Performance review - good time to talk about leaving?
April 25, 2016 7:18 PM   Subscribe

Hi, my friend is up for her performance review and has some specific issues and is wondering about the best approach: Her contract is up in September and she has no plans on renewing it because she will be moving out of the state. If she gets a job before September she plans on leaving sooner as well. Her performance review is tomorrow and she is wondering if she should mention any of this at all. Thanks!
posted by Dmenet to Work & Money (24 answers total)
 
What in the world would your friend stand to gain by giving her employer extra notice to replace her when she is not sure when she will be moving?

She should mention this - exactly two weeks before she wants to leave.
posted by saeculorum at 7:21 PM on April 25, 2016 [45 favorites]


Your question is very vague about what kind of issues they are, but in general a performance review is not the place to raise complaints.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 7:22 PM on April 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


She should not mention it, assuming she plans on giving a proper two weeks notice or more. A review is not a confession.
posted by vrakatar at 7:23 PM on April 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


There is really almost no situation, unless she's super pissed and willing to be walked out 2 minutes later, that she should show her hand before it is actually necessary.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:25 PM on April 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


More details: she just get her second Master's degree and is worried her boss will point blank ask her how long she plans on staying on, and doesn't exactly want to lie. Avoiding the question seems awkward. Should she just say she doesn't know what the future holds?
posted by Dmenet at 7:27 PM on April 25, 2016


In the workplace, as an employee, you're generally at a disadvantage. Lying is a great tactic and most people would be well served to do it more often.

This situation is a great example. Lie and you get 5+ months to evaluate options and do what's best for you-- which might even include staying another year.
posted by paulcole at 7:36 PM on April 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yeah, just fudge. There's no benefit in telling an awkward truth, and there's no reason she should have to lie. Maybe her circumstances will change and she will stay on past September? Who knows.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:39 PM on April 25, 2016


Avoiding the question is perfectly professional. She's under no obligation to warn them. She should focus on learning about her performance during her review.

Try on responses like:
"I currently plan to stay as long as I'm able."
"I'll need to discuss that with my family."
"I always like to consider my options, so I'll have to see what arises."
posted by zennie at 7:40 PM on April 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


"How long will I stay? That's really difficult for me to know right now-- I just completed my masters! I'm focusing on enjoying the success right now. We can talk more about it closer to September-- that's the point where we both really need to decide. Is that okay?"
posted by frumiousb at 7:42 PM on April 25, 2016 [11 favorites]


I don't know that I'd worry the contract renewal discussion will be rolled into the performance review. Seems really early. Seems more likely that a vaguer "where do you see yourself..." discussion would happen, in which case nobody owes their employer literal honesty. Of course most employees would leave for better pay or opportunities but it's not really germane to performance conversations. They just want you to talk about your growth, improvement, yadda yadda yadda.

If they do bring up the contract this early, I would say how I'm happy here and excited about xyz new projects and I plan to do whatever it takes for them to keep me on as long as possible.
posted by kapers at 7:43 PM on April 25, 2016


In the workplace, as an employee, you're generally at a disadvantage. Lying is a great tactic and most people would be well served to do it more often.

This situation is a great example. Lie and you get 5+ months to evaluate options and do what's best for you-- which might even include staying another year.


This. Just talk it through like there's nothing else on the horizon other than this job, and the work she's done, and stick to the performance review of her work to date.

In the event talk turns to "We'd like to keep you on longer," the good deflection is "That's great! I'm interested in staying on...let's talk about what that looks like in writing when the time comes."

She shouldn't even touch it unless asked if she wants to stay on.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:47 PM on April 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


More details: she just get her second Master's degree and is worried her boss will point blank ask her how long she plans on staying on, and doesn't exactly want to lie. Avoiding the question seems awkward. Should she just say she doesn't know what the future holds?

I answered this question honestly once ("I don't know"). At the end of that week, I was told I was being let go, and not to come back on Monday.
posted by moira at 7:54 PM on April 25, 2016 [12 favorites]


A friend was just passed over for a raise because management knew she planned to leave within half a year. Her boss's justification was some hand-wavey "merit increases are incentives to stay with us, and you're not going to anyway." Encouraging workers to feel undeserved loyalty toward management/the company is just one tool of class oppression.
posted by teremala at 8:39 PM on April 25, 2016 [12 favorites]


I was going to disagree with the consensus, but I missed that she's moving out of state. The performance review is a great time to bring up looking for something different if it's a matter of being bored or unhappy. But if there's nothing they can do for her anyway, yeah. Just keep quiet about it until giving notice.
posted by ctmf at 8:46 PM on April 25, 2016


I still, though, think she should say what she's looking to move toward - goals for where she sees herself professionally in a few years, how the degree fits in, what she likes about the current job, what she thinks interests her in the company. It would be very unusual if someone was perfectly happy to stay doing the same thing forever.

Just, leave off the part where she already knows she'll be looking to achieve those goals somewhere else.
posted by ctmf at 8:50 PM on April 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


The only complaint in the performance review should be that they aren't paying her enough.
posted by rhizome at 8:56 PM on April 25, 2016


It's not called "lying" in this situation, it's called "bluffing."
posted by My Dad at 9:33 PM on April 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Her performance review is tomorrow and she is wondering if she should mention any of this at all. Thanks!

No. If she decides in the future to leave, she should give them notice in accordance with the terms of her contract. She owes them literally nothing more than that, and disclosing any of the matters you mention will only disadvantage her.

Until she decides to gives notice, her future plans are none of her employer's business.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:23 PM on April 25, 2016


No don't say anything! She'll be the walking dead at work for her remaining months.
posted by gillianr at 11:02 PM on April 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Absolutely not! Your friend has NO idea what the future holds. Man Plans, God Laughs. You don't poison your own well.

If the boss asks how long she'll stay, she can say, "My contract is through September, at that time we can both evaluate where we are."

In my experience the best way to deal with performance reviews is to listen politely, review your SMART goals and sign the paper. Getting all wrapped around the axel in these situations does no one any good.

In my 30 years of work I have NEVER participated in a performance review that was helpful, useful or reflected reality in any meaningful way. This is a formality. Smile and sign.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:14 AM on April 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


More details: she just get her second Master's degree and is worried her boss will point blank ask her how long she plans on staying on, and doesn't exactly want to lie. Avoiding the question seems awkward. Should she just say she doesn't know what the future holds?

Unless they are offering her a permanent job or an extension in the review as part of this question, they aren't offering any concrete information on how long they plan on keeping her on.

Put another way - no employer would have a problem avoiding the question if they don't have the money to keep her on past September, so I would advise she answer by saying her contract currently goes until September and thus she's not really able to plan further than that.
posted by scrittore at 6:39 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Maybe I'm misinterpreting but considering that this is a contract position and there's no chance she's going to stay past the end of the contract I don't think there's any problem with saying that. I mean, maybe if it's the kind of contract position where it's not *really* a contract position, they just call it a contract position for shady reasons.

I absolutely wouldn't say that she's thinking about leaving before the end of the contract, but saying she doesn't intend to continue past the end of the contract seems fine.
posted by mskyle at 7:27 AM on April 26, 2016


Maybe I'm misinterpreting but considering that this is a contract position

Every contract position I've dealt with has the contract written such that the contract can be terminated by either party - in other words, the employee is not obligated to work for an employer they decide they don't want to work for after signing the contract, and the employer can fire a contractor just like an employee.

If I had a contract employee that said they would definitely be leaving at the end of the end of contract, and may be leaving sooner than that, I'd have to start looking for a replacement right now. Once that replacement is found, the contract employee would be immediately terminated, as there would be no reason to keep them employed.
posted by saeculorum at 9:28 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Report from her: It went great, they started the meeting by saying 'Please don't leave us' but she smiled, pretended it was a joke and moved on.
posted by Dmenet at 12:45 PM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


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