I have worked for the same company for 32 years, and I am ready to retire in a few months.
They have no idea that I am contemplating retirement.
What would be an acceptable length of notice to provide them?
Is it just like getting a new job and providing the current employer the standard two or three week notice, or should I provide them more notice since it is a retirement?
I should note that when others in the organization have hit the 25 and 30 year work anniversaries, there were parties, speeches, and gifts given.
I suspect these same employees also received certain benefits I have not been given.
However, when I hit my 25 and 30 year work anniversaries, there was nothing. No one in the organization acknowledged either. I said nothing, but it really hurt my feelings.
I have received perfect performance reviews for the last ten years, so I know they are happy with my work.
Do I owe them more than a two week notice?
Ready to Go
Dear Ready to Go,
While it is customary to give two weeks’ notice when leaving a company, given the fact that you have been there for so many years, and as you indicated, this will come as a surprise, it is more proper to give at least three or four weeks’ notice.
My thinking is that, even if there are others in the office doing the same or similar work as you, you’ve probably developed a lot of sub-systems and processes to address your particular responsibilities. It will take time to find a replacement, even in today’s job market, and then to train them in exactly what you know and how you do it. The last thing you would want to do is for the boss to think you left him with a problem.
As far as that “25-year gold watch” that you didn’t get, perhaps they will make it up to you at your going away party. And if not, keep in mind that our hardest working forefather, Yaakov Avinu, didn’t exactly get the best parting gifts from his boss, either.
Gratitude, or ingratitude, is a hard thing to deal with, especially when you’ve dedicated so many years helping others be successful. Perhaps that’s why our sages tell us, “He who hates gifts shall live.”
Enjoy retirement, enjoy the family, and enjoy the feeling knowing that you’ve always done the right thing, even if it was not always rewarded.
Don’t expect anything and then everything you DO get is a plus.
See you on the beach!