Leaving Job I Like With Very Little Notice for Job I Would Love
June 25, 2016 11:06 PM   Subscribe

There's a very solid chance that on Monday I will be offered a job with an organization I admire for work that is very much in line with what I want to be doing. I currently have another job which I like, but I am very ready to leave. The problem? New job wants me to start on Friday for very good reasons, and my current job is not one that I can leave with that little notice and not cause major issues.

What I want to know is what can I offer to my current job to make this transition as easy as possible while still starting full-time work with the new organization on Friday. For the new job, the immediate start day is due to a quirk in grant funding - they received the grant on June 5 and are required to have hired and started someone by July 1st.

I plan to offer my current job to work on weekends/evenings while they find someone, and I also plan to look through my contacts to see if there's anyone I know who's looking for a job who would be a good fit to refer as my replacement. I do like my current job, but it's not really want to be doing and the work itself is a source of exhaustion and anxiety. Is there anything else I can offer my current job? How exactly do I approach them? I currently work at a small company - about 15 employees - and i have three bosses. One of those bosses is out of town, and, since we normally work in clients' homes, I do not see the the bosses that often - about twice a month.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (32 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Are you working on the weekends for your ex company without pay? It sounds like this is what you are proposing.

Give notice effective immediately, or there abouts. Your ex job is populated by adults who can and should be able to function without you. If not, it's time for them to grow up.

Congratulations. Be gracious. Look ahead, not behind. Good luck.
posted by jbenben at 11:16 PM on June 25, 2016 [8 favorites]

"my current job is not one that I can leave with that little notice and not cause major issues."

Unless you have a contract that says otherwise, this isn't your problem. They should've planned better and not put all their eggs in one basket. Also, it won't be as big a deal as you think. Virtually everyone overestimates the impact that their leaving will have.

Also, if this is a bigger company, there's a decent chance if you give notice, they'll make you leave right then, especially if you have access to any sensitive information.

Also, never offer an employer anything unless you're using it to your advantage-- and even then, do so sparingly.
posted by paulcole at 11:35 PM on June 25, 2016 [24 favorites]

The only thing I would consider doing is to offer to help them out on the weekends at some reasonable (to you) hourly wage. If you are that indispensable to the company, and since it is a small company I get that there is little backup, 5 days or 10 days is not going to make a difference to your current company in replacing you.
posted by AugustWest at 12:05 AM on June 26, 2016 [5 favorites]

my current job is not one that I can leave with that little notice and not cause major issues

Aaand... this is where a good temp gets a good head start on a permanent job.
posted by Thella at 12:20 AM on June 26, 2016 [8 favorites]

If you work with/for friends - real friends - it would be a mitzvah to try to help them, although it's still not an obligation. If not - value yourself. It's oft repeated on AskMe, and true. Consult for them, for a fee that acknowledges that it's your evenings and weekends.
posted by ftm at 12:25 AM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

New job hires you on the 1st and you work that day. Then you take a week off from new job to finish two weeks notice at old job.
posted by Gotanda at 3:38 AM on June 26, 2016 [41 favorites]

What would happen if you got hit by a bus?
Would your old employer collapse without you there?
If the answer is yes the fault is their management who are apparently useless.
If the answer is no then stop feeling guilty.

If you feel bad about leaving your peers and colleagues in the lurch.
Either they understand and are happy to see you achieve success.
Or they are bitter at which point, balls to them they do not care about you.

Congratulations and enjoy your new job!
posted by fullerine at 3:47 AM on June 26, 2016 [10 favorites]

my current job is not one that I can leave with that little notice and not cause major issues.

Their issues are not your problem. Give them the notice that you are required to under your contract, and move on to your new job.

If you are indeed a saint and you want to work weekends to help them out, make sure that you negotiate a reaonable consultancy rate. Your time is valuable, and you should value it accordingly.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:10 AM on June 26, 2016

If you're that mission critical they should have locked you into a contract that doesn't allow you to walk out of the door with little or no notice. I've just looked at my June payslip which lists my overtime total for the last 11 months and the number reflects an average working week of 60+ hrs, bearing in mind that I did take vacation during that time where I didn't work. Now I'm salaried and that overtime is allegedly compensated by my bonus (paid in November) and a promotion. And I am supposed to give three months notice. But there is no doubt that if I were to be run over by a bus tomorrow on the way to work people would manage just fine without me - it'd be a bit painful for a few individuals but it would largely be business as usual and they'd manage. So don't give it a second thought.
posted by koahiatamadl at 4:19 AM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

I disagree with everyone who says that the issues at your current job are not your problem. They certainly are, especially if you're ever going to be looking for a reference from them. Two weeks is pretty standard notice. You should give that, at the very least.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:32 AM on June 26, 2016 [12 favorites]

If you already have an offer at the new job, you probably won't need a reference anytime soon. By the time you do, your new employer will be your main reference. Not the old one. Employer references aren't that big a deal anyway because employers are so constrained in what they're allowed to say and everyone knows that a bad one could easily just represent a shitty and vengeful boss. Contacts and networks are much more important.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:39 AM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

I would have some concern re: a company that requires you to leave your present position without reasonable notice. It makes me wonder which company really is not doing adequate planning. Professionals do not usually leave an employer on short term notice unless it is mutually agreed. The fact is you did not get hit by a bus etc--if you want to be seen as a professional in your field ( by yourself and others) fulfill your obligation to your present employer--you future employer should understand. If it is not a professional position and is easily replace go in good humor
posted by rmhsinc at 4:47 AM on June 26, 2016 [33 favorites]

If their grant requires a hire by July 1, does it require a full-time hire? Could you offer 3 days per week for the first two weeks at the new position and allow yourself a little more time to gracefully transition out of the old position? I needed to do this for a few months and it worked well for my employers--less well for me, frankly, but it was a short-term cost that left me on good terms with professional contacts I still need to interact with regularly.
posted by tchemgrrl at 5:17 AM on June 26, 2016 [7 favorites]

Yeah, negotiate with the new folks. You probably don't need to work a full-time schedule to satisfy the grant agreements, so you can spend a couple of weeks working a modified schedule at both places during the transition. Also, nthing that you don't need to trouble yourself much about what happens at Old Job. Just get started prepping for a transition even before you get your offer. Start getting things in order for the next person.

Does it worry you at all that they knew they needed to start someone by 7/1 but didn't get the hiring process moving earlier?
posted by Miko at 5:34 AM on June 26, 2016 [15 favorites]

How long does the grant extend, will essentially a six month contract that ends work for you (making up time period). I had not noticed the grant, at a general business I'd consider a "start tomorrow" requirement sketchy, but grants are crazy, If you do get it let them know you're thrilled but need to negotiate a transition that does not hurt your current co-workers.
posted by sammyo at 5:37 AM on June 26, 2016

Does it worry you at all that they knew they needed to start someone by 7/1 but didn't get the hiring process moving earlier?

I agree with Miko's assessment here. The new place is making you bear the cost of their failure to fulfill the terms of the grant in a timely manner. They're asking you to jeopardize your good work history because they couldn't get it together to make an offer in time for someone to give the standard two week notice. You don't even technically work for them yet and they're asking you to make a pretty big sacrifice for them.

The right thing to do is give your current employer two weeks notice and as a previous commenter suggested, go in to the new place on Friday, complete your new hire paperwork and then start a week later.

I would not burn a bridge like you're about to do. It only benefits your new employer and it hurts you.
posted by Kangaroo at 6:03 AM on June 26, 2016 [18 favorites]

Does it worry you at all that they knew they needed to start someone by 7/1 but didn't get the hiring process moving earlier?

That was my first reaction as well. I would be very reluctant to risk your reputation in order to meet their deadline, which is only urgent because of poor planning, and I'd also want some reassurance that similar poor planning isn't going to screw you over down the road. ("Oh, so sorry, we must have forgotten to reapply for the grant that funds your position.")

If you get the offer, I'd negotiate with the new place for some kind of staggered start, maybe part time or something, that lets them meet their grant criteria but allows you to give a professional-level of notice.

Someone I used to work with gave a three-day notice last year, and while it was fine in the sense that the organization carried on, people still joke about it. He's close to retirement and doesn't care, but for anyone earlier in their career that is not how you want people talking about you.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:12 AM on June 26, 2016 [3 favorites]

Yes, negotiate. Maybe you could hire on, start on July 1, take a week of "personal leave", and be back, giving you 2 weeks notice at you current job, minus one day you'd be absent.
posted by aimedwander at 6:25 AM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

If not burning bridges is important to you, you could offer the opposite deal you described: days at your current job, nights/weekends at the new one.

And depending on the grantmaker, there might be some wiggle room. Last-minute deadlines aren't always the fault of the grantee. It sounds like the either the funder or grantee was being unreasonable here and agreeing to or suggesting a tough deadline.

Can the new org go push back against the funder's deadline?

They could note that they found a great person to carry forward the work, and that includes being so great you will fulfill current commitments before starting something new. A high-quality hire is likely to already have had something going on where they're making a high impact (or even just a vacation or something else because people tend to plan more than a month in advance). They are so fortunate to have someone of your caliber on board; and how great they could work out an arrangement for you to ramp up your time while you meet your inflexible but time-limited commitments. If the funder has any flexibility they can make this work for the good of the program.
posted by ramenopres at 6:35 AM on June 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

As for how to tell your current employer...

I currently work at a small company - about 15 employees - and i have three bosses. One of those bosses is out of town, and, since we normally work in clients' homes, I do not see the the bosses that often - about twice a month.

Getting things rolling fast is important so your two weeks' notice (or whatever) can start as soon as possible. I think you'd approach this the way you'd approach anything else that urgently requires their response. Once you have the new offer locked in and those terms set (which might include a couple options for current job to pick from, if you want to do that), contact whoever you'd usually contact and request an urgent check-in. They will figure out who needs to be available for it and how to do it.

I'd try to do the check-in face to face. Otherwise, email will work. And if you do chat in person I'd make sure someone sends an email documenting the conversation and your timeline.

You can be open to some discussion within your parameters but be firm also about the fact you will have a deadline for leaving. They are bosses and this is the kind of thing they're paid to handle. If they can't get everything together before you leave, it will be on them, not you.

You might say something like, "I've been offered another opportunity in an area I'm very passionate about and I'd like to discuss the transition as I move out of my role with [nonprofit]."
posted by ramenopres at 6:51 AM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

I don't have any doubt that you will burn that bridge with your current employer if you don't find a way to give adequate notice (if not two weeks, then close to it). You can't cancel that out by offering to work nights or whatever. You can do it, but don't expect a good reference or to leave on good terms.

I'd be very concerned about your new employer, if I were you. Why couldn't they conduct a two week hiring process? They could have found a way, even given the timing deadlines imposed on them, to allow a new hire to give a standard, professional amount of notice. They didn't, either because they don't care or because they don't have their shit together. If they don't care or they don't have their shit together, watch your back after you start there, because who knows what will happen down the line.
posted by J. Wilson at 7:28 AM on June 26, 2016

Oh man. So I did exactly this for exactly the same reasons - gave my work one week notice. It burned things HARD, and they were petty and vindictive and horrible. However, I was moving cross country, so it wasn't QUITE so bad. If you're in the same city and field though, remember them complaining about you will likely impact how you're perceived.
posted by corb at 7:47 AM on June 26, 2016

The new organization is being unreasonable. They should be sending the funder an update like ramenopres's like above.

Like others have mentioned above, I'd be treading very carefully here. If this is a grant dependent organization, and this is how they typically do planning for meeting grant deliverables, I'd be running fast.
posted by yonglin at 8:18 AM on June 26, 2016 [6 favorites]

Original poster here - want to offer some follow-up information and an additional question.

Current job is a part-time gig - about 25-29 hours a week. I do in-home client care for kiddos with developmental differences, so it is complicated to leave at short notice (might put parents in a lurch). That said, it does make weekend hours more feasible/useful for the company in the short term. While I am interested in caring professions, I don't see myself coming back to this specific work.

Potential new job is a 2-year grant-funded fellowship. It'll be full-time with benefits (hurrah), and it does sound like the start day is pretty inflexible, though I will see if a staggered start would work.

Bonus question: if it does all go to heck, is it okay to leave current job off my resume for future job search purposes? I've been there since December 2016. I finished grad school in May, so it might not look like as bad of a gap, but I want to make sure I'm not being ethically sketchy.

Thank you so much for all of your advice - I do take this seriously. I will keep you all posted.
posted by superlibby at 10:18 AM on June 26, 2016

Bonus question: if it does all go to heck, is it okay to leave current job off my resume for future job search purposes? I've been there since December 2016. I finished grad school in May, so it might not look like as bad of a gap, but I want to make sure I'm not being ethically sketchy.

I think you're absolutely fine leaving it off because 1) You were in grad school most of the time, and 2) It sounds like the job may not be applicable to your career arc. Think of your resume as a personal marketing document tailored to the work you want to do in the future. It doesn't have to be a historical record. :)
posted by mochapickle at 10:28 AM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

The only downside I can see is if someone finds out (through social media or something) that you left it off.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:50 AM on June 26, 2016

*December 2015, not 2016. Years are hard sometimes. Okay, last reply. Thank you!
posted by superlibby at 10:51 AM on June 26, 2016

You can leave it off your resume, but keep in mind that if you're filling out an application and it asks for a complete job history, you will need to include it there.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:56 AM on June 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Just leave. Slightly singing the bridge, but sounds like you know that. You don't owe them anything (unless you contractually do), and like you said there are reasons why it has to happen this way.
posted by so fucking future at 11:16 AM on June 26, 2016

I think that you should leave and take the new job exactly when they want you.
You should tell your existing employer that...
- You are super sorry, but you know the sorry doesn't help them.
- You asked for extra time for the transition and it was refused.
- That the new job is full time with benefits
- Financially, you must make this choice.
posted by jazh at 11:23 AM on June 26, 2016 [8 favorites]

"if it does all go to heck, is it okay to leave current job off my resume for future job search purposes?"

You are under no obligation to put any job on your resume. The purpose of the resume is to get you an interview/phone call. Everything on your resume should be building towards that goal.

There's nothing ethically sketchy about editing/revising your resume to reach that goal.
posted by paulcole at 12:20 PM on June 26, 2016 [3 favorites]

My parents owned a business from when I was six until I was twenty-three.

My mom told me how they treat you before you are hired is how they will treat you after you are hired.

Your update show that this is the best for you, but I'd always keep this thought in mind when they make any future promises to you.
posted by Monday at 7:52 PM on June 26, 2016

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