Author Topic: Considering leaving company, asking for advice  (Read 1148 times)


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Considering leaving company, asking for advice
« on: November 06, 2017, 08:55:12 PM »
So I am considering leaving my current employer. At this point I have not applied to other jobs but I want to do my homework so I am prepared if I do decide to leave. I have never left jobs before so I would like some advice on things I should consider before jumping ship.

First question is my 401k. Is it best to move your 401k with you? Keep it in the same place? convert into a IRA?

Second, my company typically gives out their match in March of the following year. They state they don't know how much profit they will make each year so whatever match they do is given in March of the following year. If this is the case does this mean I would have to wait until March to receive my match or would I still receive it if I left in December or January. Is there any good way to ask this without sending red flags?

Third Question, what are the little things people should do before leaving. I am open to anything and everything as I have never done this before. I plan on giving at least a month or two notice if I do decide to go. 


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Considering leaving company, asking for advice
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2017, 09:54:10 PM »
401k--depends on what your company will let you do, and whether you like the funds in your 401k. I left my job and kept it where it was because they let me and I liked their offerings. Some companies will make you roll it over within a certain time period. If so, you can roll over to an IRA.

On the match, you probably have to stay until March but the answer should be in your employee handbook or benefits information. You can just ask HR for the details of how the match works. That won't set off a red flag. There is usually a detailed explanation of what happens when you terminate employment in relation to all benefits in the employee handbook or whatever you signed when you started the 401k. It's often worth it to stick things out until the match time of year, though. I did that a few Marchs in a row at my prior job!

Are you planning on leaving before you have another job? I couldn't quite tell from the way you worded it. If you are taking a break, other things to think about: what is your plan for insurance? I'd look up how much Cobra will cost you if you haven't already. And go to the doctor, dentist now. Budget for how long you'll be out of work, and maybe double the time you expect to be safe. And of course ask for any references, get contact info for those you want to stay in touch with, etc.

On notice--remember that once you give it they can escort you out at any time, so don't give notice before you are actually ready to leave. Personally I wouldn't go longer than a month, and that was with a boss I really trusted. You sound unsure so I should also add that I wouldn't tell them anything until you have all of your ducks in a row and are 100% sure this is what you want. If you're not sure, something that has worked for me was to make the decision in my head and then sit with it a week or so to see how I felt about it. That has changed my mind more than once!

Once you give notice they will usually give you a package with all of the info on what you need to know, too. Hope that's helpful!

Frankies Girl

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Re: Considering leaving company, asking for advice
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2017, 09:55:09 PM »
As far as moving/leaving/rolling it... you do some research:

1. Is the 401k at a good financial company like Vanguard or Fidelity? This is a strong plus. If it's not with someone like that, then you probably should shift it over to them. There will likely be a transfer or closing fee depending on how big a jerk the former financial institution is. Still worth it if it's a poor 401k plan to get away from them.

2. Do you have to pay any management fees for the privilege of having the said account if you leave it with them? Most don't, but there are some smaller crummy ones that charge you $50 or more per year. This is stupid and totally not worth it mostly (only time would be if #3 applies).

3. Do you have access to some super crazy awesome institutional funds that have great expense ratios due to being with the company's 401k group? Most of the time this is also a no, but it depends on how big and amazing your company is to have brokered a killer deal for the offerings.

4. Do you have a limited range of choices for investments in the 401k plan currently? STRONG reason to do a rollover IRA then, as you'll have access to invest in anything available.

5. Do you have a new job already lined up? If not, wait to do anything until you assess their 401k package. You can sometimes roll an old 401k into your new employer's 401k, and if they have a killer setup available, it would be a great option if they allow it. (once you do a rollover IRA, you can't go back so don't do anything with it until you're sure)

There are a few reasons to keep it as a 401k, so you'll have to figure those out too: better protection in some states against lawsuits/bankruptcy mostly, but there's a few other reasons I can't remember at the moment.

Most likely, you will end up coming out ahead to move the 401k to Vanguard or Fidelity, creating a rollover IRA and setting up the asset allocation that you've figured out for yourself.

The match is considered a benefit to working there, much like bonuses. They're meant to be an incentive to come to and then stay with the company. If you leave before the money hits your account, you're likely screwed yourself unless you have specific paperwork showing you are to be paid the match if you are employed by them as of such and such date.

And I asked my contact about when our match would happen with the excuse of "trying to get my yearly investment plans figured out and need to know any details about when it would happen."

My employer paid our match out roughly in February. I read my employee handbook cover to cover, discovered the fine print that said match to be paid to all employees that were working for our company as of December 31 of the previous year. I did not turn in my notice until the money hit my account tho. Better safe than sorry. Same thing for any bonuses too - you gotta be there most likely to get it, so wait till it's in your account (and I'd wait at least a few weeks after receiving it before turning in a notice if there's no firm policy in the handbook).

Do all the medical things that make sense if you have killer insurance right now.

Read the employee handbook cover to cover to figure out any benefits, PTO and how it will be used/paid out. You could use the "I'm reading the employee handbook and wanted to clarify something" excuse to ask a few questions without being really suspicious sometimes, but you'd have to gauge your office environment to see if this is a possibility.

If you have contacts you'd like to keep up with, make sure and save the info to a personal file (not valid if we're talking non-compete stuff, just mean folks you have relationships with that you'd like to stay in touch with as a friend stuff), copy over any files or information stored on business laptop/phone etc.. that are examples of work you were proud of or exchanges you want to remember (again, not meaning "steal from your employer" stuff, but like charts or docs you created that help you do your job that aren't proprietary to the company)

Figure out vacation days and take them if you like, or save them up for payout if that is company policy upon separation. If you have a company phone as your main phone, you may want to get your own personal phone ASAP so you can start transitioning over easily (they won't let you keep your phone/number most likely).

Sharpen up your resume, and make sure you have some decent references. ASK a few people if they would be a professional reference for you in the future if you start job hunting. Don't ever assume it's okay to use a person without asking, and be damned sure that they'd give you a glowing reference before asking them. And only people you are 100% sure won't rat you out if you work with them right now.

Do not slack off on your job while looking for another, even in the notice period. Stay classy and do good work right to the last day. Start getting notes on things you do in your job to help with the transition for the new person. Organize your files, and clean up your computer (especially if you store personal files on there too).

It almost never is a good idea to take a counter offer to stay. Once you turn in your notice, if you do accept their counter, you burn your bridge with the company that wanted you, your old company now know you were unhappy enough with something to be looking to leave and you are branded as "disloyal" and likely will be the first one to go if they start looking for someone to boot.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 09:58:22 PM by Frankies Girl »


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Re: Considering leaving company, asking for advice
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2017, 01:28:40 PM »
It almost never is a good idea to take a counter offer to stay. Once you turn in your notice, if you do accept their counter, you burn your bridge with the company that wanted you, your old company now know you were unhappy enough with something to be looking to leave and you are branded as "disloyal" and likely will be the first one to go if they start looking for someone to boot.

This depends very much on the power balance between employee and employer.  In my last role, I held most of the power - I was the only one on the team who could do certain things, and I was, essentially, doing about 50% of the work (and I was one of a team of 10).   My boss knew I was looking for another job, and they tried to get me to stay.

I didn't consider taking the counter offer because a) I wasn't leaving because of money, and b) I didn't believe their promises that the things that bothered me would actually change (and, a year out, my old coworkers say it's the same-old, same-old stressful nonsense). 

My mother was quite frank with her boss once that she was leaving because she was grossly underpaid at the current job and she was irritated that her title was so much lower than people doing much less complicated work than she was.  The next morning her company essentially doubled her salary and gave her a title 3 steps higher.  (She then promptly negotiated a similar raise for the coworker doing the same work she was doing.)  She worked there until she retired 8 years later, and continued to get promotions and raises.  They even blocked one attempt for her to take a voluntary retirement package because they still needed her skills.  (She took the second round of packages and agreed to come back part-time as a contractor for a year to train her replacement.)