Tag Archives: New Job

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Career Geek: Leaving Your Job Gracefully

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.

Big Change #3 – New Job

Recently, in May 2008, I took a position with Stratagem. Though the summer I worked for 2 places as a consultant, KHS in Waukesha, and The Dept. Of Regulation and Licensing (DRL) in Madison.

A little history. I was full time for W3i around 2 years, and then went independent for about a year, then as a consultant with Stratagem. All the different types (full, indie, and consultant) have the pros and cons, and it all depends on what you are doing, where you are, and things you are working on.

I have done .NET, Team Lead, Database Stuff, C++, Data Warehouse/BI (Business Intelligence), ERP Stuff, more .NET and everything in between. Over the past 2 years I have come to love the database stuff more and more, especially BI and Data Warehousing. It is funny, because pretty much 99% of people have no clue what “BI” is. I was just a High Tech Happy Hour at Pooleys and everyone I talked to, “What is BI?” – and this is a tech event!! Anyways, I really do like BI and wanted to move my career forward doing BI. Stratagem hired me to do BI and work on their BI stuff, but there just wasn’t work out there, and I really wasn’t going down the path I wanted to. Stratagem is a great place, great people, I just wasn’t enjoying what I have been working on. (Although I did work on a small part time project for a couple weeks at night doing some SSIS stuff, which was exactly what I wanted to be doing full time!)

Now everyone probably knows I have an iPhone and use it extensively. A couple months ago, I installed the “Career Builder” app from the app store to check it out. It uses your location based on GPS, which I thought was cool. Just for kix, I typed in “Data Warehouse” and there was a result near Madison! Sweet, but what about details? Yeah everything that hit my buttons. Microsoft, SQL Server 2005, Analysis Services, Integration Services, some .NET, etc. Awesome!

I sent in my resume, and figured I would either hear back, and get the job, or wouldn’t hear back at all, not knowing how long the position had been out there, etc. I waited and finally heard back! Sweet. A phone interview, in person interview, informal interview, and another in person interview, and I got the job.

But who is this job with you ask? Well I am proud to say that this upcoming Tuesday I will be the newest “BI Architect” at Trek Bicycle Corp. You know, “Trek”. “Trek Bikes”. The awesome bike company. The HUGE bike company. The type of bikes Lance Armstrong rides. The USA Teams ride. The bikes that have won a ton of Tour De France’s. Sweet, sweet bikes.

Trek is located in Waterloo, WI, which is about 15 miles from where I live now in Madison, and about 14 from where I am moving tomorrow in Sun Prairie, WI. It is about 4 miles from where our band practices, in Marshall, WI. It is out in countryside, on the edge of a small town. Weird how the world HQ for this company is located in such a small town.

In any event, it is a new adventure that I am very excited for. I am really looking forward to get back into BI stuff head first and work back in SQL Server!! (I have been working Oracle for the last 2 months – ugh!)

I will even start riding bikes I’m sure, and I’m betting I am the envy of all my bike nerd friends out in PDX!!!

So this is Big Change #3 out of 3. #1 was moving, #2 is the baby, and #3 is the job. Another whirlwind couple of weeks here, and then the next couple of months, but I am excited and don’t worry, you will see my blogging to continue here. Although I am twittering more (http://twitter.com/scaleovenstove) but I still want to blog a couple of times a week. And hopefully I dive into BI/Data Warehousing and have more cool stuff to blog about in that realm.

One thing, this is the first time since I graduated college where my title isn’t some kind of “Software Dev” title. When I was indie, I really didn’t have a title, even though I was doing BI, so that is different. I don’t see myself going back to being a full time dev, even though I can do .NET. I will still use programming and development as a tool with my BI work, and also just for myself or helping friends.

Go buy a Trek! Save Gas! ;)