Post # 1
I wrote to the ‘ol Bee a little while ago about how my current job was turning me into an emotional wreck (http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/my-job-is-tearing-me-apart-please-help), and I have finaly decided to bite the bullet and seek other employment.
Currently, I am a teacher for children with severe autism and cognitive challenges. While it has been both a gift and a blessing to help these kiddos, I have had about all I can take from the administration and directors of my organization. It is hard enough that physical trauma (bites, scrataches, brusies), a host of sicknesses (colds, flus, strep, etc), and an overwhelming sense of stress are easily all in a days’ work. I understood and even embraced it all as a stepping stone to student success. However, our administration doesn’t understand or seem to care about the well-being of their staff. Instead of listening to our pleas of how short-staffed and overworked we are, they choose to berate us for our inabaility to stock paper plates in the kitchen cabinets. Seriously. Being human isn’t an option at my place of work – if you tweaked your back over the weekend, and request a day of lighter lifting, they practically laugh in your face. Bathroom break? Hold it. Bronchitis? Work a half-day. No support. No understanding.
I have just gotten an interview for a new job and the outlook is very good – the pay is better, the environment is different and includes far less-stress. It’s still a job in education, but at the college level. I am pretty confident I am going to get an offer.
My question is: How do I quit my current job with grace but still convey to them the real reason why I’m leaving? The job is at-will employment but I will still give them as much notice as I possibly can while still securing that new job. The problem is, I have been a vital employee at my current school, and need the strong recommendation I know they will give me. But I need them to realize that the way they are treating their staff is not welcome, and is resulting in them loosing some very strong teachers. Many people have quit before me this summer for similar reasons, but tend to gloss over the bad and just go with the cliche. I feel like I owe to myself, and owe it to my coworkers, who are all precious friends, to let them know that what they are doing is wrong.
Any advice on how to do this? I have never quit a job for negative reasons before and have been at this job since I graudated college three years ago…so I’m a little nervous.
Thank you, gals!
Post # 3
I would wait until you get the other job and then write them a letter and/or go higher up to voice your concerns.
Post # 4
Oh, I will definitely wait until I have secured a new job. I guess I am just curious and a little worried about how to voice these concerns and bring these feelings to their attention while still remaining incredible professional. I don’t want to burn my bridges here, but I can’t bite my tongue any longer.
Post # 5
Write a letter to them either with pen and paper or on your computer. Just let your heart out. You can revise it as many times as you need to, then you can either read it until you have it memorized and go in there to talk to them about it or you can mail it. If you write it out with revisions, I am sure you will get it to where it is professional.
Post # 6
Well, here is what I did:
I submitted my notice in writing, apologized, and expressed thanks for the opportunity. A day after I left, I emailed the CEO from ym personal account to ask if he’d be willing to write a letter of recommendation for me. He did.
My job was worthless. I hated my life every single day I was there and was so emotionally drained that I did little else than cry at home and go to sleep early after drinking a glass of wine. After I left… I was completely different. 🙂 My job had an exit interview with HR and I was blatantly honest with them about my adverse experience. Does your job have an exit interview?
Post # 7
I would make sure you have another job first, and foremost. You could tell them you have a great opportunity, and would like a reccomendation. But, you may risk your current job. I would voice your concerns after you have secured your new job, and try not to burn bridges. Maybe write a letter like the other poster stated, or talk to the upper management. Honestly it sounds like they really don’t care, and know someone else will just step in line after you for the job. Some companies just don’t care. It’s sad but true.
Post # 8
@noritake22 : Great advice. I will most definitely do that. Writing seems to be a wonderful tool for me when I need to get something off my chest.
@artichokesalad Yes, my job does have an exit interview. I am a little nervous because I basically want to say “We are all stressed beyond recognition, and you do little to nothing to support your staff”, but I hardly think that would go over very well.
Post # 9
I dealt with a similar situation at my former job. Luckily for me, the only people I wanted recommendations from were bosses who had left the organization shortly before me, so I didn’t have to worry about a backlash. Also, I completely changed careers, so I didn’t have to worry about running into any of these people down the road at a different company, so I was honest in my exit interview.
In your case, I know you don’t want to hear this, but most likely, even if you do speak up, not much will change. If I were you, I would maybe highlight a couple of the most important reasons you have for leaving, and leave it at that. Remember that you never know when you might come across these people again, so although I think it’s important to be honest, I also think you need to “edit” what you say to ensure you aren’t punished later on.
Post # 10
@Merry02: Yeah, that is partly why I feel I have to leave. Because nothing is ever going to change. I have tried to offer solutions to the long standing issues and concerns that staff have tried to remedy throughout the years, but the high-ups simply don’t have the energy or compassion to take our feelings into consideration. However, you’re right – I need to maintain the right level of professionalism to ensure that it doesn’t come back to haunt me later.
All of you have smart advice, and deep down, I know that I just have to grin and exit with poise. I guess, when it comes down to it, I just want to finally stand up for myself. I have let far too much go, and am truthfully quite upset that I have to leave my wonderful students – my “babies”, if you will – because the work environment is completely and totally unbearable. This is the line of work I hope to stay in, and I’m upset that the administration takes what is already such a difficult line of work and turns it into a nightmare.
Post # 11
You said it yourself- grin and exit with poise.
Employers who treat their employees like this are not about to change because of information they receive in an exit interview or any communication from an ex -employee.
The people who still work there need to exercise their courage collectively, meet with the employer and state what needs to change to make it a healthy workplace.
Post # 12
You are required by CA law to get a 10 min work break after working 2 hours if you work over 6 hours in a day. You may want to submit a claim to the CA labor board. You can submit it annonymously thou. If enough employees submit claims, this will FORCE them to change, at least a little. It can get tricky with exempt/non-excempt/salary/nonsalary thou.
As far as how to handle leaving, you don’t want to put the company down. You’ll want to be careful how you word things if you say they overworked you because they could turn that around & say it was too much for you to handle or something like that. Good employers would listen & try to improve, bad ones don’t care about you & will do whatever works best for them.
Employees need to stand up for themselves, if they’re allowing themselves to get walked over, the employer will continue to do it. However, it can be scary cause the employer may just fire you. I’m right there, I have to submit a claim to the OR labor board & I’m scared to put my name on it, so I’ll probly do it annonymously. However, doing it annonymously makes it so they can’t contact me to clarify things. No other worker (as far as I know) has done this, so since no one speaks out, we get overworked badly.
I would actually send a letter to the HR department (annonymously) about how everyone’s being treated. & one to the labor board. I only say annonymously cause you’ll probably need their good recommendation for future jobs, if you want to put your name on it, go ahead. I’d just be paranoid they’d give me a bad recommendation… they’re not supposed to, but ya never know.
I’m sorry you’re in this spot! I hope that new job hires you on the spot & that you can get away from the stressful work environment you’re in!!