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I work in software development and was 'hired' by a major company (B) through a staffing agency (A). The agency put me on temp-to-perm assignment with B about six months ago; the contract is at-will for nine months. (It is through this coming March.)

Cutting a long story short, I have no remorse whatsoever about breaking things off with company A since they have treated me so poorly.

I am concerned however with my relationship with company B. Given different circumstances, I would love to stay. The people are awesome, the culture is comfortable, and the job is close to family. The people acknowledge my help and help me when I need it. They don't absolutely need me, but I like to think I'd be missed.

I've received an impossibly good offer from another company and I am going to take it. Whom should I tell first, my employer (A) or my team (B)?


Note that I know my employer – however bad of an employer they are – has a right to know. I hand my resignation to them and none other. This question is over whether I can/should tell my team before they find out through the 'chain of command' as it were.

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    I edited the question to remove useless details that may have sounded like I was ranting; I apologize for that. It was pretty late last night :) Is there anything else at all I might improve? (To be clear, the edit isn't to invalidate the comments and answer already received :)) – Sean Allred Dec 12 '14 at 12:59
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    great edits, this is a good example of editing a question from a rant to be a question which fits here well. Thanks for your edit! – enderland Dec 13 '14 at 15:59
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    I took enderland's comment as an implicit reopen vote, noted the three that were already present, and cast the final one. – Monica Cellio Dec 15 '14 at 4:31
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Not too much to think about here, you MUST talk to your employer. They will likely want to manage the message to their customer (your workplace), and may not want you to discuss it with the workplace. If you told the workplace first, the first thing they will do is contact the employer, so you'll look bad having not told your employer first.

Your feelings on the workplace are irrelevant here I'm afraid, you may find as soon as you resign you're pulled out from the workplace.

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    Do you stand by your answer with the edits I've done to the question? Just want to make sure :) (i.e. is there any danger/poor-taste in notifying my team of my resignation before I tender it to my employer?) – Sean Allred Dec 13 '14 at 16:02
  • @SeanAllred To put it simply, it is 100% danger/poor-taste if you notify your team before you tender it to your employer. – Nick2253 Dec 15 '14 at 15:14
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    Yeah, always tell the person who pays you the money first, they may want to manage the situation before they stop making the money they use to pay you. – The Wandering Dev Manager Dec 15 '14 at 16:38
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You want to tell your employer first so they can tell the team who they want to nominate to replace you. In a team environment multiple companies may be involved. If company A can't fill the slot quickly, then all the companies are given an opportunity to find a candidate. The additional time you give your employer allows them to find candidates, interview them, and craft a response all before their competitor are aware there is an opening.

If you tell your teammates first, your company will now be the last to know about the opening. The competition will use that extra time to identify possible replacements.

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