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20 months to go and MegaCorp has big plans for me!
Old 10-09-2014, 12:44 PM   #1
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20 months to go and MegaCorp has big plans for me!

So I have less than 20 months until my target FIRE date (early June 2016) and I plan on informing my superiors in about 18 months right after I get my annual bonus in the spring.

I bump into a cluster of visiting VPs from some new regional offices we have started and after introductions from my regional VP it's stated "oh we were just discussing you and how we need to expand your responsibilities" (implications also to grow my small group).

They have no clue that I am going to early retire and no succession plan. I worry that they have no plan B and am dying to hint to that now, but I know that if I do my next two bonus checks could shrink from what is usually $6-7k to maybe half that or even less.

It doesn't help that I'm 53 now and look even slightly younger.

How have others handled similar situations? I like my superiors and appreciate their support over the years, but I can only envision keeping on doing what I do well, resisting expanding my influence as best I can, and do some foot dragging for the 18 months until I make my plans officially known.


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Old 10-09-2014, 12:51 PM   #2
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Keep your secrets to yourself. They will have a succession plan although it may not be very good. Your situation may change in 20 months and you may be glad you are moving up career-wise. Finally, if Megacorp burps do you think they wouldn't hesitate cutting your butt from the payroll with a lot less than two months notice?
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Old 10-09-2014, 12:54 PM   #3
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Keep your secrets to yourself. They will have a succession plan although it may not be very good. Your situation may change in 20 months and you may be glad you are moving up career-wise. Finally, if Megacorp burps do you think they wouldn't hesitate cutting your butt from the payroll with a lot less than two months notice?
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Old 10-09-2014, 01:02 PM   #4
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It doesn't help that I'm 53 now and look even slightly younger.
I was slightly younger than you when I "thought I was important." I was well liked by the company president and I thought I had positively managed relationships with my peers. My division was sold and I lost the protection of the president (stayed with parent) and corporate HR. In the shuffle I found myself reporting to a former peer that had a grudge against me for my past sins against him. I was gone before the dust settled. The new owners figured out what a bozo my former boss was and sent him on his way. Nobody called me up to apologize and offer me my old job back.

The moral of the story is that you can't predict the future. The "big plans" they have for you may just be setting you up for an even earlier retirement than you are planning on having.
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Old 10-09-2014, 01:09 PM   #5
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Also consider "steering" vs. "braking".

When/if they offer you a different thing, you can react with enthusiasm while requesting you finish a few projects or the running year for some such reason. Make it seem in their best interest.

I.e. delay
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Old 10-09-2014, 01:31 PM   #6
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I'm in a similar, but lower level situation. We've had a series of RIFs at my Megacorp over the last couple of years - and I personally have been RIF'ed and un-RIF'ed during this time. I'd like to ER in about 9-12 months, but know that in this environment making an announcement to that effect would likely mean I'd be scrapped much sooner.

That said, my boss has been very supportive of me during this period and made a personal effort to yank me back from the scrap heap this last time. Giving minimal notice would screw up his plans and I feel enough loyalty that I'm loath to do that. I'd been figuring that 6 months notice would be a good compromise that would allow management to arrange for a smooth transition without risking too much of my (limited) longevity, but as I near my planned announcement date even that makes me a bit nervous. As the date grows closer I will determine where on the fear/loyalty/greed axes I sit.
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Old 10-09-2014, 01:43 PM   #7
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6 months notice would be a good compromise that would allow management to arrange for a smooth transition without risking too much of my (limited) longevity,
6 months? You've got to be kidding. When you were RIF'd, did you get 6 months notice?

Nobody is that unique that the organization can't live without them.

My plan is to give the traditional 2 week notice but be willing to bridge a couple more weeks if I'm in a key project role at the time. My company has been more than nice to me and my boss has earned my loyalty. If I'd been RIF'd and rehired a couple of times, I wouldn't feel like I owed them anything.
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Old 10-09-2014, 02:07 PM   #8
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Also consider "steering" vs. "braking".

When/if they offer you a different thing, you can react with enthusiasm while requesting you finish a few projects or the running year for some such reason. Make it seem in their best interest.

I.e. delay

Yeah I had been thinking of that plan too. Played well and with luck that can buy a few months to maybe more. All depends when the actual planning turns into action. At a corp like this it could be weeks to almost a year from now. Always hard to predict.


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Old 10-09-2014, 02:19 PM   #9
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Yeah I had been thinking of that plan too. Played well and with luck that can buy a few months to maybe more. All depends when the actual planning turns into action. At a corp like this it could be weeks to almost a year from now. Always hard to predict.
Take the promotion if offerred. Do what you're asked to do. Take their money. Retire when it's right for you. You are putting yourself at risk for no valid reason except a twisted sense of owing something to the company.
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Old 10-09-2014, 02:33 PM   #10
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I'd continue to do the best I could and take on a larger role if offered. You never know what the future holds. You might be able to use this opportunity to help train someone on your team so they could assume the role when you decide to leave. Or you could find parts of the expanded job you enjoy and might want to do on a part time or other basis after you leave.
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Old 10-09-2014, 02:38 PM   #11
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I'm in a similar, but lower level situation. We've had a series of RIFs at my Megacorp over the last couple of years - and I personally have been RIF'ed and un-RIF'ed during this time. I'd like to ER in about 9-12 months, but know that in this environment making an announcement to that effect would likely mean I'd be scrapped much sooner.

That said, my boss has been very supportive of me during this period and made a personal effort to yank me back from the scrap heap this last time. Giving minimal notice would screw up his plans and I feel enough loyalty that I'm loath to do that. I'd been figuring that 6 months notice would be a good compromise that would allow management to arrange for a smooth transition without risking too much of my (limited) longevity, but as I near my planned announcement date even that makes me a bit nervous. As the date grows closer I will determine where on the fear/loyalty/greed axes I sit.
You are being very magnanimous. You would give six months' notice, but you would expect to be scrapped "much sooner" (than 9-12 months) "in this environment". How much notice are you required to give based on your contract and/or HR policies? Why should you give any more notice than that, unless you are the CEO, reporting to the Board? Make no mistake about it: management will do whatever is expedient. Your job is to look after your interests while respecting the rules that they have made.

I was once in a similar situation and the rules stipulated a 3 month notice period. I gave four months' notice. They pleaded with me to work another month. Altogether they had five months to find a successor before I left. They took no action until after I had left, and did not replace me for over a year. During that time they saved money and redefined the position at a lower pay grade.

So if you think waiting for six months is going to be the answer to succession planning, think again.
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Old 10-09-2014, 03:04 PM   #12
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Take the promotion if offerred. Do what you're asked to do. Take their money. Retire when it's right for you. You are putting yourself at risk for no valid reason except a twisted sense of owing something to the company.
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Old 10-09-2014, 03:10 PM   #13
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Take the promotion if offerred. Do what you're asked to do. Take their money. Retire when it's right for you. You are putting yourself at risk for no valid reason except a twisted sense of owing something to the company.
Ditto

If you like the work (or the work potential offered) you can stay. You could even do a OMY to decide if you like it...

OTOH if you are like me...there won't be anything that they could offer that would change your mind but in that case you have no reason to give them any more notice than necessary as you don't feel you owe them anything
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Old 10-09-2014, 03:29 PM   #14
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DW is in a similar position (except she's 37). They have big plans, and DW is identified year after year in the audit as a "key man risk" because they fired all her coworkers and off-shored them to India, so she's it.

She just outright told her bosses "I may not be here past the end of the year" about a month ago then told them she would be exhausting her 2014 vacation time by taking every Friday off between now and December 31. She might quit Dec 31, or stick around into the new year and get another 3-4 months of paid time off, then quit in June or July. She has the same bonus schedule (April 1 IIRC) and it's about the same amount ($5k or so).

Maybe she won't get much of a bonus if she sticks around, maybe she'll get a bigger bonus in the hopes of keeping her. Maybe they'll think more kindly of her and let her consult back for an outrageous fee (assuming they can't cover her absence). Maybe they'll promote her to encourage her to stay, maybe they'll pass over her because why waste a raise/bonus allocation on a quitter? She has been hinting at planning on retiring early for a year or so and the raises and bonuses and extra paid time off keep flowing. Part of the reason is she's paid about half or less of what some staff make in NYC because they outsourced down here to the cheap part of the country. So they have wiggle room.

The bottom line is if you're set financially, don't quibble too much over a couple thousand dollars. Go out the way you want. Giving 2 months notice seems very generous of you honestly.
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Old 10-09-2014, 03:58 PM   #15
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Take the promotion if offerred. Do what you're asked to do. Take their money. Retire when it's right for you. You are putting yourself at risk for no valid reason except a twisted sense of owing something to the company.
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Old 10-09-2014, 05:18 PM   #16
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I'm in a similar, but lower level situation. We've had a series of RIFs at my Megacorp over the last couple of years - and I personally have been RIF'ed and un-RIF'ed during this time. I'd like to ER in about 9-12 months, but know that in this environment making an announcement to that effect would likely mean I'd be scrapped much sooner.

That said, my boss has been very supportive of me during this period and made a personal effort to yank me back from the scrap heap this last time. Giving minimal notice would screw up his plans and I feel enough loyalty that I'm loath to do that. I'd been figuring that 6 months notice would be a good compromise that would allow management to arrange for a smooth transition without risking too much of my (limited) longevity, but as I near my planned announcement date even that makes me a bit nervous. As the date grows closer I will determine where on the fear/loyalty/greed axes I sit.

I gave three months notice before I called it quits early last year when I wasn't selected for a RIF, and I'm waiting for my DW to give her notice any day. But she's waiting for the opportunity to get a severance package on her way out. If your company is in the process of RIFs, why wouldn't you wait to jump on that with the hope of grabbing severance? Seems to me like it would be advantageous for you. Loyalty may be noble, but you need to do what is best for you, so I think six months is too long and risky. If the RIF doesn't happen as you approach your FIRE date, you can give your notice then.
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Old 10-10-2014, 08:12 AM   #17
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Keep it to yourself. Made my mistake 8 months early and now do a lot of web surfing because megacorp stop giving me new assignments. Don't worry, they already have a plan


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Old 10-10-2014, 09:52 AM   #18
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Stepford: I have given my notice 9 1/2 months in advance. I have been screwed over by the prior president but my clients (who own the company) generally stepped in to help me. Since the new president started earlier this year, I feel that I am on firmer ground. Since I have announced, the President has been trying to convince me that it is a mistake, and my clients have been excited for me and sad that I am leaving. If they have been good to you, be fair with them, you never know if you will need something from them in the future (a recommendation, a donation to the charity you are supporting etc.).

Good luck with however you decide.
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Old 10-10-2014, 10:13 AM   #19
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I agree, do not give them a chance to mess with your plans. No hints to anyone at the company.

When I gave notice 8 years ago (age 48, programmer, 8 years at company) I was ready to go. I made it clear that I was ready to terminate the next day, but would stay around 3 days/week for awhile to train people if needed. I ended up staying 7 weeks, and everything ended smoothly with no hard feelings.
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Old 10-10-2014, 10:18 AM   #20
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