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When to hand in resignation?

(5 Posts)
quittingtimer Sat 22-Oct-11 17:47:54

I currently work at a very small company (4 full time employees apart from the owner, plus 4 others on part time contracts or term-time contracts).

I get on very well with the owner/colleagues but have been interviewing elsewhere for the last 2 months because of a few factors - I'm not resigning as a game to get a higher salary or anything like that, I'm genuinely wanting a change of scenery.

However, the owner of the company is notorious for sabotaging the efforts of previous employees (e.g. refusing to give references, making an informal phonecall to the main industry recruiter to get that ex-employee blacklisted) if they piss her off.

I've just interviewed for a new role which I'd love to take up. But before I accept, the email says that they'd like me to verbally confirm acceptance of the job and then they'd issue a written contract "subject to satisfactory references".

So.. I accept verbally.. they ask for reference details... I provide my current boss' name... they check with her.. she finds out I'm thinking of moving... and it's only THEN that I get a written contract?!

Questions:

1) Is that normal - to not issue written job contract offer until references (i.e. your current boss) has been contacted?

2) Surely this is going to put me in the shit with my current boss?!! This is a very busy (seasonal) time for the company just now, and although I get on well with her, she will not like me quitting with only 1 month's notice since I'm the longest serving member of staff here. There's no getting around that.

3) My fear is... if I resign before I get that written contract from my new employer, for all I know they could just change their minds and decide not to offer the job to me at all. Or, more likely, my current boss could play hard ball and give a weak reference. Therefore meaning I've just resigned from my current job but don't have a new one to go to.

4) .... on the other hand, I could just accept the job, give them my boss' name, and then I'd get called into her office asking why the hell Competitor X has just asked her for a reference for me? In which case I'd just end up on her bad list for not being upfront I guess.

Can anyone advise as to the timing here, based on the fact that I'm sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place?

GlaikitFizzogOnaNeepyLantern Sat 22-Oct-11 17:56:35

Have they specified your current employer needs to be a referee? If done previous employers or personal references first, then get the contract sign it send it back then resign. They surely don't expect you to resign without hard solid contract in hand. In fact the last time I needed references the work ones only confirmed I worked there, the dates I'd worked there. I then asked my line mamager for a personal reference. DO you have a colleague who could give you a personal one?

LaCiccolina Sat 22-Oct-11 18:09:40

Hi,

Current employer would be expected, however, they do not have to be the first ones so as Glaikit suggests ask for secondary etc first. Do not say anything to your present employer before you have a contract signed. If this new employer expects that frankly its odd, not unheard of, just rather weird. Cant even say outdated as nobody really does it like that! Many places these days only confirm dates worked. To do more opens up litigation potential (seriously, people sue about everything now) so many firms refuse. Personal ones can be anyone, keep it short and succinct.

Congratulations! Good luck with the new position.

quittingtimer Sat 22-Oct-11 18:15:24

Have they specified your current employer needs to be a referee?

Not specified, but I've been here for several years and I figured it would look odd if my boss here (well known in the industry) isn't the reference name. Also my previous employer went out of business (that's why I left). Going any further back takes me to about 15 years ago in terms of employer references sad

They surely don't expect you to resign without hard solid contract in hand.

It appears they do. I can't call the new place's HR as it's onlya small office (part of a larger org), the lady I'm dealing with (their admin/office manager type person all rolled into one) sent me this on Friday just before they closed. I can clarify on Monday with them, but her email and the associated form she sent for references makes this quite black and white. That's why I thought Id better post here - not having had many employers I'm completely unaware whether this is standard or not...

In fact the last time I needed references the work ones only confirmed I worked there, the dates I'd worked there. I then asked my line mamager for a personal reference. DO you have a colleague who could give you a personal one?

Not really, no - technically I team lead the other three fulltime employees, so apart from my boss I'm the most senior person there (although in reality this doesn't mean that much, I get a small salary bonus on top of the normal rate for new joiners, but I've sort of just inherited this because I've been there the longest). Technically my job role is Senior X (rather than the others, who are just X).

Would it be the done thing to ask a lower down employees (as in, colleagues) to put as a reference?

I know for a fact that I'd be signing my own death warrent (in employment terms - industry wide) if the first my boss hears of me leaving is a reference requst from this competitor...

Ellypoo Tue 25-Oct-11 13:53:03

I can totally understand your concerns with this, particularly due to your current boss's history with people leaving, which is totally unprofessional with IMHO.
However, all job offers that we send out are always 'subject to suitable references', and so this would always be the case - it is totally reasonable for your new employer to want your references before finalising the contract etc, otherwise there would be no point in references at all, would there! Is there any way you could speak to your new employer, explain the situation to them at the same time as giving them your referees?

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