This morning I mailed my resignation letter to the headquarters of the Italian company I’ve been working for since 2003.
In the four years I worked for them, my director never gave the promotion he lured me with during the interview. To be fair, he gave me two raises (when other designers would be leaving the company). Although he has always been satisfied with my work, my responsibilities have always remained limited.
Two month ago, the company was merged with its acquisitor, after almost going bankrupt for the second time. I partly understand that the turmoil might have made any promotion difficult (although I still doubt my director was sincere when he talked about it in the first place). Subsequently, my contract was converted to a new model, obviously as much as gratifying as the previous one.
Were I to have more responsibilities or a better type of contract, my notice of resignation would be longer. Given my current status, it only amounts to 5 weeks. Given that they will probably need someone to be trained for at least six months before they can reach my level of productivity, let alone the time required to find the best suitable person.
The attempt to spend as little as possible on designers is very common within small-size and mid-size Italian studios. I’ve only heard of a professional approach from big Italian or foreign companies. What the first category don’t realise is that on the long run, they are actually shooting themselves in the foot:
They usually seek, very qualified designers, expect them to come in with a lot of good will, work hard and be commited, but in return they give very little incentive or gratification and the pay is a low as possible.
In the end, designers do the most sensible thing: they move on to a job with better pay, taking away with them skills, acquired know-how and hard-to replace months of training.
I might offer to work as a consultant to help make the transition beyond these five weeks notice, but they are not going to be in a position to negotiate my fee. No hard feelings, nothing personal. Too bad I have to leave for them to realise how much I’m worth