the parental leave is that we not only have to get approval from our manager but also have HR sign off on it. The process can take a while, and especially now it seems HR has been slow to respond. It might be worth a try but I think my manager may also pass the request onto the director as well for additional approval. I'm not 100% sure on the chain of command but you're probably right in that he doesn't care a whole lot considering he'll be gone soon. I'll see if I can bring it up with him. What I'm afraid of is if they (HR) tell me I can't do that because it's not in "accordance with policy" or whatever.


EDIT... actually I just read through the FAQs and this is what it says:

Q. What happens if I leave the company and have not taken any or all of my Parental Leave?
A. Paid Parental Leave is a benefit available while actively employed. Unused Parental Leave time not taken prior to termination is forfeited.


The way I'm reading it, it *seems* as though they are encouraging us to use up the Parental Leave. In that case, maybe I will check with my manager. But I'm still not sure about when to give my notice. On one hand it seems bad to give notice *while* on leave... on the other hand, it also seems kind of bad to give notice a month ahead before I even go on leave, with the leave pretty much extending right into my last day.

Unless I give my notice in person and drop off my letter on the 21st while I'm technically on leave.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on December 22, 2015, 12:38:00 AM
Just a quick update on things - I ended up giving my notice today. I went into the office with my letter of resignation and waited around for the director to show up. She didn't seem upset that I was essentially giving her a few days notice (because I'm supposed to return to the office on Dec 28th and my last day is the 30th). I think she knows that my workload has dwindled down and there isn't much left for me to do, but at the same time it was interesting because it seemed she was trying to make me feel bad for leaving all while not really asking for me to stay and reconsider or even going down the counter-offer route. Makes sense, I don't really know her and she doesn't really know me. But she made a lot of judgement-like statements and observations about me... one that irked me was something along the lines of:

"I think you're making a mistake in not riding out this tough wave for your bonus... I'm pretty sure you could find the same opportunity that you're leaving this place for six months from now when your end date is and after you get your payout. And if you don't think that you could find something then, that just means you lack confidence in yourself... and that's what I've noticed with quite a few people [around here]" - at least, in more or less words, that seemed to be what she was saying or implying. Kind of a back-handed compliment... I didn't want to get into it with her but I did mention that waiting for another opportunity to come up vs taking what's in front now is more of a risk thing and made more sense in terms of my own timing. It really has less to do with "feeling confident" about myself... part of why I took the other offer was because it was good and I didn't *want* to go through all the interviewing six plus months from now (or even during the remaining period I had with the company). She did say "well anyway, try it out and if you don't like it talk to me later because it's an open door here for you" - nice gesture but when I think about it it sorta sounded like "when you find that things aren't working for you, call out and I'll throw you a bone" LOL.

She went on to talk about how telecommuting isn't as great as it sounds and that I'm silo-ing myself of career growth and advancing (which in her mind seems to be a lot of moving up in managerial rank via politicking). Another funny thing was that she told me about how they brought a former employee back (he was part of the original layoffs) to interview for my team's lead position (because my lead recently left) and solicited from me feedback on the guy as a potential candidate. Obviously, she didn't believe in me enough to say "Hey you know, would you consider staying with us if we put you into the lead role?" - I likely would have rejected it anyway, knowing how crazy things are.

Anyway, sort of venting but trying not to get caught up in all the riff-raff and "backlash" of giving notice. I'm sure she had to say the right "managerial" things and I think some of what she said was with good intent to make me think and consider my decision. Haha, right after the meeting ended, she went straight over to our recruiter's office probably to tell the recruiter to step-it-up with filling the lead role and also now my role. 
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Axecleaver on December 22, 2015, 09:40:37 AM
That's a pretty good outcome. It's normal for managers to feel rejected when people in their org decide to abandon ship. We're all human. Never try to justify or defend your decision. In a situation like this, you say thanks for the advice, and move on, no matter how useful or appropriate the advice is.

It's pretty immature to tell someone who is leaving, that they're making a big mistake. The right thing for the Director to say was, "Thanks for your service, best of luck, let me know if you'd like a letter of recommendation." Offering to rehire you if things don't work out is a nice thing to do, and fairly rare. You should take that as a compliment.

If you can muster the energy, follow up with her in a month or two to keep the relationship alive. Don't use the opportunity to tell her your new job is great, just let her know you're keeping in touch in case new opportunities arise. Set a reminder to follow up with her once every 6 months to a year. Do this for every person in your work network and the next time you're out of a job, you'll have a strong rolodex of people to call.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on December 22, 2015, 11:39:48 AM
That's a pretty good outcome. It's normal for managers to feel rejected when people in their org decide to abandon ship. We're all human. Never try to justify or defend your decision. In a situation like this, you say thanks for the advice, and move on, no matter how useful or appropriate the advice is.

It's pretty immature to tell someone who is leaving, that they're making a big mistake. The right thing for the Director to say was, "Thanks for your service, best of luck, let me know if you'd like a letter of recommendation." Offering to rehire you if things don't work out is a nice thing to do, and fairly rare. You should take that as a compliment.

If you can muster the energy, follow up with her in a month or two to keep the relationship alive. Don't use the opportunity to tell her your new job is great, just let her know you're keeping in touch in case new opportunities arise. Set a reminder to follow up with her once every 6 months to a year. Do this for every person in your work network and the next time you're out of a job, you'll have a strong rolodex of people to call.

Yeah, she's more the optimistic type I guess. I don't think she said "big mistake" exactly but either way it came out like that in the overall context of the conversation. I think she was trying to fallback to the "I'm talking to you as a peer, not a manager" tactic. It's odd because that was literally the very first one-on-one conversation I've ever had with her, so she said a lot of things that most people would consider "bold" lol. Not a big deal - I guess she has a lot of "confidence" and felt like she could be frank with me since we have worked at the same place for several years.

I'll probably add her on LinkedIn and keep in touch that way. I need to follow-up with my former lead as well - I was getting frustrated with him because he kept pulling me in different directions and I think he could sense my frustration so would try to back off as much as possible. I realize now that he was only doing what he was told, and didn't like it either, which I'm pretty sure is why he left. I've been keeping in touch with my former manager there (who was part of the layoffs) - he and I have an excellent relationship as he's the one who originally hired me into my first full-time job (which happened to be with that company pre-IPO a long time ago). I've only somehow burnt bridges with people from my last place of employment - I think some of them got all butt-hurt because I wouldn't tell them where my next place of employment was, so my previous manager at that company has never accepted my LinkedIn requests or really reached out to me (he did call me a week into my current job to ask me for details on access to something but after that, he seems to have acted all catty...)
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: SKL-HOU on December 22, 2015, 02:33:35 PM
From what I read, it wasn't really because of lack of confidence in yourself but more like lack of confidence in the company.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: mozar on December 22, 2015, 05:36:36 PM
What a meanie. Good thing you're getting away. That's all that matters.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on December 22, 2015, 06:22:07 PM
What a meanie. Good thing you're getting away. That's all that matters.

There were certainly overtones of passive-aggressiveness LOL. I just get the feeling that most of the people reporting to her aren't too fond of her as a manager/director. And the ones that seem to be on her side are the ones whom she's promoted to managerial and lead positions. Compared to my former manager who was laid off, I think she's on the declining side of the likability scale. I don't think she's a bad manager or anything, but I think it's hard to fill someone else's shoes (even if they were under you in hierarchy) and expect to get the same response with a pretty different management style.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: nobody123 on December 23, 2015, 11:29:05 AM
"I think you're making a mistake in not riding out this tough wave for your bonus... I'm pretty sure you could find the same opportunity that you're leaving this place for six months from now when your end date is and after you get your payout. And if you don't think that you could find something then, that just means you lack confidence in yourself... and that's what I've noticed with quite a few people [around here]" - at least, in more or less words, that seemed to be what she was saying or implying. Kind of a back-handed compliment... I didn't want to get into it with her but I did mention that waiting for another opportunity to come up vs taking what's in front now is more of a risk thing and made more sense in terms of my own timing. It really has less to do with "feeling confident" about myself... part of why I took the other offer was because it was good and I didn't *want* to go through all the interviewing six plus months from now (or even during the remaining period I had with the company). She did say "well anyway, try it out and if you don't like it talk to me later because it's an open door here for you" - nice gesture but when I think about it it sorta sounded like "when you find that things aren't working for you, call out and I'll throw you a bone" LOL.

Eh, you leaving on your terms instead of the company's throws a wrench in their plans, so she is trying to get you to stay.  If they really viewed you as super-valuable, they would have transferred you to another area not affected by layoffs already.   Even if everything she said is 100% true, it's still worth it to leave given your circumstances.  Worst case, you reapply at the company in 6 months or a year but demand a decent raise to come back. 

The "lack of confidence in themselves" comment could be her misreading the financial situations of others.  Maybe they can't afford to miss a paycheck or two, so they are jumping to what they view as a safer option, especially if the "bonus" has not been agreed to in a contract.  And as a director, her severance is probably a lot better than what they're offering the rank and file, so that may be skewing her judgment as well.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: mm1970 on December 23, 2015, 11:34:54 AM
From what I read, it wasn't really because of lack of confidence in yourself but more like lack of confidence in the company.
Yes, this.

But managers want to make you feel bad sometimes
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: Daisy on December 23, 2015, 11:46:35 AM
Maybe your current supervisor's "bonus" severance is dependent on how many people she can keep around until the summer when they want everyone to stick around for to pad their bottom lines by outsourcing your work to cheaper labor. So now you may have screwed up her bonus by not staying. If everyone under her leaves then they can't properly transition the work and their costs may go up.

Just saying...

PS Congrats on the new job. Now you can focus on growing your career at the new place and be in a more positive environment.
Title: Re: Bittersweet Job news
Post by: jeromedawg on December 25, 2015, 11:47:14 AM
Maybe your current supervisor's "bonus" severance is dependent on how many people she can keep around until the summer when they want everyone to stick around for to pad their bottom lines by outsourcing your work to cheaper labor. So now you may have screwed up her bonus by not staying. If everyone under her leaves then they can't properly transition the work and their costs may go up.

Just saying...

PS Congrats on the new job. Now you can focus on growing your career at the new place and be in a more positive environment.

Thanks! Yea it might be but I'm pretty sure she didn't get a package or anything and is in it for the "long haul" but I think she knows that the more people she loses the harder it's going to be (and possibly the worse it's going to look) for her. I mean, what manager wants to see their team diminish through rough times? It's a hit to their pride for sure, and can make things a logistical nightmare. The way I see things though, they already made it a point to not show any interest in me long-term, and my workload has literally dwindled down to nothing, so what's the point of staying? Sit around and rot (and not be productive) for the next 6 months waiting for a not truly set-in-stone bonus and severance? Or take a new job with new experience and solid salary where I'm going to be learning new things and working with new people? Personally, I lean towards the latter. I have a feeling there will be more people leaving as well over the course of the next few months, so that would really throw a wrench in the plans.

"I think you're making a mistake in not riding out this tough wave for your bonus... I'm pretty sure you could find the same opportunity that you're leaving this place for six months from now when your end date is and after you get your payout. And if you don't think that you could find something then, that just means you lack confidence in yourself... and that's what I've noticed with quite a few people [around here]" - at least, in more or less words, that seemed to be what she was saying or implying. Kind of a back-handed compliment... I didn't want to get into it with her but I did mention that waiting for another opportunity to come up vs taking what's in front now is more of a risk thing and made more sense in terms of my own timing. It really has less to do with "feeling confident" about myself... part of why I took the other offer was because it was good and I didn't *want* to go through all the interviewing six plus months from now (or even during the remaining period I had with the company). She did say "well anyway, try it out and if you don't like it talk to me later because it's an open door here for you" - nice gesture but when I think about it it sorta sounded like "when you find that things aren't working for you, call out and I'll throw you a bone" LOL.

Eh, you leaving on your terms instead of the company's throws a wrench in their plans, so she is trying to get you to stay.  If they really viewed you as super-valuable, they would have transferred you to another area not affected by layoffs already.   Even if everything she said is 100% true, it's still worth it to leave given your circumstances.  Worst case, you reapply at the company in 6 months or a year but demand a decent raise to come back. 

The "lack of confidence in themselves" comment could be her misreading the financial situations of others.  Maybe they can't afford to miss a paycheck or two, so they are jumping to what they view as a safer option, especially if the "bonus" has not been agreed to in a contract.  And as a director, her severance is probably a lot better than what they're offering the rank and file, so that may be skewing her judgment as well.

Yea, she did mention from what I told her that "moving to a parallel position just doesn't make sense" - in my case, whether it's parallel or not doesn't make a difference. I don't want to stay on a potentially sinking ship with so much uncertainty in the air. It's possible she's misreading our financial situation. I don't know if she has the details of our individual bonuses but she was tossing around "bonus" pretty liberally. If I stayed for the bonus, it's not like it would cause my salary for the next year to skyrocket or exceed what I normally would make. It would be more like working half a year to earn *close* to what my full year's salary would be (if I factored in severance too). So I could, in theory, "take a break" from June through the rest of the year and not have to worry too much. I think she is overconfident in making judgment statements because she's not in the same or similar position herself. It's easy to make assumptions about others when you can't empathize yourself...