Author Topic: Don't Want To Leave My Co-Workers Up The Creek  (Read 3026 times)

Mrs. Fire Lane

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Don't Want To Leave My Co-Workers Up The Creek
« on: September 26, 2017, 06:29:54 PM »
Greetings all! Some of you may know my husband who posts here as FireLane. I registered because I'd like the opinion of other Mustachian-minded folks.

I've been at my company for eleven years. I work at a medium sized non-profit. The pay is good and the benefits are excellent. I get a generous amount of paid time off and took a 16 week maternity leave after the birth of our son - 6 of which was paid in full by my company, I used 4 weeks of my saved PTO and the remaining time was half pay from a company insurance plan. The culture of my company is one not often found in 2017 - workers are treated with respect (the VP will come around and tell people to go home if there's a snowstorm so people don't get injured walking or driving on the ice) and people for the most part genuinely like each other.

I work on a close knit team with 6 other people. My first day on the job, at least three people from other departments told me I would be working on the best team with the best boss at my company. They were right. My boss is the best person I have ever worked for - a professional mentor, extremely intelligent and competent and also an incredibly compassionate person. I like my co-workers. We don't socialize outside work, aside from the occasional networking dinners we host at conferences but we get along well and there's an ethic of taking care of each other. We have attended funerals when a team member lost a parent - and they threw me an amazing and generous baby shower to celebrate my the birth of my son.

The problem: We might be ready for retirement at the exact date one of my other co-workers is planning to retire. This person announced they would be retiring in August 2019. Our plan is to retire at the end of 2020 but if the market stays up we could be ready at the end of 2019. Also possible - if we decide to have a second child. we'd probably start trying in fall of next year, and if I got pregnant right away (I didn't the first time, but you never know!) it would be just in time for a summer 2019 baby. If this happened I would not return to work, because I don't think it would be fair to come back for a few months and then quit. I'd want to give as much notice as possible.

I'm already feeling guilty that I might be leaving at the same time as another member of my team. It's going to make things very difficult for everyone else. Four people split my job while I was on maternity leave, and while I (suffering from imposter syndrome) was afraid that they would realize how little work and how easy my job is - the fact is everyone was very glad when I came back so they didn't have to cover my responsibilities anymore. Leaving at the same time as another team member is going to put people I respect and care about in a very unpleasant situation until they can find and train two people up to speed.

I'm not sure how much I should let this influence our plans. We are in no rush to have a second kid so we could postpone TTC until the beginning of 2020. Even if I don't get pregnant, and if we do hit our FIRE goal early, I could choose to work another year to make things easier. Am I being a considerate colleague and friend for even thinking about this? Or is this something I shouldn't be thinking about at all?

YogiKitti

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Re: Don't Want To Leave My Co-Workers Up The Creek
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2017, 06:53:31 PM »
It's 3 years away, stop worrying about it!

YogiKitti

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Re: Don't Want To Leave My Co-Workers Up The Creek
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2017, 06:56:31 PM »
But really, have the kids you want and assess the situation when you have the kid or when you reach your goal. Don't plan your conception around a co-worker.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Don't Want To Leave My Co-Workers Up The Creek
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2017, 07:18:48 PM »
This is definitely a "cross this bridge when you get to it" issue.

Situation A: You get pregnant in time for a Summer baby and don't return afterwards.

You will know well in advance of your due date and departure. They will have lots of time to plan and hire someone new. You and the other retiree will still be around to train that person if needed.

Situation B: You aren't pregnant, but decide to retire in August 2019.

Again, you will know well in advance. You can help the organization plan for your departure. Maybe they'll ask if you can stay until October or November to help transition the retired employee's replacement in. Maybe something else will happen.


You don't have to think about this or talk about this with anyone right now. Until you know for sure about either pregnancy or retirement (and are ready to announce it), you don't need to broach this subject or plan for it. When you are ready, you'll be able to give your employer a few months to plan.

dreams_and_discoveries

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Re: Don't Want To Leave My Co-Workers Up The Creek
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2017, 11:57:02 PM »
An alternative perspective: I'm in the UK, and to be honest I know your mat leave is good for US standard, but it's pitiful compared to the UK.

And I'd challenge in the nicest possible way, why on earth your company didn't get mat leave cover, but rather decided to add to your colleagues workloads? That sounds like management taking the easy and cheap way out there, is it not common to get mat leave cover in the US? It certainly doesn't come across as an amazing company through my lenses - hence you are feeling stressed about something that may happen in 3 years, which should really be your bosses problem.

I wouldn't worry about it, 3 years is a long time and a lot could happen in the mean time.




mxt0133

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Re: Don't Want To Leave My Co-Workers Up The Creek
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2017, 01:00:06 AM »
An alternative perspective: I'm in the UK, and to be honest I know your mat leave is good for US standard, but it's pitiful compared to the UK.

And I'd challenge in the nicest possible way, why on earth your company didn't get mat leave cover, but rather decided to add to your colleagues workloads? That sounds like management taking the easy and cheap way out there, is it not common to get mat leave cover in the US? It certainly doesn't come across as an amazing company through my lenses - hence you are feeling stressed about something that may happen in 3 years, which should really be your bosses problem.

I wouldn't worry about it, 3 years is a long time and a lot could happen in the mean time.

I know it's not the OP's original topic.  The maternity/paternity leave policy in the US is almost non-existent.  Mother's get 6 weeks by law at reduced pay.  I know women that come back in 6 weeks and dads that get 3-5 days paid and have to use vacation time for anything longer.

As for getting coverage, because most people take such short leaves, it doesn't make sense to hire a temp for such a short period of time.  Even if they did the rest of the team would have to train the temp and it would be harder/more time consuming vs them just sharing the work load.  That's why the work load is just shared among the rest of the team.

As for the OP's original post.  The sentiment of guilt you are feeling is admirable, but don't think that your other co-workers wouldn't do the same in your positions or if they were offered a better job.  Like other's have said do what is best for your family and to ease your guild give them as much notice as you can before you quit.  If they don't find a replacement by the time you leave then it is on management for the added workload to your co-workers.  Of course that could back-fire as well as you would be in a potentially awkward or hostile work environment for a much longer period of time than necessary.  The saying, "no good deed goes unpunished" come to mind.


formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Don't Want To Leave My Co-Workers Up The Creek
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2017, 09:27:54 AM »

Mother's get 6 weeks by law at reduced pay.  I know women that come back in 6 weeks and dads that get 3-5 days paid and have to use vacation time for anything longer.

That's not true. The law only requires the company to hold the mother's job for 12 weeks IF she's already worked there a year (FMLA).  They don't have to pay her.  I've known women who went back to work days after giving birth because they needed the money.  Many companies do offer paid leave until a doctor signs off the woman being cleared to return to work (generally 6-8 weeks), and some companies do offer a paid leave for the father, but it's not a standard by any means.

To the OP - I commend you for caring about your team.  I think you should wait until next year to worry about it.  If you give your team 6-9 months notice, they should have enough time to hire someone and train them.  And, since you care about them, it's quite possible you could be available (for a fee?) to coach and/or answer questions even after your departure.

myrrh

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Re: Don't Want To Leave My Co-Workers Up The Creek
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2017, 10:10:26 AM »
But really, have the kids you want and assess the situation when you have the kid or when you reach your goal. Don't plan your conception around a co-worker.

This.

If your coworkers and boss are as wonderful as you say, then they understand that sometimes people leave or get sick or retire at inconvenient times, and it's just a part of doing business. Don't plan your personal life around work, just live your life and the (good) business will work around it.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Don't Want To Leave My Co-Workers Up The Creek
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2017, 10:44:20 AM »
It's 3 years away, stop worrying about it!

+1

Also, this is concerning:  "...Our plan is to retire at the end of 2020 but if the market stays up we could be ready at the end of 2019".

A plan depending on the market being at a particular level 2 or 3 years from now doesn't sound like a great plan.  Maybe you need to evaluate your risk?

affordablehousing

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Re: Don't Want To Leave My Co-Workers Up The Creek
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2017, 11:15:15 AM »
It sounds like we might work at the same company! (don't worry we don't). But I get your sentiment. I'll offer this parallel- right when I joined, my boss who had worked there for 10 years, gave 3 weeks notice and left for another job. We survived intact, people grumbled a bit then got over it, and it has only added a bit of distance to things. That said, they are still very well liked and it hasn't left any lasting mark on the company. I think there is a big difference between giving 3 weeks notice, and even 3 months notice would be plenty. If you really value your colleagues, give them a few months, that should be plenty of time to hire someone new. Definitely not an issue to worry about now.


Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Don't Want To Leave My Co-Workers Up The Creek
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2017, 03:31:38 AM »
But really, have the kids you want and assess the situation when you have the kid or when you reach your goal. Don't plan your conception around a co-worker.

This.

If your coworkers and boss are as wonderful as you say, then they understand that sometimes people leave or get sick or retire at inconvenient times, and it's just a part of doing business. Don't plan your personal life around work, just live your life and the (good) business will work around it.

This.  +1.  People leave jobs sometimes, even the best people, and as long as you give them normal notice, or even a little more, it should be fine.  You certainly can't time your own life - especially your child! - around someone else's retirement.

Pigeon

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Re: Don't Want To Leave My Co-Workers Up The Creek
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2017, 07:11:54 AM »
I agree with the others.  Don't plan your family around this.  Try to give them the most notice you reasonably can, and try to document what you can about your job in terms of written procedures so that your co-workers and the next person have a starting point, but don't worry to much about it. People leave jobs no matter how great the organization is.  Would you expect your coworkers to put off having a child for you?

2Cent

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Re: Don't Want To Leave My Co-Workers Up The Creek
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2017, 09:19:23 AM »
If you get pregnant they will have months to find a replacement. If they are as great a company as you say, that shouldn't be a problem at all.

Mrs. Fire Lane

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Re: Don't Want To Leave My Co-Workers Up The Creek
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2017, 09:40:53 AM »
Thanks everyone for your responses. I'm going to try and not think about this. If I give a few months notice, then it's on everyone else.

A few things - someone asked why my company didn't hire a temp. The parental leave policy is new. We have offices at various places in the country, and one city where we have an office recently passed an ordinance giving everyone in that city 16 weeks unpaid family leave. So in response my company extended the max parental leave to 16 weeks and decided to pay for 6 for all employees. This has all been implemented in the past two years. I believe I am only the first or second person to take the full 16 weeks. Some people took shorter leaves. There's very little precedent for how to handle such a long leave so that's probably why they didn't hire a temp.

In regards to the market fluctuations and our retirement date - we have a certain number in mind after which we would be able to quit our jobs. From our calculations it looked like we would reach that number at the end of 2020, but we have been very lucky and are ahead of schedule. It looks like we might hit our number early and part of that is because we are earning more interest than we initially projected.

boarder42

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Re: Don't Want To Leave My Co-Workers Up The Creek
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2017, 01:47:56 PM »
everyone feels like they are irreplaceable.  the job worked before you and you will be replaced and the job will continue to function. will there be some pains for your employer yeah but its not that bad.