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Due to family reasons (my wife got a great job overseas) I have to relocate and quit my job. I had a notice period of 2 weeks, but I have filed a resignation on the hands of my manager 3 months in advance. I thought that he would be happy with early notice. Instead it turned out that he has no idea how to use this information and asked me to file resignation later with only 2 weeks notice and also to not reveal to anyone in the office that I will be quitting.

It's a bit tough as I am on friendly terms with a lot of coworkers and normally I would definitely casually mention something like this.

Is it a reasonable behavior of a manager? What could be his incentives? Should I even consider to obey his request to not reveal my departure to others?

  • Have you asked your manager? If yes, what was the answer? If no, why not? – sleske Mar 24 '17 at 21:27
  • He said that he wants to give the news to the team himself. He didn't offer a reason why to keep it hidden that long and I didn't want to dig for it. – Kuba Mar 24 '17 at 21:34
  • If you don't honor his request, can he turn around and dismiss you with less than the 3 months you gave? If he can, you need to consider whether you want to be unemployed for 2 months or so before you leave the country. – Chris E Mar 24 '17 at 22:26
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    2 weeks is plenty of time to say your good byes. Just do what your manager has asked. – paparazzo Mar 24 '17 at 23:43
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    For example it may force me to lie to my coworkers if they casually ask how is my wife's longshot application for her dream-job going. And I don't like to lie to people. – Kuba Mar 27 '17 at 16:43
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Your manager is doing you a massive favor.

He is shielding you from 100% of the negative outcomes of your move while simultaneously allowing himself to plan appropriately. He is probably somewhat taking a career risk by choosing to do this if his management finds out.

It's possible your manager expects his management might terminate you immediately if they knew. Or perhaps your manager doesn't want to be faced with dealing with an entire team that knows you are leaving a long time in the future for morale reasons.

Should I even consider to obey his request to not reveal my departure to others?

I suspect if you do this, it will not be a good move on your part, either in terms of leaving when you want or keeping your manager as a good reference.

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    I think this answer is very helpful – smith Mar 24 '17 at 21:35
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    This answer has raised some interesting points I didn't think about. – Kuba Mar 25 '17 at 8:37
  • +1 - as a manager someone giving me months of notice would be giving me more pain than advantage. There's team morale, there's other teams not wanting the "short timer" working on stuff with them... I'd say "tell me in a couple months" too. – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Mar 27 '17 at 19:51
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Most likely your boss is trying to not fire you.

A lot of companies have stupid policies about walking people out when they give notice. In addition, lots of upper level managers would see your impending departure as a potential source of problems and want to end things sooner. These are short sighted policies/views, but they exist. By not announcing your resignation until the normal period, the boss gets to avoid all those potential problems, but still knows you're leaving and can transition work off of you. I'd honor his request.

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Is it a reasonable behavior of a manager?
What could be his incentives?

I can imagine it might be reasonable, but I haven't personally been in a situation where it would help. Most of my coworkers' leave notices were first known to their manager, but also announced to everyone on the team in a way that the two of them agreed on together.

One very specific advantage of an earlier note is the possibility of handover of your responsibilities and knowledge to other coworkers (it depends on the role whether or not this applies).

Should I even consider to obey his request to not reveal my departure to others?

It's possible for you to disobey the request, but this doesn't sound like a healthy interaction to me.

Instead, my recommendation would be to approach the manager and inform them that you feel awkward around your coworkers because of this secrecy and you'd like to be more transparent with them so that you feel better*.

*) I'd stop here and think more precisely why it's important to you. A more well-defined reason would work well as a part of such a request. For example maybe you'd like to plan a goodbye party with your teammates?

1

You wanted to leave three months from now, and you wanted to inform your manager. The result is that you can still leave three months from now, and your manager knows. In addition, the manager asked you not to tell anyone for 2 1/2 months.

I assume this is happening in the USA or another country where 2 weeks notice is the normal notice time, so if you do what your manager asks you to do, then from his point of view everything happens the way he is used to, with the slight change that he knows a few months earlier that you are going to leave. That's how he or she likes it, having nothing unusual happen.

If you tell your colleagues about leaving earlier, it might cause disruption. That disruption might anger your manager. In which case he might fire you with less than two weeks notice. So don't tell them, unless you don't mind if your employment ends earlier.

What's your manager's motivation? Simple. He knows exactly what to do when someone gives two weeks notice. Or no notice at all. But even though three months notice is better for him, he hasn't learned or practiced how to handle this. He may have a checklist of things to do when someone quits, and that checklist doesn't work with 3 months notice. You just confuse things that he doesn't want confused.

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Is it a reasonable behavior of a manager?

It seems odd to me.

What could be his incentives?

I have no idea. You could certainly sit down with him and ask.

But what does it matter? You have made your decision, so it would appear to make no difference to you if you go along with his wishes or not.

Should I even consider to obey his request to not reveal my departure to others?

You can do whatever pleases you most.

The worst he can do is let you go now. I'm assuming you wouldn't care.

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    Enderland's answer is a very good analysis of the potential motives of the manager. The present advice, of course, could be followed, but it is really not very friendly to the manager who may have additional reasons to arrange things the way he asked and suggests an unnecessarily antagonistic move by OP. Unless, of course, you suspect that there is foul play on the side of the manager involved, but you do not seem to motivate your answer based on that. – Captain Emacs Mar 24 '17 at 22:57
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    "I'm assuming you wouldn't care." - Why assume that? – Brandin Mar 27 '17 at 9:57

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