Anna R. on March 4, 2021
I'm a outpatient nurse who recently had to change jobs within the same organization due to long-term side effects of my cancer treatment and my old position not being able to accommodate my desire to decrease work hours and/or increase remote work. It took much longer than anticipated to find me a new role (They had to based on ADA law)=4 months. So I now have only been in my new position for a month. It's mostly working out with my disability, except I will be going back to graduate school in August thus likely quitting in July. I've had multiple staff tell me how happy they are to have someone permanent/the person training me say "hopefully you're the last person I'll have to train" and my manager saying she's going to add on more workload for me. I don't want her to do this /don't think she WOULD do this if she knew I was going to be leaving. To make it worse, we had a temp person who wanted to stay but was forced out when I came on. No matter what I'm going to burn bridges and I can't afford to quit now because of needing benefits. Right now there aren't any other openings that I could try to petition to change to that would fit my disability needs. I feel sick about lying to my manager. Should I tell her so she's prepared? But then what if I get fired? I don't plan to work here ever again but healthcare folks talk so it would be a risk.
Nicole Jarvis, LMSW
Mar 11, 2021
Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:
Thanks so much for reaching out. It's understandable that you are concerned about burning bridges and making them upset, but the fact that you're thinking about how to take their needs into account shows you're not taking the decision lightly. It's important to remember that just because they found you this position doesn't mean you have to stay or that you owe them anything. With that said, it's not a bad idea to think through a plan that would be best for all parties. You don't want to leave them high and dry but it's important for you to consider the impact of letting them know.
Some companies have policies around how much notice is required so you may want to look into whether that is true with your organization, but two-weeks notice is standard. Anything more than that is often seen as an extra courtesy. So, with that in mind, I'd say it's not necessary for you to give them notice now, with nearly six months until you'll be starting school. However, it might be helpful to think through what you know about their hiring process, for instance: how many interviews are typically requested? How long does it take to train someone to do this role? Evaluating that might help you decide when would be most beneficial for them to know they need to start looking, since as we all know it can often take some time to find the right candidate. Approaching conversations like this in a way that shows you want to be helpful and offer solutions may help ease potential negative feelings. Perhaps you can offer to help train someone new if that is a realistic option.
I will pass this along to one of our career coaches who can give you some further insight into how to best approach this while protecting yourself and your reputation, but in the meantime, it may be helpful to think about the company culture and your relationships you've established with your boss and colleagues.
Nicole Jarvis, LMSW
Senior Manager of Programs
Mar 12, 2021
Congratulations on your new position. It sounds like it is working out well for you for the time being. Having accommodations to meet your current disability needs is something worth fighting for. It sounds like you orchestrated a win/win on both sides in this case.
I understand that you have been thinking through a potential change of role starting in July, to begin graduate school. That, too, is exciting. But, it is not necessary at this point to have a conversation with your employer about your future plans. My reasoning parallels what Nicole has shared above. However I would like to add a few more thoughts to the mix.
Although it may seem that your plans are solid at this point, one can never predict the future. You may change your mind, alter your school start date, or deal with other eventualities that may mean you choose to stay on the job a little longer. Or, your health may improve to the point that you choose to keep your role that offers you reduced hours, while attending school part time for a bit. Any of these scenarios are possibilities that you can't predict at this time.
That said, keep your options open until you are certain, only revealing your plans to your direct supervisor when it is closer to the time you may opt to leave your current position. There is no need at this point to reveal what is coming up in 4 months time. And, as Nicole shared, observe your firm's culture as far as giving notice goes. My opinion is that 2 - 4 weeks is standard in most cases, depending on the level of position. So, if you are in a management role, then 4 weeks makes sense. Otherwise, 2 - 3 weeks notice is OK. I do like the idea of offering to train your replacement or of offering some overlap time, though most employers won't have the budget for that. Some may have to choose to accept your resignation at the time you offer it. Be prepared for that, too, as for their own reasons, some companies let people go as soon as their resignation is submitted.
I can tell that you are an ethical employee with your co-workers and employer in mind. But, remember, your plans are yours alone until you choose to share them at a time of your own choosing. What you owe your employer until then is a great effort on the job every day while you are working, nothing more.
Take care and continue to heal and to plan for a bright future ahead.
My best regards,
Kathy Flora, CAC Career Coach
post a commentPlease sign in to post a comment