I don’t often blog about non-tech things here, but sometimes I do, and well, it’s my blog so.. yeah. Anyways, I have been in some kind of tech lead or manager position for a while now, and have hired and fired and seen people leave from time to time, so I have some experience, not the most by far, but some, and just want to get this one out here.
Leaving Gracefully. Pretty simple when you think about it. Give your employer ample time and notice (2 weeks seems to be the norm). The other company you are going to or whatever you have planned for your future (retirement?) can wait. You have given the company years of service, and they have given you years of paychecks. It doesn’t hurt to give them as much time needed to transition you off the team.
A few times even recently I have seen people just up and leave, 0 day notice, a few days, etc. That’s just not cool.
Another thing to think of is “what I am responsible for, only me, and how can I get someone else to know where to even start”. Most everyone has something only they work on or know the in’s and out’s of, or where to even start to get some system configured or whatever. Don’t leave without giving someone at least some basic training or documentation.
Try not to burn bridges, you never know when you will need to get back across them.
If you do the right things, you might even get a send off party, so all your colleagues can join in wishing you well.
Everyone moves on sometime, there is no doubt, but if you do it gracefully you will come out in the end as a more likable colleague and even sometime in the future when you might want to come back (you never know, I have seen it happen!) then the company and other people on the team will welcome you back.
Now in some tech companies, they might even ask you to leave right away, and that is ok. No use having someone sit around for 2 weeks, it all depends on the situation, but you should at least offer the 2 weeks, and in some cases even more, 3, 4 weeks, etc.
Like I wrote earlier, the other place can wait. How do I know this? I hire people too. In the grand scheme of things waiting a couple of weeks to get someone on board isn’t going to make a difference. When most tech/software jobs are 2-5 years, waiting 3 weeks isn’t going to kill a project.
Keep in touch with your team, maybe even your manager. In the end, just use common sense when moving on.