Discussion Thread

  • 1.  Moving from one job to the next

    Posted 01-10-2022 08:02 AM
    Hi all,

    I have read some job-hunt blogs--e.g., the comments on this page (no endorsement is implied)--and am curious if anyone has a story or advice to share regarding transitions from one job to another. Obviously, one should not quit their existing job too quickly, as a job offer may be withdrawn at any time.

    Some believe that you should keep interviewing in case the new job is retracted or does not turn out well. Others study up for the new job, or should they continue to ask for new, if not long-term, tasks from their current supervisor?

    What is your experience with how to spend the time before the new job begins, and do you have any advice on this topic?

    ------------------------------
    Tsee Lee, A.M.ASCE
    City of New York
    Long Island City, NY
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Moving from one job to the next

    Posted 01-29-2022 09:49 AM
    I always have to prefix my input by basically saying, I am experienced (aka "I'm old") and things may have changed a lot.
    I believe one should always want to leave on a positive note. With technology, the distance from one contact to the next is shorter. In my opinion, there are no longer six degrees of separation. In addition, there is always a need for references and referrals. There is a certain freedom that comes with knowing you are leaving.  Depending on your relationships within the office, maintaining a level of respect and respect for your colleagues is important. Unless a company stops paying you upon receiving your notice to resign or quit, you still are being paid to do a job for that company. One should still perform their duties up to the last hour for which they will be paid.
    You should have a plan of action and milestones associated with your planned departure. The range of time for your departure should correspond with a length of time that will allow for the handing over or transitioning of project responsibilities to another. Again, there may be some overriding circumstances.

    All projects should have a plan of action and milestones. There should be a plan of action for your departure. If you plan on giving a two-week notice and a week prior you are handed a long-term project, there are several things to consideration when deciding whether to expedite your notification and provide a three-week notice instead.

    1. At what point along the project timeline are my project turnover day and my day of departure?
    2. Does this project include external stakeholders with whom establishing a relationship is required? This can go hand in hand with no. 3.
    3. Are there meetings and/or site visits where one's presence is critical to the understanding of project requirements, project constraints, or the project's success? 
    4. Given my scheduled departure, will my efforts be of some benefit?
    Offer alternatives to ensure the success of the project turnover and overall success of the project. Care, and if you do not care at this point, be professional.
    You, your project lead, and the one taking over your projects should establish a day for you to provide a project briefing. Give the project newbie a day or so for digestion and allow them some time (alone with you) to ask questions. I let folks know that they can call me at any time. [Better to spend 5 minutes on the phone than 5 hours searching for answers.]
    I like to think that my transitions, and I have had several, have (for the most part) been positive. I left one company at least two (2) times and they welcomed me back in. I have given up to a 30-day notice as a staff engineer. As a supervisor/manager, (I believe) I gave upper management almost six (6) months. In every case, it was probably my ego thinking my jobs were ridiculously important.
    I had a big project and turned over all my documentation to another engineer. This type of project was new to the company, and I provided technical justification, sources, and references for every step along the way. I had notebooks of phone calls, emails, technical sources and references. Given the uniqueness of the project, I documented everything. When I returned a few years later and was asked to work on some aspect of the project, the engineer said he had discarded a lot of my work. As I stated, my ego. The next engineer may care slightly less or may not care to take responsibility for another's design or analysis work mid-stream.
    Leaving on a positive note story: One engineer had left the company and had been gone several years. I learned after the call that he was looking to return to the company. HR called our group for our supervisor. Another senior individual ended up on the call instead. I overheard a little bit not knowing what was actually happening. All I can say is, leave on a positive note.

    ------------------------------
    James Williams P.E., M.ASCE
    Principal/Owner
    POA&M Structural Engineering, PLC
    Yorktown, VA
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Moving from one job to the next

    Posted 02-03-2022 02:57 PM
    Thank you, James, for your experience. What you call ego may also be called conscientiousness; it's better to leave with no regrets and cover your bases.

    It's good to know that the transition period has varied for you, depending on the situation. A co-worker has told me that it took him five full months to get onboard his current job. Do people in other industries experience such long transitions?

    ------------------------------
    Tsee Lee, A.M.ASCE
    City of New York
    Long Island City, NY
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Moving from one job to the next

    Posted 27 days ago
    Hello James,

    I have also considered it important to strategically transition from one area to the next. Before I became a student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, I was still doing part-time work while graduating at Ohio State. While planning out my summer in between, I learned that I could still do work there, but only for one more summer semester. To that end, my boss chose a successor who could start work during the summer.

    That summer was a passing of the torch alongside the weekly responsibilities and two self-made projects I made time for. We were able to meet every Wednesday, and I gradually showed him more bits and pieces of my weekly responsibilities in the office. I also took time to show my successor what kinds of documents and software we were using, since the pandemic had renders a couple transitions about work, like who could work outside the office. To that end, I know my boss would be one of the people to have as a reference again, after my next graduation.

    ------------------------------
    Alexander Granato A.M.ASCE
    Student
    Bexley OH
    [email protected]
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Moving from one job to the next

    Posted 25 days ago
    So true. It's stuck in my mind James's mention of a 6-month job transition. It just so happened that 6 months, I think to the day, after I received that job offer, that I accepted another offer. So I think the advice to keep interviewing is spot on, and certainly leave on good terms if possible. It's only fair.

    ------------------------------
    Tsee Lee, A.M.ASCE
    General Services Administration
    New York, NY
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Moving from one job to the next

    Posted 03-09-2022 01:04 PM
    Apparently some colleges punish students for reneging on job offers.

    ------------------------------
    Tsee Lee, A.M.ASCE
    City of New York
    Long Island City, NY
    ------------------------------