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Did you get a counteroffer when quitting? What did you do?
Old 12-10-2013, 12:17 PM   #1
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Did you get a counteroffer when quitting? What did you do?

I am more than a little nervous about my upcoming bailout on Jan. 2. This is the last piece of the plan and the one I have the least control over. Ideally, I woudl like to leave on good terms and without anyone feeling like they had been burned. I respect most of the people I directly report to and I want to go out on a high note in any case. But I also know that it is time to make a big change and I need to be true to myself.

I don't imagine the powers that be are anticipating my departure and it will rather quickly throw a wrench in the gears here. I am not expecting it necessarily, but I want to think through the implications of a counteroffer if they throw one at me. The structure is pretty rigid here, so a promotion and/or more money are unlikely to be in the offing, but possible. About the only thing I would find palatable is a contractor arrangement, which they may be unlikely to even consider. I suppose they might also toss out the idea of a leave of absence.

Were you offered inducements to stick around when you quit for good? What did you do in response? How do I politely say, no thanks?
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:28 PM   #2
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I was asked to stay for 6 more months. The deal was I didn't have to work nights or weekends, and I only worked till 11:30. So I had time to make the 1:00 tee time. They wanted me around to help transition my replacement and just be around if anything came up.

I did it, I was wanting to say that I retired at 49, but the company was alway's good to me and I wanted to stay on good terms. I still stop in from time to time to have lunch with the President/owner. And I can still get ball tickets if I ask.

I wasn't planning on any moves so it wasn't really a big deal to me. And worst case I could still walk out the door. I ended up doing pretty much nothing for the 6 months. My replacement, who I had hired and recommended for the job, was doing fine. I just visited with friends or surfed the internet. Then went golfing. I would still be working if I could have kept that job.

I got a nice retirement party and a very generous check from the company.
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:36 PM   #3
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What did you do in response? How do I politely say, no thanks?
I was asked to show up early for a meeting. I did, and the manager (a very nice man) asked, "Is there anything we can do to get you to stay?". I never went through the OMY syndrome so I just thanked him and said "No, this is what I want to do."

He knew I wasn't kidding (I wasn't). I don't know if that's the best approach for every situation, but I do recall a wave of relief once past the talk.
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:39 PM   #4
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Were you offered inducements to stick around when you quit for good? What did you do in response? How do I politely say, no thanks?
Oh sure. When I gave them six months' notice, they started trying stuff. They tried to find out if I would be interested in telecommuting starting immediately, or possibly in a promotion and/or transferring to D.C, both of which would take a few months to arrange. I told them (quite seriously, but smiling) that my agency didn't have enough money to get me to stay. Those who were asking me were some of the more reasonable middle management there, and they realized that our workplace was not Nirvana, so no offense was taken. Then I was asked if I would be interested in consulting as a contractor but I turned that down too. I told them that I just didn't have the time and just wanted to enjoy my retirement since I am not getting any younger. Thank heavens they did not ask me if I would go part time, and I didn't mention it, because that would have been harder for me to resist.

I expect that they will offer you anything they can (which may be nothing, or may be something attractive), because you are a known quantity and they won't have to waste money/time hiring you and getting you up to speed.
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:53 PM   #5
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But I also know that it is time to make a big change and I need to be true to myself.

About the only thing I would find palatable is a contractor arrangement...
Seems like you have your answer right here.
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Were you offered inducements to stick around when you quit for good?
No, but they did call me a few times later to see if I was interested in a project.
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What did you do in response? How do I politely say, no thanks?
I said 'Thank you for your consideration, but at this point I must decline.'
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:58 PM   #6
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Were you offered inducements to stick around when you quit for good? What did you do in response? How do I politely say, no thanks?
  • There was an initial 'is there anything we can do to change your mind?'
  • Followed by 'please don't leave in 30 days, we need 3 months to replace you. I agreed in the interest of "leaving on good terms." In hindsight, I gave them too much time...
  • And with all that settled the top management at my Megacorp felt betrayed and moved on to polite bitterness well before I was out the door.
Unless they make a convincing case that you haven't given them enough notice I'd politely say no, thanks by simply saying "no, thanks." You really don't want to leave it open to debate IF you've made up your mind IMO. If they convince you they need a little more time, you might want to meet them halfway in extending your last day "to leave on good terms."
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:58 PM   #7
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When I left, it was after giving them 6 months notice and I explained my reason for retiring was based on not being able to stand a long commute through all the DFW highway construction. They asked if I'd consider doing some contracting work, and my answer was at the right price and provided the work could be done from home. They initiated a hiring freeze shortly after I left affecting both employees and contractors, so I have not heard from them. Nevertheless, after 8 months of retirement, I probably would not want to go back in any capacity.

If you are concerned about leaving on good terms, perhaps you might consider giving a little more notice.
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:09 PM   #8
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Unless they make a convincing case that you haven't given them enough notice I'd politely say no, thanks by simply saying "no, thanks." You really don't want to leave it open to debate IF you've made up your mind IMO. If they convince you they need a little more time, you might want to meet them halfway in extending your last day "to leave on good terms."

I'm planning on giving them 2 weeks.
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:20 PM   #9
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I'm planning on giving them 2 weeks.
I gave 2.5 weeks. The VP asked about consulting, I thanked him and declined. I made it very clear that my ER was about me and family, not about Megacorp. I knew he would understand my decision about family being more valuable than money. My exit interview was glowing to all the great mentors I had there.

Yes there were some folks I could have 'flamed' on the way out. I just chose the high road.
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:23 PM   #10
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I'm planning on giving them 2 weeks.
That would have been totally unfair to my employer. IIRC your field is highly specialized, so 2 weeks seems awfully short...but you know your situation better than anyone else. Hope it works out to the satisfaction of you and your employer.
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:24 PM   #11
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I'm planning on giving them 2 weeks.
2 weeks does seem a tad on the short side for the departure of a person holding a significant position within the firm as you do. Why not be absolutely firm on not accepting any offer of a long term relationship based on part time, contracting, telecommuting or other arrangement, but be a bit more flexible in how long you will stay to help with an orderly transistion? Say 6 or 8 weeks if that's what they desire? That way you'll still be a free man long before spring and also achieve your goal of leaving on reasonably good terms.

That might be a reasonable compromise between dropping the two week bomb on them and the other extreme of going into a long term relationship based on some alternative work scheme.
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:28 PM   #12
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2 weeks does seem a tad on the short side for the departure of a person holding a significant position within the firm as you do. Why not be absolutely firm on not accepting any offer of a long term relationship based on part time, contracting, telecommuting or other arrangement, but be a bit more flexible in how long you will stay to help with an orderly transistion? Say 6 or 8 weeks if that's what they desire? That way you'll still be a free man long before spring and also achieve your goal of leaving on reasonably good terms.

That might be a reasonable compromise between dropping the two week bomb on them and the other extreme of going into a long term relationship based on some alternative work scheme.
I have specialized skills, but I am a prole, not an officer. The problem with sticking around for a longer exit is that the highly confidential nature of what I do greatly increases my employer's risk (as they see it). I suppose I would consider giving them a little extra time, but only to do knowledge transfer, not to accomodate their schedule and go out on the road yet again. I have been banging the drum since I got here that they need to make the investment to transfer as much of what I know to other people in the group and it has been met with half-hearted efforts, at best.
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:35 PM   #13
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I've tried to quit twice. The first time was 3 1/2 years ago and I was immediately offered the option to work one day a week plus occasional phone calls/emails. I was asked to come up with an hourly rate for that. I thought about it and felt that financially it suited me (we had a house we were getting ready to sell so I thought that doing some work would ease any angst if the house took too long to sell). Also, I basically liked the people I worked with and didn't hate the work but I was extremely stressed out. So I agreed to do with clear understanding that I would certain types of work only.

So 3 years later, we had sold our house and moved farther away so that driving to the office (by now twice a week) was a 3 hour round trip just in the car. I was totally sick of the commute and I was working a bit more hours than I wanted to work. So I went in about 6 months ago and tried to quit again. I was offered the option to work less and to do everything from home. I felt there was little downside in trying that. When I started it I was prepared to try it for a month or two and to quit if I didn't like it. As it turned out, it has worked out well so I'm stilling do it for the moment. It's worked out to about 20-25 hours an hour so not onerous at all.

Of course, no one forced me to take either offer. I felt that both offers took care of the primary objections I had to that particular job at the time and I was otherwise happy with the situation so I was happy to keep on with it. It is nice to know, though, that I'm absolutely free to stop doing any of it whenever I want to.
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:23 PM   #14
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I am more than a little nervous about my upcoming bailout on Jan. 2. This is the last piece of the plan and the one I have the least control over. Ideally, I woudl like to leave on good terms and without anyone feeling like they had been burned. I respect most of the people I directly report to and I want to go out on a high note in any case. But I also know that it is time to make a big change and I need to be true to myself.

I don't imagine the powers that be are anticipating my departure and it will rather quickly throw a wrench in the gears here. I am not expecting it necessarily, but I want to think through the implications of a counteroffer if they throw one at me. The structure is pretty rigid here, so a promotion and/or more money are unlikely to be in the offing, but possible. About the only thing I would find palatable is a contractor arrangement, which they may be unlikely to even consider. I suppose they might also toss out the idea of a leave of absence.

Were you offered inducements to stick around when you quit for good? What did you do in response? How do I politely say, no thanks?
You just tell them that no one is irreplacable and wish them well.
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:37 PM   #15
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I suppose I would consider giving them a little extra time, but only to do knowledge transfer, not to accomodate their schedule and go out on the road yet again.
That seems extremely reasonable. You resign giving two weeks notice. They frown and come back a bit later with some sort of alternative proposal such as:

1. Ongoing employment under different terms such as part time, contract or telecommute. You just say "thank you very much but I cannot accomodate any of those suggestions in my life plans."

2. They ask for more than two weeks time to get their act together. You hold firm to the situation you describe above: you'll stay a few weeks longer to transfer knowledge but not too long and not to just continue working.

It's possible that despite the fact that you say you respect most of the folks you directly report to and would like to go out on a high note, that may not happen. That's a great goal and I sincerely hope your employer is reasonable enough that you reach a compromise that makes sense and is congruent with your desires and plans. But if not, well s*it happens. Off you go and off they go.......

You're smart to think about this in advance. But don't stress over trying to ensure there'll be a "everyone is happy" scenario. I hope it works out that way for you, but if it doesn't due to unreasonable requests on the part of your employer, so be it. You're being quite reasonable.
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:40 PM   #16
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It sounds like you are having second thoughts with your decision.

Either you are ready to move on, or not. If you are, than anything the company may agree or offer to better the current employment arrangement means that they have bent their rules to have you stay, and may even hold it against you in the future if other "conflicts" arise.

I agree with Theduckguru; no one is irreplacable (I learned that lesson, decades ago)...
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:47 PM   #17
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You have left other jobs before, Brewer. Did you get counteroffers from those employers? How did they handle it?

When I left my last job with four months' notice, no counteroffer but the bosses said they considered me to be on leave and kept my office vacant for me for six months. Crazy.

There is another alternative that is a possibility whenever anyone gives notice--being walked to the door with a box of your personal things. Good idea to cull them before giving notice.
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:51 PM   #18
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It sounds like you are having second thoughts with your decision.

Either you are ready to move on, or not. If you are, than anything the company may agree or offer to better the current employment arrangement means that they have bent their rules to have you stay, and may even hold it against you in the future if other "conflicts" arise.

I agree with Theduckguru; no one is irreplacable (I learned that lesson, decades ago)...
I deal in more shades of gray than that, unfortunately. I have had enough of a day job and am ready to move on with life. However, I may need to generate some income in the next 5 years (far less than I earn now and could do it any number of ways) and I do believe in the mission of the organization, more fool me. So I am ready to just walk out the door and not look back, but I also would be amenable to helping out in what Ibelieve to be importanta work if I can do so on my terms.
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:53 PM   #19
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You have left other jobs before, Brewer. Did you get counteroffers from those employers? How did they handle it?

When I left my last job with four months' notice, no counteroffer but the bosses said they considered me to be on leave and kept my office vacant for me for six months. Crazy.

There is another alternative that is a possibility whenever anyone gives notice--being walked to the door with a box of your personal things. Good idea to cull them before giving notice.

I've never been made a counteroffer. I always had another job that was panting and drooling to have me ASAP and generally paid far, far more than I was formerly earning.

I will be prepared for the walk to the door thing. When I give notice it will be with a bare cubicle.
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:29 PM   #20
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Happened to me a couple of times in my younger years. I always viewed it as the ultimate insult. Offering me more money because I am quitting only means that you've been taking advantage of me the whole time I worked there and were underpaying me.

YMMV.
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