I have been on a managerial position for almost 10 years now. I never had perfect relationship with my direct boss while his superiors supported me all the time.

I have 2 more years to go before retirement, but I still have mortgages to pay off.

Now, it seems that everyone wants me to go. My subordinate has already taken all my duties and responsibilities although I am formally still on the position. Managers does not address to me at all, they don't e-mail me, they don't call me on meetings. I am just doing tasks that have been left but no one even knows about it.

I have sent hundreds of CV to other companies but none even responded to me.

Is it ethical at all to stay further on the job in spite of all humiliation and pressure to leave taking into consideration the fact that I have no other option?

  • 3
    The "demotion" tag is showing here. Are we talking about a change in job title and reduction in salary, or just something that feels like demotion? (If it had said "demotivation", I'd have been with you all the way.) Can you add the country / legal jurisdiction? It won't change what's ethical, but it might give us some alternative ways to approach it. – ItWasLikeThatWhenIGotHere Jul 7 '18 at 7:52
  • 2
    How about suing them for workplace harassment/age discrimination? – Rui F Ribeiro Jul 7 '18 at 8:16
  • 3
    I don't see how this is about ethics. – jcm Jul 7 '18 at 8:52
  • It seems that this is entirely about whether you can handle the way they're treating you, and whether your personal ethics allow for you to just stay there, which is not something we can answer for you. – Dukeling Jul 7 '18 at 9:49
  • 1
    @Dukeling agreed. I would recommend the OP to tough out the period until the mortgage is paid off - and to cast aside any "ethical" rational. There might be a case to ask on the law SE about "constructive dismissal" incidentally. – bharal Jul 7 '18 at 10:06

Is it ethical at all to stay further on the job in spite of all humiliation and pressure to leave and taking into consideration the fact that I have no other option?

It is obviously ethical to stay on the job. You are doing the best you can, so you are holding up your end of the contract. The current situation is not your fault.

That said, if I was the company I would be looking for a way to terminate the employment relationship because a) it's waste of company resources, and b) it probably affects employee morale as well. This is however the company's problem and not yours.

I would just stay on and focus on how to extract the maximum financial gain out of the situation. You have to look after yourself, and there is nothing wrong or unethical about pursuing the best option you have.

I would certainly look at finding another job (perhaps you want to look at lower paying options etc. - in the end it must be depressing to go on like this, so overall you might want to make some sacrifice on the salary/status front). Otherwise I'd wait until your employer starts any process. Perhaps start documenting things and be vigilant about things that could work against your favor (like coming late to work etc.).


It is ethical to stay on the job of course.

But you need to look for a new one in case they terminate you. You write that you are doing it. Maybe you could think about working as a consultant for the time still left until your retirement? You've got plenty of management experience, maybe some companies would like to benefit from it? Do you have networks you could use to search for new consulting opportunities? Maybe you could network among the persons you've met in the professional context, or go to conferences, seminars, etc. to meet new people?

You can also try to be more visible by sharing your knowledge and establishing yourself as an authority in your area. For example, there are meetings on different topics (startups, retail, programming languages, etc. etc.) organized in many cities. You can find them on meetup.org or on facebook or via industry organizations. Go there and if you find it corresponds well to your area of expertise, propose yourself as a speaker of the next meeting. Attend as many meetings related to your field as possible.

And have a website or at least a good linkedin profile. The objective here is to establish yourself as an authority in your area of expertise.

The fact you don't get responses may be because of agism, but you should also get your application documents checked. If you hadn't applied for a few years, it might be you don't know what the current trends in job applications are.

  • You might (like in Flanders= Northern half of Belgium) discover job coaching initiatives, sponsored by the government, designed to keep elder employees active on the job market. – Dirk Horsten Jul 7 '18 at 13:51

Of course it is ethical

as long as you try to do meaningfull work.

You should, however, prepare the day you are not there anymore.

The risky but most correct way to do that, is to organize the hand over openly.

The safe way, is to document it your work. If they tend to lay you off, you can then explain what should be done for that hand over, not telling most of it is already prepared. They might delay your departure to complete that.

What else are you doning,

appart from getting to work every day?

I do quite some volunteer work. If I were in your position, I would try to do that for a living. It would pay less, but I could keep doing it well over my retiring age.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.