I resigned today. It felt good, but didn’t bring the instant relief that I thought it would. Throughout the day, however, I’ve been feeling better and better about things. The whole “weight off my shoulders” thing hasn’t set in yet, but I’m hoping it will soon.
My manager was very polite and understanding. When asked if there was anything he could have done, I resisted the urge to lay into him, and instead did the professional thing — “No, this is just a career move, with a better opportunity for me.”
My executive director came thereafter, sat down, and let me know he didn’t want me to leave the company. He said that the bank’s general stance is that for employees with a high flight-risk (high-skill, under market pay, and in the top 10% of performers), they sit on their hands until they try to quit, and then do something about it. They actually have lists for this, with what the plans are for when they leave, so that they can counter it and bring the employee back in.
Why they don’t try to fix the situation from the start is beyond me, and I don’t think my ED is very happy with the way things are structured either. His boss is also of the same opinion, which I guess is a bit of a positive taint on the whole of it. He also wanted to know whether it was my manager or the job or anything else, and I again resisted the urges. I made it clear I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do, I wasn’t happy that the opportunities I wanted failed to materialize, and that it really wasn’t about the money. He said he could match my offer, but could not promise that they would be able to get me out of my current position anytime soon.
Thanks, but no thanks. I like the bank, as a company … but as Sarah has pointed out before, I may give them too much credit — if they really were that great of a company, they would be bending over to solve my problems back when I raised them, rather than waiting for me to make a move. In any event, he closed stating that the door is always open, and I’m welcome to come back if I don’t like what I find. I can’t imagine that at the moment, but it’s nice to hear.
On the upside I didn’t get escorted out by security the moment I quit, which I actually appreciate. I understand if corporate policy had dictated that be done, but I like being able to pack up my things myself, and do what I can to transfer what I do to other team members. It’s going to be a challenge for them, and I don’t want them to be unprepared.
In the interest of preserving this, I’ve thought back on a lot of the positive things I will miss about working here; I’ve talked enough on the things that were disappointing in the past:
- The feeling of electricity present every time I go up to the world’s largest trading floor
- First-class check in, access to the admiral’s clubs, and free booze on American Airlines flights (yes, even those not with the bank)
- The opportunity to read to an elementary school student each Friday to encourage kids to read / make reading cool
- A top-notch cafeteria
- On-site Chase ATMs
- The opportunity to learn about financial instruments in the graduate training program — the same one taken by incoming trading and sales graduates
- The opportunity to work with some large and interesting hardware and distributed systems
- Being on-track for rank this year
- All of the LCD flat panels on my desk
- My multi-currency MBA fund sitting on my desk in a biscuit jar
- Free beer and cookies on Fridays
- Seeing the facade coming into Stamford on I-95 and being proud of where I work
- On-site dry cleaning
- The company store and on-site starbucks (not so hot for coffee, but handy just the same)
- My stock options which I will now forfeit
- All of the people I chatted with (but did not work with) on a daily basis without which I may not have made it this long
I look back on that list, and most of it is perks — which tells me that it’s good that I’m moving on. I don’t see anything like “the people,” “the environment,” or “the challenges.” I don’t think that’s the way it should be.