1. sheena.lee's Avatar
    I'm a full-time employee, and a part-time student. In January, I plan to resume my studies full-time and work part-time - at my current job this is impossible, so I want to resign. Simple enough? Not really.

    I'm an assistant to VP (unfortunately the only assistant, and therefor I am not easily replacable, and am essential until I am replaced.) Originally in May 2007 I was on a maternity leave replacement ending in May 2008, but the woman I was replacing extended her leave until now. And last Wednesday, she resigned. I am signing a new contract this week for full-time permanent employment. I know that I will return to school in January.

    My question is (to everyone, but especially employers such as my boss!), given the fact that finding a decent replacement is hard to find, and that I am needed until there is a replacement, how should I go about this? I would like to remain here until January (make/save as much money as I can) so signing a new agreement would be ideal, but I don't know if it's ethical, with my knowing that I'm not planning to stay more then 4 months.

    I don't know what to do!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    09-08-08 10:47 AM
  2. kitcat72's Avatar
    If its so hard to get a replacement for you, could you not be calling some of the shots here? Is there no way that your boss would consider giving you time off for study given that your self-development could be a big asset for them? My job, for all its faults does just this. I can get financial support, time off for attending classes / exams, flexible working [may loose pay due to reduced hours] depending on what kind of study I am undertaking. There are obligations though, like if I leave within a year of finishing the course I have to pay a certain amount back. If you want to keep the job and study, don't sell yourself short, being up front about it could benefit you - unless of course you want to leave.
    09-08-08 11:09 AM
  3. Pastafarian81's Avatar
    Assistants are a dime a dozen. Yes it is hard to find a good employee, but a good hiring process weeds out most of the crappy candidates. Be upfront with your boss.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    09-08-08 11:17 AM
  4. Hi-Definition's Avatar
    January is 3 months and some change away (double entendre inserted for those keen enough to pick up on it :-)). It'd be unethical for you to do what you've explained in your post; ESPECIALLY if both you and your boss mutually know/expect (whether implied or explicit) that this will be a contract intended to be upheld and honored for one year.

    I'm not sure how much more you'll be making under full-time status compared to the amount you earn now on part-time status. Keep in mind that you're asking a question about something that will last 3 months and 22 days. So if you break down the total sum of your part-time salary (into monthly/weekly/daily) now; and compare that to the total sum of your full-time salary (into monthly/weekly/daily)...is the difference that substantiative where you feel compelled to going ahead and signing the one-year contract; knowing full-well that you won't even be staying their for a 1/3 of the year?

    That's for you to decide. All I can say is to be responsible in making the decision; both for yourself as an individual; and for your boss as an individual. Doing something like this can burn a bridge for what seems to be a positive relationship now. In the world of bills, business, money and employment...there can never be too many bridges* for the future.


    *unless it's to nowhere (some more wit for the brainiacs;-))
    Last edited by Hi-Definition; 09-08-08 at 11:23 AM.
    09-08-08 11:19 AM
  5. exelant's Avatar
    I might offer a different perspective. The thing that makes this an issue is that you are signing an employment agreement that you know you will be unable to fulfill. If you weren't signing a contract, then this would be a straightforward work arrangement where you are obligated to give proper notice -- two weeks and good-bye. An employer certainly would not return the favor.

    I am a division manager where I work, and we deal with this all the time. We would not give someone notice they were going to be let go because people have been known to react angrily and be destructive or spread discontent to co-workers. I assume you are a confidential exempt employee. You have an obligation to behave ethically. Do not lie and say you are going to fulfill a contract if you have no intention to do so. I would suggest you avoid signing a contract so that you can continue to be an at will employee where you are only expected to give notice.

    If your employer insists on a contract, be honest and tell him your plans. He may surprise you and offer a part time position. But don't be shocked if you're let go -- without notice. A mistake many employees make is to inflate their worth to an organization. Everyone is replaceable, everyone.

    This is not a knock on you; because you are thinking about this demonstrates that you have very desirable qualities, but don't fall into the self inflation trap. Life at the company will go on without you, and you will be working toward your goals. When you have finished your education, you will be a fine asset for any organization. I can't see how leaving to continue your education could lead to a bad reference.

    Good luck

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Last edited by exelant; 09-08-08 at 12:17 PM.
    09-08-08 12:07 PM
  6. sheena.lee's Avatar
    These are all really great insights.

    I guess I should have specified - the new agreement would be an open agreement, not a contractual 1 year time period.

    I would love to stay in the job I have part-time, but I think it really is a full-time position. From there, there's no other position I could possibly fulfill - for lack of experience, knowledge and education. I'm simply unqualified.

    The reason I want to give 4 months notice is that I want my boss to have time to find someone (it took them around that time to find me.) Honestly, I could very well give 3 weeks notice and leave, but I'd feel horrible doing so and leaving my boss in a bad position. She hired me despite my complete lack of experience and I think I owe it to her to not just up and leave. I know I can be replaced, and that they will find someone else, but the issue is really how long it may take. (I'm in a city where the population is 80% French, and an English person is required for the job.)

    I hope I'm kept until January and I hope that they find someone good to replace me, but in the end if it works out that I'm let go without notice... well, it's okay.

    (I didn't mention that I find my job really boring.)
    09-08-08 12:34 PM
  7. exelant's Avatar
    It is as I suspected, , the issue is your sense of responsibility to your employer. I understand completely -- all of us who are even modestly successful have someone who helped us when it we needed it the most. I still advise you to talk with her about your plans and be honest. I hope she doesn't need you so bad that she offers you a part time version of your boring job, haha.

    You know, if the job is so boring, it means you are not being challenged. That leads me to believe that you might be more qualified for other positions than you think. Never sell yourself short.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    09-08-08 12:59 PM
  8. sheena.lee's Avatar
    The other positions within the department (and entire company) require a background in finance. I know next to nothing (aside from what I've picked up during my time here) about the financial industry, and am currently studying graphic arts. I could learn to service customers as I know the systems used and would just require product training, but I really don't like dealing with people over the phone.

    I wouldn't mind a part-time version of the boring job though! Honestly I would be making more money here than I would if I were to work for minimum wage in, say, a copy shop. It's not always about money, but when it comes to part-time jobs to pay bills and put myself through University... money matters.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    09-08-08 01:54 PM
  9. exelant's Avatar
    Finance for an art person ? Good luck with that, ha-ha. Seriously, continue to be irreplaceable and negotiate for that part time position. You'll never know unless you try.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    09-08-08 02:07 PM
  10. Hi-Definition's Avatar
    It's not always about money, but when it comes to part-time jobs to pay bills and put myself through University... money matters.
    one of the smartest persons i've ever known was in the profession with the creative job title of cold-metal-pole-swinger-arounder-technician. On top of that; she was in law school and was a single-mother.

    The above part of your post was her line to me about her line of work...except she started her paragraph off with, "it's all about the money". Sorry, I digress...just wanted to share; carry on. Btw, hope all this advice and input in the thread is helping you a bit more.
    09-08-08 02:09 PM
  11. kitcat72's Avatar
    Try negotiating for a part time position, if its that hard to get a replacement, someone is better some of the time than no-one all of the time - from an employers perspective. Also it may be easier to employ another person to job-share that fill a full time position and... you will never know unless you try. Also with regards to other jobs within the same company - maybe you should take a minute to write a list about what you can do and understand, you may be underestimating your abilities... I am sure you know a little more than 'next to nothing'
    Last edited by kitcat72; 09-08-08 at 03:16 PM.
    09-08-08 03:11 PM
  12. sheena.lee's Avatar
    I really appreciate all the advice! You've given me a lot to think about before I go into the office and voice my plans.

    Hi-Definition: I know a lot of people who have told me that the happiest they ever were was when they had just enough money to get by. I try to keep that sort of philosophy when thinking about my career. While I would like to graduate from business school and make six-figure incomes, I don't think I would be happy working with numbers or processes or paperwork all day. If you have all the money in the world, but no happiness, what's the point?

    09-09-08 05:20 PM