Author Topic: How to quit in the best possible way?  (Read 8073 times)

limeandpepper

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How to quit in the best possible way?
« on: April 28, 2014, 03:08:32 AM »
So... after a great holiday, I'm back at work for about 3 more months before going off on a sabbatical... except my workplace doesn't know yet. I will be giving them 4 weeks notice as per the requirement.

But I'm feeling bad, because I've come back to find that one team member has left and another one is leaving soon. AND the company is not hiring new people. Even if they did, it's a pain to train them up to a competent level. Either way it's kind of screwed.

Obviously, I'm not going to let that deter me from leaving (and in fact this only confirms that I'm leaving at a great time for me), but I'm just wondering if there is a good way to approach this situation. I don't feel bad about leaving my company at all - I just feel bad about abandoning my team, because with every loss of a team member, things become more busy and difficult for those left behind.

My current idea is this:

1) Tell my team members about my plan to resign, hours before actually handing in my resignation to upper management, so they hear it from me first. Ask them if there is any way I might make things easier for them, without compromising my own plans. Is that appropriate? Also, this brings us to...

2) I wouldn't actually mind continuing to do some work for this company from time to time, as I could use the money. Not quite sure how likely this is, as upper management has indicated before they don't really like people working remotely. But who knows, if things are dire, they might reconsider the notion. Of course, if I am to work for them, I want it to be on my own terms. Again, not sure how flexible they will be. Assuming this is all possible... Am I crazy to not just run away from this mess and just start fresh with something else and try my own pursuits? Or is it a good opportunity to negotiate something that could be quite beneficial to me?

What do you all think? Thanks in advance. :)

chasesfish

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2014, 04:29:23 AM »
Its never a good time to leave.

I think you give them four weeks notice and offer to work a number of hours remotely if they need your expertise.  Tell them you'll be traveling quite a bit.

Your management may be under a lot of pressure and react emotionally at first, but they'll come to their senses and probably offer you something.  You should also consider what you would do if they want you to stay full time and start throwing money at you.

limeandpepper

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2014, 04:49:06 AM »
I think you give them four weeks notice and offer to work a number of hours remotely if they need your expertise.  Tell them you'll be traveling quite a bit.
You should also consider what you would do if they want you to stay full time and start throwing money at you.

Yeah I will actually be travelling extensively so I will be mentioning that. I will need A LOT of flexibility. My ideal scenario would be to just log in whenever circumstances allow and when I happen to feel like working, pick up any available tasks, finish them and get paid for whatever time I spent on that. I'm obviously dreaming.

No amount of money they throw at me will convince me to stay full time, as my company is cheap so even if they offer to increase my salary (highly unlikely, upper management is quite delusional, doesn't seem to fully understand how limited resources will impact our department's output, and would rather just let people go), it won't be very much, certainly there's no way they'd offer enough to sway me. I've already booked my one-way ticket out and it would be something insane for me to backpedal on my anticipated travel adventures.

deborah

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2014, 05:28:37 AM »
Sometimes even the most rigid workplace shows amazing flexibility. More so when you advise them what you want to do, and give them time to suggest alternatives that might suit them.

I agree with chasesfish, that you should give them 4 weeks notice. Who knows, they may be happy with you taking several months unpaid leave - or whatever? I don't think it would be reasonable to work for them at all while you are away - you want flexibility, and where you plan to go may not have the connectivity you would need. It could end with both you and your workplace being annoyed.

Before I retired, I took 9 months off to do the first year of a degree part time, and to test whether I really wanted to retire. I was surprised that they were quite willing for me to do this - even though there had been a lot of muttering about special arrangements being totally unavailable.

limeandpepper

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2014, 06:20:08 AM »
I agree with chasesfish, that you should give them 4 weeks notice. Who knows, they may be happy with you taking several months unpaid leave - or whatever? I don't think it would be reasonable to work for them at all while you are away - you want flexibility, and where you plan to go may not have the connectivity you would need. It could end with both you and your workplace being annoyed.

Before I retired, I took 9 months off to do the first year of a degree part time, and to test whether I really wanted to retire. I was surprised that they were quite willing for me to do this - even though there had been a lot of muttering about special arrangements being totally unavailable.

I will definitely be giving 4 weeks notice no matter what I do, as that is an obligatory requirement.

That's really good that you've found your workplace to be surprisingly flexible, despite the mutterings to the contrary!

Yeah, I was wondering if it would end up being quite annoying to try to work while travelling. I've not ever done this before, so I don't know what it would be like. It's not absolutely necessary, but I thought it might be nice to have extra money so that I can avoid dipping into my principal as much as possible, while I'm away. However, if it's going to be more trouble than it's worth, I'll prioritize enjoyment over money.

brewer12345

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2014, 10:03:49 AM »
When I split it was after a 2.5 year tour of duty where I set up their program and tried as hard as I could to educate anyone who would listen on how to do stuff in my area of specialty.  I did all the heavy lifting required at the outset of my particular program and although I begged and pleaded they would never give me a devoted understudy to teach.  Before I left I took my hand-picked successor and did as much additional knowledge transfer/data dump as I could.  I also told management that I would be willing to entertain a consulting arrangement if they found they could not live without me, but I knew they would not take me up on it.  My chain of command made it clear that they were happy with how I left things and that in their minds I was leaving on good terms and with no hard feelings.  I don't ever want to go back, but I felt a lot better about wrapping things up that way.

That sad, I was fully prepared to be escorted to the door the same day I resigned and would have accepted that.

limeandpepper

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2014, 03:14:38 AM »
My chain of command made it clear that they were happy with how I left things and that in their minds I was leaving on good terms and with no hard feelings.  I don't ever want to go back, but I felt a lot better about wrapping things up that way.

That sad, I was fully prepared to be escorted to the door the same day I resigned and would have accepted that.

Sounds like you went above and beyond for them! That's really great.

I don't know how I would feel if I was escorted out the same day I resign. It doesn't make for warm fuzzy memories, but on the other hand, financially it wouldn't make any difference - in fact I'd still get paid for the remaining 4 weeks and not even have to work for it!

lbdance

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2014, 03:58:23 AM »
My current idea is this:

1) Tell my team members about my plan to resign, hours before actually handing in my resignation to upper management, so they hear it from me first. Ask them if there is any way I might make things easier for them, without compromising my own plans. Is that appropriate? Also, this brings us to...

With regards to this, I don't think it is the right way. I feel you should tell your manager first, it is then up to them to tell further up the hierarchy. It should be up to you at this time to say that you want to tell your team yourself. If you were to tell your team, before you told your manager, there is always the risk that someone could mention something out of turn, which could then spoil your relationship with the organisation.

limeandpepper

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2014, 04:29:45 AM »
With regards to this, I don't think it is the right way. I feel you should tell your manager first, it is then up to them to tell further up the hierarchy. It should be up to you at this time to say that you want to tell your team yourself. If you were to tell your team, before you told your manager, there is always the risk that someone could mention something out of turn, which could then spoil your relationship with the organisation.

That is true. I really want to tell my team first, but I guess it's not really the done thing...

Hmm. Okay, I better start writing my resignation letter. Won't need it for a while yet, but I've got so many errands to run before I leave the state/country, so might as well get it ready now.

What is the protocol these days? Our team manager has left and not yet been replaced, so basically I have to tell someone another level up, who I almost never talk to. Awkward. Is it okay to e-mail the letter? Or do I have to go old-fashioned and hand over an envelope?

Wile E. Coyote

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2014, 06:43:14 AM »
I wouldn't call it old-fashoined. I think it's the right thing to do. Have a face to face conversation with the person about your plan and have a copy of the letter to give them at the end.  Have all your ducks in a row and be prepared for them to try to convince you to stay or escort you out.  The last thing you want to do is leave any lack of clarity.  They may say, "give me a few days to try to convince you to stay," and if you are certain that isn't what you want, just tell them that you appreciate it but you have made a decision and are giving them your notice.

deborah

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2014, 04:27:47 PM »
I wouldn't call it old-fashoined. I think it's the right thing to do. Have a face to face conversation with the person about your plan and have a copy of the letter to give them at the end.  Have all your ducks in a row and be prepared for them to try to convince you to stay or escort you out.  The last thing you want to do is leave any lack of clarity.  They may say, "give me a few days to try to convince you to stay," and if you are certain that isn't what you want, just tell them that you appreciate it but you have made a decision and are giving them your notice.
Agreed - treat it like a job interview. Work out what you want to do if they give you a variety of responses.

Do you really want to make it formal from the start? I found better outcomes when I talked with a boss, and said I was thinking of (in this case going overseas for a few months), and what options were available to me. That gave them the option of going through HR (who can be a huge pain when a boss wants to do something outside the ordinary) and higher management. That way, you could also advise your team before handing in your resignation.

You haven't said whether they tend to escort people out. When I worked in the bank, they always escorted people out, so I expected it. But even at the bank, I had had this type of discussion before leaving.

GuitarStv

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ch12

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2014, 07:34:34 PM »
Maybe I'm just not as considerate as you, but Australia also probably has different employment law than in the US.

If I were doing what you're planning on in America, I'd give the requisite 2 weeks' notice. I'd spend a bit of time (whatever percentage of time of your workweek you feel appropriate) beefing up documentation so that other people could do what I do for the next three months. If you have a task, document how to do it if it's not already documented. Start delegating small things to other people, so that they know passwords etc.

I also read the handbook front to back during my orientation period, and at my company, you basically lose any rights after you've handed in your notice. Notice given 3 months or 2 weeks in advance - it doesn't matter, you're still not allowed to take your remaining vacation, etc. I'd recommend at least glancing at your company's policies.

elaine amj

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2014, 09:26:21 PM »
When I left my last position, I only needed to give 4 weeks notice. However, it was happening at the worst possible time with a major project due in 6 weeks that no one else could really do. Since my new place wanted me ASAP, I ended up negotiating part time work with both companies for 6 weeks. I then volunteered my time to go over my system with my replacement when she was hired a couple of months later. Before I left, I made sure all paperwork was fully updated and that everything was organized and easily accessible. I still stay in touch with my former employer and am very happy I made the extra effort to leave on good terms.

In your case, some "consultant" work might be a good thing to suggest, They may just take you up on it.

limeandpepper

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2014, 07:41:03 AM »
Do you really want to make it formal from the start? I found better outcomes when I talked with a boss, and said I was thinking of (in this case going overseas for a few months), and what options were available to me.

The reason for making it formal from the start is that I have a rather specific timeline to work with in terms of when to quit, to maximize my accumulation of money while still giving me some breathing space. I guess I can go with a variation of your suggestion - we can discuss the options after my formal resignation (since there is no chance of me staying anyway), a few weeks is plenty of time for that.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1301798/JetBlue-flight-attendant-Steven-Slater-quits-job-style-luggage-row-passenger.html

^ best possible way to quit

Haha!

Maybe I'm just not as considerate as you, but Australia also probably has different employment law than in the US.

4 weeks is the usual notice in Australia, but it depends on the individual contract. Mine does say 4 weeks, so I'm just going by the book, it's not because I'm extra-considerate. ;) I've read through the handbook, and also acquainted myself with my general workplace rights and entitlements, as well as tax considerations, all of which I've been taking into account when "timing the market" for my quitting dates.

I still stay in touch with my former employer and am very happy I made the extra effort to leave on good terms.

In your case, some "consultant" work might be a good thing to suggest, They may just take you up on it.

That was really good of you! Yeah I've jotted down some ideas on how I may contribute after leaving. Hopefully we can come to some win-win solution.

Villanelle

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2014, 08:23:11 AM »
I agree that telling your team first is a mistake.  You can gather them together the moment you walk out of Management's office, but tell your boss first. 

And it definitely can't hurt to let them know you would be available for remote consulting work, or whatever you are actually willing to do. 

vern

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2014, 02:47:55 PM »
An old trucker in Pittsburgh once told me...

"They don't give you no notice when they fire you."

Westoftown

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2014, 03:56:51 PM »
@Vern - too funny and too true!

I would not tell peers prior to telling my direct manager.  Tell them why you are leaving - you'll be travelling.  Offer to consult or help out in any way possible during the next 4 weeks.

Other than that, don't feel guity.  You don't owe them more, and they don't owe you.  Its normal o feel for your co-workers, but thats a part of the business world.

ch12

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2014, 06:09:30 PM »
An old trucker in Pittsburgh once told me...

"They don't give you no notice when they fire you."
Tell them why you are leaving - you'll be travelling.  Offer to consult or help out in any way possible during the next 4 weeks.

Other than that, don't feel guity.  You don't owe them more, and they don't owe you.  It is normal to feel for your co-workers, but that's a part of the business world.

You are all set. Leave them with as much as you need to make your conscience ok. It really is the nature of business.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 05:24:22 PM by ch12 »

limeandpepper

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2014, 07:37:19 AM »
Thanks, peeps! I don't feel bad about leaving the business, just mainly feel bad about leaving the people I like, and knowing that their workload will be increased as a result. My teammates have some faint inkling that I'll be leaving at some point, but I haven't let on that it would be so soon. I dislike saying goodbyes and telling people that I have to say goodbye... :(

hs

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2014, 07:01:47 PM »
Do talk to the manager first, it allows for damage control, if any is needed. Also, someone is sure to blab, and no manager has a good response for "hey, I heard Jack is leaving. What's up with that?" Do offer contractor/part time work. You lose nothing if they refuse. I have an employee who left for a pay rate I couldn't match at another office. She does occasionally pick up extra shifts for me, which helps me out. It gives her extra cash, especially when the other office is closed for a couple of weeks. Also, the workload at my office is a lot easier for her than the other one. I dearly wish that remote work was a possibility in my field.

limeandpepper

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Re: How to quit in the best possible way?
« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2014, 05:10:43 PM »
Also, someone is sure to blab, and no manager has a good response for "hey, I heard Jack is leaving. What's up with that?"

Yeah - definitely want to avoid that! :)