seeking advice on awkward job-quitting situation.

Okay, so I am looking to quit my job in January. January 5, to be exact, which is my 5-year anniversary and the date I am fully vested in my 401(k). I really don’t want to work much, if at all, past that date. The awkward thing about it is that that date is right after my designated vacation time, from 12/18 - 1/3 (I get 4 weeks’ vacation a year, but I must take it when they tell me).

Now obviously, I could come in in the middle of my vacation, and tell them that I’ll only be working 2 days after my I get back. But that’s a dick move. Ideally, I think they’d like enough time for me to train my replacement before Christmas break, likely for as much as 6 weeks. If that’s the case, then I probably need to give notice in the next week or two – give them a few weeks to find my replacement, and then 6 weeks’ training. But add that all up, and I’m giving 3 months notice … that seems wacky.

They’ve been a good employer, and I’ve been a good employee for 5 years. But I can see one of the beancounters above my boss balking at the idea of letting me take 2 weeks paid vaca, then come back, work 2 days to get that extra $ in the retirement account, then quit.

I want to do right by them, but I also want to make sure I get the leave and benefits I’ve earned.

Okay, there’s the situation. Any thoughts or advice welcome.

I HATE to say this, but give em the two weeks notice AFTER you get back.

I worked for a company. Great company and great employees. Also, 5 year vesting.

In addition to that they had great bonuses if you were a good employee. I got a 20 percent bonus one year for busting my butt. Keep in mind this is science and engineering company working for the gubment, not some sales or wallstreet position.

Butttttt…the bonuses were given at the end of the year. And if you left even a day before bonuses were handed out, you got NADA, zip, zero, even if you saved the company/contract on multiple occasions in the previous year.

Well, what the frick happened? Nearly every single person that left (including me), gave two weeks or so notice right after getting the bonuses.

I felt bad about it too, but they set it up so they either screwed you or you screwed them so to speak. And THEY are the ones that set it up that way, so thats their problem.

And, these were sorta hard to fill positions in a place hard to get ANY workers, much less technical types in a place not many folks wanted to live. And if they did not fill those positions soon, the gubment penalized them on their contract performance/awards for not doing so.

They probably LOST more on penalties than they would have if they just gave bonuses as deserved when you left, even if you left a bit early. I am sure most of the folks that had left would have given a few months notice if the company woulda just been reasonable and fair.

At best, I would offer to work a bit more than you want AFTER you get back if it will help them find and train your replacement.

Don’t risk your vesting so you can be nice to them.

Is your next job set up already?

You’ve been there five years, another two weeks after you get back from vacation won’t kill you. It’s the right thing to do, if you have something else lined up.

No. I’m moving 1,000 miles away to live near my girlfreind. I have resumes posted, but I really won’t be actually applying for stuff until much closer.

You really need to give at least two weeks notice then, because although at least in Texas, your prior employer can’t bitch about your notice, it will look bad if the new employer asks about it.

I would work until mid-January unless there is some very compelling reason that you can’t. I don’t think you owe your company more than 2 weeks but given the circumstance I think you owe them the 2 weeks. Or better said (if you don’t believe anyone owes their company anything), if you think you might need a reference or referral from a boss or coworker again, ever, then you should try to leave on good terms. 2 weeks notice is generally considered good terms, YMMV.

I wouldn’t quit before the new years, though. Too much potential for something to go wrong.

Realizing I should have explained this before: I am a teacher at a career college. Right after Christmas break is a new semester starting up. Semesters for us run 6 weeks each. So If I wait until after vacation to tell them I’m leaving, it’d mean I’m quitting in the middle of a class, which is obviously profoundly wrong to everyone. Not an option.

OTOH, I really do not want to work 6 full weeks after the first of the year, for a multiplicity of reasons.

Didn’t you say you take vacation when they tell you to? As you are leaving, what would happen hypothetically if they reneg on the dates you already booked for your vacation?

Whatever you do, I hope you time this right.

Either tell em early and take your chances.

Or suck it up and work another 6 weeks.

Well, then, I think you’re leaving before you take vacation. In most places, you get paid for unused vacation time. I agree leaving in the middle of a semester is not a good thing to do. Just tell them you won’t be back after the Christmas break and see what they can do.

Whatever you do, don’t let it get out or around that you’re planning anything, or they may well just let you go or lay you off a couple of days before that magic vestment day.

So go on vacation, come back, wait for vestment day to pass, THEN put in your notice.

The possible problem with this is this means giving notices more than two weeks ahead. If they tell him he’s out two weeks from when he gives notice he won’t make his five year anniversary. Maybe he’s not worried about them doing that, so this would work. If someone’s there over the break, even though furt isn’t, he could call or drop by and give two weeks notice on (counting) Dec. 22nd.

I would send them a registered letter from your holiday destination, (I’m thinking Florida!), timed to arrive, giving two weeks notice, so the two weeks will coincide with the leaving date you wish for.

Explain in the letter that you know it’s less than ideal but circumstances of your transition to next position, (yeah, they don’t need to know any more, truly, leave it at that!), required that your notice be given in the middle of your holiday. Tell them you recognize this is not normal, but they set the holiday time for you, so you had no choice.

Explain that you were not willing to return to work and give notice, as it would push you into the next semester and you’d be leaving in the middle of a class, a situation you are certain they’d like to avoid as much as you do.

It professional, it’s honest, and it covers all the bases, and gets you where you want to be on time. Make sure you send it registered, to the highest person up the food chain you can reach.

I understand your reservations, but remember, this is your past. Try and focus on your future.

A beautiful girl, a beautiful beach, a beautiful day…it’s all good!

And good luck to you!

It’s a college. My breaks are when we don’t have classes, so no, they can’t change it. My vestment day is day 2 of the next semester.

Heh. Florida is where I’m leaving. The girl is in D.C.

If they were getting rid of you, you would be out on your ass in a minute. What do you really owe them ,when they figure they owe you nothing.

“Heh. Florida is where I’m leaving. The girl is in D.C.”

Point taken, but still, my advice stands!

I think Elbows’ advice is good. However, I’m a little confused anyway. If your vesting date is the second day of the semester, what is supposed to happen? Are you just going to get paid for those days (since you’re still an employee) without doing any work? Teach for two days and then hand off to someone else? I don’t know anything about Florida employment law, but it seems likely that they’d say, “Thanks, we won’t need you for next semester so your employment officially ends on the last day of your vacation” or something to that effect. What is the argument for them keeping you on for those last two days when you can’t really contribute anything?

I agree with this. I’d be way too scared to take a chance on them letting me go before the date is up. I’d give them your notice that day or the day after, and then work 2 weeks if your replacement can be trained in that time, or work the full 6 weeks if they can’t.

I have to agree - make sure you give notice after you are vested. Your commitment to doing this with minimal impact on your employer does you credit. But it is often best to be sure that you don’t lose out from an expectation that your company will extend the same consideration.

My $.02