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  1. #1
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    Default How to move on from a vital position?

    Hey all. Posting this from an alt account for obvious reasons. I’d like some guidance from the seasoned minds of this forum.

    TL;DR upfront: How do I, the now-only programmer, and manager of a machine shop, take the right steps to leave a company that I used to love?

    Some background:

    Starting as an operator, I have worked for my current employer for nearly 10 years, and have been serving as the main programmer for the last five. In the last year I’ve taken up about half of the shop manager’s role, as well. Another guy is technically the real shop manager and handles hiring/firing, talks with customers and just sees that work is being done.

    In that same five years, five other programmers have come and gone, for different reasons. Some didn’t cut it, some were great but the company couldn’t hold on to them, for reasons of the usual such as pay, insurance etc., but our most recent loss really gets me.

    Today the guy we hired several months ago, with 30 years of the right experience, put his notice in. Why is he leaving already? He can’t see a future for the place. We’re working with old equipment that’s worn out and will never be replaced, trying to move to high production work despite being a job shop. There’s no real investment in the machine shop and absolutely no long-term planning or goal. He’s moving to a job where he’s learning, running and programming two brand new machines, one of which being 5axis - on too of several dollars/hour raise and going from exorbitant to free health insurance. I’m absolutely thrilled for him, but it’s definitely made me do some thinking.

    I guess where I’m at is I’m feeling like the idiot, for being the one out of six programmers that has stayed with the place. But seeing as how I’m now back to being the only programmer/half-manager, do all the work scheduling, helping operators set up jobs, assist job quotes… etc…. How does someone in my position go about leaving a company properly? I don’t know when or where but, I made my mind up that my time is coming soon. Where two years ago there was some hope that we would get probes on the mills, get into 5axis work, so on, that’s all gone now. I’m supposed to tell everyone that bemoans the state of things that it’s gonna get better… but I don’t believe it myself.

    I love what this place used to be and it did a lot for me to get me started in the trade. The GM is my best friend and we’d do anything for each other as friends. But I feel like I just can’t live in this limbo of “it will get better” that we’ve been in for over a year.

    So what should I do? Being in a vital role, how do I motion to leave the company?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMachinist27 View Post
    I love what this place used to be and it did a lot for me to get me started in the trade. The GM is my best friend and we’d do anything for each other as friends. But I feel like I just can’t live in this limbo of “it will get better” that we’ve been in for over a year.

    So what should I do? Being in a vital role, how do I motion to leave the company?
    It's pretty obvious that the GM doesn't feel the same passion for keeping you employed, as you doo in making the shop thrive.

    Time for more pay & bonus's

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMachinist27 View Post
    Hey all. Posting this from an alt account for obvious reasons. I’d like some guidance from the seasoned minds of this forum.

    TL;DR upfront: How do I, the now-only programmer, and manager of a machine shop, take the right steps to leave a company that I used to love?

    Some background:

    Starting as an operator, I have worked for my current employer for nearly 10 years, and have been serving as the main programmer for the last five. In the last year I’ve taken up about half of the shop manager’s role, as well. Another guy is technically the real shop manager and handles hiring/firing, talks with customers and just sees that work is being done.

    In that same five years, five other programmers have come and gone, for different reasons. Some didn’t cut it, some were great but the company couldn’t hold on to them, for reasons of the usual such as pay, insurance etc., but our most recent loss really gets me.

    Today the guy we hired several months ago, with 30 years of the right experience, put his notice in. Why is he leaving already? He can’t see a future for the place. We’re working with old equipment that’s worn out and will never be replaced, trying to move to high production work despite being a job shop. There’s no real investment in the machine shop and absolutely no long-term planning or goal. He’s moving to a job where he’s learning, running and programming two brand new machines, one of which being 5axis - on too of several dollars/hour raise and going from exorbitant to free health insurance. I’m absolutely thrilled for him, but it’s definitely made me do some thinking.

    I guess where I’m at is I’m feeling like the idiot, for being the one out of six programmers that has stayed with the place. But seeing as how I’m now back to being the only programmer/half-manager, do all the work scheduling, helping operators set up jobs, assist job quotes… etc…. How does someone in my position go about leaving a company properly? I don’t know when or where but, I made my mind up that my time is coming soon. Where two years ago there was some hope that we would get probes on the mills, get into 5axis work, so on, that’s all gone now. I’m supposed to tell everyone that bemoans the state of things that it’s gonna get better… but I don’t believe it myself.

    I love what this place used to be and it did a lot for me to get me started in the trade. The GM is my best friend and we’d do anything for each other as friends. But I feel like I just can’t live in this limbo of “it will get better” that we’ve been in for over a year.

    So what should I do? Being in a vital role, how do I motion to leave the company?
    It is wise to:

    - HAVE the new job nailed BEFORE you give notice to leave the current one. That isn't about whether you have two years pay in the bank and figure you could take a whole year off to sniff around.

    Few companies want to hire or even interview a person who is NOT in-work.

    Working is good. NOT working, they have to find out the "real reason". MOST will not even make that effort. They'll give the between-jobs applicant a miss, hire a lower-risk applicant who is working, even with lesser creds.

    - leave for "personal reasons". Do not mention compensation, even if "personal" is allergy to starvation..

    - praise them in your letter of resignation for the opportunity to have learned so much of value. Especially if they are useless assholes.

    Do NOT yield to the temptation to tell them the most valuable thing you learned was that they were a pack of cheapwads nor career losers!

    You know you got it right when they give you great references for years and even try to hire you back.

    BTDTGTTS. "more than just the one time.." .... etc.


    PS: FAGEDDABOUT "sensitive position", "half-manager", or "key man".
    Nobody is indispensible.

    BG Morton McDonald Jones:

    "Yes, you would be difficult to replace, Lootenant."

    "But if you got shot in the ass tomorrow morning, I'd have a replacement in Command by mid-afternoon."

    "That's part of my job!"

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    I suppose the answer depends on how much you feel you owe the current employer to ease the hardship on them. It sounds like you are past the point of feeling sorry for them. If that is the case, a quick and quiet exit seems the best. You're there on a Friday and not there on a Monday. No bye-bye happy hour or any of that. On the other hand, if there is still a bridge to worry about burning, or an abrupt resignation will poison your ability to get a new job, be very calm and professional, but also set firm, well-defined limits on how much you'll help with the transition and for how long. It would be bad to waffle.

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    you may be suprised if you talk to the people in charge. The owners may be just keeping it open to keep the employees busy, hate to let loyal people go. I dont understand why they would be transitioning to a different style of work without serious investment in equipment to be successful, unless its just to run what's left of it into the ground then close it down. that's from 2000 miles away though. you only have so many hours your number one priority is you and your family.

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    Take your time finding the right next position. Lock it in solid, then give two weeks notice. If you still like your current employer, answer emails and phone calls to help your replacement settle in.

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    The old BS...widen horizons/new experience and challenges /fulfill your career potential /test the limit of your abilities....Rule #1 is never burn bridges ,never say nasty things ,be a nice guy ,even if you arent......if you are a good enough con ,they will give you a nice leaving gift.

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    If the suits are really looking at production then they have to be throwing down serious cash for automation. Getting in the race to the bottom has high entry fees.
    Unless you are in Davidson you are not making paper, doing it for the love of the game. Production is only fun for the first week.
    Look at your operators and their life outside the clock- how dependent are they on you? Like if you decided wed is your last day would they loose all ot and not be a good elf come santa day? Tho that is not your obligation it will way on your decision.
    Leave how the suits feel out of it. When was the last time they gave notice for a layoff, when was last operator they offered a chance to program? Is the starting pay competive with Amazon- which also includes insurance for the family...
    Who dropped the bug that production is the easy money? That is the mold infecting environment. Can you ignore them or do you have to leave to stay with love of the game?

    No easy answer.

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    If the GM is truly your best friend, have a chat and get a definite timescale out of him for investment etc.
    Tell him everyone has gone because the shop is full of boat anchors.
    Hear him out and don't say you're thinking of leaving.
    After the meeting, think about what he said and confirm your mind, and if it's off, then go and get another job with a 4 week notice.
    Then when you hand yours in, you're giving them a month which is more than fair.

    You'll then see how much of a best friend he is.
    Or whether he was just a work friend....

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    Business is business.
    Friends are friends

    YOu need to move on, which is sad.

    There are good opportunities out there

    Find one.

    Then tell your friend.

    When this place crashes and burns, will your best friend pay your mortgage?

    You have a responsibility to you, first and foremost.

    Finding another job is what people do.


    I dated a girl a million years ago who was younger than me and had worked at a small business since school, but was limited and frustrated

    I asked her how old someone who got the gold watch at 65 after 25 years of service was when they started?

    40

    She was 25


    TIme to move on

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    The last shop I worked at I had somewhat the same issue, but probably on a smaller scale. I was the only one there capable of programming and running the machining center I ran. All the production machinery they built relied on the components I made.

    In October of 2015 I gave my notice that I was quitting. I told the owner that he needed to find a replacement ASAP.

    By December they had not found a replacement. Come January, the boss decided to have his son be my replacement. The son had no previous machining experience. I spent 6 months training the son trying to cram what I could into his brain.

    The son lasted 8 months or maybe a year before he quit, and everyone on the shop floor was happy to see him go. That shop is now down to 2 people on the shop floor and 1 in the office. It is sad to see.

    For you it will be a little different, I was coming home, not going somewhere else to work. I wrote this up to tell you to have a job lined up, with a start date. Otherwise you may wind up being there for way longer than you intended, trying to do the right thing.

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    First off you are looking at others and wondering, Who cares what their motivation was and you will never know it all.
    Hard to break is the loyalty to sort of a family that brought you to where your are so that holds one back. How loyal are they to you?
    Most people jump for pay and bennies and that a good reason. Had several that I wished had expressed or told me of outside offers.
    One puts in a two week notice and says goodbye.

    A decent manager or owner will wish you luck and maybe a big goodbye party with the entire staff.
    A bad manger is pissed off.
    You did the job, got paid for it and found new. People that I've had that came from high school or working at Wendys I do not want to lose but I celebrate this.
    I hope I have sent them on a better path or ship to sail on.
    It hurts when a key person leaves.
    Bob

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    You have already decided that you need to leave so where is the problem? Get out now. You are not irreplaceable, that will be the main man's thought. Do not be surprised, if he offers you more money to stay.
    Been there and asked how come there is more money available now but not before I handed in my notice. Just listen and enjoy the waffle,then say no thanks.

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    I have received some good advice here. Thank you all. It’s clear that loyalty has not served me well for the last couple of years, it has only shorted me of growth and given me stress and heartache.

    I have a review coming in December and I’m wondering if it would be good or bad to express how I feel, if it would garner me a (temporary) boost in exchange for staying or if they’d bother trying. I’m not good at that kind of thing.

    The sad thing is, the GM is about in the same spot. All the reward he got was a pretty decent raise after 3-4 years of promises - which was then promptly cut back in a few months after the owners over-leveraged the company to add a third location and part of the business. He’s as torn as I am, probably worse because everyone above him is family by marriage. I know for a fact many people would, gradually, leave if the GM left because he’s about the only hope of anything good happening - and he’s got two hands and a leg tied behind his back by his family.

    I appreciate everyone’s comments and suggestions. I have some time off this week to reflect, think and work on my resume for the first time in years. My time’s coming, it has to.

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    I would just find another job and give the customary 2 week notice. Leaving it open that you are planning to leave in the future might end up backfiring. I speak from experience, I was honest about not being a career man at my last job when at opportunity came up to send someone away for two weeks to learn a newly purchased programming software. Since I was better at programming and computers than the other two guys who did programming on the other shifts I was the logical choice. I told the owner who to send as it was a guy who was there for life, and I was planning on striking out on my own. From then on everything went south, I ended up leaving a lot sooner than I intended, wanting to keep my day job till I could not take the 100 hour weeks anymore.

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    One thing to remember.....is money is only a short term fix.
    If they threw 10k extra to you, you'd be all giddy () for about 6 weeks. Then it would ware off and in no time flat, you'd be back to your pissed off self.
    Money is nice, but we're at work for a long time.....

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  23. #17
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    Lots of good advise here.

    I would like to tell you to hang on, but that is probably gone at this point as you'll never get any higher up.

    I'm guessing that if you do approach management about leaving, it will probably go bad as they dont invest into the company so why do they really care about investing into employees.

    I agree with what others say about inquiring about moving forward with the company and getting an understanding of what is coming in the next 2 years. That hopefully will give you some answers to your own questions about leaving.

    Just remember, the grass is not always greener on the other side. The grass is always greenest where people water it themselves.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMachinist27 View Post
    I have a review coming in December and I’m wondering if it would be good or bad to express how I feel, if it would garner me a (temporary) boost in exchange for staying or if they’d bother trying.
    That's a big risk. They might change a little, for a couple weeks, then go back to business as usual. They might get offended and fire you on the spot. You cannot change your boss' nature; don't try. And if there are two or more levels above you, abandon all hope.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMachinist27 View Post

    I have a review coming in December and I’m wondering if it would be good or bad to express how I feel, if it would garner me a (temporary) boost in exchange for staying or if they’d bother trying. I’m not good at that kind of thing.
    You should let them know your thoughts only if you feel in your heart that you want to stay and are willing to take a risk to make it work. Set your expectations and write them down. Set the issue aside for three days then revisit it and read what you wrote. Thanksgiving week is a great opportunity for this reflection.

    If you choose to talk about it, also choose your time for the conversation. Do not do it in a review. The manager will come to the review to deliver their message. They will not be in the proper mindset to listen. When you have your moment, layout your concerns. If they are open, discuss your expectations. Give them a chance if you think it can work. If you see it cannot work, let them know you are going to start looking for a different job. They might fire you but probably won’t. But, you will need to prepare to leave.

    Do not open this door if you feel you need to leave. Find a new job and resign gracefully with a customary 2-week notice. No need for an agonizing process.

    Either way, as many have said, keep it constructive, civil and focused on a positive outcome. Never burn your bridges.

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    You don't have to feel bad about jumping off a sinking ship.

    If you want to throw them a bone, you can offer weekend consultation at a fair rate (NOT free). Even that would be out of the ordinary. Most people you never hear from again.

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