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Another question about notice
Old 11-13-2014, 01:51 PM   #1
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Another question about notice

I've read many threads where people work for individual bosses and when they retire they give 2 weeks to a months' notice when retiring. However, when you work, as I do, under a volunteer board who would do the hiring to replace you, how much notice is it fair to give them? It's not like any of them actually work in our building and in fact, they all work in different locations, different type jobs, etc. Anyone dealt with this?
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Old 11-13-2014, 02:09 PM   #2
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I'm not sure what your present situation is. The key on giving notice is what is the culture where you are. Two weeks is the traditional courtesy but I worked for a company that if you resigned (or terminated) you were escorted to the door that same day. Where I work now, the people that leave transition off their project. I've seen people stay for 4 months because they were a key person. Our employee manual requests that employees give 2 weeks notice when resigning. Texas is an "at will" state so no notice is required to quit or to get let go.

If you are a key person at a charitable organization (volunteer board), it may be appropriate to give them several months notice if you want the transition to be smooth. You have to be careful not to make it too open ended or they won't be in a hurry to find a replacement. A federal reserve governor just announced his retirement and he gave 4 months notice for a replacement to be found. That's about the top end for anybody in my book.
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Old 11-13-2014, 02:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B View Post
If you are a key person at a charitable organization (volunteer board), it may be appropriate to give them several months notice if you want the transition to be smooth. You have to be careful not to make it too open ended or they won't be in a hurry to find a replacement. A federal reserve governor just announced his retirement and he gave 4 months notice for a replacement to be found. That's about the top end for anybody in my book.
Yes, thanks, this is exactly the situation. I am in the top position in a very complicated, highly regulated nonprofit, and also do fundraising.
I was also thinking about 3-4 months tops. There is a balance between how fast they can find someone to take control and how much chaos my leaving may cause internally, especially if some people decide to apply from within. I've been here a long time and there will finally be an opportunity to advance, so I can see some jockeying for the position going on here at work. If they hire someone from the outside that will also be an adjustment for those left.
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Old 11-13-2014, 02:30 PM   #4
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I'm writing my resignation notice right now. I told my boss two months ago that she needed to hire a replacement, and she hasn't even started looking, so it's only going to happen if I out and out quit. I'm given notice as of Jan 1, but will train my replacement with two overseas trips if necessary. It's just that sometimes, they won't start looking until they know you are out the door.
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Old 11-13-2014, 02:41 PM   #5
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Congratulations on your retirement, Ace! I think you have been very generous. Your experience tells me that I need to give them a written notice when I tell them, so they take it seriously.
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Old 11-13-2014, 02:43 PM   #6
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yeah, more notice is good for your situation, as with everything else, "it depends."

Our plans (actually DW's) are very far from what the norm is on this and other boards, but we think it is appropriate in her situation. (Partner in 4 OBG office with 1/4 shared call responsibilities, etc.) We anticipate that when 2017 gets here, we will be fully ready and able to walk away after several "OMYs." She intends to give formal notice at or about the first of that year. Departure date will be sometime between 8/1/17 and 8/1/18, whenever they find a new person and DW helps make the smooth transition for patients/staff/partners.

It is unusual because of the long lag time in finding an appropriate doc to come in, which they experienced with a prior partner giving only 3 months notice and making life suck for much of a year. In the course of that year, she assured her partners that when she retires, she won't leave them in the same type of lurch. And, frankly, we don't see a downside in letting them know. (Patients are already aware that they shouldn't delay pregnancies unduly if they want DW to be their doc for contemplated baby).

As always, YMMV. :-)
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Old 11-13-2014, 03:21 PM   #7
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Funny you should start this post. My DH is in the same spot as you. Although he does not work for a non-profit, he does work for mega corp and does oversee many employees and projects. He is "semi-retiring" as he calls it Jan 2015. I told him to go ahead and give notice now. His reason for waiting for maybe the end of December is that the person he replaced was worked like a dog until his last day. (My DH is worked like a dog now and he just thinks it would be much worse if he gave

I think (2) months for most jobs would be the absolute most time I would give notice before retiring.

You situation seems a little different being a non-profit and all.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 11-13-2014, 03:54 PM   #8
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I guess so much is dependent on the organization and how hard it is to replace that person. When I retired from doing computer forensics I gave I think a bit more than six months notice and even wrote a memo saying that I was going to retire so they would have the documentation needed to start training someone to replace me.

There were no bad repercussions from doing that and in fact they appreciated the advance notice to smooth the transition. They had a guy selected and trained, and I helped finish off his training after he'd done the classroom stuff. But again so much depends on the culture of the organization.
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Old 11-13-2014, 04:38 PM   #9
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My take on this:
If you got hit by a beer truck tomorrow, how long would it take them to replace you with someone new?
That would be the appropriate amount of notice to give.
Assuming they were really, really in need of a replacement, they could most likely do it in far less time than you might think.
Anything more will be probably be wasted, as noted above.
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Old 11-13-2014, 04:44 PM   #10
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Notice well in advance of when you actually expect to leave can be helpful to an organization.

When I left my job, I had been planning to stay until January of the next year. My plan was to tell my boss a month or so ahead of time. But the summer before this, a re-org was announced and I had a chat with my boss about when I planned on leaving to make sure that I wouldn't end up in a position where they were depending on me when they shouldn't me.

It all worked out great with my boss putting me in a position where I was useful, but not key and I was there until my planned end of January exit.

Still I would make sure that if, for whatever reason, they do walk you out the door right then, you are OK with that. If they had send me packing when I first talked to them, I would have been pretty OK with that, even though it wasn't optimal.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:34 PM   #11
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From what OP describes it sounds like at least 3 months would be appropriate.
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:41 AM   #12
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Timely topic for me, as I am about 90% sure I am going to retire 8/15, and I'm debating when to let people know. I think I will bring it up sometime in January. I'm an academic, so the situation is somewhat unique as there are really only 2 points in the year when faculty quits/starts (i.e. January or Summer), and the vast majority is in Summer. Also they can't really fire me ahead of my planned departure date (tenure). My department is very under-staffed in terms of teaching capacity, so I want to give them some lead time to figure out how they will staff my classes. Also I have a significant administrative role they will need to convince someone else to take on. So I think 7-8 months will be reasonable.
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:54 AM   #13
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I have a friend who was CEO of a non-profit social service agency. She gave the board a maximum six month notice. That is, a six month notice, with an agreement that she would leave earlier if they found someone earlier.

The board of her organization immediately made the announcement and hired an executive search firm. I don't know if there were any internal candidates for her position.

But, the point is, you know your board and how they will react. Set your notice so that they take action sooner rather than later. If there is a chairman of your board or other executive officer, it might be useful to have that conversation with that person when you deliver your retirement notice, so at least one board member is motivated to act.

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Old 11-14-2014, 07:07 PM   #14
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Old 11-15-2014, 11:37 AM   #15
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Thanks, this is great info and advice. A couple of years ago, we did a study in succession, and between several people, they have the knowledge to do my job in an emergency. However, I do want to give the board time to replace me. I've invested a lot in our nonprofit and want to hopefully have a smooth transition. I know anyone they find will be different than me and that's a good thing. I don't want to stay longer than I have planned, because we also have a slow three month period and if it's not then, I would feel obligated to wait another year.


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Old 11-15-2014, 07:14 PM   #16
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I gave one month's notice when I ERed but I worked only 2 days a week at the time so it was only about 9 working days for me. I had made a guess that the one main project I was working on would be done by that last day, and I barely finished it on my final day's afternoon. For other things I had responsibility for, I had already been doing things to transition it to others, especially after a key coworker in another division left the company a few months earlier which more or less forced my hand in making the programs she ran (which I wrote and maintained) more user-friendly for others to run.
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Old 11-15-2014, 09:06 PM   #17
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As a board member of a nonprofit that sounds similar to the OP's, I think gotadimple's approach sounds excellent.


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Old 11-15-2014, 09:20 PM   #18
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May not apply to your situation, but at one of my old employers which was a large megacorp, our saying was
"Put your hand in a bucket of water and pull it out, the hole that is left is how much you will be missed"

While any of us may think of ourselves as an important part of the organization, none of us are irreplaceable.
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