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After listening to the podcasts on how to resign, I'm left with a specific question. I work for a small company (about 200 people). Last March, I turned my profile back on at Monster and the HR rep here saw it. (Since I found the company originally from a Monster posting, maybe I kind of expected them to find it.) We talked, and I agreed that I would let her know before accepting any offer.

Now it's seven months later, and I believe I'm about to get an offer that I'm going to want to take. I remember my promise to HR, and I also remember your advice to tell my boss first. So I'm trying to reconcile the two items. Does it make sense to tell HR one day that I have an offer I'm considering and, then, if I accept, tell my boss? Or should I return to HR if I accept and tell my boss second -- that doesn't seem right. Or should I conveniently forget my promise to HR - that seems simplest but leaves me with a bad feeling.

Mark's picture

I recommend you do both, and your boss first. Your promise to HR didn't specifically preclude you talking to your boss, and your boss is far more important to your career and your work than HR.

Further: why haven't you talked to your boss already? If you're talking to another firm, even if they haven't given you an offer, you owe it to your boss to let him or her know. You never know if you may want to come back... and this will give him more time to consider his options.

Hope it works out well!

Mark

regas14's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]
Further: why haven't you talked to your boss already? If you're talking to another firm, even if they haven't given you an offer, you owe it to your boss to let him or her know. You never know if you may want to come back... and this will give him more time to consider his options.
Mark[/quote]

This comment suprised me a bit. I recall from the advice in the cast that you should never resign until all the details of the new position are signed, sealed and delivered. I was expecting advice along the same lines. Wouldn't you be concerned that someone could become angry and respond negatively to the news that you are actively seeking a new position?

noahcampbell's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]
Further: why haven't you talked to your boss already? If you're talking to another firm, even if they haven't given you an offer, you owe it to your boss to let him or her know.[/quote]

Mark, this goes against what you said in your resigning podcast. Please let us in on your thought process.

chuckbo's picture

Re-read the advice, and I don't think it goes against what I've seen other places or what Mark is saying.

It's Not that you let the boss know that you're about to resign, which isn't the case for me, but that you're looking -- or that you're getting calls. The good thing about letting your boss know that people are interested in you -- it gives him a chance to reassess whether the company has valued you and is treating you appropriately, before they're in a position of facing someone who's about to leave and deciding whether to make a counteroffer (which, if the person takes it, is awkward and often doesn't work out).

Mark's picture

All-

Chuck rocks! He's got it right.

That said, I can understand why what I said was confusing.

You DO tell your boss that you have been CONTACTED. That gives him or her all the heads up needed.

You don't tell ANYONE about what follows, until you resign.

Now, is it possible that your present company could engage you in dialog? Yes... but you can remain vague about what's happening on the outside, as what YOUR company is doing and the other company is doing are completely unrelated.

If you think you can start a bidding war, you're crazy - don't try THAT.

Mark

regas14's picture

My confusion came from two thoughts/feelings. First of all it was regarding a situation where your boss is a vindictive, reactive person - the kind of person who would say, "If you don't want to be here, we don't want you here. You're fired." Clearly that's an extreme situation although it is something I've felt in the past.

The second source of concern is from the perspective of not wanting to disappoint a manager you respect and care about by telling him/her that you are not entirely fulfilled and looking for a new position. As I write this I recognize the fundamental error in that thinking: if you respect and care about this person, why would you make their life harder by providing them with less of an opportunity to prepare for your departure.

Thanks for the clarification Mark!