Submitted by ManageOnPurpose on
I need M-T advice on this.
BLUF: what is the most prudent timeline to leave my job for ethical reasons?
Background: I began a new exec-level job at a small company 3 months ago. I went in with clear eyes that the company was in a dire financial position. My he purpose of my role was to drive improvements in our biggest revenue generating department to enable a financial turn-around.
I took the role precisely because of the opportunity to enact real improvements. I knew it would be rocky but never guessed it was this bad.
Since day 1 there have been signs of things that hugged the boundary of gray. I've been able to keep my role and team (about 1/3 of all FTEs report to me) very clean and above board. Whole there have been things I sniffed at as "not the way I would do business" nothing has been obviously crossing lines.
This week I was put in the position to cross a line and now I feel forced to make a decision.
The ethical dilemma: our company has a contract signed by my boss, CEO, for services to be provided by company B (contract employee). I've known for awhile we were in sever delinquency of our debt to them. But to my knowledge we were making reasonable efforts to repay on a plan while they continued to extended services in good faith.
I learned two weeks ago our repayment efforts had stopped but we were still using their services.
This week company B contacted me about the matter. I referred them to CEO/VP Finance as I have no part in paying bills.
This week I was asked to offer the contractor a full-time position knowing the person would likely accept as they enjoy their work with us.
I carried out the offer - but required it to come officially from CEO as it seemed shady to me. Today I actually read the contract (my mistake should have done it before) and discovered that this is a direct violation of the terms given the debt. I am certain the company has no plans to repay any time soon since 1 we don't have the funds and 2 company B no longer has the leverage of pulling their employee.
I can't help but feel that knowingly breaching a contract in bad faith is a violation I just cannot stomach.
So I know I need to resign. The question is when?
Financially I'm not prepared (my mistake obviously but it is what it is). I have enough funds for 2 months of expenses and after that my spouses salary alone will not cover everything.
So do I:
1. Resign effective immediately
2. Give 2 weeks notice
3. Stay until year end when I'll been slightly more liquid
4. Something else?
Any advice is welcome. I've never been in any situation remotely close to this.
Start your search
My suggestion is that you start your search for a new position and leave when you find something acceptable.
I say this because the unethical nature of this activity means that you have lost all respect in the integity of the organisation (or at least those running it). Therefore you wish to leave and work some where that you can be proud of.
That said, the ethical breach is not something that you can affect from your current situation, nor is it something you either could or would fall on your sword to prevent. Therefore you aren't in a must leave now situation.
Take the time you need to exit as gracefully as possible.
Of course, that's just my suggestion and I haven not been personally embroiled in the situation. If I had, I may feel stronger about it.
Hope that helps