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Advice needed re leaving a self-employed job

(13 Posts)
Remona Wed 22-Jul-20 21:41:41

I'm a long time lurker but have joined as I would really appreciate the perspective of others on this matter.

I've done an admin job for maybe 12 years and am self-employed. I work for a couple of people and have done throughout this time. I am really unhappy in my work. I've been feeling very stressed with it for years to the point it's made me ill and I'm now in a financial position where I can drop some of it. I really just want to make my life happier and less stressful and I thought this was the solution. It is something I've been thinking about for a number of years, this isn't a spur of the moment decision.

I gave one of the people I work for notice and said I would work for the next four weeks. As I'm self-employed, I know I don't need to give notice really but I thought it was the decent thing to do to give them the opportunity to find someone to replace me. The problem is, that person hasn't tried to find a replacement for me for three of those four weeks. They only found a replacement this week (my last week) so I've been trying to teach that person about my job, although quite how much you can teach someone in four days I don't know. The big issue is that they have now decided they don't want to do it. That therefore means that I've only 2 days left to work (supposedly) and there's no replacement.

Here's my quandary. I know without a shadow of a doubt that the person I've been working for is going to expect me - not ask me, expect me - to keep working until such point as they find a replacement. They've already alluded to me helping out once I've left. To my mind, that's not how it works when you leave a job. You tell someone you're leaving, you give them fair warning and then you leave. You don't have to keep on to suit them just because they haven't got around to sorting things out.

I think I've been more than reasonable giving them 4 weeks' notice but I know they will try to bully me into keeping on. I really don't want to. I have had enough and had been really, really looking forward to leaving at the end of this week. Now I'm stressed and wound up about it all.

Do you think I'd be perfectly reasonable to say "it's not my problem"? I want to point out that I gave them notice, notice which I wasn't actually obliged to, and that they're being unreasonable expecting me to stay on. I don't want to part on bad terms with this person but neither do I want to be walked all over. The person in question is very pleasant to your face but is someone who is used to getting their own way all the time. I'd appreciate any ideas of how to tackle this when the conversation takes place, and I know it will, tomorrow morning.

Many thanks.

OP’s posts: |
GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Wed 22-Jul-20 21:44:53

Absolutely it’s not your problem. Give yourself permission to say No, mean it, and walk away without guilt. This isn’t your problem.

TheProvincialLady Wed 22-Jul-20 21:48:59

How can this person possibly my ‘have their own way’ when you walk out the door on the day you told them and then never go back? You are giving them too much power in your head. You gave notice - how they conduct their business in your absence has absolutely nothing to do with you. Enjoy!

Remona Wed 22-Jul-20 21:54:48

Thank you. I know that’s what I need to do but needed to hear it from someone else.

I’ve created this situation myself as they’ve walked all over me for years and I’ve put up with it because I needed the money. They’ll therefore think they can walk all over me again. I just need to stand up for myself!

OP’s posts: |
TodaysFishIsTroutALaCreme Wed 22-Jul-20 22:04:22

"Nope, I cant carry or working after x date as I am not available"

Just that. Do not explain what your busy is. So what if its sitting in your pjs for the next month while stuffing your face with chocolate....thats irrelevant. You are not available. End of.

Do not explain yourself. If you start explaining, they can present counter arguments.

You don't need to be a mug anymore. You have control of this.

Good luck

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Wed 22-Jul-20 22:12:43

'Sorry, as discussed my last available working day is xxx. Good luck with it all, Remona.' Is all you need to say. But mean it, then walk away.

They have no power over you, you're self employed.

xyzandabc Wed 22-Jul-20 22:17:45

I can't do any work for you after today as I now have other commitments. If that commitment is staying in bed until mid day and long lunches, that's no one's business but yours. Also do not try to soften the blow by saying something like let me know when you've found someone else and I can do a handover/help train them. Give an inch and they will take a mile.

doadeer Wed 22-Jul-20 22:30:59

Absolutely do not continue to work if you don't want to.

I always leave a thorough handover document when I leave a role. I think that is important to do but you don't owe anything else.

And make it clear if they message you when you finish (if you want to reply) you will bill for the time

Bouledeneige Wed 22-Jul-20 23:31:10

You gave notice. You leave. What happens after that? Not your problem.

And for the record if you've been working regular hours for 12 years they are probably breaking the law in having you work on a self employed basis. HMRC are cracking down on this since it's clearly a permanent position and they should have been paying NI etc. Fuck em. And move on.

TheHighestSardine Wed 22-Jul-20 23:48:23

"My new rates are..." at whatever multiple your hourly price is for putting up with their shit.

Snorkelface Fri 24-Jul-20 00:02:17

Remona - I've been in this situation. It was the reference element that got me, the person I was working for was the sort who would refuse to provide a reference if they didn't get their own way, regardless of the years of work etc. There wasn't a way round it apart from feeling confident I could get references from elsewhere (I could but smaller clients). If you're not bothered about that part of it then give yourself permission to leave, because you don't need theirs, and go.

killerofmen Fri 24-Jul-20 00:16:10

I also doubt that this role would meet the test of self employment but either way you've given notice and it's done. Don't engage in any conversations about working beyond the end date you've given.

wibdib Fri 24-Jul-20 01:13:20

I’d be tempted to be the one to initiate the conversation so that it is at a good time for you and you’ve got all your notes about what you want to say in front of you and you’re psyched up ready.

As others have said just say that you’re reminding her that she needs to get your replacement lined up ASAP because she knows that your last day is xxx and that as you already have plans going forward you won’t be in a position to help out in any way.

If it’s possible to get a standard reference out of her with basic dates on, just so you can ‘have it on file’ that would be handy and will save the need to trouble her in the future should you need to but it’s not imperative.

And then when she tries to guilt trip you into staying longer, just grey rock her with the same basic reply. No, I can’t come in. I gave my notice 4 weeks ago, you have had plenty of time to recruit someone else. I have plans so I will not be coming in.

Go on, make your plan now... lie in for each morning. Read a trashy novel. Spend hour every morning, afternoon and night on mumsnet - minimum. Go for a nice walk. Catch up with a friend. And so on. But no ‘popping back to old job’.

Enjoy being away from there. Don’t feel guilty. If she was a decent reasonable person to work for you would still be happy to work for her so she has brought this on herself by being unreasonable. Don’t reward her bad behaviour by doing anything to help her out, especially for the first month - make sure you get that break you need.

If you do decide you’d be prepared to help out a bit further down the line boost your salary up to crazy levels, especially if you don’t really want to do it. So decide you’re going to double or triple your price per hour or charge for an hour what you get paid in a day previously or whatever you want. The idea is that she either has to pay or go without. No skin off your nose if you don’t do it as you don’t want to do it. Set the conditions you want too - 10-4 working day or a 4 day week or just on Tuesdays etc. And tell her that you have worked out your rate very carefully and chose an amount like £42.45/hour rather than £40/hour or £237.69/day rather than £200/day (sorry I have no idea of the ballpark figure to aim for). The psychology of choosing weird numbers is curious as (anecdotally, I don’t have lots of hard data!) people will think there is a reason for choosing a clunky number rather than a neat one so it becomes easier to justify (even if you did pluck it out of the air!). If they want explanations, just say you have told them that you’ve worked out what you need to increase your rates to, you don’t need to explain further and if they don’t want to pay, that’s fine, you don’t need to do the work so they can get someone else in at their preferred rate.

Then it becomes win-win for you - either the satisfaction of being able to say nope and knowing you don’t have to do it. Or they have to say yes but at crazy rates and you do it for a short time for lots of money and you have the satisfaction of knowing they had to pay so much for you and you’re still only doing it for a short time at your convenience.

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