Background information:

  • I'm a software developer and project manager.
  • I started my employment with this company straight from college.
  • The company has paid for my apprenticeship, however there is nothing in my contract about giving time back.
  • I have worked through a few positions in the company, and am now a main source of information for both internal and external support requests.
  • Due to lack of time to create documentation, the last two years of projects have all the functionality knowledge stored in code and my head.
  • EDIT I've been in my current role (Developer and Manager) for close to 3 years. I have been at the company for 4.5 years in total.
  • EDIT2 I have only just (last month) completed the apprenticeship. This has been delayed by my employer as they prevented me attending college.

I'm starting to feel like the company has a once the apprentice, always the apprentice attitude. Due to this, I have started applying for jobs and have been approached by a few head hunters. I currently have an interview booked in the next couple of weeks, working for a family friends company, so I am pretty sure I will get the job.

I currently have a one month notice period, and I feel obliged to tell the company before I hand my notice in. I don't know why, I just do.

The question...Should I? Why? Why not?

  • I don't understand - you're a Developer/Manager but you've been undertaking an apprenticeship? An apprenticeship in what? How are they related? – HorusKol Jun 17 '14 at 23:00
  • I started my apprenticeship in electrical and electronic engineering, however a position became available in the software development side of the company. This lead to a project management role as well, all while completing my apprenticeship. Does that help? – Joshpbarron Jun 17 '14 at 23:02
  • Last question - who paid for the apprenticeship? Sounds like they've been employing you as a non-training developer/project manager. – HorusKol Jun 17 '14 at 23:04
  • The actual course was government funded, however I was paid a yearly salary much higher than the normal apprenticeship wage (£2.30/hour is the standard) and was paid for the days in which I attended college. – Joshpbarron Jun 17 '14 at 23:06
  • "... working for a family friends company" - this is not very good idea. Start working for friends can be good, but one day you may decide to leave - and frequently this is end of friendship. – i486 Jul 21 '16 at 8:12

When you have a solid job offer from another company, you should give notice to your present company. You should not give formal notice until you know exactly where you will go, because of the possibility that they will ask you to leave immediately.

But, it's not clear whether you hope to be able to stay in your current company with increased responsibility. If you do hope for that, there is no harm in asking your supervisor for a conversation about the "once the apprentice, always the apprentice" issue you raised in your question.

Most companies are delighted when employees ask supervisors about what it takes to get more responsibility, and to move beyond a trainee role into a respected professional role. This conversation is especially appropriate now, because your apprenticeship has recently ended.

Note: this isn't a conversation about what will keep you from leaving: don't bring up that issue, because it's confrontational. This is a friendly conversation about how the company and you can benefit from your training and your work.

If they react negatively to your request for this discussion, that is important information for you to consider as you plan the next move in your career.

  • Will you be able to advance your career as fast in your new position? Ollie is right, talk to your boss before making decision about leaving. – Peter M. - stands for Monica Jun 18 '14 at 13:56
  • I suspect that this is in a place in Europe where they would not be able to ask the OP to leave early. That is just based on some of the terms the OP used in the question though. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Jun 18 '14 at 14:58

You should tell your current employer as soon as you have a written offer (or email) from the new one - and not any sooner. Let the new employer know you have a notice period to serve - this is pretty standard.

You might get a counter-offer from your current employer - but make sure when you give your notice you address the root cause of why you're leaving (you don't feel you're progressing along a career path). Then again, if you're ready to leave, I wouldn't consider the counter-offer anyway.

With regards to the other things (documentation, time served for training) - they're irrelevant. If your employer doesn't allow time for that kind of thing, and doesn't actively encourage you to do that, then they'll reap what they sow, and it's not your problem.

  1. The company paid for your apprenticeship, but do feel reassured that they got back the money they paid for your your training, and more. They invested into your training and the investment more than paid off. If you're feeling really grateful, say "Thank you!" to them :) Don't feel guilty about leaving. You more than returned their good will in the form of high quality work over the years.

  2. Give the notice at the time you're supposed to give notice. Not one minute earlier. And don't even think of giving notice until you have that job offer in hand. Telling them earlier than you should may make the remainder of you time at your firm more painful and awkward than it already is and than it needs to be, both for you and for them. You can help ease the transition by being available to answer questions (within reason) after you have left. Of course, if they choose to work you to death before you leave and they leave you hardly any time to carry out the documentation effort, then it's their problem if things fall apart once you are out the door. You cannot support them forever after you leave :)

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