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Old 07-02-2013, 08:19 PM   #1
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I'm looking for some advice as I'm sure some others might have encountered this same concern. I am 52 with a 3 more years FIRE date. Within the last few years I built up a small group with a niche that my firm previously had no expertise regionally, but when I came aboard they realized they had a nice advantage in no longer outsourcing. Now I have several others that I hired working under me. I reluctantly agreed to train and expand as I prefer going solo totally independently. The more people I am in charge of the more added stress. Now my new local office manager ( not the VP that hired me ) wants to expand the office ( his domain) and sees my success as an area to go national with my talent. Trouble is, he assumes I probably want to work 13-15 more years and keep getting promoted and I have in mind 3 more years, the last 2 of which I plan on reducing to 4 days per week. That conversation will occur this spring after my annual bonus.

He wants a meeting with some VPs and I to discuss this possible growth and my short term and long term plans for my group. I don't have anything but short term plans! How do I handle this? Keep in mind I get annual bonus each year and by being too open early on my bonus might be at risk.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:30 PM   #2
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I wonder if you can spin it that you are not keen on taking on a bigger management role and would rather focus on your niche as a subject matter expert supporting the group. If they buy it then they can groom or hire some leadership of the growing group but you would need to be willing to step back from your current leadership role. I'm not sure how feasible that would be but just an idea.

The other option is to lead them on as if you plan to stay for a long time and later make up some reason for your change of heart.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:32 PM   #3
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Hard to say. I told my superiors that I wanted to step back, promote my people, and for myself work part time. And it happened.

You can say you want to delegate. Folks should get trained so that they are delegatable and promotable. Perhaps you can say that you want all your people to have the jobs that the VPs now have.

It is possible that the VPs all have short term plans, too, and will be gone before you are.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:12 PM   #4
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Well thing is I'll be lucky to get my peeps under me to mid level before I RE let alone anything close to senior. They also need to get to a professional registration level which is a full 3 years away for them. It's doable for either one of them, but they will have a lot of resp at a fairly young age if they can get up to speed fast.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:26 AM   #5
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As someone who used to be involved in formulating strategic plans in megacorp land, I can't imagine any company developing 13-15 year plans relliant on any individual's participation. I would contribute to the process to establish what is the best approach/structure for megacorp to conduct business while managing your personal goals seperately. Maybe you'll leave sooner, in three years like you currently expect or you end up staying longer than your current expectations. Regardless, when you leave, or in our ever changing world when they ask you to leave, megacorp will go on.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:26 AM   #6
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Al,
I previously worked for a megacorp that had similar plans for my unit/me (expansion overseas, larger role/stress for me). I chose to keep my personal RE plans to myself and play along with them. I figured if they knew I was a short-timer then my bonus & stock options would be cut (knowing they award stock options to 'keep talent').

I'd go to the meeting with the VPs and play along. I wouldn't divulge your 3 year plan. I think your instincts that your bonus "might be at risk" is correct. Good luck!
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:31 AM   #7
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Al,
I previously worked for a megacorp that had similar plans for my unit/me (expansion overseas, larger role/stress for me). I chose to keep my personal RE plans to myself and play along with them. I figured if they knew I was a short-timer then my bonus & stock options would be cut (knowing they award stock options to 'keep talent'). I think your instincts that your bonus "might be at risk" is correct. Good luck!
Agreed. I was not in an industry that supported bonuses or stock options, but keeping my own counsel until I was ready to move on was a definite advantage.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:38 AM   #8
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I'd also go with keeping my plans to myself and dealing with FIRE when I get there. Many a slip and all that. Plus, if you make it to three years and are ready to retire but they find that you are absolutely essential (never really seen that happen), they might back the money truck up and start dumping until you decide to stay for a year or so more. Then they'll know that they only have a certain amount of your time and you'll be in charge, since you'll be FI already.

On the other hand, letting them know your plans ahead of time puts them in the catbird seat. Not the situation you want to be in, I suspect.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:44 AM   #9
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Al,
I previously worked for a megacorp that had similar plans for my unit/me (expansion overseas, larger role/stress for me). I chose to keep my personal RE plans to myself and play along with them. I figured if they knew I was a short-timer then my bonus & stock options would be cut (knowing they award stock options to 'keep talent').

I'd go to the meeting with the VPs and play along. I wouldn't divulge your 3 year plan. I think your instincts that your bonus "might be at risk" is correct. Good luck!
+1 I am in that exact position right now and am keeping it to myself. Employment is at will on both sides. As long as you give reasonable notice to be fair to those around you, there is no obligation to share your timeline. Also, once it is public it would be much more difficult to modify if your situation changes. Good luck!
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:13 AM   #10
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Even if you weren't going to retire, good managers never make strategic company plans based on one individual's expertise. People change jobs, get hired away by the competition, get sick, move for a spouse's job, quit to raise children / grandchildren, etc. all the time.

I don't think you are under any obligation to tip your hand now. Who knows - your plans may even change over the next few years.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:18 AM   #11
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I asked myself if Megacorp wanted me gone, how much notice would they give me? I didn't feel I "owed" them any more than that. No attitude involved, after 29 years, can't say much negative about them, it's just business.

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Old 07-03-2013, 10:26 AM   #12
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Bad things could happen at anytime before you retire. We could have a terrible economy at some point with the stock and bond markets both tanking (1970's type for instance). I'm not saying this will happen but you have to be prepared for the worst case prior to retirement.

So with that said, I'd behave towards Megacorp as if the future is long term, until it really is not.

Hope this helps a bit.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:06 AM   #13
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If you're lucky, management decides to layoff your entire unit in three years and you get some extra severance pay.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:43 AM   #14
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I think the consensus is that you do not tip your hand at all...

I agree with this.... no reason to let them know something that can have a big negative impact on you when you would be trying to be helpful to them....
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:06 PM   #15
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I asked myself if Megacorp wanted me gone, how much notice would they give me? I didn't feel I "owed" them any more than that. No attitude involved, after 29 years, can't say much negative about them, it's just business.

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Exactly. I've know lots of cases where people were given great reviews / bonuses / promotions and laid off shortly afterwards. It is just business from the company's point of view, so outside giving appropriate notice when you quit or retire I think it is best to act in your own economic best interest.

Employees who are interviewing for other jobs would never announce it years or months in advance to their managers, so why would retirement plans be any different?
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:08 PM   #16
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Exactly. I've know lots of cases where people were given great reviews / bonuses / promotions and laid off shortly afterwards. It is just business from the company's point of view, so I think outside giving appropriate notice when you quit or retire I think it is best to act in your own economic best interest.

Employees who are interviewing for other jobs would never announce it years or months in advance to their managers, so why would retirement plans be any different?

I think is reasonable/good to give an employer who has treated you well more than two weeks notice. But I think two or three months is as much as any employer needs.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:29 PM   #17
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I think is reasonable/good to give an employer who has treated you well more than two weeks notice. But I think two or three months is as much as any employer needs.
I am wondering what I should do. Despite the supertanker of bureaucratic bullcrap (of which I got a colossal shipment today), my actual direct boss and the guy a couple steps up the chain have treated me as well as they are possibly allowed to. I do not want to leave them in the lurch, but I am also beyond burnt out on this place. Is there something wring with gving 2 weeks and being open to a somewhat more extended departure if they ask for it?
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:35 PM   #18
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I am wondering what I should do. Despite the supertanker of bureaucratic bullcrap (of which I got a colossal shipment today), my actual direct boss and the guy a couple steps up the chain have treated me as well as they are possibly allowed to. I do not want to leave them in the lurch, but I am also beyond burnt out on this place. Is there something wring with gving 2 weeks and being open to a somewhat more extended departure if they ask for it?
Absolutely not if that's all they require. But be sure you're certain. Megacorp had a policy when you gave 2 weeks notice you were locked into that(no extensions, unless they asked you).

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Old 07-03-2013, 01:38 PM   #19
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Absolutely not if that's all they require. But be sure you're certain. Megacorp had a policy when you gave 2 weeks notice you were locked into that(no extensions, unless they asked you).

MRG
My boss is pretty relaxed about things, to the extent he can be. When the time comes I plan to tell him I am quitting and then work out an exit date in good faith.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:41 PM   #20
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I am wondering what I should do. Despite the supertanker of bureaucratic bullcrap (of which I got a colossal shipment today), my actual direct boss and the guy a couple steps up the chain have treated me as well as they are possibly allowed to. I do not want to leave them in the lurch, but I am also beyond burnt out on this place. Is there something wring with gving 2 weeks and being open to a somewhat more extended departure if they ask for it?

I would still vote for 2 weeks.... as someone else said, if you got a great job opportunity you would likely only give 2 weeks... I do not see retirement any different...

Now, they have the option of sweetening the pot if they need you to stay... but that is then their decision...


I also say don't worry about them.... they will be fine... I just had a worker leave on two weeks notice... she was not looking, but an old boss gave her an offer she could not refuse.... I had a number of good candidates that sent resumes and I hired one...

It is very rare that somebody does something that nobody else can do... no matter how good you think you might be... and they can do what one company did when I left.... hire two people to do the work... it is getting done without me....
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