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I have been working at a French start-up for 2 years. I have passed through some difficult times during this period. The workplace was one of the main causes and I ended up seeking help from a psychologist specialized in workplace matters.

Things are much better now at the workplace for reasons that I am not sure I fully understand, but in the meantime I got a job offer from another company. I think that I am going to accept it.

My question is: After resigning, should I tell my employer about this psychologist thing? I fear that, if I don't tell him, he would not fully understand my decision to leave and think that I am kind of a jerk or unreliable person leaving without good reason. The start-up is very small (~5 people) and I have a good relationship with my employer and colleagues, even though 3 or 4 months ago I was very unhappy with them.

marked as duplicate by gnat, mcknz, Lilienthal, Masked Man, JakeGould Sep 6 '16 at 2:01

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    Well...? How did it go? What have you decided to do? – Konrad Viltersten Sep 4 '16 at 20:37
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    @Konrad The discussion is going to be the coming week. I think that I am not going to tell him anything so precise as psychologist consultations but if he asks I could tell him that I had some difficult times on a personal level. Thanks – user289366 Sep 4 '16 at 20:47
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    Honestly. The less said the better. If you are going, then just go. Leave at that. Nothing more. No discussions. Say your goodbyes, be respectful, be friendly, and above all else, be close lipped. Cheers!! – closetnoc Sep 5 '16 at 3:11
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There is no reason whatsoever to tell them why you are leaving. Especially if it is because of a very private matter. If they ask "why are you leaving" you can truthfully say "because I feel the new position is much better for me". That's all you need to say. If they want more reasons, you tell them "I told you I feel the new position is much better for me, and that's all I'm going to say".

If they don't understand that you would leave for a better position, well, that's their problem, not yours.

Update: One answer remarked that leaving a company unhappy might lead to future problems. Not telling the company why you are leaving (which they have no right to know, and should have no expectation to know) is very low on the list of things to make the former company unhappy. Leaving with bad timing for the company would be a lot higher; it should be avoided unless it hurts you. Punching your boss would be very high on the list and should really be avoided unless you are acting in self defence :-) So I do not at all think you should tell them why you are leaving and where you are going to to avoid future problems.

But in this case, telling the ex-employer that you had psychological consultations, that's asking for trouble. Imagine you apply for a new job and someone there says "you shouldn't hire userxxxxx because he or she is not quite right in their head". Totally unfair, quite possibly illegal, but it will hurt you. If someone said "he left the company where I worked and didn't tell anything why he left except some very vague reason", the reply is very likely to be "so what? What did you expect?"

In a different situation, if you really want to help your employer improve for altruistic reasons: No good deed ever goes unpunished :-( Anything you say that would be helpful will be stepping on someone's toes. "If you feel so bad about this company, then we'll reduce your two weeks notice to zero days. Goodbye".

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    "There is no reason whatsoever to tell them why you are leaving." "That's their problem, not yours." Doesn't this assume that an exiting employee's only motivation is selfish self-interest? What if someone genuinely wants to give feedback so the organization has the opportunity to fix issues and change for the better going forward? The logic of capitalism encourages selfish behavior, but jeez, some people still have genuine altruism and care about the wellbeing of organizations they've devoted so much time and effort to. – Nick Weinberg Sep 5 '16 at 3:43
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    Typo: dead -> deed – Roland Sep 5 '16 at 10:22
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    @NickWeinberg: I agree with you; when leaving my former company they specifically asked if I was willing to provide feedback and identify areas where I thought they were lacking or could improve. – Matthieu M. Sep 5 '16 at 10:59
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    "If you feel so bad about this company, then we'll reduce your two weeks notice to zero days. Goodbye" I don't know about France specifically, but I know that many legislations protect you about this kind of abuse. – ValarDohaeris Sep 5 '16 at 14:16
  • This all depends on where you live, but here in the United States... because he or she is not quite right in the head would be absolutely illegal. They would be making a factual claim about the neurological/psychological state of the individual, one that doesn't necessarily equate to the truth. Even an innocuous exaggeration like "They're crazy" would put them at serious risk. They would be slapped with the mother of all slander and retaliation lawsuits. Second, other employers would not be able to act on it in an official capacity anyway, because of the Americans With Disabilities Act. – The Anathema Sep 20 '16 at 18:54
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after resigning, should I tell my employer about this psychologist thing?

No. That's a waste of your time, and a waste of their time.

Employers aren't interested in why you left. The time to discuss this was while you were there, before you decided to leave.

Once you have decided to leave, just do so with a minimum of chit-chat about why. Leave on professional terms, and there won't be any repercussions.

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    " Employers aren't interested in why you left." They may be interested to know about an issue that could affect other employees now or in the future. – Ratbert Sep 3 '16 at 20:05
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    @Ratbert my employer was. And exactly for that reason. No psyhologist consultations in my case, but whatever... the thing is - if employer wants to know, he asks. If he doesn't, and you don't fear for other employees, forget it. – Mołot Sep 3 '16 at 22:05
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    Employers aren't interested in why you left. In 40+ years, all of mine have been. Exit interviews are pretty common, and management I worked with contacted me personally when no formal interview process existed (even at a couple start-ups). – user2338816 Sep 5 '16 at 2:33
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    @JoeStrazzere I started out disagreeing with you, but I've come around. If there were things you were unhappy with and you didn't voice them prior to leaving, don't voice them on the way out. – Chris G Sep 6 '16 at 15:24
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I disagree somewhat with the other users. Of course, it's up to you to decide whether or not to tell the employer about the shrink. And there's a certain professionalism in not disclosing private details. To that extent I do agree with the others.

However, you mentioned that the start-up is small, meaning you have a more intimate relationship with your colleagues. So you may want to share the details as a friend but not as a (soon-to-be former) employee.

We don't know about your situation but in some cases, a displeased former employer might be a burden in your future career. Probably not but one never knows for sure. You mentioned that you're concerned that they might view you as an unreliable ass leaving them. So you might want to share the details as a protective measure for your future but not as a threatened and afraid individual.

You might also want to provide valuable feedback to your colleagues. We have no information on what caused the issues and you mention that you don't know yourself why it's better now. However, it might behove the workplace if they learn that some things might be improved. So you may want to share the details as an act of goodwill feedback and possible improvement but not just because you need to talk it out. You've got your shrink for that.

So, in conclusion, I'd say that the answer is yes and no. You should, in my view, consider the option and if you have a good reason to speak your mind, you should. If there are any doubts about how good the reasons are, then you probably should zip it.

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    Painting the exit flow with your personal issues could seriously impact the ability to use the current employers as future references. They will will draw their own evaluation regarding your exit whether you say anything or not so why add color to it. – Michael Karas Sep 5 '16 at 8:40
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Without mentioning the psychologist or going into any of your own medical details, you can still tell the employer the part that is directly relevant to them: that you found the workplace atmosphere difficult and stressful for a while, and that it’s since improved. This explains your departure, and is useful feedback that employer (and other employees) can potentially benefit from in future.

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I would not tell your employer about your experience with psychology. That can rarely work in your favor, is none of the company's business and could hurt your future ( remember this company is a reference for futures jobs - do you want them to mention that you left for "psychological problems"?) If you feel you must tell them something then couch it in general terms like "leaving for medical reasons". But once again I feel strongly that the "psychological reason" for leaving is too personal to share with your employer.

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