In the May 21, 2013 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter, a job applicant invests more than eight hours in interviews and asks why the employer acts like her time is free:
I currently work for a tiny family-run office and have just gotten a job offer elsewhere. It’s an offer I cannot refuse. I am feeling guilty because they have trained me and I am needed. How much notice should I give and what should be said (what information can be shared)?
I’ve been at this office less than one year, which may or may not make a difference. I would like to remain friendly, but I don’t want to get into a whole big dialogue about where I’m going, why, and so on.
And what about being paid for vacation time earned? Is is reasonable to ask about this?
Congratulations. Some jobs end quickly, while others last years. But changing jobs is no different from a company doing a layoff — it’s business. Don’t make it personal. I admire your desire to keep it on good terms. But the first order of business is to protect yourself while you pull away from your old employer.
We recently discussed a related question, Is it ethical to go on this job interview? Now let’s talk about how to quit when you feel kind of uncomfortable about it.
I’d ask HR about the vacation pay, but first I’d check with your state’s department of labor. Find out what your state requires of the employer.
I think offering two weeks’ notice is the right thing to do. Some companies want only one, some just want to make sure you train someone to do your job — or just that they know where your work flow is so nothing gets dropped. Some employers will walk you out the door immediately and ship your belongings to you later. So be careful. It might be best to gather what’s yours first, before you resign.
I’d never tell the employer where you are going next, but I’d tell them I’d be glad to share that once you are settled at your new job.
How to Say It: “I don’t think it’s appropriate to disclose my new employer until I’m actually working there.”
Some people quit a job without another to go to.
How to Say It: “I’m still considering where I’m going to take my next job. I’d be happy to call and tell you after I decide.”
That makes it easier. You don’t owe anyone the information. All you owe them is a smooth, friendly, responsible transition so your work flow is not disturbed at the old company. I find that when a departing employee gives that assurance from the start, the parting can be on very businesslike terms.
I wish you the best. Please keep in mind that my advice is based on the scant information you provided. You must use your judgment and decide which of my advice to use in your situation for the best outcome. (Finally, remember to hedge your bet just a little bit because There is no sure thing.)
What’s your best and worst departure story? And what are your tips to this reader?