As I posted on another thread ("Multiple Offers"), I have accepted another job (1200 miles away) and will be leaving my company of 7 years that I have discussed here. Last week, after listening to the casts on How to Resign, Counteroffer, How to Accept an Offer, and How Not To Accept an Offer, I resigned. I have not shared where I am going. I've had a lot of questions of (1) where I am going, (2) if I have a job for the person who is asking. and (3) why I am leaving though most people said they knew I was unhappy. I wanted to post because I hope I am handling it OK. I have no desire to work with anyone I currently work with in the future. In addition to resigning, I am working on finishing up patents/publications at work, planning temporary living, staging our house for sale, interacting with moving companies, setting up lunches, and calming my wife. 

We got a new division executive who has promised sweeping change, company isn't doing well, so there is lots of talk about layoffs in Sept/Oct. My severance plan is generous. I volunteered to be laid off 2 years ago but was denied. Because my current opportunity is so good, I'm leaving no matter what, but it would be nice to get it. I started the discussion with my boss (Wed) telling her I and others feared getting laid off. She told me to focus on other things. I volunteered to be laid off to help others, but she said she has no idea what lay off plans are, as those plans are at much higher levels than us. Then she asked if I was leaving and I said yes. I told her I had multiple opportunities (which I did) that I was excited about, thanked her for her help, told her my last day would be in 2.5 weeks, and then showed her the transition document I had created. She was shocked, told me she was sad. She said that normally they try to offer something to get people to stay but she could tell my heart was elsewhere. She then said I should talk to my boss's boss later, she was meeting with him for her 1:1. She also said she feels cursed because everyone leaves under her. We talked about my project and she recognized that is was over, and there was nothing more to do. She also asked my tips on finding a new job and I told her we can talk after I leave (I really have no interest in helping her get a job watching how she treats other people).
That afternoon my boss told me that my boss's boss had halted one of my publications that was supposed to go out. I had gotten all the corporate approvals and had given the publisher the go-ahead. Normally boss's boss approves it BEFORE you go for corporate approval. She said he blocked it for reasons she didn't understand. She also said he wanted to know where I was going. I should add that while my boss's boss has financially supported my projects over the past few years, he has often yelled at me for reasons that I didn't understand, making me uncomfortable to approach him. While he has given me compliments on some of my accomplishments, I've never got any real recognition for it, so I never felt he had the greatest opinion of me (as I have posted on many threads). Rumor is (based on 12+  people who have left over the last 2 years), that boss's boss doesn't talk to you when you put in your resignation.
My boss's boss, I heard, announced my leaving at his staff meeting the next day. No one approached me that day. Friday, a few people did approach me and either ask where I was going, wish me luck, or asked if I would hire them. I did not see my boss's boss except when he was giving a tour to a new HR person that will be working in our building. My boss was out Friday and Monday.
Over the weekend, I posted on Facebook the geography where we are moving. My Facebook is private so only my friends can see it, none of whom work with me. But some do go to church with coworkers.
On Monday more people approached me. Some people claimed they knew where I was going and started guessing companies despite me not wanting to share. One of them, a boss, told me he always thought highly of me, and other bosses thought highly of me (my boss has told me the other bosses do not think highly of me), and he was sad I was leaving. People asked me what kind of raise I got and I just said it was good. People asked me what kind of relocation package I got and I said it was good. People were sarcastic that if I told them where I work they were going to call my new company, and then laughed that I believed they would actually do it. Some of these people stopped in my office 3 times in one day to tell me these things. Other people were stopping by to tell me other people were asking them where I was going.
One of the new people came by and just wished me luck. When we interviewed her last year, I was not included until my boss at the time got me in for lunch with her. After that lunch, I was only the person she connected with on Linkedin. My boss at the time told me the feedback was that the other bosses (none of whom I respect which is why I'm leaving) who DID get to interview her that  felt I dominated the conversation at that lunch which was my only time to meet her. I asked her, now, if she felt that way. She said no way. She told me that the interaction with me was one of the reasons she took the job. She told me she also noticed a very negative vibe when two others recently resigned (who also left because they felt unappreciated). 
Remaining issues:
- still need to approach boss's boss but not sure what to say when he asks where I am going and gets upset that I won't tell him (wife says I should wait for him to approach me)
- handling all these questions, which tempt me to give reasons, which I know I shouldn't. I need to stick to the story of a better opportunity, loved it here, not discussing anything else, hope that persson is happy for me. 
Any other suggestions?

awalton's picture
Training Badge

My only advice is to let people know that you've made a personal decision that you feel is best for you and your family, which is what I think you've said.

I also don't see a problem with approaching your boss' boss and just letting him know that you're indeed leaving. Thank him for all the wonderful opportunities over the last x years, etc. In my limited experience, these discussions are fact finding missions for management around what employees know or think they know about impending lay offs. It is also possible he has a request about what you do and don't tell your fellow co-workers. Obviously, there's very little he can do to influence that as he can't really fire you at this point, but he could ask you to leave immediately. However, if you've already listened to the casts, then you are aware of that possibility.

Regarding your comment, "She also asked my tips on finding a new job and I told her we can talk after I leave (I really have no interest in helping her get a job watching how she treats other people)." - why not point her to Manager Tools and tell her that it's helped you? Perhaps she'll improve how she treats others when she discovers Manager Tools... I know I did.

Good luck with the move and new position.

maura's picture
Training Badge

Stay as positive as possible - I think you're handling it well.

One question though, and it could be because I've been with my current company for longer than I've known about MT, so the "how to resign" casts aren't foremost in my mind... maybe there's advice in there I'm not aware of...   if you don't want to be asked where you are going, or to divulge other information about your resignation, AND word on the street is that the boss' boss doesn't talk to anyone when they resign, then why do you feel the need to approach him?  Maybe just let that sleeping dog lie.

I do agree that this would be a good time to share with your current boss about MT and all you've learned.  She is looking for advice, and there's now no big downside to suggesting it to her.  Consider it a parting gift to your former team.



stenya's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

I do agree with Maura and your wife - if the boss' boss has an attitude of "You're dead to me" when people resign, you're unlikely to change him. And engaging with him puts you in a position to possibly say more than you want to say, and you may regret that later. Best to just stay frosty and pleasant and professional. You might want to listen to the Exit Interviews cast again, to help reinforce the idea of staying positive and NOT saying anything that could come back to bite you.

And be sure to leave the office on time each night, so you can continue to calm your wife. :-) Congratulations on the new opportunity! 

wjpl24's picture

I can relate to your situation so well because I am in a similar situation. No matter who you talk to, dont' spill any beans. People are now envious of you leaving because most of them want to leave, too.  Keep low key and think about how excited you are about the new opportunity. Yes, they are not going to change no matter what you say at this point. It is not the right environment for you and you are leaving it behind. AWESOME!

Congrats again and I think you are handling it well!

Very excited for you!

jocadl's picture

Hi Art,

I absolutely agree with everything said (including what your wife appears to be saying).

I just wanted to highlight one aspect that occurs to me because you describe so many little things in such great details: You seem to be leaving a quite peculiar workplace culture: All these people coming to you, asking questions, acting quite weird, frankly, like joking about calling your future company, that's not particularly funny... Don't they have work to do? They must be VERY afraid of lay-offs (apparently for good reasons).

So, just re-iterating: Don't burn any bridges, don't let the negativity get to you. Stay friendly, stay professional; stay positive, but frosty.

Let the place behind you. It seems like it's going to be good for you.

Good luck with everything, especially with your wife and the family move across half a continent!

TNoxtort's picture

Thank you everybody for the congratulations and the suggestions on how to handle.

Only Monday were questions, but since then, no one has really asked me of anything. So that is good. I have not seen my boss's boss even walking around the halls, so I will follow your (and my wife's) advice and not approach him. I do NOT believe there is any chance they will ask me to leave immediately because that will trigger my severance plan. 

As Jocadi noticed, people do not have a lot of work to do. So many projects have been terminated. We are all waiting to see what the new executive will do, but we do expect layoffs in Sep / Oct, which I won't be a part of. However, I do believe my department is uniquely dysfunctional in that there is lack of direction and a lot of use of fear and not as much respect for the supervisors and a lot of talking behind people's back amongst supervisors. 

I think the new executive knows this happens because he took over chairing all the senior development committees. He said he wanted to set a tone, and he's talked about restoring respect to the bench scientist. Whether it gets down to this level, who knows.


mike_bruns_99's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

Art, my congratulations also.

I'd like to re-iterate a point that others have made:  Now that you've resigned, there is nothing to be gained (and some to lose) by expressing negativity at this point.  I hope you're not using statements like this with your current co-workers or friends.  

"However, I do believe my department is uniquely dysfunctional in that there is lack of direction and a lot of use of fear and not as much respect for the supervisors and a lot of talking behind people's back amongst supervisors."

No matter how good or how bad your current company is, there is NO value in talking or even THINKING about the negatives.  Bottom line, you're moving to an great opportunity that suits your abilities. That's the only thing that matters.

dmb41carter36's picture

Just curious, why are you adamant about telling people what company/where you are going?

It is certainly a personal choice that is professional.


dmb41carter36's picture



nm04265's picture

 1. HIGH I:  I "know you are I, ''cause I'm one!  (But note the numbering so some C in there!)

2.  I agree with the other posters, you seem to be handling it well...keep it up, although at this point why not tell them where you are off long as it's not a direct competitor, you've got it in writing (hello John Lucht) you are set.

3.  Agree with your (calm) wife, why approach boss's, boss. 

4.  Really like the other posters suggestions to give your current boss the MT website.  We can all be better an MT is pretty damn good.

 Congratulations and good luck!


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