I have worked at my current company for 13 months now, and have accepted an offer yesterday from another firm. I love the work environment at my current job and all my coworkers, but an increased research-oriented view and 40+k pre-tax salary bump was hard to resist.
I have heard all over the internet that I am not as irreplaceable to a company as I may think, and that may well be true. However, the project I have worked on the past year is a huge bet for my current company and I have been the sole guiding force and only one with intimate knowledge of its workings.
In anticipation of a laborious knowledge transfer, I've pushed out my new job's start date to mid-september.
What do I do in the upcoming month+ to make this as easy on my current employer as possible? I am in the middle of a fairly large project delivering in about 1.5 months (but technically not complicated. just functionally.) in addition to the behemoth that I have been heading. The large project, in my mind, has overcome all the major architectural hurdles, and I have assigned a task to a newer employee to take care of the remaining minor one. In my mind, the project's success or failure lies in execution now, rather than technical vision which is my forte.
I plan on documenting LITERALLY EVERYTHING I have done on this separate module and keeping all the resources in one place. I have further scheduled a class tomorrow to begin the knowledge transfer - teach some others how it works because I am the only one right now. Is there anything else I can do to ease the pain on the company? It is not large, so my departure will be a significant blow to the development resources.
Final Note: They do not know yet. I was planning on giving standard 2 weeks notice (USA), maybe 3 weeks because I do not want to see them fail. Is that the appropriate amount of time?
Thank you in advance for your wisdom.
UPDATE: My background check cleared on Friday, and I told my boss privately on Friday afternoon, as well as the Head of Engineering. We've started coming up with a 4 week transition plan, and they are very happy for me, but understandably disappointed at my departure. Thank you all for your input, and I hope this question helps others in the future.
UPDATE 2 BY REQUEST: The exit plan worked great, there was a rush of meetings set up to KT for whoever they could shuffle into the project, and within the guidelines of my new company's moonlighting policy I am actually still consulting for the old one as well (not that the pay is great but it's nice to keep a track of the project that feels like my child :) ).
What we did to for the exit:
1) Spend 1 full business day with boss, his boss, and the teammate(s) most likely to burden your responsibilities (last one not as important, but it helps if they have people in mind) and come up with a list of WHAT YOU DO. Be very detailed.
2) Spend 1 week on your own, writing a word doc on each task outlined above. Be very explicit - it helps to write out how a normal day goes.
3) Spend whatever time you have remaining to go over each segment with your boss and anybody that is in your immediate circle as a presentation. Don't use the word doc - this is a guide they'll need for later. Just get up to the whiteboard/PPT and start talking. After all, you do it, so it needs no preparation.
4) It helps that I am in a technical field and most of the transfer was actually transferable. Quite a bit of it was class-like and updating the team members on the cutting edge that i was using but wasn't touched by the others. This part probably doesn't translate very well to other fields.
This seemed to work in my case, but I'm no expert, so additional input would be welcome.