“The non compete clause is never enforced. I’m not worried if they find out where I am going.”
A very real guy I know said that to his new boss. He went back and bragged to his old coworkers about the new job. He got a phone call from his old company’s lawyer. Guess what? They are enforcing the non compete clause. If he fought it, he very well might beat it. But during the ensuing battle he couldn’t work. So he is staying. What do you think his career path looks like now?
Resignation should always be done with a simple letter stating:
I appreciate the opportunity I have had to work for XYZ Company. I am resigning my position effective <date>.
Don’t say where you are going. Don’t brag to your coworkers. Don’t even admit which state or industry you will be in.
What if there is not a non compete clause in your contract? You should resign the same way.
You may be accused of bringing trade secrets to the new employer. They may not be able to stop you, but they can still cause you and your new company pain in the courts.
Resigning should always be done the same way. Simply and quietly. Gloating is never a good idea.
Something To Do Today
Don’t quit today unless you already have a new job. Then quit in a short professional letter of resignation. Practice avoiding questions about where you are going to work.
Suicidal glory is the luxury of the irresponsible. We’re not giving up. We’re waiting for a better opportunity. (Bujold)
Later: How to resign – Part 2
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This may be counter-intuitive, but when you try to leave your job, your boss looks at YOU as the cheating husband. Your boss sees YOU as the betrayer no matter how many times he has failed to follow up on his promises. He may have not given you any raises in 4 years, but he sees you as the person who is making his life miserable.
Your boss sees himself as the righteous WIFE in this story when you quit. If you agree to stay due to his pleadings, pay raises, promotions, and cajoling, he absolutely loses his trust in you. Here is how he feels.
Your boss thinks he is the wife in this example
Your husband asked for a divorce last week. He quit. He has been dating another woman who is so much nicer than you. He is cheating. He told you about her looks, personality, family, and friendship. He was preparing to move out until last night. You begged him to stay for the kids’ sake. You agreed to change the way you treat him. You will start exercising, get a facelift and breast implants. He finally agreed to dump that floozy. It is so nice to have him in your arms again. He’s yours. (Remember, you are the husband, he is the wife who is getting surgery to get you to stay.)
It’s two weeks later. He needs to “work late” for the second time this week. Can you keep yourself from calling his office?
He’s gone on 3 overnight business trips this month. Are you going to check the credit card statements when they come?
You called at 3 pm and the receptionist said he is out of the office. You really want to get an ankle bracelet to track him, don’t you?
When you tell your boss you are quitting, and he sweet talks you into staying, he has already lost faith in you. The next time you have a dental appointment he is going to wonder. When a big opportunity comes up he’ll remember that you took an extra half hour at lunch one day last week. He’ll give the big project to someone else who he is sure will stay in the company and finish it.
Once you give notice you are quitting, leave. Come back in 6 months if you were wrong. Then your boss will know that your commitment to your new employer was firm, but things didn’t work out. When you accept his pleas to stay, he knows you just screwed the other company. He’ll be wondering when you will screw him.
That’s real life.
Something to do today
Prepare a resignation letter that only says: Thank you for the chance to work here. My last day of work will be xx/xx/xx.
Now practice this phrase 20 times: “Let’s not talk about why I am leaving, let’s talk about how I can make the transition easier on you.”
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