My Current Company Doesn’t Want Me to Leave

I was offered a Vice-President of Marketing role, and they want me to start in two weeks. My current supervisor doesn’t want me to go and wants to push the transition period as far out as possible. The new job pays what I’m worth. How can I accommodate both sides?

The penultimate* sentence sums it all up for me. “The new job pays what I’m worth.” This tells me that the current job does not pay you what you’re worth.

Now, this could be a fine thing. If you’re doing work that pays less than what you’re capable of, it’s fine to pay you a market rate for the job you’re doing. (For example, even if you’re capable of being a Fortune 100 CEO, your salary as a cashier at a fast-food restaurant will pay you for the job you’re doing.) But, I suspect that your current job is underpaying you.

I understand that you don’t want to burn any bridges, but when companies underpay you, they are standing at the bridge with a gallon of gasoline in one hand and a book of matches in the other. Your current company has set up the bridge for burning.

That said, you probably still need a reference from them. Two weeks’ notice is a perfectly acceptable amount of notice. So, I would say, “I’ll do whatever I can to get you in a good place when I leave in two weeks, but I’m firm about my last day of work.”

Now, sometimes, it’s perfectly fine to push back a start date. Most companies are pretty flexible about this, so you may want to ask if it’s possible to start in three weeks or four. They’ll let you know if that’s feasible and if it is, and you want to do it, go ahead!

Sometimes there are good reasons why they want you to start ASAP. I once needed someone onboard by September 30, or it affected my budget for the following year. The job candidate said she wanted to start later because she had a week-long trip planned for the first week in October. No, problem, I said, start the last week of September, work a week, and then take your vacation paid. It was a win-win for everyone. I got my budget problems sorted; she got a paid vacation.

But don’t spend too much time worrying about keeping your old company happy. They are (likely) underpaying you, and they’d fire you in a hot second if you weren’t providing value.

Congratulations on the new job!

*This is such an excellent word, and I never get to use it, so I’m pleased about this.

Image by Kusal Darshana from Pixabay

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4 thoughts on “My Current Company Doesn’t Want Me to Leave

  1. Set some clear targets to achieve in those 2 weeks and then leave. Personally, I never ask anyone to extend a notice period. If staff have resigned they have psychologically left the building and, even the best of us will struggle to do anything of real value for an extended period of time. I have asked people to stay to tie things neatly up for their successor, or to brief people, or any other urgent task that only they can do. I ask them to do what makes sense to make the exit as professional as possible and then no more. Often, once these things are accomplished, I let people go early.
    This is another indication that your current, soon-to-be past employers, are not effective managers and leaders. It sounds like they are making the problem of them losing you all your responsibility instead of asking themselves how come they are losing a great employee and how are they going to replace you – perhaps a pattern throughout your employment?

  2. I gave 2 weeks’ notice before leaving my last job, which I had held for about seven years. (I was retiring but did not tell the company that.) In the course of training another employee in some of my duties, I learned the salaries of other employees at that small company. I was shocked when I learned how underpaid I was. On the weekend following my second-to-last work week, I became angry and decided not to go to work the second (final) week. I slipped into my office very early on Monday morning, before anyone else had arrived, removed my remaining personal belongings, and then left a note and my keys in the manager’s mailbox. They sent me my final check a few days later. If I had known how underpaid I was, I would have looked for another job.

    1. Lily Ledbetter didn’t find out how underpaid she had been until after she left Goodyear. Now, under the Lily Ledbetter Act, you can file a claim for that underpayment, and I sincerely hope you do. Good luck!

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