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Resigning advice before taking new job

Resign Job career advice offer

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#1 Egon Spengler

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 04:21 PM

Hi,
Wanted to get some advice from some more experienced and smarter people than me. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. I am going to give a little back story first to put my situation in better context.

Here is my situation…

After getting my BS in Computer Engineering I went to work for an Electric Utility/Cable/ISP/Telephone company (They did fiber to the home) right out of college. Worked there for 5 years and went back to school to get my masters. During my last semester of my masters some people I previously worked with offered me a job. I took it but did not like it because there was too much travel. I called up another guy I used to work with and pitched him an idea of adding to his soSucks!are. He was all for it and hired me on. When I resigned my traveling job my boss and everyone I worked with threw a fit and thought the other guy was trying to steal me (not the case at all). Anyway it all worked out in the end and I have been working for this guy for a year now.

After about six months into my current job I realized the best job that I should have taken was at another local Electric Utility that I worked for as a summer intern while getting my Master’s Degree. They said I could work for them full time when I was done with school but I ended up taking the traveling job instead (it just paid so damn much). Anyway the General Manger at this utility ended up calling me up one day out of the blue and asked me to come work for him (this was after I already told myself that’s where I should have worked, so I was very happy). I said I did not want to leave my current boss hanging on the project I was on but maybe at the end of the year 2011 we could work something out. He agreed but asked if I would help as a consultant (I am a registered P.E. so I felt comfortable doing that) until the end of the year. They are getting ready to put in some Fiber and networking equipment and wanted my experience.

So now it’s the end of the year, I have talked with the GM of the new company and the Fiber project will basically start the first of the summer so he is looking for me to start sometime before then. My question is how should I go about telling my current boss I am leaving? I am 100% certain this new job is the right fit for me (The people, the work, the work load, longevity, etc). I guess I am a little gun shy because of how badly resigning from my traveling job went. Also the project I am working on for my current employer is not complete. In reality I probably bit of more than I can chew with my current job. Plus the fact that all my employers are basically in the same industry (some customers others suppliers) and I might cross paths with my current boss and previous bosses again.

My plan is to tell my current boss that we should redo how we are working on the project to pull in more people. I have a meeting with my prospective future boss tomorrow to discuss a timeframe of when I can start. Then maybe in a week or 2 give my current boss my resignation but say I can stay on for another 2-3 months. I am not going to tell my current boss what company I am going to in order to avoid some of the problems I had last time I resigned. I am also going to offer that I will help out with any questions that someone taking over for me might have in the future (Via email/phone).

I figure he will ask why I am leaving. I was thinking that I would tell him the new opportunity is a great opportunity for me and my family both financially and stability wise (which is true, I plan on retiring from this future job). I was also thinking about telling him I feel like I am in over my head in what I am doing anyway and think it is better for both of us if someone with more experience stepped in and took over anyway (which is also true). BTW my current job is building a billing system for utilities. They currently bill cable, TV, internet with a separate system built on COBAL and want to move away from that to a more modern platform (which is where I came into the picture).

Anyway sorry for the life story but any advice would be greatly appreciated. I put myself in this situation and feel extremely thankful that I can get out of it and land a great job. I just want to make sure I do it in the best possible way and not burn any bridges in the process.

#2 bradlelf

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 08:20 PM

Yeah ... what he said.

Seriously though, you are in an uncomfortable position. My policy is to be open and notorious with these types of moves. If you have a firm offer in place and intend on taking it ... i would let your current employer know. Work out a transition plan for your current work and be honest about why you are departing, if they ask.

I still keep in contact with the owners of my former companies and am in good terms with all of them. Just be open and honest about the move.

#3 Dexman PE PMP

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 08:45 PM

^^^ Agreed. You will continue to see that this is an increasingly small world and maintaining professional relationships are key. When I presented my previous employer the fact that I had an offer for my current position, I let him know that I enjoyed my time and appreciated the knowledge, training, and experience they provided, but the new position was offering something that the previous employer couldn't. Highlight the fact that the job change is not personal, nor was it due to any shortcomings of the current position. Most young professionals are getting more comfortable with the fact that they will not work at the same place for their entire careers like several of the early baby-boomers did.

#4 Peele1

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 10:56 PM

I work at a large organization, and we can be quite formal when writing things up for resignations. For official purposes, you resignation letter should only indicate the absolute necessary facts. "I, Charlie Sheen, resign from my position as pharmacist effective the end of the work day on May 3, 2012." Signed.

"I figure he will ask why I am leaving. I was thinking that I would tell him the new opportunity is a great opportunity for me and my family both financially and stability wise (which is true, I plan on retiring from this future job). "
--This is something that you can tell them verbally. Maybe "I enjoyed my time and appreciated the knowledge, training, and experience (from Dexman) you have provided to me. I hope that you feel comfortable in providing me with a recommendation. `the new opportunity is a great opportunity for me and my family`" and add if applicable, that "it is the next stepping stone in your long-term career."

"I was also thinking about telling him I feel like I am in over my head in what I am doing anyway and think it is better for both of us if someone with more experience stepped in and took over anyway (which is also true)."
-- Don't sell yourself short. Stop after your first sentence. Only be positive.

Pick your resignation date carefully. You may have heath insurance issues if you leave a job on April 30 and start the new one on May 1. I suggest leaving early in a month and starting the next day. This is also easier to note on resume's.

Provide your current boss with 4-6 weeks notice, if you can. Provide a knowlege transfer meeting and documentation. Create transition plans.

Try to keep any communications with your current boss positive between now and forever.

#5 Egon Spengler

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 06:01 PM

Thanks guys, every engineer should use this board. It's a big reason why I passed the PE a couple of years ago.

Anyway got the firm offer today and my new boss said "You can start tomorrow or 2 months from now, just let me know". Health insurance wont be a problem because we are on my Wife's work plan.

I am just going to tell him that I got an offer that's a better fit for me, work, career, future goals, etc and leave it at that. If he asks where I am going or anything else I will politely say that I had a bad experience in the past with telling that information and would rather not say. Then offer to stay for up to 8 more weeks. Finally email/snail male him (after I talk to him) a resignation that says nothing other than I will be resigning my position on <date>.

Thanks again, Ill post up here how it all turns out in hopes that it will help someone else one day going through a similar problem.

#6 EnvEngineer

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 09:09 PM

"Then offer to stay for up to 8 more weeks."

Sorry am I reading this right?? I like to be loyal but remember this firm will survive without you and if something happens to your current project or they find a replacement they will most likely toss you out the door pretty quickly, 2 weeks notice, then out. Simple, Clean, Professional

#7 Dexman PE PMP

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 09:24 PM

I had one job where I offered 2 weeks and they said I could go after one, but my last job I offered 2 weeks and ended up staying 3 (was going to take one week off between jobs). In both cases, the time adjustment was to help finish up projects or "train the replacement" for ongoing projects.

#8 treyjay

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 01:38 AM

yeah...I agree with most of the advice given here...I have seen outfits that let you go as soon as you tell them you are leaving. The rationale being you will just talk up your new job with all the remaining employees. I agree with that because I have seen it happen. Then again, I have seen people leave an employer in the lurch by leaving too soon....best to be up front with your present employer and try to work a happy middle ground.

I suspect that the crew that resented your leaving the travelling job was upset because they then had to find a new person to travel...that can be hard to do at certain professional levels...I used to travel & loved it since the money was damn good (at least it used to be). maybe I can do it again someday before I hang it up.





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