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Switching J*bs, seeking general advice and comments
Old 07-19-2011, 09:13 AM   #1
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Switching J*bs, seeking general advice and comments

well, the thing I thought I would never do (even as early as 3 months ago), is coming true, I plan to leave my current employer. I've made it quite clear on E-R.org that my business is in the devil's blood, and I currently work for one of the top 5 S&P 500 companies.

My little wagon was rolling along quite nicely until a couple months ago, when all the sudden the wheels started to come off. While I won't detail all the issues unless someone is really curious, my reasoning for jumping ship boils down to:

1) I dislike my managers (not my supervisor, just the people who pull my supervisor's strings)
2) I feel they are holding me up in my career.
3) the thought of living in Houston for another summer sounds about as much fun as me going a round with Randy Couture.

So...I put my resume out on the market and got quite a few hits, but landed a job in the Rocky Mt region. The offer is with a private company, for roughly $20k more per year. The benefits at the new company are not nearly as strong--as I am walking away from a pension (vested, plan to take lump sum and rollover into IRA). So...the benefits of the new (and accepted) offer are:

1) get to live in the Rockies, near the in-laws. FIL is paralyzed, and they were never able to come visit us. We also have an impending baby (going to try and spot some genetalia via an ultrasound today to decipher gender, tres excited about that). also, ALL of my vacation last year was used to go back to this region, either to visit family and spend time outdoors (or both).
2) I will be one of two engineers in the company.

So, what I am seeking from the old and young farts of E-R.org is:

1) How do you break the news to your current boss? I plan to just walk over and tell him. Do you need to type up a letter? Or only do that if they ask?
2) What do you say? I plan to keep it simple..."I've been offered another opportunity and [this date] will be my last day at [this bohemeth of a company]" Anything else? My experience with my managers is they ask you for your opinion/feelings and then they argue with you why you are wrong, so I will try to avoid letting the conversation get complex.
3) How does health insurance work? DW is pregnant and has her 20 week checkups this week and I want to make sure she covered under our current insurance for the appts this week (mainly b/c we don't have to pay for any of it under our current insurance). E.g. If DW's big appt (bloodwork, seeing Dr, etc) is Thursday, and they choose to march me out on Thursday, is she still covered? Obviously, b/c of this fear, I plan to give notice Thursday. May be a tad under 2 weeks, but they will manage. I am eligible for Health insurance day one at the new place, so there will be about 4 or 5 days we wouldn't be covered (and could always retroactively get COBRA if need be).
4) anything else I should look at? The relo package is fair (closing costs, packers, movers, tax equalization etc are all covered), not great compared to my current employer. 401k at new place is ok, it's not the 4:1 (up to 8%) match I currently get...Benefits at new place are generally weaker.

Thanks!!
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:23 AM   #2
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Congratulations! I think it's a good move for the personal reasons you cite, with a baby on the way and the inlaws near your new location.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronocnikral View Post
1) How do you break the news to your current boss? I plan to just walk over and tell him. Do you need to type up a letter? Or only do that if they ask?
Why not walk over and tell him, and follow up with an email to document the conversation. Then copy the email to anyone you think should know, such as his boss, HR, or whoever.

Quote:
2) What do you say? I plan to keep it simple..."I've been offered another opportunity and [this date] will be my last day at [this bohemeth of a company]" Anything else? My experience with my managers is they ask you for your opinion/feelings and then they argue with you why you are wrong, so I will try to avoid letting the conversation get complex.
Sounds like a good idea to keep it simple. Maybe say some nice things about your supervisor and the company in general, and emphasize that the salary increase and new location are your reasons for leaving.

Quote:
3) How does health insurance work? DW is pregnant and has her 20 week checkups this week and I want to make sure she covered under our current insurance for the appts this week (mainly b/c we don't have to pay for any of it under our current insurance). E.g. If DW's big appt (bloodwork, seeing Dr, etc) is Thursday, and they choose to march me out on Thursday, is she still covered? Obviously, b/c of this fear, I plan to give notice Thursday. May be a tad under 2 weeks, but they will manage. I am eligible for Health insurance day one at the new place, so there will be about 4 or 5 days we wouldn't be covered (and could always retroactively get COBRA if need be).
No idea but you need to know about this before leaving your present company. For all I know, the pregnancy would be a preexisting condition but to be honest I am clueless about this.

Quote:
4) anything else I should look at? The relo package is fair (closing costs, packers, movers, tax equalization etc are all covered), not great compared to my current employer. 401k at new place is ok, it's not the 4:1 (up to 8%) match I currently get...Benefits at new place are generally weaker.

Thanks!!
Stability of the new company comes to mind as a concern, but I'm sure you have already looked into that before accepting the job.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:40 AM   #3
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Congrats on all your news, ron. I think a letter is a nice touch, especially if you mention your appreciation for your boss's attention and support over the years.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:08 AM   #4
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it is interesting how most reasons for moving are qualitative...I would have expected the opposite.

yes, yes, stability is a concern. but, the company I am going to has been around for 95 years or so. I am certain most people have bought gasoline from one of their stations at some point in their life.

I did chat with the HR lady at the new place about DW's "pre-existing" condition. She indicated to me that it would be covered under their health insurance. Further research brought up going from group to group shouldn't be a big deal unless there is significant gaps in coverage (e.g. 60 days or more?). Just wanted to know if anyone has any experience with this?

I should also point out, that using the word "Dislike" for management is a nice way of putting it (and their feelings toward me are probably mutual). I feel they violated my privacy by taking a picture of my lunch on my desk (with pictures of me & DW in the background so everyone knew who it was) and slapping it in a powerpoint to send out to the entire department telling people that it is "un-safe" to not keep their lunches in the fridge. Safety aside (which I question, but didn't debate with them), I asked the managers in writing (and politely after sleeping on it) to remove the picture because it embarrassed me and it exposed aspects of my life that I didn't wish my co-workers to know about (e.g. what I eat, when I eat, how I store my food etc). My manager wrote it off as anything on company property is their's and they can do whatever they want with it (not true), taking pictures included. My office has been eerily empty of late, as I've taken all my books and personal effects home (and had the admin buy me a nice new HP calculator).

They have now twisted it as, I am not "Committed to safety" (feedback from my mid-year review) b/c I was embarrassed by their "Safety" presentation. Translation: work your butt off this year, but we're going to screw you come salary action. Oh, and they're the gatekeeper to me getting an internal transfer. In hindsight, I should have picked up the phone and called HR.

All this venting is about...burning a bridge would feel SO good!!! I could still salvage my good relationship with my supervisor (and have past supervisors who are now higher up than the managers that would go to bat for me) and the company is so large, it would hardly have an effect if I ever did want to return. If I go into an exit interview, this will most likely get aired. So, if I am going to stay tight lipped, I most likely will decline an exit interview.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:20 AM   #5
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1. Having to worry about burning bridges is sucky. That said - don't burn them if you can help it. General principles and good sense. You were right to be offended by your photo being used as a poster child for "unsafe lunches" [good grief, it could almost be a Monty Python skit!]. Now, let it go...maybe, from a distance, you can see the humor in it.

2. Where I work, resigning is super-easy. You write a memo to HR, stating that you are leaving and when you are leaving, [notice the conspicuous absence of "why" - of course folks would love to know, but it's considered your business], get your boss to sign it, and send it up through your boss's chain (gathering signatures along the way). I have never heard of anyone trying to convince a resignee to stay, though I'm sure it's happened. If I resigned, and people tried to talk me out of it, I would simply turn into a broken record ("I will be taking my new job on 31 July") until they gave up and signed my paper. HR handles everything else.

3. Best of luck. It sounds like a great change, and I hope it works out for you and family.

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Old 07-19-2011, 10:26 AM   #6
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My guess is that it's impossible to resign/retire gracefully from a top 5 Megacorp without jumping through extensive bureaucratic hoops. A low level HR representative should be able to ease you through the process. If you are on good terms with your immediate or a skip level boss, you may want to discuss with him or her before you put anything into writing.

The Megacorp department I retired from was in a declining industry and there was an unofficial departmental policy that if anyone wanted to leave, the department would find a way to grant the same severance package that was granted during the periodic official downsizings.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronocnikral View Post
well, the thing I thought I would never do (even as early as 3 months ago), is coming true, I plan to leave my current employer. I've made it quite clear on E-R.org that my business is in the devil's blood, and I currently work for one of the top 5 S&P 500 companies.

My little wagon was rolling along quite nicely until a couple months ago, when all the sudden the wheels started to come off. While I won't detail all the issues unless someone is really curious, my reasoning for jumping ship boils down to:

1) I dislike my managers (not my supervisor, just the people who pull my supervisor's strings)
2) I feel they are holding me up in my career.
3) the thought of living in Houston for another summer sounds about as much fun as me going a round with Randy Couture.

So...I put my resume out on the market and got quite a few hits, but landed a job in the Rocky Mt region. The offer is with a private company, for roughly $20k more per year. The benefits at the new company are not nearly as strong--as I am walking away from a pension (vested, plan to take lump sum and rollover into IRA). So...the benefits of the new (and accepted) offer are:

1) get to live in the Rockies, near the in-laws. FIL is paralyzed, and they were never able to come visit us. We also have an impending baby (going to try and spot some genetalia via an ultrasound today to decipher gender, tres excited about that). also, ALL of my vacation last year was used to go back to this region, either to visit family and spend time outdoors (or both).
2) I will be one of two engineers in the company.

So, what I am seeking from the old and young farts of E-R.org is:

1) How do you break the news to your current boss? I plan to just walk over and tell him. Do you need to type up a letter? Or only do that if they ask?
2) What do you say? I plan to keep it simple..."I've been offered another opportunity and [this date] will be my last day at [this bohemeth of a company]" Anything else? My experience with my managers is they ask you for your opinion/feelings and then they argue with you why you are wrong, so I will try to avoid letting the conversation get complex.
3) How does health insurance work? DW is pregnant and has her 20 week checkups this week and I want to make sure she covered under our current insurance for the appts this week (mainly b/c we don't have to pay for any of it under our current insurance). E.g. If DW's big appt (bloodwork, seeing Dr, etc) is Thursday, and they choose to march me out on Thursday, is she still covered? Obviously, b/c of this fear, I plan to give notice Thursday. May be a tad under 2 weeks, but they will manage. I am eligible for Health insurance day one at the new place, so there will be about 4 or 5 days we wouldn't be covered (and could always retroactively get COBRA if need be).
4) anything else I should look at? The relo package is fair (closing costs, packers, movers, tax equalization etc are all covered), not great compared to my current employer. 401k at new place is ok, it's not the 4:1 (up to 8%) match I currently get...Benefits at new place are generally weaker.

Thanks!!
Item 2. Put it on writing. I initially told my manager about my retirement but he needed it on writing for (a) start the requisition for replacement and (b) in case I change my mind and deny that I resigned.

Item 3.
You may want to check with your current HR, but from my experience, your medical benefits are covered for the rest of the month after you last day of employment.
This is the reason that DW selected 4/1/11 as her last day. By doing this, we have medical benefits till 4/30.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:28 AM   #8
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Maybe from Mega-Corps that is true. I only work for Mega-Government, and they make it remarkably simple

A.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeBrake View Post
My guess is that it's impossible to resign/retire gracefully from a top 5 Megacorp without jumping through extensive bureaucratic hoops.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingB View Post
Item 2. Put it on writing. I initially told my manager about my retirement but he needed it on writing for (a) start the requisition for replacement and (b) in case I change my mind and deny that I resigned.

Item 3.
You may want to check with your current HR, but from my experience, your medical benefits are covered for the rest of the month after you last day of employment.
This is the reason that DW selected 4/1/11 as her last day. By doing this, we have medical benefits till 4/30.
I'll wait until my supervisor has word before digging into the HR policies.
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:09 PM   #10
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took a look in our over 300 page SPD, and found this little nugget:

Quote:

Your regular health plan coverage will end on the last day of the month in which a qualifying event occurs.
My "qualifying event" is the employment ending for any reason other than termination for gross misconduct. I plan my last day to be the 3rd of August, so we will be covered all month. In addition, I found that HIPAA allows 63 or 62 days of coverage to lapse before you can be excluded from "pre-existing" conditions. Hat tip to KingB.
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:51 PM   #11
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HAL?

I would suggest you write a letter stating that you are voluntarily terminating your employment at end of day August 3, 2011. I don't think you need to say anything else.

Keep it strictly business. Part pleasantly with those to whom you wish to be pleasant, and to the others say as little as possible, and nothing negative to or about anyone.

You may not be given the option to opt out of an exit interview, as you will still be an employee until you aren't one. Do as little talking as possible, nod, say "I see", and "I understand". Sounds like it is really time to move on.

The thing about the photo of your desk -- what they did was inappropriate. A megacorp should have policies that are written and made clear. If there is no policy about how you keep your desk or your lunch, what they did was way out of line. If you violated a policy that should have been dealt with one on one.

Congrats on the new position and the upcoming new addition. Best wishes.
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:00 PM   #12
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I don't know who worked for a mega before, but it is very super easy to resign.... heck, we had people walk out at lunch and not return... calling in their resignation....

If you work for a company that has more than 100,000 employees there are enough people coming and going every day that you are just another number in the scheme of things...

For me, I would type up a few sentence resignation letter stating you are resigning and your last day would be Aug 3rd if they accept that day. If they do not, then you might be marched out the door within an hour. Either way, the 3rd is a hard day for you....

If there is something that is major wrong I would tell someone. I have never believed in being quiet with a bad manager. I have usually tried to make it easier for the people I left behind... but in some cases the management liked that the supervisors etc. were jerks... they got more out of the people who stayed....

I do think you got your insurance covered... but as you know you can always fall back on COBRA....
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:13 PM   #13
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Congrats!

Walk over and tell your boss, and ask what they need for HR purposes, may be an email or a printout.

If they want to have a conversation, talk about whatever you feel comfortable with. I've given honest feedback when I've left places and never felt it hurt me, but other folks are more cautious, so it probably depends on the environment of where you work.

Weaker benefits is always annoying, but the changes you outlined all seem totally worth it, especially with the salary bump.
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:27 PM   #14
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Before you give notice gather the addresses and phone numbers of persons you respect (you never know when that information will come in handy), remove any personal belongings from the premises. THEN give notice. I agree with others, tell your supervisor verbally as you present him/her with written notice of your departure. As I read between the lines your supervisor is OK, do let him or her know that you appreciate their work (maybe express some sympathy for their situation). Say nothing more.

It is possible that the company will walk you out the door at that point (which is why the first sentence) for security reasons with the request that you make an appointment with HR for closing paperwork. Also your departure may cause some consternation that they don't want others to discuss. It's not you, it's them. If they do that most large corporations pay you through your notice date (fantastic!).

Congratulations for not just taking the **** shoveled your way (there is no need to shovel it back, actions speak louder than words). Great work!
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:53 PM   #15
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On the exit, I would not go into all of the negative dislikes about your company, managers, or coworkers.... Don't burn the bridge. Plus you might need a reference sometime in the future.

What I would do is leave on a positive note with a positive reason.... for example: We want to locate closer to family for (pick the reasons).... closer to family sounds like a good one.

On the economic side, if the company is smaller with less history, you should factor in the possibility of job loss (relative to your current larger... and probably more stable company). To put it in Moshe Milevsky terms.... you will go from being a bond to a stock? You might want to read his book "Are you a Stock or a Bond?".

You did not mention your age... but assuming you intend to increase your savings due to the loss in pension (save the extra $20k/yr), you might be able to cover the pension loss... but... again, that assumes that you do not experience a job loss.


One final consideration. Are there plenty of jobs in the new town? For instance, if you lose the new job in the next 5 years (for whatever reason... e.g., company M&A) can you replace it in the same location (i.e., not have to relo again)?
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:45 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ronocnikral View Post
my reasoning for jumping ship boils down to:

...3) the thought of living in Houston for another summer sounds about as much fun as me going a round with Randy Couture.
What's not to like?

..............Hi...Lo
7/1/2011 95° 77°
7/2/2011 98° 77°
7/3/2011 98° 77°
7/4/2011 97° 76°
7/5/2011 98° 76°
7/6/2011 96° 77°
7/7/2011 96° 76°
7/8/2011 97° 77°
7/9/2011 98° 77°
7/10/2011 97° 77°
7/11/2011 96° 78°
7/12/2011 99° 79°
7/13/2011 97° 77°
7/14/2011 97° 78°
7/15/2011 90° 80°
7/16/2011 90° 78°
7/17/2011 97° 76°
7/18/2011 93° 78°

Seriously, Rono - best of luck to you with the move.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:59 PM   #17
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3) the thought of living in Houston Chicago for another summer winter sounds about as much fun as me going a round with Randy CouturePacquiao.
I hope that you don't have these same thoughts that Chicagoans have during winter.

Congratulations and good luck on your decision.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:57 PM   #18
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Before you give notice gather the addresses and phone numbers of persons you respect (you never know when that information will come in handy), remove any personal belongings from the premises. THEN give notice.

<snip>

It is possible that the company will walk you out the door at that point (which is why the first sentence) for security reasons with the request that you make an appointment with HR for closing paperwork. Also your departure may cause some consternation that they don't want others to discuss. It's not you, it's them. If they do that most large corporations pay you through your notice date (fantastic!).
+1 on this. Being in network security in a Fortune 20 company I went through this numerous times, cutting off access and changing passwords. If they didn't do this, I'd be worried about them. They will pay you through your end date, I think that's the law. They may ask you to stay and train someone, but if they don't have you supervised in the process tell me who they are so I can sell their stock.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:00 PM   #19
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first off, thanks so much for all the replies and positive support.

second, we are having a little girl if anyone cares. super excited about that, by the way.

third, I have a few things still bouncing around my office that I need to collect. mainly my PE stamp. a spoon that my wife would throw a hissy fit if I lost, maybe a water bottle or two. oh, and how could i forget about my dilbert calendar....history has shown they won't walk me to the door (unfortunately), but I could be pleasantly surprised. I told my wife, best case scenario, I'll be home by noon tomorrow. I will be the second guy in our department over the last two months who has quit.

last, I plan to write a very short memo saying my last day is Aug 3rd, i'm leaving voluntarily and i appreciate the time. I'll sign it and take it in with me when i go to talk to my supervisor.

thanks again for the support!!
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:52 PM   #20
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Little girls light up their father's eyes. Congratulations!!

As Harley observed your soon former employer will have security needs that have nothing to do with you but how they handle your departure will be a measure of the strength of their processes. Observe and consider that in light of your next situation.
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