Q: My husband says I should provide 12 months notice before leaving my job. After 10 years with this company, I plan to retire when I turn 62 in 18 months. Because I manage a complex program that culminates in a large annual meeting, this position has a fairly long learning curve.
According to my husband, I need to give management a year to hire a replacement who can follow me through an entire program cycle. However, I'm pretty sure the budget won't support this. Do you think giving a year's notice is realistic?
A: Perhaps your husband should stop thinking about management and start thinking about you.
When employees announce their departure, managers immediately begin formulating replacement plans. People who provide lengthy notice can find themselves included in a layoff or reorganized into oblivion well before their planned exit date. Many sad souls who relied on the kindness of management have learned the hard way that when staffing decisions are involved, business comes first.
Another concern is that personal circumstances can alter considerably over the course of a year. While early retirement may seem attractive at the moment, a sudden change in health or finances could make that prospect less appealing. And there's no way to predict your employer's willingness to rescind an established plan.
If an unfortunate circumstance forced you to abandon this job tomorrow, management would undoubtedly find a way to cope. So a notice period of several weeks should be sufficient, especially if your successor can reach you after you leave.
When determining the appropriate interval, consider both the standard notification period in your company and the application deadline for any retirement benefits. The final decision should based on your own financial and emotional interests because your bosses are quite capable of looking out for themselves.
Q: During a recent staff meeting, my co-worker's condescending attitude made me so angry that I completely lost my temper. I flew into a blind rage and got right up in his face and screamed at him. His arrogance has driven me crazy for the past three years.
Although I know this was inappropriate, I don't feel as sorry as people seem to think I should. Some colleagues have advised me to seek counseling, but I don't know if that's really necessary.
A: When a hostile reaction is completely out of proportion to the immediate cause, it usually means that long-simmering anger has finally reached a boiling point. If this was a one-time occurrence, perhaps a mentor or friend can help determine why this guy triggers such strong emotions and how you can avoid future outbursts.
But if you are generally prone to explosions of temper, then professional anger management counseling is strongly recommended. Otherwise, your unfortunate tendency to attack may eventually wreak havoc on both your career and your personal life.
Marie G. McIntyre is a workplace coach. Liz Reyer's column returns next week.