I had another job already landed…but I had to wait on the background check to clear. I’m not one to play my hand in these matters until I know that it’s a sure thing. Everything I read about this particular situation said to not turn in my resignation notice to my current employer because the offer letter for the new job stated “contingent upon background check clearance.”

When I told my prospective employer my availability date, I didn’t know that the background check would take so long, nor did I know a background check would even be a part of the application process. I didn’t have anything really to worry about, but in case I needed to dispute an inaccuracy, I was ready.

So, the background check took over a week to complete and I was stuck in the awkward position of either starting off at the new company later than the availability date I initially gave them or cutting ties with my current company abruptly, essentially without any advanced notice.

I chose to cut the old job short. My previous boss was cool and I liked her, but I had to break the news to her nonetheless. She was disappointed…and the reaction I got from her made me feel like my abrupt resignation was taken personally. I told her I knew I was putting her in a tough position but I was also in one myself.

Now don’t get me wrong, I knew that I had put her on the spot with pressure to fill my position at the last minute. However, I needed to do what was best for me.

I explained the entire situation to her and was told that it was understood…until I explained to her that the job paid more.

Then I was hit with, “Well, other than more money, what is the motivation?”

I said, “The hours are better.”

In return I got, “Well, we could have worked with you on the hours.”

No. Had I done so, she would not have actually come back with a better offer than the new job. We both knew that.

We eventually finished our talk and all was good.

Or so I thought.

Not another word was directly spoken to me by her for the entire day until I turned in my badge and work phone and left the building.

On top of that, even her own boss walked by me 3 times during the day and didn’t say a word either. Did not say “good luck” or “congrats” or anything. I knew some awkwardness was going to occur but this was extreme.

You live you learn. My old job will still be there kicking Monday morning whether I’m there or not. Will I use this company as a reference? Maybe. I got this job without using them (or her) as a reference. I probably would have directed them to her but thankfully I didn’t have to do that. I’m looking forward to this company and a long relationship with them.

Here are some tips for when you know you will be leaving a job:

  • The computer techs will probably make a copy of the files on your company computer. Anything you may have that you don’t want anyone to see…delete. It’s their property after all. Same for any company cell phones.
  • Forward any emails that you may find interesting to your personal account. Usually mail isn’t checked on the way out, it’s checked on the way in. System admins have too much to worry about to track outgoing traffic, in most cases anyway.
  • Get the cell phone numbers and email addresses of your bosses and possibly their bosses. When you leave, you won’t have access to company email anymore. Job applications sometimes ask for email addresses of your references too.
  • If there’s a departmental contact list, make a copy of that too. You can probably use your coworkers as references (and they, you). I wasn’t buddy-buddy with my coworkers (“We are not friends, we just work together”), so I didn’t have their numbers in my phone or social media accounts. But I would give them all glowing reviews if they needed it. It’s hard out there. Plus, if you have any co workers that you were cool with, you could put them on with a job at your new company.
  • If you have any money in your health spending/FSA accounts…drain that stuff. You’ll get a new benefit package at your next company anyway. I used mine to get glasses…condoms are also FSA items, by the way. So stock up and celebrate getting your new job!