I work as a software engineer under direct supervision of a project manager. Since I became employed, the project manager started trusting me more and more and now there's a lot of trust between us.
One thing which surprised me about him was that he viewed the resignation of one of our colleagues as a form of betrayal. He portrayed him in a negative light after he resigned. He has the attitude that if someone comes in one day and says "I want to resign" and that person didn't decide to discuss the reasons for leaving prior to leaving, that's betrayal. I disagree and I was particularly surprised when he started portraying our former colleague in a negative light (he did this when we were alone, not in front of the entire team).
That being said, the project manager is a good guy overall. Although he has room to improve, I respect the fact that he trusts me and is generally good towards me and the team.
Recently, I began thinking about applying to other jobs. The reasons why I'm thinking about changing jobs include, but are not limited to, changing the technology I work in, higher salary and different company culture. Even though I want to leave the company, I'd like to leave the company on good terms, especially with my project manager.
In my mind, I have the following choices:
- Tell my project manager that I'll be potentially looking for new jobs. This seems like a bad option, because he seems like the kind of person who would then trust me less and also try to manage me more.
- While I'm interviewing for another job, tell that to my project manager. This seems bad for the same reason as in point 1.
- Apply to jobs and once I get an offer I like, hand in my resignation. This option is completely fair and honest from my point of view, but I think that my project manager will view this as a form of betrayal.
If I were to chose, I would chose option 3 and as I hand in the resignation, I would be honest and tell him: "Look, I think you're a good person overall, but I wouldn't take my resignation personally. The other company works with a new technology I want to work in and has an offer which I find more attractive at the moment. From your point of view this might seem like betrayal, but I think I've done my job correctly and ethically while I was working here and I hope we're parting on good terms."
My intuition tells me that my project manager will still portray me in a negative light to the coworkers that remain in the company, whatever I say or do, if I leave the company. That's something I can't affect. Ideally, I would wish that I leave the company on such good terms that I can come back there and work if something on the new job doesn't pan out, but I think that I will be burning bridges if I leave this company.
So, my question: How do I leave a company on good terms if my project manager views leaving the company as a form of betrayal?