So I just recently resigned from my position as an IT manager. I will be starting my new position tomorrow. I believe I left on good terms with the president of the company. And I do not want to burn any bridges, as I would like to use them as a reference in the future.

When I resigned I offered to help out the next IT manager on evenings or weekends, as there is a lot to learn and he/she would not be hired before I left.

Unfortunately, the president hired my assistant to replace me. I was not consulted and I believe it was a bad idea. He is a smart guy, but he does not have the knowledge or experience to do the position. I believe she hired him because he can be paid a cheap salary. They are a very cheap company. But that's irrelevant.

The day after I resigned, a pipe burst in the server room and destroyed several important servers. Fortunately, I have the data backed up remotely, but they are down for now. He has been calling my asking for advice for the last two days and I know its going to happen some more until they get this resolved. I'm so glad I was out of there before this happened.

I want to help out, since I said I would. But I don't want to do it forever. I want to keep a positive relationship with the old company. I also want to keep a positive relationship with my old assistant, as I consider him a friend.

The problem is, how do I maintain these relationships? I have a bad feeling that they/he will continue to call me asking for help and advice.

  • It sounds like they had a one time emergency immediately after you left. Why do you think they'll call "forever"?
    – NotMe
    Nov 4 '14 at 22:09

If that is something you would consider, tell them that you will be glad to help for a fee and name your price. One should never ever work for free.


If they're just asking your advice and it's not taking up a lot of your time, then continue to respond - after at least 24 hours have elapsed.

Since they're not paying you, they can't really complain if you don't respond on the same day. A next-business-day response is still more than generous on your part.

(Set your phone so that their calls automatically go to voicemail without ringing).

Giving them a day to think about it will likely mean that they've started to solve the problem before they hear back from you, so it'll wean them off contacting you every time they have a problem.

If they actually ask you to go in to the office (or log in remotely) and do the work, as opposed to merely offering advice, then it's time to tell them you'll do it, but at your hourly/daily consulting rate (this should be at least double what they were paying you before).


You really should have qualified how much you would help and for how long before you left. You will know this for next time. If I were in your position, I would offer the help I said I would with this current issue they have, and then once it's been resolved I would just explain that you realise they're new to the position so for the next X period (days, weeks or months; whatever you decide is enough) you'll give a hand when you can, but your hands are tied as you only have so much time free after work and personal responsibilities. If they need you after this time, you might be able to work something out on a contract (i.e. paid) basis.


This is not your problem. You made a big mistake by telling them you would help them even after you left. That's basically working for free. Your company is about to get a nice hard lesson about being cheap in the IT world.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .