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Regret of quiting
Old 01-10-2007, 08:13 PM   #1
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Regret of quiting

A friend of mine left Boston Scientific right before the company announced a major layoff. They are cutting 500 - 600 R&D jobs (out of approximately 1,800). Initially he was glad but then started to have doubts about his departure when he later learned that the company is offering a severance pay up to 1 year plus 5% bonus. A large number of workers is volunteering for the layoff. He thinks that he could have received the attractive severance package had he stayed a little longer.
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Re: Regret of quiting
Old 01-11-2007, 03:10 AM   #2
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Re: Regret of quiting

You will never know what happened "if".
He could have had a mortal heart attack the day before the package was offered.

Once a decision is taken and irrevocable, do not explore other options in retrospective other than to learn from it. But you will never come to the same river twice...
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Re: Regret of quiting
Old 01-11-2007, 07:04 AM   #3
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Re: Regret of quiting

I'm confused. Did you buddy have a job when he quit?

If he did, did he take a cut in pay, or get a bump?

Frankly, I don't see that as a lucrative package ... and the first one offered tends to be the best. By the time the rest of those folks finally start pounding the sidewalk, there may be a supply / demand imbalance for those skills ...

One year severance ("up to") and a 5% bonus don't look so hot in month 11 when you still haven't found a comparable job ...
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Re: Regret of quiting
Old 01-11-2007, 09:17 AM   #4
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Re: Regret of quiting

My sister did the same thing. She was working at a place that was going under, and she just couldn't take the insanity. So she just quit, with nothing lined up.

Terrible mistake. She missed out on any kind of severence when the place folded a year later, she wasn't eligible for unemployment and it took her quite a while to find work again. Furthermore, she's got this job on her resume with a sizable gap afterwards, and if employers ask why she left she has to say she just plain quit. Doesn't look good. Would you hire someone who might quit at any time with little warning?

Now she's living at home with my parents (she's 34 years old!) and has to work at starbucks.
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Re: Regret of quiting
Old 01-11-2007, 09:33 AM   #5
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Re: Regret of quiting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles
I'm confused. Did you buddy have a job when he quit?

If he did, did he take a cut in pay, or get a bump?

Frankly, I don't see that as a lucrative package ... and the first one offered tends to be the best. By the time the rest of those folks finally start pounding the sidewalk, there may be a supply / demand imbalance for those skills ...

One year severance ("up to") and a 5% bonus don't look so hot in month 11 when you still haven't found a comparable job ...
Yes, he did have an offer before quitting and has started his new job with a nice 25% raise. I guess he can't really complain.

The "up to" can be a gotcha. That is, you may receive very little or nothing. While it is plausible to take a while to land another job, the job market seems to be quite good now. However, the local job market may not be as good as more people start looking. They may have to relocate.

The bottom line is that once a decision has been made, there is no looking back.
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Re: Regret of quiting
Old 01-11-2007, 09:37 AM   #6
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Re: Regret of quiting

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Originally Posted by slepyhed
My sister did the same thing. She was working at a place that was going under, and she just couldn't take the insanity. So she just quit, with nothing lined up.

Terrible mistake. She missed out on any kind of severence when the place folded a year later, she wasn't eligible for unemployment and it took her quite a while to find work again. Furthermore, she's got this job on her resume with a sizable gap afterwards, and if employers ask why she left she has to say she just plain quit. Doesn't look good. Would you hire someone who might quit at any time with little warning?

Now she's living at home with my parents (she's 34 years old!) and has to work at starbucks.
I am sorry yo hear that. I guess one should not quit until there is another job offer.
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Re: Regret of quiting
Old 01-11-2007, 09:46 AM   #7
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Re: Regret of quiting

Furthermore, she's got this job on her resume with a sizable gap afterwards, and if employers ask why she left she has to say she just plain quit.

Well, she could just be up-front and say that the reason she left was that the company was going under. I don't classify this as a "just up and quit" type of scenario. I'd imagine that in retrospect, it would've been better to stick it out, get laid off, and get a severance package and unemployment. But I wonder if that could be bad for the morale, too.

As for the extended gap, she could always say that she was helping out with a sick family member, or watching a friend/relative's kids, etc, so that it doesn't look like she just quit and decided to slack off.
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Re: Regret of quiting
Old 01-11-2007, 09:58 AM   #8
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Re: Regret of quiting

Spanky, your friend was very smart. Regret would be illogical. He advanced his career, smooth transition with no downtime, and by your explanation of the severance his former peers may receive, he beat them with 25% (raise) versus 5% (bonus). Wise move by your buddy.

And you're right about that gotcha ...
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Re: Regret of quiting
Old 01-11-2007, 10:16 AM   #9
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Re: Regret of quiting

The Megacorp where I toiled for almost three decades had already downsized by about 50% when I finally decided to retire. My assignment and working conditions were OK, but I was just "ready" for new horizons. I had talked to my management regarding being laid off instead of retiring (retirement benefits are the same) but they held little hope of getting me on a layoff list. I went ahead and pegged a day in May, 2006 in my mind but did not share it with anyone. In early May, just before I was going to make my retirement announcement giving two weeks notice, I was called in and told I was being RIF'd at the end of June! I can't tell you how hard it was to hide my joy as they apologized and offered a one year salary and one year benefits severance package plus eligibility for unemployment......... but I managed to look sad and grim throughout the meeting!

I added the net amount of the lump sum one year severance to my RE portfolio. The $350/wk unemployment compensation (ending this week btw) proved to be a handy supplement as I bridged to living off portfolio earnings.

While I was fortunate that things worked out so well at the end, it didn't for everyone. I understand the issues with voluntary severance plans but it does seem like downsizing corps could lean more towards voluntary selection and senior people wouldn't have to count on getting lucky as I did.



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Re: Regret of quiting
Old 01-11-2007, 12:49 PM   #10
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Re: Regret of quiting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
I am sorry yo hear that. I guess one should not quit until there is another job offer.
Do not feel sorry for my sister.

That was just one incident of many that lead to her current status. Every single mis-step she took was easily recognized by her family as a terrible mistake. But she will not listen to anyone. On top of her poor choices, she takes the victim mentality. She just refuses to accept that it was her own descisions that lead her to this predicament.

Its one thing when something unfortunate happens to someone through no fault of their own. Its entirely different when they make repeated poor choices even in the face of better advice. She continues to make poor choices, but the difference now is that no one bothers to give her advice any more because such advice has always been scorned.
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Re: Regret of quiting
Old 01-11-2007, 02:12 PM   #11
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Re: Regret of quiting

Quote:
Originally Posted by slepyhed
Its one thing when something unfortunate happens to someone through no fault of their own. Its entirely different when they make repeated poor choices even in the face of better advice. She continues to make poor choices, but the difference now is that no one bothers to give her advice any more because such advice has always been scorned.
Not that you're bitter about it or anything
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Re: Regret of quiting
Old 01-11-2007, 05:17 PM   #12
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Re: Regret of quiting

Quote:
She continues to make poor choices, but the difference now is that no one bothers to give her advice any more because such advice has always been scorned.
That's too bad. It's hard to give advice when it is not welcomed.
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Re: Regret of quiting
Old 01-11-2007, 07:55 PM   #13
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Re: Regret of quiting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
He thinks that he could have received the attractive severance package had he stayed a little longer.
I think he needs to look at this differently. By leaving when he did, he beat the masses in the job search. When a large number of people with similar skill sets leave a company, the job market tends to become saturated.

I took a relocation package from Digital Equipment Corp. When the company began laying off workers over the next 1 - 2 years, the Mass./New Hampshire job market was flooded with highly skilled software engineers. I was really glad I was 3k miles away from headquarters when I started looking for my next job.

-helen
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Re: Regret of quiting
Old 01-12-2007, 07:55 PM   #14
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Re: Regret of quiting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helen
I think he needs to look at this differently. By leaving when he did, he beat the masses in the job search. When a large number of people with similar skill sets leave a company, the job market tends to become saturated.

I took a relocation package from Digital Equipment Corp. When the company began laying off workers over the next 1 - 2 years, the Mass./New Hampshire job market was flooded with highly skilled software engineers. I was really glad I was 3k miles away from headquarters when I started looking for my next job.

-helen
Helen,

You are right about the local job market may get flooded as more people become free. They may have to relocate. My friend was hoping the news had come before he had to accept the job offer from another employer so that he could volunteered for the layoff instead of resigning.

Spanky
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Re: Regret of quiting
Old 01-13-2007, 03:13 PM   #15
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Re: Regret of quiting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
Helen,

My friend was hoping the news had come before he had to accept the job offer from another employer so that he could volunteered for the layoff instead of resigning.

Spanky
I lucked out. DEC paid for my relocation then I volunteered for the layoff 1.5 years later. I had two companies interested in hiring me so I took the risk. It worked out well, but there were about six stressful weeks of waiting for the offer to come through.
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Re: Regret of quiting
Old 01-14-2007, 01:28 AM   #16
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Re: Regret of quiting

Not all companies offer severance packages. Some just close and pink slip you with no warning. So by leaving earlier you may not have to worry about being unexpectedly having to look for a job while earning no income.
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Re: Regret of quiting
Old 01-14-2007, 07:44 AM   #17
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Re: Regret of quiting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
Yes, he did have an offer before quitting and has started his new job with a nice 25% raise. I guess he can't really complain.
He should consider himself VERY lucky then! He got a job before a bunch of rivals hit the streets! And a 25% raise is huge - way beats a severance package!

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Re: Regret of quiting
Old 01-14-2007, 09:32 AM   #18
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Re: Regret of quiting

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He should consider himself VERY lucky then! He got a job before a bunch of rivals hit the streets! And a 25% raise is huge - way beats a severance package!
Well......... I see his real problem as having found another job and continuing to w*rk! Ugh! :P Accepting a nice severance package as a capstone to years of prepping for FIRE and beginning a new, non-w*orking life is the winner. Finding another job, a distant second.
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Re: Regret of quiting
Old 01-22-2007, 10:43 PM   #19
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Re: Regret of quiting

Could be worse, my friend's company had layoffs and they kept him on. Of course, the work that the people who were let go didn't go away and he had to do the work of three people, working late and on the weekends.

Your friend did well. And if he was good enough to get a 25% raise, they might have not laid him off.
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Re: Regret of quiting
Old 01-23-2007, 11:38 PM   #20
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Re: Regret of quiting

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Originally Posted by youbet
Well......... I see his real problem as having found another job and continuing to w*rk! Ugh! :P Accepting a nice severance package as a capstone to years of prepping for FIRE and beginning a new, non-w*orking life is the winner. Finding another job, a distant second.
There is another guy who is very close to retirement. He would be able to collect a severance pay of 2 years of salary plus 5% bonus and possibly another year of unemployment pay. I guess it is a good thing for those who are near retirement.
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