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Changing job etiquette

Changing job etiquette

Changing job etiquette

Hello all,

I am currently looking for a new job.

I have been on and off about leaving my job for a while now. Some of the work I don’t find enjoyable(which I understand will be at every job), and I’m finding that I dislike the company goals and culture (engineers are mainly used as production support and less for actual engineering work). As a contract manufacturer it is extremely chaotic and unorganized. Additionally the commute is over an hour, while the new job I’m looking at is only 15 minutes (very big factor)

At one point I hit a dry spell in design work and was put back on production support (I was originally hired as a production test engineer then promoted to design engineer, however I still do almost all of the work I did as a test engineer). I went to my boss and said that I wanted to get different type of work that was more focused towards my actual job title.

My Boss managed to bring in more design work for me like I asked, however this does not change my commute or the parts of my job that I do not like (I will go into detail on the negatives in this post)

I get the feeling that my boss knows that I am growing restless/unsatisfied. He asked me repeatedly if I am okay and if I’m happy at my job and I tell him yes (I’m not going to tell my boss about the aspects of the job that I do not like such as the commute as he does not have the power to change them).

However, there are many positives about my job. Most notably the people I work with. My boss does treat me well, and I have some great coworkers that I admire.

I feel obligated to stay at my job because of how my boss is trying to accommodate my work interests. I also would miss my coworkers very much. I also feel that lying about my dissatisfaction, then getting a new job after he tries to accommodate me will leave a bad impression and burn bridges.

What can I do to keep good relations?

RE: Changing job etiquette

Be honest. Even about the commute. If he knows that there's something you don't like about it that he can't change, and he really wants to keep you, he may look for other things he can change. Would more pay help? Are there other avenues for finding the work you want to be doing? It may push those things up a little higher on his priority list.

But at the end of the day, you need to realize that your employment is primarily a transaction. You get money, experience, and professional growth out of it. They get billable hours/production/etc. that they convert into a marketable "product" and make a profit. So long as you're honest with them, then if they're even remotely worth being concerned about they should celebrate that you found a position that's a better fit for you. Because a good leader cares about developing his/her people in the best way possible, and should be able to accept that they're team isn't the best place for everyone.

That's not to say that's what'll happen. They may get pissed. I have no idea. There's risk in everything, but the best thing you can do is be honest with them and yourself about your needs and goals both short term and long term and choose the path that will best serve you and your family.

RE: Changing job etiquette

From your other posts, it's clear you've been unhappy for a while. One issue I see is that your starting position leaves you open to continued and future perception as a "go-to" person for issues unrelated to your current position; I don't see that changing anytime soon. I wouldn't worry too much about your current boss; I think a private conversation re. "thanks for all the fish, but it's just not working out for me" particularly if you can lay some blame on the commute affecting your work/life balance would be sufficient to soothe any hurt feelings. If not, then perhaps your boss wasn't what you thought anyway.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Changing job etiquette

One of our designers works from home 3 days per week due to a long hour+ commute and us wanting to retain him. He works hard to not let being remote detract from his ability to get work done and communicate with the team.

That could be an avenue for you to pull further back from production and focus more on design - if you're not physically at the building it's difficult to get roped into work outside your actual position.

Until you actually bring this up with your boss or HR you don't know what the reaction might be. They might make it easy for you to walk away feeling good about it, they may burn the bridge before you get the chance, or they might bend over and actually try and make you happy.

RE: Changing job etiquette


It looks like this is your first job? or first long term job?

They are the hardest to leave for all the reasons you mention plus some obligation you feel and emotional attachment. This is I think quite normal.

But you do need to think outside the box a bit.

1) Would the company have such feelings if they ran into difficulties and needed to lose staff? My guess is no.

2) People resign and start new jobs every day. It would be a personal wrench and a big issue for you and maybe a bit of negative feedback, but most managers have seen people come and go and know this is the way of the world. It's not a big deal for anyone else though....

3) You are very correct to avoid burning bridges and you can dress this up any way you want, less commute, better opportunities / responsibilities as a design engineer, more pay, a realisation that the company is what it is and it's not for you long term, but thank you for the experience and support etc etc.

4) Most people know that even if an employee gets an offer then goes to them saying, "what can you do?", 90% still leave within a year. So they just say nothing and then you have no choice but to leave, so don't do that.

5) Make sure you get an offer in writing before you hand your notice in and be expected to leave that day (varies between companies but many won't let you stay to work your notice, if indeed you have one, but offer none the less to finish outstanding tasks or hand over in a good way to someone else.

Keep us in the loop and look back at your other posts....

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Changing job etiquette

Can you move and make the commute shorter?

RE: Changing job etiquette

Life is too short to be unhappy. Just execute the job search and change wisely.

Good Luck,

RE: Changing job etiquette

"I've decided to take a new opportunity that I think is better aligned with my aspirations and has a much shorter commute. I've thought hard about this, and it is the right choice for me. I've enjoyed working for you, and with everyone here. That you for your efforts to get more design work for me, I appreciate it. I've learned a lot working here."

RE: Changing job etiquette

Quote (engineer121394)

What can I do to keep good relations?
Be honest and give your boss your thanks for trying to do right by you. Either way, at least you gave what you could to the relationship.

I've left a handful of jobs as contracts ended and always felt the disappointment of leaving people behind. Nothing wrong with chatting with them on social media or email every now and then to keep in touch. I get the feeling to be loyal but as it stands you need to do what's best for your life goals, and if that means parting ways then do it with the most courtesy you can.

RE: Changing job etiquette

Don't let sentiment affect rational decision-making. Employment should always be a business decision, not a personal one unless you'd be satisfied with no career or income growth. Real friends will stay in touch no matter where you go and you'll come across others elsewhere occasionally too. If you leave on good terms and ever want back, many employers will leave their doors open too.

No matter how close you think you are with colleagues or management, I would be very careful to keep employment discussions on-topic at this point. Tell nobody that you are considering leaving until you submit your resignation, then choose your words carefully thereafter. Requests for perquisites and offering suggestions for workplace improvements tend to seem demanding or insulting and burn bridges, even when innocently offered. When others ask why you're leaving tell them in few words that you were given an opportunity for more money, shorter commute, and a chance to grow your knowledge/experience (while you're young).

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