This question is a bit of a follow up to this Accepting an offer when you've just been given a salary raise previous question which I got some great answers from. I've got given an offer and I have signed it. I should be feeling excited about joining this new company however I'm not because I'm going through an array of emotions such as:

  • Guilt - Because my current company is struggling to hire new talent and I know that announcing that I'm resigning will make their situation 10X worse.
  • Anxiety - I don't know what to expect at this new company. It's all very new for me, I spoke to my new line manager and he seems great. But again it's the unknown that I'm not sure about.

Recently (2 days ago) I had a quarterly meeting to go over some of my goals etc. I was told that I would have the opportunity to be promoted even further (Principal engineer etc) which includes raises. This sounds great, right? But I keep thinking if I were to stay at my current job I'll still be unhappy because my main reasoning for leaving/looking at jobs early in the year was because:

  1. I wanted to see what was out there.
  2. I was becoming too content at my current job and everything I was doing was all too the same I didn't feel challenged.
  3. I've worked on countless projects and feel that I've offered everything I can from a technical perspective.

Has anyone else felt like this? If so can you share your experience on how to deal with it.

  • 6
    Shouldn't a question about traversing an array (of emotions) be on StackOverflow, not workplace? (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
    – Kevin
    Apr 30, 2021 at 16:04
  • Those two emotions are very common when resigning but do not over-estimate your value: "I'm resigning will make their situation 10X worse". They have multiple options like hiring somebody in a consultancy company for the time of pressure and while hiring somebody permanent.
    – Tom Sawyer
    Apr 30, 2021 at 16:09
  • 2
    @green1919, "It's just business. Nothing personal." (I hope you all remember who said that line in which movie :-) The companies won't go through "an array of emotions" when they layoff (or fire) employees because the economy is in bad shape. Apr 30, 2021 at 19:27
  • You shouldn't feel guilty about that. You didn't sign a marriage contract and made vows to your company. As an employee, you have the right to leave if you want. As a company, whenever they hire someone, they know that the person is probably going to leave someday. They should be prepared for that. Even if they aren't, you are not responsible for their struggles. You can't just ignore what you want just so your boss can stay happy and keep making more money. It's a company, they're going to replace you easily, you don't have to worry for them.
    – Doliprane
    May 1, 2021 at 17:56

4 Answers 4


All this really means (to me) is that you care about your current company and the people who work there. That's not a bad thing. You have to find it within yourself to understand and come to grips with the idea that this is a professional decision. You're making it for the betterment of your career and hopefully for the betterment of your family.

Once you make your choice to move on, you just need to do it professionally and make sure (as much as you can) that you're not leaving your soon-to-be-former coworkers in the lurch on any particular project.

It's very common for people to have feelings of guilt in situations such as this because they do care about the people they interact with every day. You have to remember that each of them is in charge of their own lives just as you are yours. If they choose to stay in a bad situation it's on them. One way to help alleviate that guilt is to consider the idea that you are providing an example for them to emulate. By changing your situation for the better (hopefully), you may be giving them hope, and possibly permission, to change their own situations.

As for the anxiety, all I can recommend is get some exercise and fresh air and just prepare yourself for a new adventure. There can be a lot of reasons for it, and none of them will go away until you actually start the new position. I would recommend just focusing on what you need to do to prepare yourself to excel in your new position and show up ready to tackle new challenges.

  • +million for "get some exercise and fresh air". It's really that simple.
    – Fattie
    May 1, 2021 at 11:41

These are very normal feelings to have.

With regards to guilt: it helps to understand that the the company is simply a business, and your relationship to it is strictly a business one. If it was in the business interest of the company to fire you, it would do so without any second thoughts. If it is in your business interest to quit, you should do so without any second thoughts, as well.

If it was really in the company's business interest to hire new talent, it would do so (by increasing compensation, spending more on recruiting, etc.). Sometimes it really isn't in the company's interest to hire new talent - or the interest to control expenses is more important that the interest to hire (this often isn't apparent to a regular employee, as there are still jobs posted, interviews being conducted, etc.).

Similarly, as it is a business, its success, even survival, is a function of the value it produces. If the company really wants to hire new talent, but it can't afford to, this is illustrative of a company which is having a problem producing enough value to grow (or to replace those employees which are leaving). If it really wants to hire, and can't afford to, the company should look to borrow money, or get new investors - if it isn't doing that, maybe it really isn't in its interest to hire talent - or the interest to not owe money, or dilute the current owners' stake, is stronger.

Regardless of the reason, if they are having problem hiring, that is a problem of their own making, not yours, and so you should feel no guilt regarding that.

Regarding anxiety, most humans really don't like change, and so it is natural to feel some anxiety or nervousness, when making one. To quote an answer I wrote to another question here

Growing isn't easy. It can be scary, stressful, and painful, and leave you anxious and filled with self-doubt. Work (and life in general) would be more pleasant if we were never asked to stretch out past our comfort zone, and take on new challenges.

Yet, if we run away from the hard challenges, and always choose the easy path, we'd never grow - never acquire new skills and experiences, develop more confidence, and learn more about ourselves.


I would urge you to consider that work is work: it's something you do to make money, so, you can live.

Focus on your new job.

Regarding the old job, it's extremely likely that after one hour nobody will even remember your name. People come and go all the time, it means nothing.

Enjoy your: life!

  • "after one hour nobody will even remember your name". Also, the next day, some of your former coworkers may even be very happy to take over your cool office or cubicle, chair, desk, computer, monitor, mouse, equipments, books, etc... :-) May 1, 2021 at 1:03

Taking a new job is always about trading the "devil" you know for the "devil" you don't know, and about learning the "dance steps" of the new company. They hired you because they believe you're the right person for the job. Let that knowledge boost your confidence. There's going to be some anxiety and nervousness, but allow yourself to experience it. Those are normal emotions. Soon enough you'll be settled in and comfortable.

As for any guilt about leaving, your relationship with your employer is a transactional business relationship. You perform work and they pay you for it. You have no moral obligation to them other than to perform the work they pay you for. It's their responsibility to hire the right people for the work and to make sure thay have enough people for the work. I don't spend one minute thinking about what my employer would do or how they would be impacted if I left or if they fired me.

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