Even as I plan for an early-exit from the workplace in early 2016, I continue to work hard to deliver results for the company. While I haven’t shared my plans with my boss at MegaCorp yet (Happy April Fools Day 2016!), I have tried to show as much commitment to the company as I always have. I want to go out knowing I did things the “right” way every day – completely on the up & up. My team delivered a very good year for MegaCorp in 2015.
Recently however, my employment at MegaCorp has gotten into a bit of an awkward knot. First, the company spent most of the year 2015 slashing budgets. Then we layed off about 1,500 workers (I used a small trick to keep my own team safe). Now we are executing a department reorganization which will greatly increase the scope of my job and team.
More than 20 people from my team will go to another group in the company while at the same time, about 40 new folks will come to my team. It’s a much bigger role for me and my team’s mission will be a top priority for our SVP.
While I am honored for being selected for the bigger leadership role, I certainly didn’t push for it. I’ve been careful not to push hard for increased responsibility and promotion over the past year. I see people who push 24/7x for these opportunities, but I’ve tried to stay away from the topic so no one would say I went out of my way to mislead them. Since I settled on my early retirement date last year, I’ve only asked about upward progression a couple times when I felt I had to “play along” during career development discussions.
In fact, I felt a little forced into this new, higher visibility role. I balked a bit at the idea of my old job changing and framed an argument of why it didn’t make sense for the company. Fact is, we were performing well as a team and I was hoping to cruise to my early retirement finish line.
The funny thing is that I’m being told this role could do blockbuster things for my career at MegaCorp. It is being presented to me as almost a “gift” of opportunity. I’ve been around long enough to know the company doesn’t give gifts (without longer-term strings attached), but I’m now quite concerned that my boss is going to feel a bit betrayed if I tell him I’m leaving a few months from now.
He might say I should have spoken up sooner (before they bestowed this great gift), but I feel doing so would put a good amount of money at risk. I have a healthy six-figure amount of money unvested & unpaid in my 401k, stock plan & annual bonus that don’t fully pay out until March 15th. MegaCorp says you “must be present to win” under the terms of these plans, so I will be. Keeping quiet for the time being seems to make sense since MegaCorp frequently reiterates that our employment is “at will” and senior management recently commented that they were laying off 1,500 people before the holidays “because we can, not because we have to”. (A strange way to make people feel better during difficult times, isn’t?).
I think I’m playing this awkward knot in a responsible way, but would appreciate any thoughts from the FIRE blogger community. If MegaCorp sets up financial golden handcuffs to keep people from leaving, then they shouldn’t feel conned when people keep their intentions veiled until they have money fully in hand, should they?
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