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Premise:

I'm 21, and I've started my path for my current company when I was 16 in a school internship. Then for all next years every internship or every holidays I was working for them as a software developer. When I reached 18 I started to work part-time, morning school and evening work. Then after the end of the high school, I've started to work full-time, so under contract I have been here for more than three years and I'm known in the company for more than six years.

After all those years my pay never raised. There is zero organization in the company and almost all projects were under me as I was the only developer to know new technologies and that caused a high level of stress for me.

So I've started to look for other work...

I've done lot of interviews with different companies and when I said to my boss that I was going to change he told me that my pay would be changed in X (actually it wasn't even a significant raise), so we started to discuss about it as X was too low for the job I was actually doing. We ended up with something that would be "okay" for me and he even told me that I would become the manager of the software office and he was going to say it to the current manager and other developers, but in one month he still didn't said anything to others about it, (we're in 5). I've accepted it.

The issue is that after some days I had a positive feedback from an interview from another company, much bigger than the actually one, and flexible hours, lot of benefits. The pay is lower, but I would learn a lot and I would focus only on something specific instead of doing all of the work as I was doing for all those years.

So I accepted it. The issue is that now I have to tell it to my boss who has seen me growing up and helped me a lot in my personal life. He was like almost a "father" for me with obviously all the cons about the "life" in the company.

How should I tell it to him?

He is an old man, and he was saying lot of emotional stuff every time I was talking about other companies like "remember all stuff I've made for you" and so on...

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    "the pay is lower"? It looks like you are already exploited and now you want to accept an even lower pay? Is there any specific reason you think this is ok?
    – FooTheBar
    Sep 17 '21 at 7:44
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    @FooTheBar It sounds like the OP doesn't have a university degree, so lower pay for a job that cover the cost of the degree might make sense.
    – nick012000
    Sep 17 '21 at 7:46
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    @FooTheBar the difference is only of 100€ p/month, and in the new company i will be able to grow fastly and in less than one year to get the same pay, instead in the new company i have 3/5 days of smart-working, so i will consume less fuel, the new job will be closer to the home and if i will complete extra tasks i could get up to 15% on the yearly pay.
    – John K
    Sep 17 '21 at 8:11
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    Does this answer your question? When does accepting an offer to stay with my current firm make sense? Sep 17 '21 at 9:20
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    @FooTheBar - That was my reaction. If the money is better where you're working and you feel exploited, how is that going to change when you're at a new company with greater expectations and lower pay? Better to stay.
    – Richard
    Sep 18 '21 at 9:07
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You don't have to ignore emotions and feelings, to still accomplish what you're looking for: leaving. What you do have to do, though, is wait until things are final - you have an offer that you've accepted.

Once you've accepted, the right way to approach your boss is, roughly:

Hi, [boss]. I wanted to let you know that I really value everything you've done for my career, and think that you've taught me an incredible amount in the five years we've worked together. Thanks to everything you've helped me learn, I was able to earn a job offer at [x], which is an incredible opportunity for me that I was unable to pass up.

I'm really going to miss working here, and hope you don't mind if I keep in touch. I'll be able to stay until [x date], and I want to make sure everything is completely taken care of for you so that nothing stops because I'me leaving. Let's figure out a prioritized list of things for me to do before I leave at [x date].

The key is:

  • Feed boss's ego - give them credit for everything they think they deserve credit for and then some.
  • Make it clear that this is a fait accomplis, that you are absolutely gone, no negotiations; if they push back with another offer, politely say "I've already accepted, and it would be going back on my word at this point" or something like that (whatever is culturally appropriate for your culture).
  • Make it clear this is an amazing opportunity you just couldn't pass up. It's not something your current boss could have offered.

Then - don't argue about things; let them talk, they'll talk and talk and talk about how you owe them etc. Let them - it's just your boss' way of blowing off steam.

Finally - keep talking about the date you're leaving, bring it up a lot. That way it's really clear it's done, and they understand they need to plan your work for the next few weeks/months/whatever.

Be really careful to set clear boundaries - that's the most important thing here. Your boss will try to get around whatever you set out, so make the boundaries crystal clear so there's no way to see them as otherwise.

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  • The only problem here is, the boss is a highly manipulative 'bastard". (In particular, any manager who would try to emotionally manipulate a young person, I would literally describe as "evil".) So I would just encourage the OP to be as crisp as possible.
    – Fattie
    Sep 18 '21 at 16:09
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    I think this answer fits at best my situation as other has focused on "manipulative boss". I was looking more for an answer which would suggest me how to politely exit from this job as anyway i have to be grateful to my boss as he done a lot for me, even if he is really manipulating me i would focus in being a good person anyway.
    – John K
    Sep 20 '21 at 7:09
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    and i would add that all that manipulating stuff never worked as i've accepted anyway the offer from another company
    – John K
    Sep 20 '21 at 7:12
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    Once you've accepted should be "once you have the contract signed by both parties in hand"...
    – AnoE
    Sep 20 '21 at 12:49
  • And expect them to contact you about things you've left after the date. To mitigate this, make clear documentation for your replacement. Or your boss, if the replacement never hired. This will in turn help you in two ways: practice making instruction, and reduce the chance of them contacting you.
    – Vylix
    Oct 1 '21 at 8:43
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Never tell anyone anything - ever

That's that. When you have a written signed offer from your next company, just politely hand in your resignation at your current company.

During your career you will change jobs many times. It's a non-issue.

Never fall for absurd emotional B.S.

The manager was ... "saying lot of emotional stuff" ...

Managers and owners use various idiotic tricks to try to keep workers working for low pay. One of these idiotic tricks is emotional crap which sometimes works with the youngest, most inexperienced workers. Completely ignore such idiocy.

If they happened to want to sack you for any reason, you'd be gone in ten seconds. When you leave to go to another company, nobody will remember your name ten seconds after you are out the door.

Behave professionally. Work is work.

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – motosubatsu
    Sep 20 '21 at 8:23
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Wait until you've gotten a job offer from another company.

The simple answer to your question is "don't". You continue on as though everything was fine, until you've received a job offer from another company and you're ready to actually resign - and I don't mean just a good interview, I mean that the contracts have been signed and you've actually gotten the job. If you tell the company that you're looking for work before you actually find another job, it's possible you might get fired before you manage to find another job, leaving you without an income and making finding another job harder (it's easier to find another job if you're currently employed).

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  • In Italy you actually can't fire someone if he is just looking for a new job and if you will do it the company will need to pay you more than paying you. Anyway i've yet got the contract but i'm still thinking about signing it or not cause of lot of pression on me from the company about all the good stuff they made for me
    – John K
    Sep 17 '21 at 8:14
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    @JohnK they're putting emotional pressure on you because they know they're backed into a corner. If they were willing to pay you more for what you've been doing and are doing now, they would have coughed up the money. TBH, it sounds like you've had a fantastic opportunity with this company, and you should be very appreciative, but don't let them hold you emotionally hostage. If they're not willing to pay you what you're now worth, it's time to cut the strings and move on.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 17 '21 at 17:27
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    @JohnK ciao, the company you are working for currently ...... are idiots. Walk away, and move on to your new job. Never work somewhere that uses "emotions" in business. Good luck in your new career and please enjoy it!
    – Fattie
    Sep 17 '21 at 17:59
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    "In Italy you actually can't fire someone if he is just looking for a new job" -- yes you can; you just don't say that's the reason. Sep 17 '21 at 18:47
  • wait until you've gotten an offer AND passed their screening requirements
    – Tiger Guy
    Sep 17 '21 at 20:38
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Had a similar situation to your and I know the feeling. You feel like you owe the old man. BUT I can almost guarantee you that as soon as you worked a couple of months somewhere else you will notice that it wasn't all that great.

As someone suggested wait until you have an offer and then tell him. It is business. If this is a serious businessman he won't be mad at you. I am still friends with my old boss and he wasn't mad at me or anything.

Just try to paint them in a good light so they feel better about themselves and give some reasons they have no power over maybe.

For example I told them that I wanted flexible hours, which they hadn't (they changed it after I left though so I kinda helped them being more attractive for new hires I guess?). I also told them that I wanted to work with technology XY that they could never offer me due to the software they develop. And I said I was trying to get a management position which only a bigger company could offer me and not a startup and that I wanted to become a mentor and since they don't have a mentor program and so on.

So I tried to tell them kinda like "it is not you, it is me" if you know what I mean? I was also very apologetic (which was kinda stupid) and said I am sorry, they were the best team and I know it wont be as great as with you guys but I want to grow from a career standpoint and I hope you don't take it personally as I would love to work forever with you but also want to follow my dreams and something along those lines.

In the end, don't worry. It is business and if your boss takes it personally you might have dodged a bullet. He would probably fire you on the spot with no regrets if he would need to save money and got a new intern doing all this stuff.

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    @OmarL - if you see an obvious typo, just edit it. no big deal. the original writer is notified and will change it if needed. if someone commented on every typo on this site, it would have a billion comments about typos (perhaps literally a billion!)
    – Fattie
    Sep 18 '21 at 16:07
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So i accepted it, the issue is that now i have to tell it to my boss that seen me growing up, helped me a lot in my personal life and he was like almost a "father" for me with obv all the cons about the "life" in the company.

Reading the OP, You also said...

so we started to discuss about it as X was too low for the job i was actually doing, we ended up with something that would be "okay" for me and he even told me that i would become the manager of the software office and he was going to say it to the current manager and other developers, but in 1 month he still didn't said nothing to other about it, (we're in 5), i've accepted it.

It doesn't sound like he's this "fatherly" figure that you're talking about when he said he would raise your pay to X then never actually doing it. It's sadly a fairly standard tactic that you fell for. You caught your boss offguard by turning in your first two weeks and the reason why he promised you X pay is because he wants you to stick around. He won't actually do it and pretend like he's trying to put in the paperwork and talking to people but reality is he's just stalling you for time because he's trying to prepare your leaving. Now when you put in your actual two weeks notice, don't be surprised if he says, "See ya later. You can leave sooner if you want."

Actually it is standard practice these days to trip millennials to believing that they're working for a higher purpose and guilt trip them into never leaving or looking for a job. Reality is your boss, the "fatherly" figure who watched you grow up is also running a business where real money is being made or lost. I suspect if he had to ultimately choose between you or the needs of his company, he would choose the company.

Best advice in the future is that if you want a pay raise, ask for it first. Ask what you need to do, what the steps are and see what your boss says. If your boss says no, then find a new job with that pay and simply turn in your 2 weeks. If he suddenly says he got the money, don't fall for it because if he wasn't willing to give it to you 2 weeks ago, why is he suddenly able to now? Such a person can't be trusted and transferring job is the smartest move.

With that said, if you got your job offer, turn in your 2 weeks. And no matter how much he tries to guilt you or make you stay around, don't fall for it. A lot of people are worried about changing jobs or that they will fail at their new jobs so they stick with where they are because after all it's a job. These people end up miserable and unhappy and feel unfulfilled in what they do. Unless you have a family and they need your support, sticking with a bad job is not a good idea. Sure you might fail at your new job and it might be worse, but you already know how bad it is at your current job and shouldn't stick with it because of nostalgic reasons or because your boss promised you something that he never delivers.

Edit: I also want to add in that you put yourself at a major tactical disadvantage by originally turning in your 2 weeks and then withdrawing it after making a deal on a new pay. He hasn't given it to you so there is a real concern here. I would argue that you're on a timer. Your boss is possibly looking for your replacement and you might need to find a new job sooner than expected. By asking for a pay raise first, without threatening your jobs, will put you at a better position in the future because you can take your time to look for a job after your boss answers yes or no to your pay raise. With that in mind, you must absolutely be prepared to leave this time when you put your 2 weeks notice in. Unless you don't have a need for a consistent pay slip, I would say time is of the essence here.

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  • It doesn't sound like he's this "fatherly" figure that you're talking about when he said he would raise your pay to X then never actually doing it. - well, actually it does sound a lot like working for family.. :D
    – Caius Jard
    Sep 19 '21 at 7:19
  • Actually the pay has been changed for real and it's doubled, the issue is that for my job in this company i still think it's too low so i decided to accept another job for a lower salary (than my new one) as it will bring more benefits for me, i will focus only on one project per time and i will have less responsabilities, instead of it i will get lot of courses on tech and soft skills and other stuff
    – John K
    Sep 20 '21 at 7:00
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Changing your company is always going to cause hurt feelings; by changing your company, you're basically saying "this company isn't good enough, that company is better than you", and that always sucks to hear. This is doubly true when the company really sucks, because not only do they suck and they know they suck, but they also know that up until yesterday you were prepared to accept that they suck and now all of a sudden the situation changed; now they not only have to take on the feeling of being told they suck, but also they have to find another sucker to work for them now that their current sucker (i.e. you) got wise, and finding a sucker is always hard. So they will incentivize you to stay in any way they can, which includes faking being "sad" or whatever.

Now, as for what to do: Your boss may or may not be a father figure to you, but at the end of the day the company sucks. Maybe it's the fault of your boss, maybe it's not. But that doesn't change that the company sucks; they're not paying you enough and aren't giving you work that makes you happy. So, you've decided to leave. Separate that in your mind from anything else your boss has to say. You want to leave, period.

Now, does anything your boss says (all that "emotional" stuff) actually change anything about your decision to leave? If not, then none of that matters, just throw it in the trash in your mind. The fact is, you're going to leave, period. It sounds like you've gone out and interviewed already and it sounds like you've gotten an offer that you're happy with, which means you're well on your way to leaving, which is good.

Now, the last thing to think about is what to say when you're leaving, and the answer is, just say it. It's not going to get better for anyone; for you, or your boss, or the company. Just say it. Since English seems to not be your native language and therefore I'm guessing you're not in an English-speaking locale, I'm not going to suggest the words to use because I don't know your language, but the things to remember are:

  1. Be professional. Don't say "you suck". I say that a lot in this answer because it's true, but they don't have to hear that.

  2. Be nice. Say things like "thank you for the opportunity", "I enjoyed my time here", and so on.

  3. Be assertive. There is no room for them to retain you as an employee, so if they try, just make it known: "I have decided to move to another company". Not "I am thinking of", or "I'm considering an offer", or any other such weasel-words. Don't be mean, but be assertive: You know what you want to do and you're going to do it, and that's the bottom line.

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