As you sow so shall you reap

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 :neutral_face:

why did you wait 4 years?

This has been so far my longest job experience, even though I’ve been an industrial Designer since 2000. This last experience helped me get specialized in my field, and at the same time it demonstrates stability and reliability as an employee.

I’ve had a couple of offers in the meantime, but they did’nt seem like clever moves in the long run. With a little bit of patience, I finally got a position that’s both challenging and rewarding. It is leading me to where I have always wanted to go, and I’m gonna be able to diversify my skills in that field.

in most places in the U.S. a two week notice is viewed as the standard, you have gone well beyond that. I would not feel guilty if I were you, you have done the right thing, now it is time for you to start the next chapter in your career.

In fact, even though 2 weeks is standard in the US you aren’t required to give any notice at all.

You have certainly paid your dues at that company and you don’t owe them anything else. I know its hard not to feel like you owe them something in return for the skills they have given you but when it comes down to it, you must look out for only yourself. Its your life, your career, they are just a stepping stone on your way up.

If nothing else, the 5 week notice probably bought you some nice references for future employment.