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When To Tell Current Employer You're Outta There

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When To Tell Current Employer You're Outta There

Old 02-18-06, 04:35 PM
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When To Tell Current Employer You're Outta There

I am currently interviewing outside my company for another position. I am getting close to getting an offer. My tendency is not to say anything to my current boss until I've received an acceptable offer (at the earliest) and possibly not until I've accepted it. I know that the news will upset my boss as my department is hurting for qualified people, which is symptomatic of why I'm now looking. I'm 90% sure that there is nothing my boss can say or counter-offer (more $$, promotion, another position w/in my company) that would make me stay, as management above him pretty much has a slave ship management mentality. I do want to leave on good terms, but think that my boss would be pretty mad at me if I didn't come to him prior to accepting the other offer so that he could feel like he had a chance at keeping me. OTOH, I don't want to say anything before having that outside offer. I'd be curious as to how others have handled this sticky situation? Is there possibly a way to handle this where it won't result in my current boss and department heads hating my guts for leaving them in the lurch?

Last edited by Jack Straw; 02-18-06 at 05:17 PM.
Old 02-18-06, 05:02 PM
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Dont' say anything and leave your keycard in an envolope with a 'Dear John' letter.
Old 02-18-06, 05:07 PM
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On your first day of the new job, call into your old job to tell them you've quit.

At 4:45 pm.
Old 02-18-06, 05:08 PM
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(serious answer)

Only with an offer in hand do you say something.

(Otter answer)

Ask for the lump sum; settle for peeing in your boss' butt.

-p
Old 02-18-06, 05:23 PM
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Unless things have changed, giving two weeks notice is the acceptable thing to do (done after you've accepted the new offer, of course).
Old 02-18-06, 05:37 PM
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The reality of business is that good people will leave if a better position comes along. Your boss isn't stupid. If things are as bad as you say, he's probably been preparing himself for your letter of resignation for some time.

It's not totally unprofessional to accept an offer, and then receive a counter-offer that is just too good to refuse. Again, this is business -- that's why the new company needs to make an offer that is significantly better than the competitors. If your current job wants to double your salary and give you a window office and a company car... well, I think you're new company would understand. (And maybe offer you all of that and a profit-sharing plan...)
Old 02-18-06, 05:44 PM
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Wait for the offer, once in print, and in hand, give 2 weeks notice. It really just isn't that complicated. It is part of business and not a big deal.
Old 02-18-06, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
The reality of business is that good people will leave if a better position comes along. Your boss isn't stupid. If things are as bad as you say, he's probably been preparing himself for your letter of resignation for some time.

It's not totally unprofessional to accept an offer, and then receive a counter-offer that is just too good to refuse. Again, this is business -- that's why the new company needs to make an offer that is significantly better than the competitors. If your current job wants to double your salary and give you a window office and a company car... well, I think you're new company would understand. (And maybe offer you all of that and a profit-sharing plan...)
If he's not expecting my LOR, then he's probably been crossing his fingers hoping it wasn't in the works. Thanks to all for the good "objective" advice, and to those that provided some levity.
Old 02-18-06, 09:36 PM
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For managers, they have to handle the firing, the hiring and the leaving. Most will be professional about all 3 phases. That's just part of the job. They love canning the employees that just can't cut it, and hate losing employees that over-achieve in relation to their payscale.

It's better that you give them 2 week's notice than they show you the door, make your departure on your terms, not theirs.

As for timing, I'd do it the Monday morning after receiving and accepting the job offer in writing (and negotiate a Monday start date if possible to coincide with your possible 2 weeks of remaining employment at the current job). Perhaps you'll get lucky and be shown the door that very day, but some companies will still pay you for those 2 weeks of notice (not sure if it's just a company policy for some and not others), which is free money and time off to get your affairs in order for your next job.
Old 02-18-06, 10:22 PM
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Don't say anything until you have accepted the new job and have a start date.

Be wary of a counter-offer. If you accept it, you may make a little more money, but unless you are truly impossible to replace (and you may be, I'm just speaking generally), you will always be the guy who was going to quit for a better job. That won't bode well if layoffs become necessary.
Old 02-19-06, 01:03 PM
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Basically, I think what my dilemma or question comes down to is do I have any obligation to my current boss to tell him (before I accept the new offer) that I have another offer on the table? That way he could at least thought that he had a chance to keep me. Otherwise, it's kinda like a "hit and run" conversation. Opinions?

Btw, I know that I'm over-analyzing this, but that's just me.

Last edited by Jack Straw; 02-19-06 at 01:33 PM.
Old 02-19-06, 02:05 PM
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Don't say anything until you have a written offer in hand and have accepted it. That way, if things don't pan out, then your current employer won't think that you are looking to leave. If they know you are looking at outside opportunities, you could be the first to go when layoffs come up.
Old 02-19-06, 02:15 PM
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If you haven't been pro-active before in trying to find ways to move up in the company for more pay/responsibity/what-floats-your-boat by talking about it with your boss, the threat of the counter job offer is just going to re-affirm to the boss that you aren't that loyal to the company anymore. This will make you a target for headcount reduction should that time come for the company.

Your boss may be blindsided, but it's a two-way street (it's better you blindside your employer then they blindside you), so if you don't think you can work for your present company anymore and have a good offer, then cut the strings, go to the new job with a fresh start. Most bosses that have a good relationship with the departing employee will understand if a "too good to pass up" job opportunity arises for their good employees.
Old 02-19-06, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Patman
If you haven't been pro-active before in trying to find ways to move up in the company for more pay/responsibity/what-floats-your-boat by talking about it with your boss, the threat of the counter job offer is just going to re-affirm to the boss that you aren't that loyal to the company anymore. This will make you a target for headcount reduction should that time come for the company.

Your boss may be blindsided, but it's a two-way street (it's better you blindside your employer then they blindside you), so if you don't think you can work for your present company anymore and have a good offer, then cut the strings, go to the new job with a fresh start. Most bosses that have a good relationship with the departing employee will understand if a "too good to pass up" job opportunity arises for their good employees.
I think there's little/no chance of me being laid off, as the department is already hurting for qualified experienced people. I have spoken to him about my future at the company and wanting a promotion. So far, that has resulted in assurances, but nothing more from him. So from that standpoint, I've kinda given him fair warning. Just not sure if I should say anything more before "pulling the trigger". I know it's "business", but I do want to leave on good terms with no animosity if at all possible. Sometimes I guess there's just no way.

Last edited by Jack Straw; 02-19-06 at 02:29 PM.
Old 02-19-06, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack Straw
Sometimes I guess there's just no way.
There really isn't any other way. You're bending over backwards to appease your boss, and it's admirable, but not necessary and it does seem like you're thinking too much. I take it that it concerns you this much because you have a good friendly relationship with your boss and coworkers. If that's the case, this move won't really affect that. You have to look out for yourself and your friends will understand that.
Old 02-19-06, 02:52 PM
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Thanks Matt. Your assessment of the situation is very accurate and I appreciate your $.02.
Old 02-19-06, 04:30 PM
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I don't quite understand the OP's reticence to serve his own needs first. Your boss is hopefully not a family member or close personal friend but, even so, you need to pick your own time of leaving and not worry about what your company is going to do so long that they show you the door first. My own personal opinion is that there is no point to worrying about the counter offer because once you have told your company you were looking at all your days are numbered at that company. They could afford to counter offer quite a bit since your head will be on the chopping block just as soon as they can find a replacement for you.

Professionals provide a minimum two weeks notice and, if employers can't respect that, you probably don't want them for a reference anyway. Always be respectful about your reasons for leaving even if they aren't quite true. You don't want to burn bridges if you can help it. Unless your management are complete jerks, they will understand.

Michael
Old 02-19-06, 05:25 PM
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Got it. Bottom line is do what I have to do, provide minimum 2-weeks notice, explain the superior opportunity, thank them for the time I spent working for them, and keep quiet about differences/gripes I have with management. If they make me out to be an A-hole for not giving them the chance to re-negotiate before making the decision to leave, then just tell them that it was my intention to leave amicably and I'm sorry they feel that way.

Last edited by Jack Straw; 02-19-06 at 05:31 PM.
Old 02-19-06, 06:04 PM
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I was in a position of good standing with my contractor and the day that I was offered the new job I put in my notice. So I have five more days till my new job starts.

My recommendation is to be honest and up front about your intentions of leaving and don't burn your bridges. Leave on good terms and you can feel confident about the future.

Last edited by kahuna415; 02-19-06 at 06:13 PM.
Old 02-19-06, 06:55 PM
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As others have said, accept the new offer (after you have a formal offer -- not that it means much), set a start date two weeks into the future, then tell your boss. If your start date is further than two weeks away, keep quiet until two weeks before and discretely start closing old projects. If your new job wants you ASAP, let your boss know as soon as you accept and confirm your first day with the new company. That's the professional thing to do.

If you don't care about burning bridges, take your remaining vacation at the old job, then start the new job. At the end of your vacation time, call and quit the old job. You'll have two salaries for a couple of weeks! Of course, that would be wrong and I would not suggest it (just mention it, and it kills any chance for a counteroffer).

Last edited by matta; 02-19-06 at 06:59 PM.
Old 02-20-06, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Jack Straw
Got it. Bottom line is do what I have to do, provide minimum 2-weeks notice, explain the superior opportunity, thank them for the time I spent working for them, and keep quiet about differences/gripes I have with management. If they make me out to be an A-hole for not giving them the chance to re-negotiate before making the decision to leave, then just tell them that it was my intention to leave amicably and I'm sorry they feel that way.
I don't know if 2 weeks is sufficient time for your current job (I know that I'd have to give 1-2 MONTHS notice) but that sounds about right. Don't mention to your current boss what your new salary and perks will be at the new job. If pressed, respond with non-specific terms like "substantial". Should your current boss offer a counter-offer, regardless of how good it sounds, respectfully decline it.

As others have said, accepting a counter-offer will taint you as the guy that was going to leave for more money... any perception of loyalty is gone. And regardless of how well your relationship with your boss is now... it will most certainly change after.
Old 02-20-06, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt925
There really isn't any other way. You're bending over backwards to appease your boss, and it's admirable, but not necessary and it does seem like you're thinking too much. I take it that it concerns you this much because you have a good friendly relationship with your boss and coworkers. If that's the case, this move won't really affect that. You have to look out for yourself and your friends will understand that.
That's it in a nutshell.

I was in a similar situation at my last job - I was the top dog in the department and didn't want my boss' job, nor did I want a promotion to a parallel department, and we had just lost 2 other people in the prior 6 months, plus one who was the same as me went on leave with cancer - I wanted to move to a different line of work, which was tough to do in a financial corporation (they LOVE pigeonholing). When I left, it left an EDI department with basically 1 person with more then 6 months of experience and a manager, which is VERY bad for support for that company, but oh-friggin-well. I negotiated my offer with my new company, had the offer in hand, accepted, then took the weekend and drafted a nice resignation/two-weeks letter, and waited until the right moment on Monday to put in the 2 weeks, retroactive to friday.

The funny part is this - as I was in the meeting telling my boss and the vp of the floor that I was leaving, and watching them look at each other with the "oh shit" look, their pagers both went off as servers crashed and the products that I was the support manager for went down, so we had to bust out of the meeting and get honkin on fixing it. While the whole situation was going on, the VP goes "I know you're leaving for what is essentially your dream job, but I REALLY need your expertise here. How about $10k more? You'll keep your senoirity and blah blah blah" I respectfully declined.

I saw that boss at a hockey game...5 months later. He was like "if you ever want to come back, we've got a corner managers cube with a gorgeous view of the arena and $15k more than what you're making now for ya..." and I declined again. I love my current job - it's not about the money - it's about doing satisfying work first, then the money second.
Old 02-20-06, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by lordzeppelin
I love my current job - it's not about the money - it's about doing satisfying work first, then the money second.
I had a similar thing happen to me. I left the IT industry to pursue a doctorate in a very different area. I've been out of the industry for 3 years, but I still get calls to come back from recruiters and related firms. I'm missing out on $$, but I love what I do. Though if all goes well, i'll be back to that level of income (and higher) in 3 years, but I'll be my own boss, which is a HUGE factor. There are a ton of other factors that aren't: money, benefits, job title, etc.

-p
Old 02-20-06, 01:28 PM
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there's really no easy way, write a brief letter and hand it to him.
Old 02-20-06, 03:10 PM
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Cool. First things first. I got a 2nd round of interviews to go back and talk to the company's CFO, CAO, and Controller. However, I think that I'm a strong contender as they accomodated my schedule to get me back in there. Thanks to everyone who posted above. I feel a lot more grounded in my thinking now.

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