Tips for leaving my work on a good note instead of arguing
March 15, 2013 9:02 AM   Subscribe

I've decided to leave my job, and I want to be responsible and wait 1-2 months to give notice so that I don't leave the company stranded. I've always had friction with my manager, which is one of the main reasons I'm leaving. During my last couple of months, I want to get along well with her so that she'll remember me positively, but I find myself blurting out negative things that I'm thinking. How do I stop?

I am the leader of one department in my company. In my 2 years here, I've always gotten into arguments with my manager. It is so frustrating that I have decided to leave. I want it to be a positive ending so that she'll remember me well, for future reference checks and in case we need to interact professionally in the future. My department has several missing positions, and I'd like to hire people into those roles before I go. Otherwise the company is going to be stranded and may miss several key milestones. Hiring the roles is going to take a couple of months.

Currently I find myself blurting out things that I know are going to annoy my manager. Sometimes it's about topics we've already rehashed endlessly. I feel passionately and end up making the same argument again, and she gets annoyed. I also disagree with her management style, and when those topics catch me unawares, the things I blurt out off the top of my head are negative and annoy her.

Her other direct reports have expressed the same frustrations about her management style to me in private, but they are very deferential in public and rarely challenge her. She's talked to me about how I need to do a better job of managing upwards, and I've been trying to, but I need tips on how to hold myself in check.

In addition, I'm scared that even if I succeed at doing this, I'm going to end up with massive resentment or feeling like a doormat and that I've disrespected myself.

I really want to leave on good terms. What are your tips?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Write a manual called How To Do My Job. List your usual meetings, tasks you do, people you need to be in contact with, where everything is located, etc.

She might not love you for leaving, but she will appreciate you leaving with everything in order for when she is training in a new person.
posted by Elly Vortex at 9:17 AM on March 15, 2013

Screw responsibility, if you are done, you're done.

If you have another job lined up, or if you have enough cushion that you can quit now, and not have any financial hardship, just fucking quit.

You aren't doing any favors being sullen, resentful and argumentative.

Let the person taking your place hire the new people, let your manager hire the new people. They may have a different perspective than you will. Also, that's the company's problem if they haven't restaffed.

Don't worry about reference checks, just have them call HR, and not your manager, she ain't giving you a good recommendation anyway.

You are suffering from the delusion that you are vitally important to this company, and in your view that may be true, but your departure will sadly only be a blip on the radar to them.

So quit now, move on and let the chips fall where they may.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:17 AM on March 15, 2013 [14 favorites]

Two weeks' notice is customary and considered responsible. No need to give more. The shorter time frame will help you not step in doo-doo on your way out the door.
posted by Currer Belfry at 9:18 AM on March 15, 2013 [7 favorites]

I've been in a similar position: the clash of styles, not wanting to screw an understaffed department, saying things I shouldn't have (or at least saying them in the wrong setting).

Give notice now, but give a long notice. That will alert management that they have to get their act together and fill some slots. You really shouldn't be doing the hiring, because the new hires won't be working with you. The company needs new hires who are in sync with the way the boss does things.

Knowing you have an exit date will take some of the anxiety out of your current situation. It may even make the boss relax a little, knowing that the clashing is about to end. I gave three weeks; you may want to give 30 days if you think you can stick it out. The boss may decide that the company can get along fine with less than 30 days and you are free to leave right now.

This way, you look like a class act. If the boss hurries you out the door, you aren't the one who looks bad to the rest of the staff. You never know when you will end up having business dealings with some of them way off in the future.

When I was on the way out, I didn't feel like a doormat. I felt relieved and energized. But then, I had a specific plan for what I was going to do once I left. Do you have one?

In the meantime, take a quick look around when you feel the urge blurt out annoying things. If someone else is within earshot, ask the manager if you can talk in private.
posted by Longtime Listener at 9:34 AM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

2 weeks and gone. There's no advantage any other way.
posted by ellF at 9:44 AM on March 15, 2013 [3 favorites]

Give your notice, whether it be 2 weeks or 2 months. From that point on it's your job simply to leave things the way your manager wants them left. There is no longer any point in arguing anything. So give your notice, ask your manager how she wants you to allot your time to put her in the best position moving forward and do those things. Execute, don't contribute, and don't look back.
posted by rocketpup at 10:25 AM on March 15, 2013

First, disabuse yourself of the notion that you're irreplaceable. I know you do a lot. I know your company gets a lot of value from your work. But their doors won't close if you get hit by a bus tonight.

Second, take a step back from your work. You are not your work. Your work is a part of who you are, nothing more. If your company gets hit by a bus tonight, you don't cease to exist.

Finally, be at peace with not getting your way at work. Passion is great when tempered by wisdom. Steps 1 and 2 help you to be more objective, so that you can see that maybe arguing certain points with certain people isn't going to get you the best result.

You can't undo two years of a poor working relationship with hiring the right team and then walking out the door.
posted by disconnect at 10:42 AM on March 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

Leave now, both for yourself AND for the company. Hiring can be a very subjective thing, you're not really doing the company a huge favor by hiring people that have the right chemistry to work with you only to have them turn out not to fit with whoever your manager selects to replace you.

Do yourself, your replacement and the company a huge favor and go ahead and move on to a better fit now.
posted by dadici at 12:01 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just give notice, write said notes about what you do and how and email them to her and go after your normal notice period. In writing said manual you are already helping everybody out tremendously.
posted by koahiatamadl at 4:13 AM on March 16, 2013

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