The Scrimba Podcast

Meet Ian Douglas πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦! Developer, DevRel, Tech Educator, Career Coach, and author of The Tech Interview Guide, Ian Douglas, has been coding professionally since 1996. During that time, he worked at seventeen different companies! So, he probably knows a thing or two about how to transition companies in the most productive and secure way.

Whether you're a new or more experienced developer, sooner or later, the time will come to change companies. How can you be sure it's time to quit your job? How do you hand in your notice, and what do you even write in a resignation letter? Why is a manager who gets surprised by your leaving the company probably not a good manager? How do you hand off your projects, and when do you tell your coworkers you're moving on from the company? When should you publicize your new role on LinkedIn, why do some recruiters hit you up 90 days after you've changed jobs, and ultimately, how should you navigate all this in today's job market?

If you need help moving on from your role - or at least renegotiating it, listen to this episode!

πŸ”— Connect with Ian

⏰ Timestamps

  • Alex changed jobs recently! (01:58)
  • "The first thing you really need to understand is why you want to leave the company" (03:16)
  • Have a direction in mind (05:02)
  • It takes six to twelve months to hit your stride at a new job (07:13)
  • With all the info you have currently, could you see yourself being at the new company for at least two years? (09:29)
  • Sometimes the company changes, and that's okay (10:00)
  • Should you feel guilty when quitting your job? (10:49)
  • What you need to know about notice periods (12:46)
  • The risk of resigning (14:42)
  • Get all your paperwork signed first (16:34)
  • What if your current company wants to keep you? (17:31)
  • Even if they manage to keep you, they might not trust in your loyalty (18:59)
  • Always communicate with your manager (21:00)
  • If you leave a job, it shouldn't really surprise your manager (22:29)
  • What if your company can't make the accommodations you need (23:20)
  • You need to be able to trust your manager (25:45)
  • How to communicate your resignation (26:27)
  • How to write your notice letter: it's just a notification email! (28:53)
  • Should you tell the team you're quitting (30:21)
  • Be prepared to lose access to company stuff (31:31)
  • Can you work for a competitor? (32:06)
  • Should you tell your current employer about the new company (33:48)
  • When should you share the news about your new job on LinkedIn? (37:58)

🧰 Resources Mentioned

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Creators & Guests

Host
Alex Booker
Host of The Scrimba Podcast
Producer
Jan Gregory Arsenovic
Producer of the Scrimba Podcast

What is The Scrimba Podcast?

Learn from inspiring developers about how they found meaningful and fulfilling work that that also pays them well. On The Scrimba Podcast, you'll hear motivational advice and job-hunting strategies from developers who've been exactly where you are now. We talk to developers about their challenges, learnings, and switching industries in the hopes of inspiring YOU. This is the podcast that provides the inspiration, tools, and roadmaps to move from where you are to work that matters to you and uniquely fits your strengths and talents.

[00:00:00] Ian: I let one employee leave the company because he wanted to go pursue like a mobile gaming kind of thing. I'm like, all right, it's not even closely related to what we do here. So good luck with it. And he left on such good terms that he actually came back to the company a little while afterwards and now it wasn't the opportunity that I wanted.

[00:00:17] He ended up coming back to the company. So you always want to do it respectfully.

[00:00:26] Alex: That was Ian Douglas, a developer and developer career coach with more than 25 years of experience. He's currently a developer advocate at Render and the creator of the Tech Interview Guide website and community. I wanted to speak with Ian because he's on his 17th job in tech and knows a thing or two about how to transition companies in the most productive, most Secure and above board way that makes it easy to feel excited about the new opportunity rather than stressed about leaving your current employer.

[00:00:59] Listen, many of the decisions to change role are ultimately individual ones. In this episode, we hope to guide and inspire you to By sharing stories and perspectives, as well as exploring Ian's mindset about how to change roles with clarity and a general self assuredness that you're doing what is best for you and for your career.

[00:01:19] I'm your host, Alex Booker, and you're listening to The Scrimber Podcast, a weekly show where I interview recently hired developers, as well as career experts like Ian, to help you learn to code and land your dream role in tech. Ian, welcome to the show. What is new in your world since we last spoke in July?

[00:01:38] Ian: So I've changed my job, actually, since last July.

[00:01:40] Alex: Congrats!

[00:01:41] Ian: I did a ton of travel, uh, I made it over to the UK, I actually got to meet Alex in person, which is great. And, uh, yeah, I got a lot of travel in last year with Postman, uh, decided toward the end of the year that I was going to make a change and, uh, started a new company called Render.

[00:01:56] How about yourself? What's, uh, what's new in your world?

[00:01:58] Alex: I'm really excited, man. I actually just accepted a job offer at a new company myself.

[00:02:03] Ian: Oh, congratulations. Where are you at currently?

[00:02:05] Alex: I think for anybody listening to the podcast, you might assume that I work at Scrimber, and I used to. I was full time at Scrimber for a little over two years.

[00:02:14] But about a year ago, I left Scrimber full time to join a company called Ably. And yeah, a few weeks ago, I handed in my notice at Ably to join an exciting new company that I think is a slightly better fit for me overall. Of course, I will continue to host the Scrimber podcast part time as I have for the last year since leaving Scrimber full time.

[00:02:33] Because it's a real passion of mine and Scrimbr and I love working together. Through this recent experience, I remembered that changing companies isn't easy. Actually, it was pretty emotional at times and I had a lot of questions about how to go about things so that I'm safe during the transition. And so if I keep intact the relationships that I value so much at the company, even though I'm moving on, and if I'm doing something hard and I'm figuring it out, I think, well, that could be a good podcast episode because listeners can learn from my experience and maybe even join the conversation.

[00:03:06] At the same time, I certainly don't have all the answers, so when I thought about who is a tech career veteran I can bring on to bounce some thoughts around, I immediately thought of you, Ian.

[00:03:16] Ian: I think the first thing you really need to understand is why you want to leave. Is it just for a better opportunity?

[00:03:23] Is it for more pay? Are you just not happy there for some reason? Is there something that could change at your company that would make you stay, or is it really time to leave? I mean, I've changed jobs a lot. I think I'm on my 17th or 18th job or something like that in almost 30 years of career. So I've left a lot of companies.

[00:03:44] Alex: Everyone's situation is going to be a little bit different. Sometimes you're in a job and it's just not the role you want to work. So when you get a new opportunity, it's just obvious. You're like, Oh yes, I have to do it. Other times you're working the job and like, it's not quite right for whatever reason.

[00:03:56] Maybe you're even unhappy at the role. So you get a new offer and you're like, Oh my God, it's my money. But yes, I have to take it. But I wouldn't say that's most situations. I think for a lot of situations, it's not that you particularly dislike the job or that you're particularly undercompensated or anything like that.

[00:04:11] It's probably like quite good if not good enough, but there is an opportunity to make a change that could be better aligned with you at the same time that represents a lot of uncertainty because you're leaving something that you know for something that you don't know and maybe it goes really well.

[00:04:25] And I always think it's important to ask yourself, Not what is the worst thing that could happen, but what is the best thing that can happen? But we're only human and we're going to think a little bit about, Oh, I don't know, like what if this doesn't pan out and it's all a big mistake? I mean, the stakes are kind of high when you changed up, don't you think?

[00:04:42] Ian: Yeah, definitely. And I think that that weighs on a lot of people. I think it's important to understand why you want to leave a company and why you want to go to a particular other role. It's a lot of self examination. Yeah. Absolutely. And I think you're right, like people feel the risk of making that move and that can have a big impact on your outlook overall.

[00:05:02] Alex: How do you navigate the emotions and uncertainty and risk when contemplating a job change?

[00:05:09] Ian: My typical job hunt is very strategic. I'm going to go apply at this company and I'm going to do whatever it takes to get that job. There was only one time that I can recall in my career and it was a couple of years ago before I joined Postman.

[00:05:22] Where I applied at like 30 companies and interviewed at a whole bunch of them all at the same time within the span of about two months. That felt very overwhelming, like just to apply to so many places and it was the first time where I'm just like, Alright, let's just see what's out there, cast a wide net and see what happens.

[00:05:38] But most of the time, I've got sort of a direction in mind of where I want to take my career. What do I want to learn next? Not just where can I take my skills that I already have, but where can I take those skills at a company that's going to continue to let me grow in a particular direction of where I want to take my career.

[00:05:58] And that's typically what I look for. When I start looking for another job is like, what's the next step? It's a little bit like chess. You have to kind of think ahead, like a couple of moves of where do I want to be in five years or 10 years? How do I start making moves to head in that direction now? Or if I'm going to change companies, how can I find another role?

[00:06:19] That's going to allow me to learn the things that I want to do to go get that other role in five years.

[00:06:24] Alex: I'm about. Maybe seven years into my career. For a while I wasn't completely sure where I wanted to take my career, and for that reason it became quite hard to strategize about what roles to pursue and to speak to my experience there.

[00:06:37] I'm a bit of a multi hyphenate, which means I do a lot of different things, right? Like I do coding, I do content creation, marketing, project management. I love interacting with people, but I love deep work. I've had a ton of questions about what is it that would, you know, combine these skills or would allow me to focus on the things that matter most to me.

[00:06:53] I'm really happy to say I'm in like a great place right now and I've got a very clear vision for my career, but I know it wasn't always that way. As to your great point about knowing why you want to make a change, I suppose the next question is, like, when to make a change. After being at Abley for a year, there were some great growth opportunities in front of me.

[00:07:13] It's a fairly common wisdom that after, like, six to twelve months, that's when you kind of find your stride. Like you understand the market, the company, the team, the people. I could see the path ahead of me and there was some cool projects. And then when I actually was lucky to be presented with a new opportunity, it became quite a difficult kind of comparison in my head as to like, what is the right opportunity to pursue.

[00:07:35] And is this the right time to pursue that opportunity?

[00:07:38] Ian: I agree that kind of that six months to 12 months period is kind of where you start to become more comfortable in your role. You also see and notice the areas where there's growth opportunity, not just for your career, but maybe for the company at large.

[00:07:53] Hey, could I change doing this a little bit differently? Or like you can start to make recommendations on How to maybe change something. Is there a way to improve a process? But I think that the biggest thing within that year is the expectations that you have on the company, but also that the company has on you.

[00:08:11] And so I think that's a really good time to kind of evaluate, like, you know, am I going to stay here for a couple of years or is this really what I wanted? Sometimes you'll start a new job and you'll think like a month in like, Oh man, I made a bad decision. But I think if you don't take a job where you're not at least a little bit scared about what you're jumping into, I think you're maybe taking the wrong role.

[00:08:31] That sort of fear can sometimes drive like your intrinsic motivation of like, all right, I got to hustle. I got to like work hard. I got to like, do what I need to impress these folks. Cause you know, I don't know if I can do this. It's like, well, they believe you can. That's why they made you the offer. If after six months, you don't feel comfortable, like making Rapid changes in jobs, like every six months to a year, can actually start to look poorly on you, uh, as like what we call a job hopper.

[00:09:00] It is also important that you do stay at a job for a couple of years, at least from time to time in your career. I mean, I certainly had a lot of jobs where I was only there for like a year and a half, maybe two years, and then I would move on, and I had some that were shorter than that. And some that were much longer than that.

[00:09:15] I've stayed at a couple of companies now for four years each. And that kind of balances it out over the course of your career. But if you're making a lot of hops, it can start to reflect poorly on you. If you're not making good decisions and is that part of who you are as a worker?

[00:09:29] Alex: I think a good question to ask yourself when you're looking at a new opportunity is, with all the information you have currently, and you'll never really know what it's quite like until you get in the role, ask yourself, could you see yourself being at the company for two years at least?

[00:09:44] And if not, maybe it isn't. a good decision. You don't always know what you're walking into. Every company has a probation period of sorts, typically around three months. And oftentimes you don't really get to experience the full breath of the company for another, you know, three to six months, say.

[00:10:00] Ian: Sometimes things change within the company within that time as well.

[00:10:03] Like, you know, when I was at Postman, for example, I thought I was going to stay at Postman for five years and a year and a half in the company made a change that I wasn't comfortable with. And that's That was what prompted me to leave. So sometimes it's not you, you know, sometimes the company will make a change that, you know, make you realize like, oh, this isn't what I signed up for anymore.

[00:10:23] Alex: That is such a good point. If the company changes dramatically, that's when you're going to be closer to 12 months. Something that's happening a lot in the industry right now is like priorities are shifting, team structures are changing, there are like big rounds of redundancies, and it's almost like the team, the company's fiber changes when those redundancies happen.

[00:10:40] Mm hmm. And then the company you joined is not really the same company you're working at. So, you know, maybe that's the time to kind of evaluate where you're at. Yeah.

[00:10:47] Ian: Whether you're still at the right place. Yeah, exactly.

[00:10:49] Alex: Maybe I kinda think I started this interview of a bit of like a brain dump, but as I reflect on what I was saying, I think it's a sense of like guilt that I felt maybe.

[00:11:00] And what I mean by that is like, You know, the company takes a chance on you, um, they, they know there's a probation period, and they know that you'll hit your stride within a certain period of time. They come to depend on you, and then you leave. I had kind of mixed feelings about that. Do you believe people should feel guilty when changing companies?

[00:11:17] Not a bit,

[00:11:18] Ian: because they will not show the same level of guilt if they let you go. If they make a business decision that says Alex's role is redundant or Ian's role is redundant, terminate you, they're going to dismiss you and it's a business decision. If you think about your career as Operating your own business, leaving one job for another job is just another business decision, but it's your business.

[00:11:42] If you're walking away mid project, sometimes that can, you know, lead to guilt of like, Oh yeah, I'm leaving the team in a bad spot. If you're like 90 percent finished a project and you leave the company, then that maybe leaves them in a bad spot and that can sometimes hurt reputation. But if you wrap up a project and everything's good, that's a great time to.

[00:12:03] step away from that role and start a new role. But I would say generally, you shouldn't feel guilty. Like even if you do need to leave at 90%, you know, project completion, it's up to the business to make sure that they have all of those things covered. Because it's the same thing if someone were to get hurt and, you know, need some time off or they're, you know, taking a vacation or whatever, the company has to have contingency plans.

[00:12:23] If you really like your co workers, like I said, and you feel guilty about leaving them in a bad spot, work it out with them. All of this comes down to communication. Do you need to leave the company? Do you need to leave the job completely? Can you just transition to some other department? Like, that all comes up with conversation with your management if you're not happy in a particular role.

[00:12:42] If they don't have the opportunity, then yes, by all means, you have to look outside the company at that point.

[00:12:46] Alex: Most contracts have an idea of like a notice period. And that notice period is like coded into the contract to protect the business's downside. If you do want to leave for some roles, it's going to be, you know, two weeks or a month, but frankly, if you're a very integral role, like some kind of leader, for example, it's very typical to have a three month notice period.

[00:13:03] Ian: Notice periods also differ quite a bit. Like I know where you are, Alex, it's. Typical to have like a two or three month notice period in the United States and Canada for example, it's more common to have like a two week notice period of like I'm putting in my two weeks notice, as we would call it. But many areas of Canada and the United States are what we call at will employment, which means I could literally call my boss tomorrow morning and say, today's my last day, and I know that.

[00:13:27] Even in Europe, in the UK, where that two to three month notice period is customary, that you can still negotiate like, hey, this new opportunity came up. They want me to start within a month. Can I kind of start winding down? Um, and then you start thinking about those transitions of what's it, what does it mean for me to step away from this job?

[00:13:46] How do I start wrapping up the work I do, hand it off to other people? Do I need to write more documentation? Do I need to write more about my process of how I was involved? Because it does take time to hire a replacement.

[00:13:57] Alex: Let's talk a little bit about some of the things to consider before giving a notice.

[00:14:02] And then we'll talk a little bit about the best way to go about doing that with your team and the company. One thing that I was very cautious about is like, I guess navigating this notice period time. The new company want you to join as quickly as possible. The current company want you to stay for as long as possible, you know, so you kind of want to time it well.

[00:14:21] And if you're really smart, I think you'll get like a week off in between to kind of transition and recharge between roles. There can be this kind of pressure almost to like rush it and like give you a notice and, you know, continue the conversation with the new company. I wanted to ask you in your experience, what are like some of the things that we should carefully consider Before giving the current company our notice to resign?

[00:14:42] Ian: There has been some risk, uh, especially in 2022 and 2023.

[00:14:46] We saw a lot on social media where people would get a job offer, they would put in their notice and they would quit that job, maybe take that week off and then they go to the other company and the other company is like, Oh, sorry, we had to actually close the role. We can't hire you after all. Yeah. And so that got a lot of people very anxious about what we call over employment, where now instead of having one job in a span of time and then starting the new job is people were actually overlapping their jobs for a week or two just to make sure that, you know, I actually start that other job, but then you're working two jobs effectively for a period of time.

[00:15:21] That's UK where you've got that lengthy. period of time where maybe one employer wants you to wind down over two, three months and the other company wants you to start immediately. It's not really feasible maybe to work two full time jobs for that period of time, but there's certainly risk involved.

[00:15:39] Employment lawyers will certainly be happy to, uh, to help you if, if a company decides at the last moment to pull a job offer.

[00:15:46] Alex: I'll tell you the way I approached it with a one month notice period. I was a little bit tempted to like give my notice before signing the new contract. When I got the new contract, I wanted to do my due diligence, obviously, like read it carefully and ask some questions and all this kind of stuff.

[00:16:03] But I felt like it was a very good practice for me to ensure that the new contract was countersigned before I gave my notice of the current company. I think that's like the minimum level of Assurance I would need to like make a transition like that. That said, I, it's easy to do away with what I would consider like a good practice in that case, just due to the excitement of it all and things like that.

[00:16:25] And maybe in times gone past, I would have been okay with that. But as I progress in my career and in this climate and stuff like that, that's the kind of insurance that I would need personally to make that change.

[00:16:34] Ian: Yeah. At a minimum, I would say, you know, get all the paperwork signed or sign as much paperwork as you can.

[00:16:40] Before putting in the notice, and then when you're writing the notice to your employer, say, you know, I've signed a contract already, many employers will try to keep you on staff, at least for a period of time, maybe to ease with that transition of, hey, can you stay for a few more months while we hire a replacement?

[00:16:57] Sometimes they'll give you a counteroffer. You know, if you say like, hey, I want to raise, I want, you know, a better title and they say no, and you're like, all right, and then you go find another job and you hand in your notice, then suddenly, magically, they've got the money to give you that raise when you're putting in the notice, you just have to write it in a way that says, like, I'm, I'm starting another role.

[00:17:13] I've already signed the paperwork. Everything's in place. Respect my decision that I want to leave. And I'm not open to counteroffers. You also want to make sure that you're not leaving on bad terms, like you want to do it respectfully and not, you know, tell your boss what you really think of them. They might deserve it or, or, uh, you know, you really want to unload, but that's not the time.

[00:17:31] Alex: That is a question I also ask myself. What if they like wanted to retain me? Is there a way that I could stay at the company if they, for example, offered me more money or new responsibilities and things like that? And ultimately I decided that I wanted it to be my decision and I wanted to make that decision quite definitively.

[00:17:50] I didn't really want to sort of like open the dialogue necessarily unless I felt really optimistic that there was a path forward there. One thing on my mind, even though it's not the most perfect comparison, I don't know if you've ever like bought a car in the past, for example. In fact, you're really curious where this is going.

[00:18:08] Um, when you, when you buy a car sometimes and you're not quite sure if it's the right car, you'll kind of lowball the dealer and be like, well, if they offer me like a really low price, then yeah, I'll take it. But there's no such thing as the right price on the wrong car. And I think that's the way I was thinking about the role.

[00:18:24] Even if they offered me more money or like additional responsibilities, I felt like the upside of this new opportunity was a little bit better. And I also think it would have been really confusing if I embarked on that conversation with them. And I myself was not completely sure about what I wanted and the right way to go about it.

[00:18:39] And that might have jeopardized what was basically my top priority, which is to like leave the company on good terms and maintain my relationships. I don't want to make like a messy conversation where they're like, Oh, but you said, and I'm like, well, then I realized, you know, I think it was good to have a lot of thinking before going into that transition so that I could be as clear as possible.

[00:18:59] Ian: The other thing to keep in mind too, is. If you're not happy in your role, and you go try to find a new role, and you get an offer, and you go to your boss and say, I'm leaving for this other role, and they make a counter offer, and you stay, in their mind, they're like, Alex is already one foot out the door.

[00:19:15] You know, you've already kind of left once. You know, how long is Alex actually going to stay? And they might actually start looking for a replacement for you anyway. And then, you know, you find a few months down the road that they're like, Hey, you know, this isn't working out in this new role, so we're going to let you go.

[00:19:30] And now you have to go job hunt again, whether you like it or not. There are also been some statistics. I remember talking to a recruiter a while ago about, you know, leaving a job and how do you word, you know, a resignation letter. And part of what they were saying is like, statistically, if you leave a company and they make an offer to keep you, most employees actually leave anyway within three to six months.

[00:19:53] Alex: Wow.

[00:19:53] Ian: For whatever reason. So whether they transition, uh, you know, into another role and then end up not liking that role or they don't like the new manager, it's kind of that same six to 12 month uncertainty thing that we were talking about earlier of like, how long does it take to feel comfortable in that role?

[00:20:08] If you've already made a decision to leave the company. And they retain you, your mind has already started like going to some other job, some other company, something new, you know, where you wanted to kind of continue to learn and grow. Or maybe there was something inherent in the company that made you wanted to leave.

[00:20:25] And that's going to kind of nag at you a little bit. It's also going to bother management a little bit too that, you know, you were thinking about leaving the company. If it's just a matter of compensation, I think these are conversations you should have been having with management all along and don't wait to resign your job in order to get more compensation because in their mind, they're like, okay, well, now Alex is costing us more money for doing the same work or maybe taking on like a few more responsibilities.

[00:20:50] They're probably going to start looking for a replacement anyway.

[00:20:52] Alex: The key message that I think that we just unveiled is like, money is not the only thing or the most important thing, necessarily.

[00:21:00] Ian: It comes back to the communication with your manager about what do you want to be doing? Like if you're transitioning out of a current career, into tech, for example, it's like, okay, well, you're making that transition for a particular reason.

[00:21:13] But even between tech jobs, like why are you leading one tech role for another tech role? Maybe you're early in your career and trying to make a decision. I would say early in your career, it's actually probably one of the better times to not job hop, but have shorter stays in the first couple of jobs, because you can kind of tell the story of like, I'm still trying to figure out where I want to take my career, but.

[00:21:33] Once you have that in mind, having that communication with your manager and say, this is what I want out of my career. This is where I want to be two years from now, three years from now, five years from now. If they can't make that opportunity available for you. And you hand in your notice, they shouldn't try to retain you.

[00:21:50] If they try to keep you in a role, instead of saying, I know what Alex wants, Alex has been communicative with me, Alex wants to leave, it's like, all right, Alex, like let me high five you on the way out the door because I know that that's going to be a better opportunity for you. That's me caring about you as a person.

[00:22:05] Most companies though, they don't, they don't really take that stance. I let one employee leave the company because he wanted to go pursue like a mobile gaming kind of thing. I'm like, all right, it's not even closely related to what we do here. So good luck with it. And he left on such good terms that he actually came back to the company a little while afterwards and now it wasn't the opportunity that I wanted.

[00:22:25] He ended up coming back to the company. So you always want to do it respectfully.

[00:22:29] Alex: Are you saying that like, if you leave a job, it shouldn't really surprise your manager because If you've been like communicative with them throughout your tenure, they'll sort of know what is and what is not working for you.

[00:22:40] Ian: The worst thing that I could face as a manager, like when I was doing management, is to have somebody walk into my office and say, here's my notice, and I had no idea that they weren't happy in their role, or they weren't happy about some opportunity, or they weren't happy about their compensation. It's like, if you had talked to me about this, we could have fixed this.

[00:22:55] If you had that communication. With your manager and set those expectations and say, you have your expectations of me. I have my expectations of the company. And if, if those aren't aligned, then I'm going to go find a company where those are going to be aligned. Some people aren't comfortable having those conversations with management and I get that, but the better you can sort of practice those communication skills, the easier that transition is going to be and it won't feel as awkward.

[00:23:20] Alex: What if the company can't like make those accommodations? Like what if you go to your manager and you tell them things that aren't working for you? And there's nothing they can physically do about it. They can't offer you more comp, they can't really change your role. You back yourself into this like kind of awkward or stressful corner.

[00:23:35] So what's your advice to like communicate this stuff with a manager when you're not totally sure that it's going to pan out in a productive way?

[00:23:43] Ian: I can see how some people would feel that it's risky to have that communication. Like if I tell my manager that I want this kind of role. Knowing that the company can't make that happen.

[00:23:52] Like if I were to go to my manager and say like, Hey, I want to go do mobile game development. And that's not even remotely close to what my company does. Am I risking something with my manager? Where they're like, you know, is Ian actually putting in his best effort? Is he making mobile games on the side?

[00:24:07] You know, instead of doing his regular work? Like, You know, is Ian giving us all the loyalty he can like I could see how from a manager's perspective that could feel risky on you to go talk to your manager about those kinds of things. But I think if if you have the opportunity for a one on one with your manager and they say, you know, what else is going on with you these days, you're like, Oh, I'm really digging like.

[00:24:26] I'm doing mobile game thing I'm like tinkering, you know, with the idea of making a mobile game or I've made a little mobile game just as something to do on the side. It's pretty interesting. Is there ever opportunity to work on mobile app development here at the company? They might say yes or no, or maybe it just kind of keeps in the back of their mind and later on management's like, Hey, we're thinking about making a mobile app to manage a dashboard or something.

[00:24:48] You're like, I know just the person. But at the same time, you know, there's always that nagging risk of like, if I tell them I want to do a type of role that is just not ever going to be possible at this company, am I more likely to get dismissed or, you know, thought redundant in my role because they know that my heart's not 100 percent in this current room.

[00:25:09] You know, I could see how that could be a risk, but I think once you identify, you know, this is the opportunity, this is the direction I want to take my career, then it's on you to start planning, okay, what's that next move going to be? What's that timing going to be? Do I want to make that move in a year?

[00:25:23] Do I want to make that move in two years? And it's up to you to plan the milestones of what do I need to do to go get that next job? What's that timing look like? And when do I want to start talking to my manager about transitioning? Those are all good questions for a career coach or somebody that you can kind of bounce these questions off of and try to help get some, uh, determination of what might be right for you.

[00:25:45] Alex: Maybe you could say like testing the waters is a type of communication skill. Like if you go to your manager and you don't yet trust them or you don't yet have confidence in their ability to make that change, maybe the right way to go about it, like you gently broach the subject. And then if they are a good manager, I would argue.

[00:26:02] They're going to be very open to allow this kind of communication, like they're going to encourage it and make you feel comfortable doing it.

[00:26:08] Ian: I would ask, why don't you trust your manager to have those conversations? If you're hesitant to talk to your manager about it, what's causing that hesitation?

[00:26:15] You're in charge of your career, and if you're taking a job with a company, you should feel comfortable to go talk to your manager and be able to talk to them about what you want and the direction that you want to take your career.

[00:26:27] Alex: Let's bring this back to giving in your notice. What is your advice on the best way to approach and communicate your resignation to your current employer?

[00:26:37] Ian: It's pretty typical to sit down with them and have a conversation and say, Hey, just let you know I'm going to be moving on from the company and I've got a written notice that I'll hand in to you and HR. If you have a human resources department, they might be called like people operations or something in a in more trendy kind of companies.

[00:26:56] But I would generally advise like sit down with your manager and let them know sort of face to face or over a video call if you're a remote employee, have an actual like vocal conversation with them and say, hey, just let you know I'm going to be handing in my notice. I've got it written up. I'll send it right after this call.

[00:27:12] But I just wanted to give you whatever period of notice, you know, I'm giving you my two weeks. I'm giving you a month, two months, whatever that may be. In North America, it's pretty customary to give a two week notice. I've gone as much as a month. I've also completely walked away from a job and not give any notice.

[00:27:28] I only did that once in my career and it felt weird to just say like, I'm out. Today's my last day. See ya. One company, I gave them a month. And during that month, I put in a lot of extra hours just writing up documentation of things that I knew that I knew other people didn't know. And just documenting my process for things and how to check on things and just as I would go through my normal day to day, I let my manager know like, Hey, I'm going to keep doing all these day to day things, but I'm going to do them a little bit slower because I want to make sure I'm documenting what I'm doing.

[00:27:57] And those jobs like I've always had the door open of like come back anytime because they know that you care enough about them to put in that kind of effort or whatever to make sure that you're not leading the team in a bad spot. But if you're in a really small company and like you might be the only developer, there's only a few developers, you know, that's where it can lead to that guilt that we talked about earlier about like, Oh, you know, do I give them an extended notice period or whatever?

[00:28:24] But I would say just. Be direct. You have to be direct and say, I've made the decision. I've already got another offer. I've already signed the other paperwork. Make sure that if you don't want to be retained at the company, that you communicate it in a way that says like, respect my decision. I've already signed the paperwork.

[00:28:38] This is a done deal, but maintain the professionalism about it for sure.

[00:28:42] Alex: I'd say the first thing to do is like check your contract and double check that notice period. You don't want to say, Oh, my last day will be. This day and then the people team come back to you and they say, well, actually, according to your contract, it's going to be that day.

[00:28:53] I think in terms of the notice letter, it's quite easy to overthink it, but there's some language that really helped me. All you're doing is like giving notice that you are going to resign according to your notice period. Like it's just a notification email to the people team and a bit of a formality.

[00:29:09] Some people, I think you're going to write an email, which is like, Hey, you know, thank you so much for the opportunity. I mean, you can, of course, be gracious and say, thank you for the opportunity. I think you should do that, but it's not like meant to be a speech, right? Where it's like, Oh, I've enjoyed this part of the project.

[00:29:21] I've enjoyed this. You know, I've loved working with you.

[00:29:22] Ian: It's not the time to tell them why you're leaving. And it's not the time to

[00:29:25] Alex: tell you why you're

[00:29:25] Ian: leaving. Yeah. The people, department, HR, whatever you call them, they'll generally schedule what we call an exit interview. If they do want to find out, like.

[00:29:33] Is there something that happened? Is there any way that we could have retained you or give us your thoughts about management and whatever, that's where you can start to tell them a little bit, but again, you, you want to keep that professional, but I would say as far as that notice letter, you're right.

[00:29:47] It's not the time to get on a soapbox. It's literally just, this is my notice according to my contract or whatever. Here's my notice period. Here's how I plan to transition out of the role and you know, any duties or whatever, if you've got questions, you can contact me. You can negotiate that notice period to some degree and say, like, I understand my contract says a three month notice period.

[00:30:07] I would like to wind down within a month if that's possible. The other company wants me to start right away. Is there some way that we can work on leaving sooner than that three month period? You can ask that kind of question in that notice letter as well. Interesting. Sometimes companies will say like, Hey, don't tell the team yet.

[00:30:24] Like, you know, we'll, we'll arrange a way for you to sort of communicate with the whole team. Honestly, though, if you've got open communication with your team, they probably know that you've been interviewing anyway. They might've covered you while you're on that sort of, I've got to go out for a doctor's appointment or I have like my third dentist appointment in two weeks or whatever it's like you're interviewing.

[00:30:42] Alex: The remote's equivalence of that is a lot of like. busy calendar events in the middle of the afternoon. Right.

[00:30:49] Ian: But I think, you know, also saying in that notice, like, let's work out a way to tell the team and how you want to transition the duties and so on. But aside from that, yeah, keep it concise. It doesn't have to be more than like two paragraphs.

[00:31:00] Keep in mind as well, because of at will employment here in the United States. States, one company where I gave one month of notice, they treated me very well during that one month. Another person thought, well, I'm gonna try that too. And they put in their notice and they walked him to the door, like as soon as he handed in his notice and said, you're done, like right now, like we're closing off your access right now.

[00:31:18] And they walked him out of the building. So it's not always a guarantee either that you're going to have that period of time. If you're at a company where you have what we call at will employment, they can decide like, okay, you're leaving. You're done. All right, bye.

[00:31:30] Alex: That's a great point, I hadn't really thought about.

[00:31:31] Like, when you send that notice, you have to be at least prepared to lose access right away, and that could be for a couple of reasons. Number one, it's their prerogative often in the contract to give you something called garden leave, which is where they cut your access but they still pay you, so they'd be honoring the contract in that case and that there could be reasons to do that.

[00:31:48] Also, they might cut your access to some commercial things, right? So, like, if you have access to the company's CRM, where new customers are coming in, or maybe you're part of, like, a team that has some, like, special code or something, I don't know. But they might want to just, like, minimize their risk by cutting your access immediately as you plan to go to a different company.

[00:32:06] Almost always, and I assume it's the same case in America, most contracts have a clause to prohibit you from, like, working for a competitor for the first two years. 12 months or something.

[00:32:16] Ian: That may not hold up in court, though, in the United States, especially I forget the actual wording. It's something like I have the right to make income, you know, based on my skills.

[00:32:24] And so if if you say go work at Uber as an engineer and you leave to go work at Lyft as an engineer, They're going to try to block you and be like, well, you can't go work for our direct competitor. It's like, but you can't stop me from making a paycheck. Like I've already agreed not to take, you know, industry secrets and company confidentiality agreements are still in place.

[00:32:43] Like I agree not to take any content or whatever with me. They're probably going to try to block you, but legally in the United States, in some states, at least they can't stop you from going to work for a competitor. You can always get an employment lawyer to help you kind of navigate those waters. Most of the time though, uh, what would be in that contract is you can't take our clients.

[00:33:03] You can't take our customers. Like you can go work for a competitor, but like, if you're going from like a, like a freelance agency to another freelance agency, you can't attract our customers to come work with you. That would be a legal problem. Yeah, or other employees, but yeah, read the contract!

[00:33:18] Alex: You know, to your previous advice, communicate.

[00:33:20] I left a previous company to join another, and there was some overlap. It wasn't a direct competitor, but there was definitely some overlap. So before joining, I literally emailed the previous company and said, Hey, here's the company I'm thinking about working with. Obviously, I'd like to know if you're going to have a problem with this.

[00:33:35] And they were like, no, we don't care. Because the contract is like, they have the right to, but that doesn't mean they'll exercise that right necessarily. And to your point, there could be other problems with that, depending on whatever independent advice you get from a qualified employment lawyer. Is it necessary or even advisable to inform your current employer about your new company.

[00:33:55] Ian: They're definitely going to be curious about, you know, who are we losing Alex to? If they really like you on the team, they might wonder like, you know, how did we lose Alex to, you know, this other company? So they might ask for specifics. You don't have to tell them anything. Of course, if you put it on LinkedIn, they'll learn it eventually anyway.

[00:34:11] I would say it's not necessary unless it is like a competitor type of thing where you've got clauses in your contract about non compete and so on. Then you might have to divulge who you're going to or it might be good just to communicate ahead of time. But, um, if you've got questions about that, I mean, a lot of employment lawyers will do like free consultations.

[00:34:31] Also check your company benefits because company benefits may include legal consultation where they can't report back to the company what you consulted on. It's always a good idea to have like an employment lawyer look at those things if you're unsure, because you don't want to get into legal trouble and then have to retain a lawyer.

[00:34:47] Alex: I also heard some advice, and it might have been misguided or from a totally different world. In some industries, people leave a company to join another, but then somebody with influence who just maybe doesn't like you for some reason, or they want to just, you know, get involved in some way. They reach out to the new company and say, Oh, interesting.

[00:35:03] You're hiring Ian. Um, I've worked with Ian. Do you want to, and you know, there's nothing to hide there necessarily. It's just like, maybe it's just in this climate where like, sometimes it feels like the ground is falling from underneath you. It's just a good practice to like, keep your cards close to your chest until your ass is in the seats.

[00:35:16] The other thing is like, what if the offers rescinded or something like that's happened in recent months. And if you're leaving a company to go to like maybe a well recognized one, people are going to be curious. They'll be like, Oh, wow. Good for you. Congratulations. I mean, if that fell through. It's not great then to have to be like, Oh, if I didn't pan out, like, and then all the celebration was for nothing kind of thing.

[00:35:34] I don't know, kind of mixed feelings about it. That's the truth. Like, I really don't know. So at this company, I was like, I don't know the answer. I've got a lot of shit going on. I'm just going to like not say, and I'm going to stick to that decision. But then what I learned through some conversations with like co workers and stuff and with a bit of reflection is like, I do trust people.

[00:35:52] I do, you know, value our relationship. And yet, like I'm keeping a secret from them. It felt like, And I kind of had a bit of regret about that. Now i'm at this point where like I could go and tell everybody but then it's um, I don't feel like kind of reopening that kind of worms in a way.

[00:36:04] Ian: It is a very personal decision It can be a professional decision to some degree too Or there might be a competitive reason why you don't want to say where you're going You know, maybe it's a confidentiality thing of like, you know, you've got a very specific skill set and you're going to that company for some reason, maybe they're kind of a stealth mode startup or something and going there would kind of give away what that startup is doing, for example, um, then there might be a reason why not to share.

[00:36:30] Ultimately, it's your decision. You can always say like new opportunities come up. I've already signed the employment contract. So here's my notice. Um, and just leave it at that. They're always going to ask you're welcome to share it or not, or just say like, Oh, I'm going to post it on LinkedIn in, you know, some period of time or whatever.

[00:36:45] I'll usually tell people like within my last couple of days, you know, is it going to actually happen? Is it going to fall through? But it also depends on like how much you trust your team. Is there someone on the team that might contact them and be like, Hey, let me tell you about my experience with Alex.

[00:37:00] If you're worried about it at all, just don't say anything. Just say, Oh, I've got another opportunity in web development or I've got another opportunity. You know, I'm going to go work in this kind of environment or I'm going to be working on this kind of app or something like that without naming the company.

[00:37:13] I worked with one manager who when I put in my notice, they're like, okay, don't tell the team. We're going to coordinate like what to say when to tell the team and whatever. And I'm like, that's weird. And so I got off the call with that manager and I immediately called all of my other team members to tell them anyway.

[00:37:29] But then another person that I know at that company Made a lateral move and the manager did the same thing to them of like, don't tell the team. It's like, why it's not like, you know, you're running for Congress or something where it's like some big political thing. It's like, I'm just transitioning into some other role.

[00:37:45] Like, why are you making such a big deal about it? I think that that can be a sign of kind of toxic management of like, are other people going to leave the company like they start seeing people leave? Is that going to encourage other people to leave? And in that particular company, it did.

[00:37:58] Alex: What about kind of like sharing the news about your new job and the new company on LinkedIn?

[00:38:04] Some people, they just, straight on LinkedIn. com. Bye. Other people wait until their first day. But what I've seen is like quite a standard practice that I followed at my last company, and I'll probably follow again. It's like I wait until the probation period is over before I post and I say, Hey, excited to share.

[00:38:21] I've joined this company. What's your take?

[00:38:23] Ian: I've seen some people do that where they wait until they've been established at the new role to even change that they've left the old role. I've seen some people post to say, Hey, I'm transitioning out of. I've got some new opportunity that I'll talk about in the coming weeks or whatever.

[00:38:40] I've seen some people just change jobs and never ever update LinkedIn. Their LinkedIn is like a decade old and they've never updated anything. It really depends on what you need to do as far as your career and your sort of professional network. If it's important to you to make those kinds of announcements, some people see it as kind of an ego thing of like, Oh, look at me and my fancy job.

[00:39:00] Other people are just like, They did want to congratulate you. They genuinely want to congratulate you on, on some new opportunity that you have. So it really depends on what your motivation is, I guess, or how you're going to leverage that. Is it going to be beneficial in some way or hurt you in some way?

[00:39:14] Alex: Depends on the role, doesn't it? Like, if you're a developer, if it isn't public facing in the company, then like, if you're like working in sales and you're reaching out to people and saying, Hey, I work at company X, Y, Z. But your LinkedIn profile still says you work for company ABC. That's kind of confusing, right?

[00:39:28] There's a cautionary tale and there's like a bit of an attitude thing, I think. The cautionary tale is that I have seen people post, Hey, I'm joining a company. They get 300 likes on the LinkedIn post. It's so exciting. The dopamine is flowing. It's awesome. And then the probation period hasn't worked out for whatever reason.

[00:39:43] And like that just happens. Sometimes things just aren't compatible and it happens. And I saw this the other day, they post four, five weeks later saying, Oh, you know, I've left the company or I've been removed from the company at worse. And like, it's just not a good vibe.

[00:39:54] Ian: At the same time. I mean, there can be benefit to transparency.

[00:39:57] Like you and I have had conversation in the past about, you know, the job hunt I did like two and a half years ago, where I was very transparent on LinkedIn about here's the process I went through to find this job and how many roles I applied to, how many interviews I had and which ones. Transcriptions have the best interview, worst interview, you know, kind of thing as far as like the number of interviews.

[00:40:14] And then the choices that I had to make about the offers I was given. Sometimes that transparency can be beneficial. We kind of need to normalize that, yeah, sometimes things don't work out, you know, and it's okay to say like, Hey, you're not in this alone. Like if you start a job and the probation doesn't work out, it's not just you.

[00:40:33] Other people are going through this too. It's okay to talk about. And I think sometimes we want to put on this. Perfect face and perfect persona of like my awesome new job and my awesome new responsibilities and blah, blah, blah. But I think it can be helpful to those that are struggling in the job hunt to see other people also struggling with this stuff too.

[00:40:51] Alex: It's so easy to post about the good stuff on social media, but then you create this like unrealistic image. And that means that when you do find yourself not working out in a probation period, you feel so alone. Maybe when you're transparent, you get rewarded for it in some way, like people rally around you.

[00:41:05] Like, if you get knocked down because you've been transparent and you've attracted, you could say, a community or an audience, they might support you in some way and amplify your message to say you're looking for a new role. I've always heard for like, it's easier to get a job when you have a job, and if you leave on LinkedIn that you're like, you know, you don't lie, but you don't broadcast that you've left the company, then if a recruiter approaches you, they're going to like, assume that you're still working that role.

[00:41:29] And in my experience, they're never going to ask you point blank. Do you still work there, by the way? Like that just doesn't doesn't really happen. So if it's true that to have a job, it's easier to get a job. It might be in your benefit to like keep your cards close to your chest until the dust has settled.

[00:41:41] I've seen this with layoffs loads of this last year.

[00:41:43] Ian: Yeah. If you leave a job and don't have another job to immediately go to, the risk there is like how quickly can you find another job? I know some people that have left a job. Just so they can put 100 percent effort all day, every day into studying, prepping, getting ready for a new role or, you know, I want to go take a course or whatever to go get this other role.

[00:42:05] And so I have to quit my job in order to take this course in order to go do that. And we see that with some boot camps and, and, uh, coding programs where it's a full time program. So you have to quit your job in order to go learn this in order to get a job in tech. The risk, though, is if you're in a tech job and you leave for whatever reason and then don't immediately have another job to transition into after a while, recruiters will actually stop reaching out to you because you haven't been working for a while and they're going to think either you're taking an extended break or that somehow you're unemployable.

[00:42:35] It's like, okay, well, you haven't had a new job in a year. Like, why not? Like, is there something wrong with your talent? You know, are your skills out of date? Like, why has it been a year since you've had a job? That can actually reflect poorly on you as well. And this actually happened to a colleague of mine where he left a job because it was very toxic.

[00:42:52] He wasn't happy there. And so he's like, I got to get out. I just, I have to quit. And he didn't have time to go like find another job. Like he needed to leave immediately. But then it was like a year, year and a half before he found another job. He said the interview cycle started really high and then it like dropped off and it just stayed really low.

[00:43:09] Like even recruiters weren't reaching out to him at that point. The other pattern that I've seen though is if you do announce that you started a new role is I get a lot of recruiters reaching out to me like 90 to 120 days after.

[00:43:22] Alex: Interesting.

[00:43:23] Ian: I think maybe they're wondering like did the probationary period work out because maybe you've left it on LinkedIn that you're still at the company or maybe the transit or the probation didn't work out and they're reaching out just in case.

[00:43:35] I know other recruiters who are just kind of shady because they make a good commission if they submit you to a company and you get that job they get some kind of compensation themselves that they'll just continue to, uh, sort of promote you to other companies every six months or whatever so that they can continue to make money off of you.

[00:43:51] But again, that starts to reflect poorly on you and your reputation if they see that change happening a lot. I usually tell people like use a recruiter for the first couple of years of your career. Once you're established in your career, unless you're transitioning into a completely different kind of role, you may not need a recruiter any longer.

[00:44:06] And I usually just ignore recruiters completely now.

[00:44:09] Alex: I'm a fan of recruiters myself. I think there's two types, right? There's like in house recruits. They're going to reach out and like put an opportunity in front of you.

[00:44:16] Ian: Those recruiters are fine. Yeah. Okay. So that's the

[00:44:17] Alex: distinction. And then you've got the recruiters for like agency recruiters that

[00:44:21] Ian: can't stand them.

[00:44:22] Fair

[00:44:22] Alex: enough. Fair enough. All right, man. We are unfortunately at time, I would say, I think it's time to put a pin in this. We've covered a huge amount of ground and it wasn't quite as focused as I wanted to. I want, that's always the balance of me in a podcast episode. It's like, we can be focused and not uncover anything new or we can like have a nice conversation.

[00:44:40] And frankly, I learned a lot today. So Ian, thanks a lot.

[00:44:43] Ian: Yeah, for sure. Thanks for having me back again. Always happy to, uh, talk to you. Talk about various kinds of things. Always happy to help people as well. I've had a lot of people reach out from the Scrimba podcast, reach out over LinkedIn and, uh, and ask for other advice and so on.

[00:44:57] So I'm always happy to help out. Just feel free to reach out on LinkedIn. I'm always happy to, uh, to reach out to people and, and have a conversation about what's going on. In your career and you know, whether it's a resume review or a CV review, or just, Hey, I got a question about this aspect of, of work or whatever.

[00:45:13] Always happy to give my thoughts.

[00:45:15] Alex: You can find Ian's links in the show notes and yeah, Ian, thanks again.

[00:45:18] Ian: Thanks Alex. Have a great day, everyone.

[00:45:21] Jan: Next week on the show. Senior front end engineer and team lead, Dominic Piontek. I think a lot of

[00:45:27] Dom Piatek: the time values are aspirational. This is what the leaders would like things to be.

[00:45:32] Sometimes they don't even think about like what they do. A good company like iterates on those values and makes them less aspirational.

[00:45:39] Jan: Dom is next week on the Screamo podcast. Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss him. If you're enjoying our show, and if you like what we're doing, the best way to support us is to tell somebody about it.

[00:45:50] You can do it in person, you can do it in socials, you can also rate or review us in your podcast app of choice. Oh, and you can also leave us comments on YouTube. Every week I shout out the coolest social media posts mentioning the Screamba podcast. I didn't do it this week. Because I was sick. Sorry about that, but I'll be reintroducing that segment a week from now.

[00:46:11] The show is hosted by Alex Booker, I've been Jan, the producer. Check out the show notes for the ways to connect with us, and more importantly, for the ways to connect with Ian. Keep coding, and we'll see you next week.