Author Topic: Quitting gracefully  (Read 2180 times)

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Offline Tom!

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Quitting gracefully
« on: January 10, 2009, 04:03:06 PM »
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  • Whats the secret for quitting your job without burning a bridge?  Im sure they wont be happy due to the timing with busy season.
    Situation:  Was recalled by the Army like a year ago, supposed to return to work mid feb.  Other opportunity in totally unrelated field (Federal government) opens up last month that really caught my attention.  My firm has me scheduled to go to clients as soon as i get back pretty much through May.  They shitcanned 5-8 people in my absence so from looking at the schedule there are no real filler associates floating around to cover.  The timing leaves them in a bad spot with coverage as the majority of our clients have calendar year ends.
    When I go in next week Im sure they will ask a lot of questions especially considering that they put me on leave of absence as required by law and held the job.  Also I had glowing reviews so they promoted and gave me a raise in my absence.  How do you avoid being blunt and not saying "this new job is cooler?" and "I dont want to be chained to a desk?"  Do you even let them know what job you are taking or is that none of their business? 
    « Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 04:07:05 PM by Tom! »
    Rock on Sisyphus. See you on the hill.

    Offline onefinookas

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    Re: Quitting gracefully
    « Reply #1 on: January 10, 2009, 04:52:45 PM »
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  • honesty doesnt hurt in this case.  Thank them and give them notice, explain that its an oppurtunity you cant pass up but that in these last two weeks you will give them 110%.  Tell them you dont want to burn any briges and thank them for keeping you gainfully employed while on tour let them know if they  have a replacement in mind you will work with them so that the downtime is minimized.  Make sure if possible you can be welcomed back if things dont pan out.
    "paddleboarding is bullshlt, where's my wine" anonymous

    Offline SeaCliff

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    Re: Quitting gracefully
    « Reply #2 on: January 10, 2009, 05:37:15 PM »
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  • honesty doesnt hurt in this case.  Thank them and give them notice, explain that its an oppurtunity you cant pass up but that in these last two weeks you will give them 110%.  Tell them you dont want to burn any briges and thank them for keeping you gainfully employed while on tour let them know if they  have a replacement in mind you will work with them so that the downtime is minimized.  Make sure if possible you can be welcomed back if things dont pan out.

    Onefin nailed it. Be honest, professional, and let them know you are extremely grateful for the opportunity and time you ahd with them. Spend your last days working there with all the effort and enthusiasm of your first.
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    Offline Tom!

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    Re: Quitting gracefully
    « Reply #3 on: January 10, 2009, 06:11:21 PM »
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  • Thanks.  I havent returned to work yet, still on military end of tour leave/vacation for a few weeks so its more of an "Im not coming back" than Im out of here in 2 weeks.  My friend called and she gave me the "you're just a number speech" which is a hard concept to grasp but is relevant here.  I liked the firm and my bosses but its not where I saw myself in 5 years.  I guess thats why Im making this harder than it is in my mind.
    Rock on Sisyphus. See you on the hill.

    Offline Jake

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    Re: Quitting gracefully
    « Reply #4 on: January 11, 2009, 03:26:05 PM »
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  • Jake is back bitchesssssss

    Offline Old_Rock_Guy_in_NH

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    Re: Quitting gracefully
    « Reply #5 on: January 11, 2009, 06:52:28 PM »
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  • I was privileged to witness this speech at the final day of the hardest class I have ever taken, by a very senior professor emeritus (think Sir John Gielgud) at Harvard (I was in a night grad class on effective writing), who had seen it all at the business school there.  He was giving us “his personal view point on working in the business world” as we finished a very grueling 16 weeks.  When he was is the process of saying it, in front of a huge hall with hundreds of, mostly experienced business world folks, who had survived the course, I swore I was having a near out of body experience because it struck me as such an unreserved truth –

    “Corporate loyalty is an utter and absolute illusion, created by the corporation solely for its selfish benefit, and perpetuated by the employees mind for their own survival”
    If I am not here then I must be there

    Offline SeaCliff

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    Re: Quitting gracefully
    « Reply #6 on: January 12, 2009, 08:25:05 AM »
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  • “Corporate loyalty is an utter and absolute illusion, created by the corporation solely for its selfish benefit, and perpetuated by the employees mind for their own survival”


    Scary proposition, and unfortunately far more true than not. I'll stop short of your professor's total cynicism, but I completely get his point that the concept of loyalty is self serving on both sides of the equation. That said, I cant totally discount the fact that there truly are at least some good, loyal companies and at leasty some good, loyal employees that have each sacrificed at times for the benefit of the other.
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    Offline Crackie Onassis

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    Re: Quitting gracefully
    « Reply #7 on: January 12, 2009, 10:41:34 AM »
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  • Tom, you've always come across as a pretty ethical guy. Start with your own sense of ethics and you'll make the right decision. Whatever you do, don't drag your heels. This is a tough job market. The sooner you let them know, the sooner they can fill your job and possibly give an opportunity to someone who is currently out of work.
    So heavy you can't even pick it up.

    Offline Old_Rock_Guy_in_NH

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    Re: Quitting gracefully
    « Reply #8 on: January 12, 2009, 10:47:04 AM »
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  • “Corporate loyalty is an utter and absolute illusion, created by the corporation solely for its selfish benefit, and perpetuated by the employees mind for their own survival”


    Scary proposition, and unfortunately far more true than not. I'll stop short of your professor's total cynicism, but I completely get his point that the concept of loyalty is self serving on both sides of the equation. That said, I cant totally discount the fact that there truly are at least some good, loyal companies and at leasty some good, loyal employees that have each sacrificed at times for the benefit of the other.

    Absolutely there are pockets SC.  But my experience has proven to me it is mostly at a local level (depending on how big a corporation of course). You and your day to day folks you work with are about where the loyalty factor figures in. Bottom line is when the bean counters say "cut", loyalty is not an option.  I had to do it twice and hence I don't take management positions anymore just for that reason.  Looking good people in the eye and saying "you have to go" is about as bad as it gets IMHO.  So my mantra to folks is "you're a weekly contactor" and live your life/budget that way.  I know first hand all of this is hard to accept for folks but that is the reason they call it a business.  I think it was Bruce who said "blind faith in anything will get you killed".
     
    BTW - I have been "merged" 11 times in my career and there is a situation where zero loyalty taken into account when the new owner comes in.
    If I am not here then I must be there

    Offline tummee

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    Re: Quitting gracefully
    « Reply #9 on: January 12, 2009, 11:15:50 AM »
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  • Most of the guys already hit the nail on the head in terms of being gracious, but I would add that - if you are going to put something in writing, and maybe even if you will do it verbally - to include in your notice letter a few things that you liked about the job, or that you gained from the experience. Adds support to that bridge you don't want to burn.

    Crazy economy right now. I've had three people that left the team I'm working with return to us after they got let go from the job they moved to. Definitely not a time to burn bridges.

    Offline HydroGlide

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    Re: Quitting gracefully
    « Reply #10 on: January 12, 2009, 11:55:15 AM »
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  • leave the discussions about concepts, like loyalty, to the classroom professors, and focus on yourself.  the only time the job you leave matters is when you need it as a reference two jobs down the road (the job you want after the upcoming gig outlives it's usefullness).  the problem with taking a leave is that your co-workers need to cover your abscence and they can either not fill your shoes with a new body and all work harder to cover your workload while keeping your job ready for your return or they can get another body in there on a temp basis/or perm bais if they are allowed to switch you out of the position when your leave is up - so unless your job involved doing little to nothing, there could be resentment that they covered for you only to have you jump on them.  in reality, it is likely that they just canned everyone else cause they had to and they could just be enticing you back to cover the rush then get rid of you too when its over but regardlesss, you should realize that there is potential for a little negative press there in the future if you jump before returning.
     
    so this decision to jump to a better gig really only has that potential bad reference down the road as a side effect (the guy was great until we kept his position open to accomodate his leave and it wound up with him using his full leave to find another job.  he never came back from leave and bailed on us right at the height of our busy season - that is if they actually get on the phone with a future employer and go beyond the typical name, rank serial # reference).  The world isn't as big as you may think and the things you do with one set of people may be relayed to different sets of people down the road in different ways.  it has nothing to do with what you owe to a company but everything to do with the reference as most good positions require some discussion with prior employers.  lots of ways to go with this but no need to get hung up on some kind of loyalty trap - and if you are going to work for the government - and you read the headlines over the past few years - then you know not to  worry cause maybe just having a reference that says your not a meth smoking male ho chasing foot tapping lunatic is enough. 
     
    Best of luck.
    « Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 11:58:44 AM by HydroGlide »

    Offline Tom!

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    Re: Quitting gracefully
    « Reply #11 on: January 12, 2009, 12:15:17 PM »
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  • ....
    « Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 11:12:06 PM by Tom! »
    Rock on Sisyphus. See you on the hill.

    Offline the Kook

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    Re: Quitting gracefully
    « Reply #12 on: January 12, 2009, 12:28:23 PM »
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  • To the point, short, simple, and clearly indicates that you are not leaving to take a position at the "competition".  I would recommend stating this to them in your meeting and be very appreciative of the time at XXXXX.  If I got this direct from the horses mouth and in the written resignation, I could do nothing more than to wish you the best of luck and thank you for your service to XXXX AND the country. 
     
    I've always handled resignations this way.  Once the decision is made to leave, I type a simple letter thanking them for the opportunities that I had while employed by XXX.  The letter has been placed into a sealed envelope and given to them at the end of the meeting.  I must have done something right, cause I have been re-hired by a company that I resigned form 13 years earlier.   ;)   
    "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money" -Margaret Thatcher

    No, I am not a smart ass.......I am a skilled, trained professional in pointing out the obvious and I speak fluent sarcasm.


    Offline The Lone Surfer

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    Re: Quitting gracefully
    « Reply #13 on: January 12, 2009, 01:14:57 PM »
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  • This looks good. It really should not be a big deal at all. Your situation is a little unique, but people resign all the time and as long as you're civil about it you will be fine.

    Offline Tom!

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    Re: Quitting gracefully
    « Reply #14 on: January 12, 2009, 11:15:51 PM »
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  • This looks good. It really should not be a big deal at all. Your situation is a little unique, but people resign all the time and as long as you're civil about it you will be fine.
    Nick et al,
    It went pretty well.  Not one word of negativity, my clients, nor the timing at all.  As soon as I mentioned I was resigning and why it turned into a conversation about the new job, what Id be doing, and things along that line.  The partner seemed almost happy for me and let me know that if this doesnt work out I can come back to my job there and to keep in touch during training and when I get to my field office.  HR will be contacting me about pay out for my PTO time, 401k and medical coverage stuff over the next few days.  Thanks for all of the advice
    Tom
    Rock on Sisyphus. See you on the hill.