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I'm leaving my job soon, and before I go, I'm wondering if I should give some feedback to my manager about things I was unhappy with while here. He's not the reason I'm leaving (though is partially the reason I started looking for something else), but I feel there are things he could've done better as my manager, and perhaps if I share the things I was unhappy about, it might make life better for the next graduates that join the team.

I was largely unhappy with the lack of contact and feedback from him; a lot of the time I was working on poorly defined tasks I had to pick up from scratch with little support. He'd seldom or never check up on how I was doing, and as such it was very hard to tell if I was doing well. As an inexperienced hire, I expected more support and training. I've also often felt under-utilised, ignored and bored. I admit I could have been more forthcoming in going to him when I needed things, but the times I did go to talk to him, it often felt like little came of it.

The things I'd suggest to him would be to put aside more time to check up on new (inexperienced/grad) hires - just a brief 'how are you doing?' once a week might've made a difference. Being more clear about what was expected in what timeframe, how to get help with it/who to ask and what resources are available would've been great. Basically, greater communication (from both sides - but I feel that, as a manager, if the employee isn't forthcoming, the onus is on him to open up that channel).

Is it a good idea to try and mention something to my manager before I go? Or should I just drop it and move on? (I don't think I'll get a formal exit interview - we had a meeting that I thought might be something like one, but it was focused entirely on work handover and nothing beyond that.)

(Related questions: Should I tell my boss I'm leaving because of them?, Explaining that I'm leaving because I'm bored — or do I need to?)

  • @JoeStrazzere I'd hope for the next crop of grads to be happier and for my manager to either keep a closer eye on folks to prevent another 'surprise' departure or to better delegate the people management side of his role (...though I'm not sure who to.) – ELRG Apr 4 '17 at 15:37
  • Fair point. If I've not been asked, he's probably not interested. Linked question is very helpful, agree it's pretty much a dupe. Thank you for your insights! – ELRG Apr 4 '17 at 15:46
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Your motive appears to be, to help this person improve. However, it's rare for anyone to improve based on unsolicited advice, particularly from those seen as having less positional power.

Absent any evidence that your soon-to-be-former boss wants to improve (or even change), I would suggest instead writing down your reflections in a journal or as an article draft. This would give you good closure, would create an artifact you could look back on, and (if it's a draft article) would give you the space and time to write something balanced and easy for others to understand.

Then, if you discover (hours or years later) that your former boss really is open to learning and growth, you have something tangible to share.

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You could give feedback, but based on your experience with this particular boss it would likely be unappreciated and might be seen as a parting shot. In reality, your manager probably knows that you didn't like their management style by the fact that you are leaving.

One alternative approach would be to thank your boss for the support that they did give you during that time, just in case you ever need a reference.

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