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If I'm thinking of leaving the team, how do I hash that out with my manager?

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Senior engineer at Series B Startup2 years ago

I've been at my current company for many years, and I'm looking for a change of pace. I'm unsure how to bring this up properly with my manager in particular: How do I frame the conversation and when do I have it?

For context, I have a really good relationship with my manager. They were initially an engineer at the company like myself, and they've been with me since I've started.

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(2 comments)
  • 1
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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 years ago
    • In short: The more you trust your manager, the earlier you can tell them. The less you trust your manager, the later you should tell them.
    • There's no real tactical reason to tell your manager that you're leaving on the earlier side. If you just want to play it super safe and not worry about it, give the 2 weeks notice. If you don't want to do it that close, you can do it as soon as you have an offer letter signed.
    • This all comes down to how deep you believe your relationship is between you and your manager and what your empathy is compelling you to do to set up your manager for success in your absence.
    • I told both my last manager at Meta and my last manager at Robinhood that I was thinking of leaving months before I actually did. I did this because those 2 managers were the 2 best managers I have ever had, and I really respected them a ton as people. We had great working relationships, so I trusted they weren't going to retaliate against me for doing this. Since I liked them so much, I wanted to make sure I could offboard from the team smoothly and help them backfill. Again, there was no tactical, concrete reason for me to do this: I did this purely out of goodwill and maintaining that relationship.
    • You could do something like me: It seems like you have a pretty good relationship with your manager too. But in the end, that's your call to make about whether you want to take on this risk.
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    Senior Manager at Zoox; Meta, Snap, Google
    2 years ago

    Good point, Alex!

    I would add that if you have a really good relationship with your manager, you can ask them for a career advice. And you can let them know in advance that next 1:1 you want to dedicate to your career plans and listen for their advice. And then take your time to prepare for it. E.g. outline all the reasons that make you thinking about leaving the company and all the things that you want to develop in yourself in the future.

    I would say that having a really great manager is a lot and they can help you to find the things you need in your current company/team or maybe even give some valuable advices about potential opportunities elsewhere.

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