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This is a first for me, as I've never quit a full-time job before. I've been with my company for several years now and my relationship with my team is great; however, a better opportunity has opened up for me and after lots of deliberation it's time for me to move on.

Because of the good relationship that I have with the team, I feel a little bit guilty to just go up to my boss one day and say "Hi boss, I'm out!" At the moment, I have a set date for when I need to quit and serve my notice period and I'm acting as if there's nothing happening until the day, doing my work as I normally do. As a result of this, however, I'm being continuously assigned new work, which is making me feel even worse about resigning!

Another key aspect of this is that I'm an expat on a work visa, which means once I accept work elsewhere, I can't just go back to my old company.

So my question is: am I approaching this the wrong way? Do I need to give hints or imply that I'm planning to leave before my notice period, to give my employer more time to replace me and move on without me? What other advice do you have for me in this situation?

17

As Billy Joel said - Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes

(say goodbye to hollywood, '76)

People get use to it. It is expected to have churn in the workplace.

Just leave on good terms. Make sure that you have crossed the t's and dotted the i's before you leave.

But make sure you have the new contract in the bag before leaving and handing in the notice.

  • Thanks for the answer! Could you elaborate a little bit on "leave on good terms"? Examples of things you have done/said that made it easier? – RandomUser Jun 24 '18 at 8:45
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    Just ensure that the projects can continue without any problems upon you leaving. Also just behave as normal and work as normal. – Ed Heal Jun 24 '18 at 8:49
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    @RandomUser "leave on good terms" means *continue working until the final day like you have already, or, better, work even harder. Don't tell them you're leaving or drop hints or anything like that. They're not paying you "for hints". They're paying you "for work". The better you work in the last month, the exponentially better their consideration of you. This often bites you in the ass later (but in a nice, sexy way). – bharal Jun 24 '18 at 14:34
  • What I see happen all the time (and appreciate) is an email to everyone in the office thanking them for everything and telling them how you will cherish your time at company X, how it has helped you develop and grow and be a better worker in your field etc etc and leave them a link to your linkedin "for those who wish to stay in touch". It really is that simple. – solarflare Jun 25 '18 at 0:51
  • Also if you can give them an advanced heads up without any risk to yourself, you could do so (but in no way should feel obliged). – Alper Jun 25 '18 at 13:55
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Going up to your boss and saying "hi boss, I'm out!" would be abrupt, yes, especially given that you have been happy there, so presumably there hasn't been a trail of signs (like comments in 1:1 meetings about frustrations, unhappiness, etc). People leave jobs all the time, so it's certainly not wrong for you to leave for a better opportunity, but from what I see in your question,, you want to manage the transition to maintain good relations.

If you have a good relationship with your manager, you can have an informal conversation in advance of your formal notice. Your reason for doing this is to facilitate a good transition, which you should say explicitly. Try something like the following:

We have a great team here and this has been a good first job for me, but I've decided to pursue another opportunity that just came up. I don't want to leave anybody in the lurch, so I wanted to give you an early heads-up so we can have a smooth transition. I'm planning to leave on $date, so I'll give you a formal resignation letter closer to then. In the meantime, can we talk about how I can best use my remaining time to help the team?

Do this in a private meeting and schedule it in advance if at all possible; this is not the sort of thing where you want to poke your head into the boss's office and ask "hey, got a minute?" and then spring it. You want to make sure your boss has more than "a minute", so there's time to discuss any immediate concerns.

Finally, you should know that there is always a risk in giving advance notice; you might have been planning to stay for a month or six weeks only to have your boss say "ok, you're done in two weeks" (or whatever the conventional or contractual notice period is in your case). You should only do this if either (a) you're pretty confident that your boss isn't going to push you out early or (b) you can afford to be unemployed for the extra time before your new job starts. In my experience, longer notice tends to be something you see at higher levels of seniority; in a place where the norm is two weeks, a coworker who was the chief architect gave three months' notice, for example. Most of my coworkers who are in their first jobs post-college give the conventional two weeks' notice.

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