I've been working at a company for a year and 5 months and I'm considering an offer from another company. During my tenure at this company, I've experienced a lot of ups and downs that a startup, venture capital funded company experiences. I'm referring to a few lay offs.

Also I'm working with an entry level hire who doesn't pull their weight and can't stay on track, because they're too busy online shopping or browsing Facebook. The "culture" of the company is okay with the internet use and I am too...only to a certain extent. If you're meeting your deadlines and keeping up with the workload, then fine. But I end up picking up the slack, because my teammate can't stay focused.

The dilemma I'm having is leaving a company where I am in the middle of a big project and I'm also in the middle of helping to train an entry-level hire who I don't feel really cares about the work at hand. All things considered, I still feel guilty even considering this move. I feel like my boss and peers may look at me differently...like I'm leaving them in a pinch and leaving an entry level hire to their own vices.

This project most likely will go on until mid summer and will be well beyond the timeframe I can give to help before I move on to my new position.

Should I leave or stick it out until the project ends? And I should mention that I wasn't looking for a job despite my current circumstances. This job was presented to me by an old coworker a couple weeks ago.

I'm also a highly valued person at my company. I just received an amazing review today and I don't think my employer anticipates me making this move.

I just don't feel stable and I feel like I'm working day and night, because my teammate isn't held accountable by our manager. And now that I have this offer, the grass seems greener....

  • 5
    Covering for a slacking junior is not called mentoring.
    – Masked Man
    Mar 25, 2015 at 5:07
  • 2
    I was in a similar position, and ended up agreeing to a 12 week notification period in stead of a 2 week notification period, to make sure the project was finished. I ended up in a hostile work environment which made it harder to feel motivated. And the lack of appreciation for my extended wait made me resentful in a situation where I should have otherwise left on good terms. Your case might be completely different, but I sure wish I took a clean break in stead of letting my guilt for leaving dictate my actions.
    – Reaces
    Mar 25, 2015 at 10:21
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    Not feeling that your job is "secure" is more than reason enough to leave. While your boss and peers may be disappointed if you leave, they will surely understand. Especially considering you have had layoffs at the company. Also, keep in mind that the company didn't feel any obligation to those people they laid off, so why do you think you owe the company more than they are offering? You have no reason to feel guilty, even if your entire reason for leaving was just because you flipped a coin and based your decision entirely on that outcome. But you have very good reasons.
    – Dunk
    Mar 26, 2015 at 14:40
  • If you are a highly valued person, then I assume your salary is higher than the salary the new company offers, right, so why are you leaving? If your salary is lower, you are not highly valued.
    – gnasher729
    Jul 17, 2015 at 15:30

4 Answers 4


The Internet-surfing newbie should be let go for wasting time and not meeting standards (you're covering for his/her lack of accomplishment).

If stability is what you need, you should not feel badly about seeking it.

If you decide to leave, do it quickly. Two weeks is plenty of time, given notice, to make adjustments needed. Don't drag it out. You'll find that being a lame duck is...lame.


This is actually common (the dilemma part).

The dilemma I'm having is leaving a company where I am in the middle of a big project and I'm also in the middle of helping to train an entry-level hire who I don't feel really cares about the work at hand.

Unless you had a direct hand in hiring this new hire; this is not your problem but rather the company's problem. They are responsible for hiring people that are fit for the job purpose and can keep pace with requirements. It is not your problem, and a general part of doing business (that is, bad hires happen everywhere and your situation is not unique).

If you are in a middle of a big project and you want to leave, this is also not your problem but the company's problem. They should (as best practice) have a backup plan; in case you are unable to attend work for any other reason (god forbid you were ill or had some family emergency, an accident etc.) You having to leave is the same situation.

You should definitely not feel guilty.

A business relationship is a two-way relationship; you should explain your motives for leaving (be frank and honest) and put in your notice immediately. Every person feels obligated to their work as a matter of ethics (some more than others), but you have to realize that you are performing work for which you are getting paid. If you are not getting paid enough, or you are not satisfied, or (any other reason) it is absolutely fine for you to leave to see another agreement that suits you and the employer.

Consider if you don't leave and stay due to loyalty - would you still be as happy here as you would at your other job?

Your obligation to stay is directly related to the employer's obligation to provide you a working environment and compensation that suits you. So if one is not matching, the other shouldn't.


Business is.. well, business.

If you mostly like your job and especially if you mostly like your boss and your co-workers, it's natural to feel a bit bad about inconveniencing them by moving on to another job.

But ultimately.. everyone moves on. Every business has to deal with every employee leaving and being replaced. You need to follow the course of action which best takes care of you, your loved ones, and your career prospects.

So, be sure that you're considered this move for the right reasons. If the only problem is that your lazy new hire is causing extra stress and workload for you, and everything about your job is grand, it's well worth having a heart-to-heart with your boss about it, rather than just leaving because it's easier than a confrontation.

But if this new opportunity that your former co-worker brought to your attention is genuinely an excellent next step in your career, then don't let yourself be held back by the fact that it will cause stress and inconvenience for your current employer to replace you. Replacing good people who have been around for a while is always inconvenient. It won't be any less so if you wait until the end of your current project.


The sooner you give your two weeks' notice, the sooner they start looking for a replacement for you. Your fretting about the company after you leave is irrelevant. You are not being paid to manage, and you are certainly not paid to manage after you leave.

As for your intern who is not performing the work, let the company deal with him.

When I was a consultant at AT&T in the mid 1990s, the AT&T manager I worked for was a talented woman who was about as happy with her job as I was with mine: very unhappy, hard edge unhappy. She told me that several years before, she had found herself another job and announced her resignation to her manager. Her manager said that before he could accept her resignation, she had to finish a project. Several weeks later, he gave her another project to finish and several weeks after that, a third. He strung her along for months until she gave up. She wanted a child. Her biological clock ran out on her and that never happened.

Her manager eventually got a job elsewhere and he certainly did not worry about the loose ends he left behind or about the damage he had done to her. I told her that, as much as I appreciated having her as my boss, she had made a bad mistake, he had taken advantage of her, treated her priorities with disrespect, and she should have dumped him after she had finished her first project.

If you choose to leave the company, make your choice and don't look back. If they don't survive your departure, then they probably didn't deserve to survive. Let the CTO worry about making sure that your departure is not a destructive event; that's his job, not yours.

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