Navigating Big Life Decisions while wearing depression-colored glasses
January 16, 2012 5:50 PM   Subscribe

How do I handle a job offer that I really want but am really intimidated by while going through a period of depression and social anxiety? (Sorry in advance about the avalanche of special snowflakey details)

I've posted about my current job before. After most recent rough patch with my manager I applied for jobs like crazy. At one place I applied to a recruiter got in touch with me, I had various phone screens, an in-house technical interview that I guess I did pretty okay at, and a couple awkward post-interview calls where the recruiter asked me about salary requirements. I first told them accurately how much I was currently making, and when asked for what range would get me to work there, I gave a much-higher-but-probably-too-ambitious salary range that started with what I know friends at the same field, location and experience level are making, but the recruiter wasn't thrilled with it and scheduled another call for me to ask the head of the department questions. I felt very bad about this and assumed I had screwed my chances by naming such a high range, especially for someone with so little experience as myself.

During all of this weirdness and uncertainty and stress and running out to take phone calls in the middle of the work day and also fielding calls from shady search-engine recruiters I was pretty much at the end of my rope by the end of these past couple weeks and had pretty much talked myself out of taking whatever offer this place might make me because
a) it's a very social environment and I'm intimidated,
b) I assumed if they wouldn't offer me any more $ than what I'm getting now, and
c) various worries about pressure and responsibility: This is a title and position type I Really Want and I assume it will be correspondingly Really Difficult; I'm worried i'll be putting in a lot of hours and be under a lot of pressure, basically I'm intimidated by the job and worried I won't be able to hack it.
oh and also part of this is d) they do code reviews which means a meeting where everyone is looking at my code and this makes me really nervous.

When I actually asked various employees about things like work-life balance and hours worked, everyone said the hours are flexible (in terms of going in to the office at 10am or whatever) pressure is generally self-imposed (i.e. everyone *wants* to work hard there- but who really knows, they are trying to get me to work there!) and people generally work an average of 45 hours a week (I generally do 40 now).

There are also a ton of reasons I really wanted to get and consider an offer from them: I would learn SO MUCH and it's definitely the kind of job that would change my career for the better; lots of young people (unlike every other job I've ever had); very modern tech environment that hires lots of people in this same position that I can learn a lot from; unlike anywhere I've worked before; interesting business that is doing very well.

Anyway, I talked on the phone with the recruiter earlier and after a very strange "I don't want to make you an offer unless you're pretty sure you're going to accept it" - "Your company is my first choice but I'm going to weigh all factors in whatever offers I might get" song and dance, the recruiter made me a verbal offer. And it's pretty great, considering I have zero other offers at the moment. The base salary is 20% more than what I'm making now, and with benefits and things it actually comes up to the low end of the range I mentioned. I currently have another call with the recruiter at the end of the day tomorrow during which I should probably give him a decision, but I could get a couple more days if I really needed to.

So of course I should take this job that pays me more and gives me extremely valuable experience in a really cool environment right?
Well... I've been having some extreme issues with depression and anxiety lately, probably worse than I've ever been in the past. I'm trying to make multiple weekly appointments with my therapist when I can, and I actually had one earlier today before I heard this offer. We had talked about how hard it is to make big decisions when you're feeling this lousy (having trouble leaving the house; avoiding social settings; crying a lot, sometimes for no reason; anxiety type attacks; spending free time sitting on the couch playing iPhone Scrabble and ordering take-out) and that I probably shouldn't make any big decisions while I'm feeling like this. She had also said things like "well it doesn't really sound like you want this job that much" because I had listed all of my above concerns and why I was worried. And so here I am less than 5 hours from when I said "yeah I guess I don't [really want this job]" and I suddenly have a big career-changing decision to make and I have to make it fast, and I want to take it! except... i'm nervous.

I'm also really concerned about handling things at my current place if I do decide to leave. As in, I should not leave for various reasons. I will be a huge jerk for leaving since they've been trying unsuccessfully to hire new people to add to the project, and the project is not over til June. So I'd be abandoning ship way too soon and the small group I'm in will probably take it personally. I fear that I'd get a ton of anger/unhappiness directed my way for the entirety of my two weeks notice, and possibly a good amount of "are you serious? how could you do this to us?" So that's kind of a reason for me to decline this offer and stay where I am. I just don't feel comfortable making those kind of waves... Plus my therapist pointed out that I'm scared to go from the frying pan into the fire. I at least have a good sense of what my current situation is like and I know that it won't change.

So I have another therapist appointment tomorrow which is unbelievably lucky because my first thought after getting this offer was OH GOD I NEED TO TALK TO MY THERAPIST ABOUT THIS.
but I have to figure out some kind of decision on this by tomorrow evening. Has anyone navigated a job offer or career type things while also suffering through depression and anxiety and a huge dose of impostor syndrome? I'd be a fool not to take this job but I really don't know if I can actually do it. Plus it turns out that I might be starting a medication during the week that would essentially be my first week at the new job if I gave my two weeks notice this week. Plus plus I would have to break it to my very close knit current workplace and just having to do that alone is almost a dealbreaker. oh jeez. Does anyone have any wisdom or suggestions on how I can make this decision when I'm feeling so low?

TL,DR: I'm going through huge anxiety/depressions right now; I got this job offer that pays more than I'm making now but the environment is very social and different and possibly very fast moving/pressured, and I'm really nervous and intimidated and also feel guilty about potentially ditching my current job and yet I have to make this decision fast. Have you done this/do you have any advice/how do I make this call when I'm feeling so mentally shitty?

thanks for reading and thanks in advance...
posted by sarahj to Work & Money (22 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I will be a huge jerk for leaving since they've been trying unsuccessfully to hire new people to add to the project, and the project is not over til June.

It is not your fault that they can't hire.

I fear that I'd get a ton of anger/unhappiness directed my way for the entirety of my two weeks notice, and possibly a good amount of "are you serious? how could you do this to us?"

The answer "a big bump in pay and a better title" will work on anyone rational.

Does anyone have any wisdom or suggestions on how I can make this decision when I'm feeling so low?

Can you push the start date off a couple of weeks? I say this because it sounds like you really want this job, and the things you're nervous about are very garden-variety, so if you need to get to a better place in order to do a good job, then a couple of weeks of breathing room to focus on you might be enough to get you started, or at least comfortable with some new meds.

Every job starts with the things you are nervous of (not being qualified, doing terribly, not fitting in, your current coworkers hating you, etc.). Most of them go okay. I think it will do your mental state some good to make a positive change in life, so go for it!
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 6:10 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


You should take it. Why are you talking yourself out of taking it? Don't do that. I see that you are going through a tough time but staying at your current job, that you don't seem to like very much, because you're afraid that you will be overwhelmed by your new job is not the right direction to take yourself.


I will be a huge jerk for leaving since they've been trying unsuccessfully to hire new people to add to the project, and the project is not over til June. So I'd be abandoning ship way too soon and the small group I'm in will probably take it personally. I fear that I'd get a ton of anger/unhappiness directed my way for the entirety of my two weeks notice, and possibly a good amount of "are you serious? how could you do this to us?"

VERY UNLIKELY. Seriously, most people will probably be happy for you.

I hear your fear, quitting a job is scary business but you shouldn't stay at your current job because of fear.

You should also feel ok with giving a slightly longer notice if that would make things easier, or taking a little time in-between jobs to work on yourself. Don't feel like you have to quit and start the new job 2 weeks from now.

I am happy to talk you through this offline if you want to memail me.
posted by ch1x0r at 6:13 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


New job sounds awesome. Ask for a start date that's three weeks out. Give your current employer one week's notice. Then take a trip somewhere easy for a week. Then come home and get your house in order and chill for a week. Start new job refreshed.
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:14 PM on January 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


oh whoa am I allowed to give my current employer 1 week's notice? that would be amazing. and scary. i might vomit.
er, what do I say if they try to talk me out of it?

I would probably guilt-trip myself into doing the full two weeks anyway... I have a pretty bad history of pulling a "oh well yes I am leaving but if you need me to do something else on that project you can just email me any time!"

Also I had today off so that couldn't possibly count towards my 1 or two weeks if I send the email tonight or tomorrow... right?

holy shit
posted by sarahj at 6:29 PM on January 16, 2012


Alright, deep breath.

Yeah, you leaving isn't your problem, it's theirs, and they're big boys, they can handle it. They'll be a little frustrated and possibly a lot frustrated, and if you can give them more time and feel like that's fair and don't mind and the other company allows it, see if you can work out four weeks notice.

They'll try to keep you if they're really going to be put in a lurch. If that happens, and it's at all an option for you, you can reply: 25% pay hike. Don't reply with that if you're not willing to take it. But if you're willing, take it. Free raise, less anxiety.

Decide on how you want to approach this though: as a bargaining tactic, with a preference towards staying at old job ("I like it here, but I have another offer I'm about to accept and need you to beat that. Otherwise, we'll need to consider this my two weeks notice.") or the new job ("I'd consider staying, but I have another offer..." etc.)

Simple steps here:

1) Decide which preference you have: new job, or old job with big pay bump.
2) Confirm your job offer in writing from recruiter. Tell them you're going to accept but need the letter in hand before you hand in your two weeks. (new job preferred) OR that you're very close to accepting, but need the offer in written form (old job preferred).
3) Tell boss one of the two approaches from above. How you phrase it reflects your intent. "I have a great new opportunity that I'm accepting, and wanted to give you fair notice" is the much more strong, new-job-preferred lead into the conversation. The above "I like it here" option is the old-job-preferred approach you should take.
4) See how they react. Again, you'll want to know in your own head which path you really want before you get to this phase so that you don't accept the old job raise just from their pressure if you don't really want it.
5) Be prepared that they may: a) ask for you to try to stay four weeks b) ask for you to leave immediately c) ask for you to spend the next two weeks documenting/etc. d) act upset and hurt, but that's okay; this is the natural course of things, and it's not for YOU to be upset about that you're looking out for yourself.

I've had three employees quit to go take better paying jobs in much nicer climates in the last 13 months. It's been rough, but there's no crying over spilled milk, from my perspective. They'd be silly NOT to take these opportunities. I know it, I can't match it, so I deal with it. They'll take that same approach.

I can't help you with the anxiety/depression, but maybe a new job is a good boost to help yourself out of that.

Weigh your options, go in with a plan, and don't burn your bridges by being respectful but forceful. You'll be fine. Either way, you should end up earning a good deal more money from this situation.
posted by disillusioned at 6:49 PM on January 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also, you don't have to give them an answer tomorrow. Take a few days and talk to whoever you need to talk to in order to feel like you've worked through what you need to work through.
posted by judith at 7:06 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is the med an anti-depressant? I think you should go for the job and try a med, as your depression is holding you back from enjoying getting what you want.
posted by Riverine at 7:06 PM on January 16, 2012


Take the job. In this economic climate, they would not have wasted their time on you if they didn't have a reasonably good hunch that you could do the work. So even if you don't trust yourself, trust them. They do this for a living.

Accept that it will be hard and intimidating and scary for a couple of months while you learn the ropes. It just will. It'll get better as you settle in.

Agree with the above advice to try to work in a week or two off between jobs to chill out and prepare yourself.

Try to keep a little perspective: You sound terrified, and it IS terrifying, but I think in a year you're going to be really glad you decided to take this job.
posted by elizeh at 7:14 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, first, I want to say, it sounds like you really make an effort to do well at work, learn new things, and solve your problems- you are going to therapy, asking questions here, looking to change your environment, etc. I think that's all really good and positive. Even if things don't work out 100% the right way, you are working on your shit, and like 80 to 85% of people don't really work on their shit. So I think you are doing good.

Also, I want to maybe suggest, because I do this, that your anxiety might color your evaluation of how hard or difficult something might be. I seriously do this ALL the time. I think you might be doing it with how hard it is to leave your current job. A lot of people don't have job leaving experience, so I'm going to tell you, because I have both quit and been fired: quitting is easy. Quitting is boss. You think about two things:

1. How quickly they would lay you off. (Hint: ten seconds, tops, thirty seconds if you say have a new baby at home or just got diagnosed with cancer).
2. All the stupid shit anyone there has ever put you through- all the stupid meetings, stupid questions, dumb emails, shitty bullshit about getting a day off, everything. Fuck 'em, you're outta there.

But also, two things: The common thread in both this recruiter and your workplace (and the way you left your previous workplaces) seems to be that other people push and push and push you and you give and give and give. It's awesome to be generous, but you gotta look out for you, especially at work, especially when you aren't like a heart surgeon. So here's something to think about. Not only are you YOU, but you're your agent. Imagine that you are negotiating for someone else. So:

-If you don't want to make a decision about the new job tomorrow or Wednesday, DON'T. The new place wants a programmer with your qualifications. The recruiter wants a commission. "I'm not going to make you an offer unless I know you'll accept"? What is this, game theory for dummies? It costs them nothing to make you an offer. They aren't doing YOU a favor; you're doing THEM a favor. Think about it: They want a programmer and don't have one. You want a job AND YOU ALREADY HAVE ONE. Don't roll up all, "I'll need a Mercedes. And a driver. Who looks like Matt Damon. Mmmm, yes, thank you." But think about this: What do YOU want? Two more days to think and meet with your therapist? ASK FOR IT. Ask politely, but ask for it, and you'll probably get it. (I would also ask politely for more money. Get what you want and what you deserve.)

-Your old job will survive. No one will die. I'm serious, think about that: no one will die. What if you got a rare disease tomorrow that rendered you unable to speak except in French? They would hire someone. What if your dad or mom got sick and you had to go two states away to take care of them for six months? They would hire someone. What if a new law passed decreeing that all web developers must be 16 year old boys named Alvin? They would fire you and hire a 16 year old boy named Alvin. Don't worry about it.

I fear that I'd get a ton of anger/unhappiness directed my way for the entirety of my two weeks notice, and possibly a good amount of "are you serious? how could you do this to us?" So that's kind of a reason for me to decline this offer and stay where I am.

Hell, no, baby, that's a reason for you to run. You don't negotiate with terrorists. (But also: I think this is where your anxiety might be coming into play. It probably will not be that big a deal. You're catastrophizing about this a little, I think.)

If you want help putting off the recruiter or giving notice at your old job, if that's what you decide to do, let me know, I'll write you a script.

TL;DR: Keep working with your therapist, try your new medicine, have faith in yourself and all the good work you've done, move on from your old job, but don't stay in one place because you're afraid. Good luck!
posted by Snarl Furillo at 7:36 PM on January 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


Has anyone navigated a job offer or career type things while also suffering through depression and anxiety and a huge dose of impostor syndrome?

I can relate to some of what you have going on here. A lot of is not anything to do with depression, anxiety, or impostor syndrome itself, but just fear of change, fear of the unknown. The last 2 times I got a job offer, I seriously considered not taking it due to this fear that I was better off sticking with what I knew - which in retrospect was really crazy thinking, because the moves have all been positive, as most vertical job moves are. Everyone fears the unknown a little, and suddenly the familiar, comfortable, blah existence you were trying so hard to get out of looks cushy and warm instead of dull and dead-end and miserable. But the truth is - it's dull, dead-end, and miserable enough for you to have worked pretty hard to get out of there. You have your chance; you should take it. Chances are the energy of a new environment, a bigger salary, in fact, a renewed sense of yourself could help give your mood a big bump.

As far as impostor syndrome - I have it. A lot of people have it. But the thing is, unless you power through it, you're never going to advance in your career. Honestly, I suspect that almost every successful person feels, at times, like they are totally making it up as they go along and have no real idea what they're doing. But in fact, we are poor judges of ourselves, because we're always looking at what we want to do next, and we're familiar with our own flaws. To others, though, they are looking at your track record of accomplishment, and any flaws that are glaring to you are not significant to them. They can see you are competent and capable - your work shows it. You yourself prove it.

The way I deal with impostor syndrome is just to acknowledge it exists - I don't feel like I'm really all that good - but move on from there. What we are is what we do. Act the part. Fake it til you make it. All those little sayings arose because they're true. Maybe I'm not the bee's knees, but chances are I have a good enough understanding of my field to do a solid job in my position. YOu can talk to yourself like this too. You're probably not the next Nobelian, but you are also far from a total fraud who is going to be routed out one day. That just doesn't happen to people. You wouldn't have the offer if you didn't have the goods. If you can't believe yourself, believe them, until you can be a little less unfairly critical of yourself.

Usually we build things up, especially new things, to seem much harder and more difficult than they are. I started a job two years ago from which I came home daily thinking "They're going to fire me." At the end of the year I got a glowing review. It was a tough year, but because it was tough, I really focused and worked on improving my skills. I got better because of it and learned because of it, and now feel a lot more like yeah, I deserved the job offer, they saw something in me I may have been unable to see at that time, but now have proof it's there. Why don't you let yourself surprise yourself? Why don't you take a breath and say "huh, I'm worth 20% more than these chumps have been paying me," and go out and do something to celebrate, and take the new job and see if it leads you to a new place?
posted by Miko at 8:47 PM on January 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also, I'm going to put in a word for NOT asking for more time. When I delayed on my last two job offers, I got pushback - hiring managers want to move on if you're not going to accept. And the other, more important thing for you is, that a decision _hanging over your head_ can be much more stress inducing than a decision _made._ Just the "will I or won't I, which is better, this vs. that" ruminating can wipe out your energy. Chances are you have a good gut decision inside you and can go ahead and make it.
posted by Miko at 8:54 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


These things are hard for everyone so don't feel bad that you're having difficulty now. Job-switching can be traumatic even for those of us who aren't depressed. First, pat yourself on the back for being positive and taking action even through your illness. It's fantastic that you're seeing a therapist and looking for new jobs and actively trying to make things better for yourself.

Regarding giving your notice: Your current workplace is not your family. You don't owe them anything; you do a job and they pay you for it. You're even. If you decide to leave, they should take it calmly. If they do react negatively they are the ones acting unprofessionally, not you. When I told my last job I was leaving, I got major grief from the boss. She tried to guilt me into staying. I'm not going to say it was easy or pleasant because I, like you, don't really like rocking the boat and creating situations which are inconvenient for other people. But at the end of the day, no one at work is going to take care of you except yourself. I told her I'd made my decision and that while I was grateful and flattered that she wanted me to stick around, it was time for me to go. She had to accept it in the end - what could she do? It's inconvenient for them to find another employee but it happens all the time. They're grown-up and can handle it.

I'm scared to go from the frying pan into the fire. I at least have a good sense of what my current situation is like and I know that it won't change.

I'm right there with you, I could have written these last two sentences, and it's true that my current job is way more demanding than my last one, but ultimately it's making me into a better-rounded, more experienced individual, and that's the tack you have to take with yourself. If we didn't take the odd leap into the unknown no one would ever get a job at all, or get married, or have kids. Take comfort if you can in the knowledge that everything you're feeling is understandable, and everyone feels these emotions when they are on the brink of a life-change. There is nothing wrong with you for feeling scared.

Worst case scenario: the new job doesn't work out. You can leave it. You're not bound to stick around for life. You'll still have had a new experience, and you will learn from it.
posted by Ziggy500 at 3:20 AM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


thank you so much for the answers everyone... please know that I read and appreciated and took help from every one, and they calmed me down a lot throughout today.
*deep breath* so I accepted my new job today via phone and I await the official written offer, hooray! I asked to push my start date back a week so I should have a little bit of time to relax.

Now I'm stressed about writing a resignation letter - I'm waiting to get the official New Company Paperwork Offer via e-mail before I send it- is this right? Can I send it having received a "Consider this email an official offer" email (but no Super Official Paperwork) and with a verbal acceptance? every day I wait to send this letter is another day I won't have to myself when this situation is over.

Also my current employee handbook said "it is appropriate to give three weeks notice, two weeks in the case of a position that will be a rehire." wat. My boyfriend thinks I should give three weeks notice per the handbook and not send the resignation letter via email - because it's too impersonal. is this true? should I schedule a meeting or print out my letter? I'm also worried that if I send the letter tomorrow (Wednesday), then my last day will be on a wednesday also, and that's in the middle of the week so they will know I'm obviously not starting a new job right away so I should stay of course for a couple more days... any thoughts on this? currently trying to read through old threads to get some assistance.

anyway, just this one super painful email and then two(?) more weeks and then awaaay I go! thank you for convincing me I can do it mefi :)
posted by sarahj at 7:56 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Congrats! I've just navigated a willful job transition situation and with much research and advice from friends and colleagues here's what you should do:

-Do *not* resign or give any indication of of leaving until you have a signed written contract of employment from your new position. You never know what can happen (I was advised this by the company I was going to). From HR, legal, to internal changes, there's any number of random things that could happen. Once they've made the decision companies (esp. recruiters) are quick to put together paperwork for you.

-You really need to give your resignation notice in-person to your direct supervisor at work first, and give them your resignation letter only after that meeting. Just emailing would be considered highly unprofessional IMO. If you feel this maybe stressful, prepare some neutral answers to: "Why are you leaving?" and "Is there anything I can do to make you stay?" and a detailed response on when exactly is your last day and any plans you have to ensure a smooth transition.

The "in between" time can be stressful and unsettling but as mentioned earlier, your job is to look out for yourself, and both these companies' jobs are to look out for themselves. Take what time you need, and congratulations.
posted by artificialard at 9:36 PM on January 17, 2012


First of all, YAY. I am so excited for you, it's almost like I got a new job with a huge raise myself!

Second, definitely definitely wait until you have a physical offer letter in your hands and you sign it and return it and get some notification from new place to the tune of "we got your letter, now fill out this tax form and what kind of office chair do you like?"

Third, all you need for your resignation letter is for it to say, "Dear Boss, I hereby resign my position as JOB, effective LAST DAY. Sincerely, SarahJ." If you like, you can add a sentence that says, "Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to work at COMPANY. I have truly enjoyed my time here." (We call that a white lie.) It just needs to be a piece of paper that says "I'M OUT THIS DAY." Ask your boss for a meeting and tell her/him, "Boss, I am so sorry to give you this news, but I've accepted a new position and my last day here will be DAY."

It would be super unprofessional of your boss to do anything other than congratulate you and express some sadness that you are leaving. But if your boss is unprofessional, these are some phrases you can use to keep your shit legit:
"It's time for me to move on."
"I'm pursuing other opportunities."
"My decision is final."
"I would rather not discuss that." -if they say, "Well, where are you going? How much money are you getting? What will you be doing?"

Remember, you aren't SarahJ in this interaction. You're SarahJ's AGENT, and SarahJ's agent is not taking questions from the media at this time, THANKS SO MUCH.

Also my current employee handbook said "it is appropriate to give three weeks notice, two weeks in the case of a position that will be a rehire." wat. My boyfriend thinks I should give three weeks notice per the handbook and not send the resignation letter via email - because it's too impersonal. is this true? should I schedule a meeting or print out my letter? I'm also worried that if I send the letter tomorrow (Wednesday), then my last day will be on a wednesday also, and that's in the middle of the week so they will know I'm obviously not starting a new job right away so I should stay of course for a couple more days

Bah. "It's appropriate?" What are they going to do, fire you? Seriously. Two weeks is plenty. The Wednesday thing? No, no worrying about that, I forbid it! Seriously, for all they know you ARE starting on a Thursday. They don't know anything about your new job, and there's no reason for them to. If you get your ducks in a row tomorrow, send the letter tomorrow!

Congratulations again! You're doing great!
posted by Snarl Furillo at 9:48 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm also worried that if I send the letter tomorrow (Wednesday), then my last day will be on a wednesday also, and that's in the middle of the week so they will know I'm obviously not starting a new job right away so I should stay of course for a couple more days

This is a non-worry. You aren't available Thursday. They don't need to know why. I don't think they'll even ask you - when someone says "I'm gone after the 10th," they're just gone. Managers don't usually want to wheedle lame-duck employees into staying longer (they know we're just running out the clock anyway and lame ducks are a little dangerous to have around).

When I've resigned, I've asked my boss something like "do you have 10 minutes on Monday? I have something to go over with you." Once I get the time, I print out the resignation letter and go in with it folded in an envelope. You may want to conceal it in a folder since as soon as they see the envelope, they'll know what's going on. Just say "I wanted to let you know that I've accepted an offer with a new company, and my last day will be Wednesday the 5th" or whatever it is. Let them take it from there. They should say congratulations. They may, if they're any good, ask about how you plan to dispose of/farm out the work you have remaining. It would be extra nice of you to go in with a thought-out plan for this: "Lisa can take most of my portfolio, but James could keep XYZ because we collaborated. I'll create a document showing where I've left all my projects and files, and will set aside time to walk Jamie through my ticket system so she can take over in the interim."

That's ALL you need to do. The whole thing is over in 15 minutes. And definitely take those few days off to transition. Think about maybe scheduling a massage or at least a fun something or other that you'll enjoy. Breathe.

I'm really glad you accepted - it was brave but I suspect you'll really feel it was the right thing to do as soon as it's behind you. Congratulations!
posted by Miko at 6:45 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wooo okay awesome, thanks so much guys! I just received my formal offer letter via email. A couple more really anal questions for anyone who might return to this question:
I should probably not print out and sign my offer letter at work, right? I should probably go to a copy shop or something?
Same for my resignation letter - shouldn't print that on the work printer? (it's not super busy at the printer, it's right down the hall from me - but it would feel very strange to print it off here.)
I'm planning on bringing my new-job official paperwork in person to my new office, possibly during my lunch break - because it would be easier than scanning it here or at a copy shop. So if I tell my PM about my resignation this afternoon (!) would it still be considered "two weeks" to say that Wednesday Feb 1 is my last day? Or should I not count today as part of that two weeks and instead say Thursday the 2nd is my last day?

kind of having regrets about not asking for more money (which is ridiculous! they are paying me a good % more than I'm making now!) but I think I pushed them as far as I could in my initial conversations about salary and I don't want to jinx it I guess
posted by sarahj at 7:25 AM on January 18, 2012


actually screw that last line i'm getting a sick deal for how inexperienced I am
posted by sarahj at 7:51 AM on January 18, 2012


I should probably not print out and sign my offer letter at work, right? I should probably go to a copy shop or something?

No reason why not, if you feel pretty good you can be the first to grab it. Even if not, print it right before your meeting, what's the worst that can happen? Someone gets a 5 minute jump on the news. Just do it at work, it's far easier.

I think it's still two weeks. So why don't you keep the Wednesday in your letter as your last day, and let them say "No it should be Thursday" if they want. Which they won't.

And yeah, don't ask for more money, you've already done your negotiating.
posted by Miko at 8:03 AM on January 18, 2012


Okay! so I turned in my signed offer letter and resigned my current position yesterday. The first thing my manager said when I asked to meet with her was "No bad news please." That was a little awkward.

I noticed when I was going to turn in my offer letter that the position title was different from what I applied for (the title I was expecting is better) which didn't really help the sinking feeling I have about this new place.

I also got an email today from a place I REALLY wanted to work for in the first place, so I naturally proceeded to flub that up by saying "oh actually I've already received an offer, etc", then had EXTREME REGRET, then replied saying I looked at the position description again and it's still my first choice and things aren't finalized yet etc I understand if you don't want to talk to me though. So now I'm super embarrassed about screwing that up royally... and as I write this she just replied saying she would talk to me so yippee!

So whatever happens there I will have a new job - I just may have to be a huge jerk to the company I already accepted if this one comes through. Today's worries are very different from yesterday's, I guess.
posted by sarahj at 7:43 AM on January 19, 2012


Can you call back and ask about the title change? I mean, that would prompt a call from me, especially if they mentioned the first title in the interview. Find out what this is about.

Also, see this other AskMe from yesterday.

It's a tough economy - you have choices, which is great.

No matter what you do, you may feel a little buyer's remorse. Indulging in regret is something anxious people do. It's OK once you've made a decision to set the regret aside, saying "here's today's situation and my current set of choices" instead of "OMG I just missed the chance of lifetime." You probably didn't. I have done this to myself and find this somewhat off-topic comment from MetaFilter ringing through my head: "You regret it because you are a regretmonkey." In this case you managed to recover the situation but don't make yourself nuts over things you've done and put behind you. You don't have to be a regretmonkey - catch yourself doing it, and change your thoughts to what's ahead and your current array of choices instead.
posted by Miko at 8:02 AM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


ugh, thanks. I'm a regretmonkey. probably more of a regret-bot since I'm pretty much programmed to do it.
I asked the recruiter face-to-face about the position title when I handed in my forms and he gave me a response along the lines of "that's just how we do the titles here" so I guess the title I was expecting ("software engineer") is a more senior position at this particular place.

I'm feeling a little miffed because this particular title ("software [X]") wasn't mentioned until I got the official letter, and throughout the process I've generally had uneasy feelings about this recruiter I've been interacting with and I guess I'm having difficulty how much of my problems are with him and how much are with what I think working there will be like.

I feel like I shouldn't have taken the first offer I got, and now my other applications are getting responses. I just got a response from a bigger company that might be potentially-good to work at but I feel like it would be weird to just keep taking interviews, mostly because I don't like the thought of having to rescind my acceptance (I just *know* this recruiter would call me and try to talk me back into it, and I'd never be able to get a position there again, and I don't necessarily want to not-ever work there!)
posted by sarahj at 1:41 PM on January 19, 2012


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