Hi All,
I have already left my previous job for over two months now. However, even though I have done everything by the book, I continue to hear rumors/comments from ex-coworkers behind my back (I still have connections) and I even sense some hostility from a recent revisit.

Here was the situation. I planned a 2-weeks vacation at least three months ahead and got clearance on it. Two weeks before my vacation a great opportunity at another company opened up through recommendation. It was an opportunity of a lifetime that I simply can't pass.

So prior to my vacation, I gave notice to my boss and even asked the new company to give me a entire month so I can give my (old) boss enough time to find a replacement. On top of that, I agreed to return for few hours for 3 nights to train my replacement...for free.

All say and done, I returned from a great vacation, clean up my desktop, thank anyone that help me along the way and maintain my offer to help make the transition as smooth as possible. However, since I know my ex-coworkers too well with their ability to spread rumors and gossip, I decided not to disclose where I'm going to most people except two very trusted co-workers.

I felt I have handle this correctly, but why can't people stop talking behind my back and hostility from another closer co-worker (although I don't trust her and she is proving me right) really bugs me.

A simple "Thank You and I wish you well" would be nice, instead of "Hey, that's company material and you can't read that" (she pulled a in-house newsletter out of my hands) really irritated me. I know she was jealous that I got out, but if I'm trying to handle this professionally the best I can, why can't her and others? Am I wrong for not disclosing the info or are these people just too nosy for their own good and I should forget them?

Please advice and help ease my mind.

jhack's picture

I highly recommend listening to the podcasts (see the archives) on "How to Resign" from July 31 and Aug 7, 2006.

Not only do Mark and Mike provide a great framework for how you go about this, but there may be clues there to why your ex-co-workers are not happy about the way it went down.

And your company's response is neither unusual nor unexpected. You should be prepared, from the moment you resign, to have no access to anything. Nothing. That is common.

What, aside from offering to help or spend a few hours training, did you do to ease the transition? Did you document key processes? Did you provide detailed info on active projects? Did you do performance reviews for your direct reports (so the new manager would have a starting point)?

At the risk of sounding repetitive, I do very highly recommend listening to the two podcasts and comparing the guidance there to what you did. Perhaps you may discover "why can't people stop talking behind my back..."

techboy's picture

I listened to the same podcast a few times already... perhaps I should have mention it before that this wasn't a managerial job that I gave up, my new job is.

That said, I'm in publishing business and most of what we do are hands on and with the company being family own, we also don't have official annual reviews. Hence, no one is tracking what or how or why things are done except they just are and need to be. Which was my reason to agree on returning to train/coach my successor. People come and people leave, and yet when it's my turn, it seems like the world has to stop and make a big deal about it... the gossips, rumors and the unjustified attitude from a close co-worker that was disturbing to say the least.

Is it me who handle the situation wrong or is it them who can't accept me leaving? What else could I have done?

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

It sounds like you did fine. We did say in the podcast that you should be prepared to leave the moment you give notice. That was a nod to the potential for less-than-gracious responses to one's notice.

We only address YOUR behavior. Other's responses are their own, and these don't seem terribly egregious. Disappointing, yes, but then, man was born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.


techboy's picture

[quote]We only address YOUR behavior. Other's responses are their own, and these don't seem terribly egregious. Disappointing, yes, but then, man was born to trouble as the sparks fly upward. [/quote]

Hi Mark,
I agree, you are right on target. Their reactions/responses is not outside the range of human nature. I have done my part and tried my best not to burn any bridges. I just need to move on and it's about time as well.

Thank you.

TomW's picture
Training Badge

It sounds to me like you did fine. How other people feel (and act) is their own responsibility. As hard as it might be, they might have some animosity to you just because you left and the only thing you could have done was to stay.

I think that seeing former co-workers can be like running into an old flame, with some feelings of awkwardness and not knowing how to act.