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I have accepted an offer from another nonprofit organzation to become their CEO. I am going through the work as stated in the Resignation podcast (fantastic by the way).  

My question is: is it ethical for me to wait to receive my bonus before submitting my resignation?  My (nonprofit) board has completed my review and I'm waiting on my chair to give me the information regarding me goals, feedback and comp based on the 2014 successes.  Based on our successes, I believe I will be at the high end of the bonus spectrum with about 7%-10%, so it is not a small amount of money.  

The advice I have recieved overall has been to wait it out since this is a bonus based on the last year's performance which was very strong. I have been with this organization for seven years so I am struggling on the relationship side of this equation.

I plan on giving 4-6 weeks notice and the new organization, while would like me to start as soon as possible, is okay with this.

Thanks in advance for the advice.

duplicate_account_MarkAus's picture

While I understand that a lot of the purpose of a bonus is to encourage work yet to come, the dollar figure is calculated based on work completed. So I don't see any problem with waiting to collect your bonus provided:

1) You are still employed by Company A (bonus company) and delivering results at the time you collect the bonus.
2) You are not misleading or dragging your feet with Company B. If they are happy for you to start 4-6 weeks after you collect your bonus, then there's no conflict there.
3) You are abiding by the agreements you have with Company A around bonus payments and time frames.

Sure, there'll be some chatter around your choice to resign after collecting a bonus but I don't think most people would see it as a career limiting move. It would be a pretty small minded person who would hold that choice against you if you are seen to have earned it and followed the company's policies.'s picture
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I did not take the opporutnity but wanted to thank you for your response. It was very helpful!