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Final Year Pre-retirement

I just entered my final year of work. I informed my boss of my retirement date and told him I wanted to make this a productive year. I have always been a high performer in the office and want to make sure my departure leaves the staff in good shape. I am a very active volunteer and leader in my area. I didn’t see that changing this year.

 

Perhaps I am overreacting but I see a difference in how I am treated. I get the feeling that my boss has determined that I am retired in place (RIP). I just reviewed my annual performance review. It was high in praise and acknowledging my performance as usual but my rating was just midpoint. I am pretty certain this is to allow those in need of raises and more permanent to the company to get them. I can kind of see the logic and at the same time see it as unfair. It’s the first time I have ever been unhppy with my review.

 

Have other people seen this type of behavior in your final year of work? I want to remain positive and productive but feel this type of environment will wear me out. I don’t want to count the days and dread going to work, especially from a job I have loved over the years.

 

Tom

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Most people who've had at least a 25 year career, have gotten to see corporate management - small or large company - do whatever is best for THEM, not the employees necessarily. I bet we could collectively write a book, with incredible stories about employees getting the short end of things (nicer than saying they got sk.rewed), when they offered that info early, or were too accommodating. After those experiences, it makes most of us self-protective, while still giving 100%+ to our jobs.

 

I would give my notice of retirement when it's expected in that company, whether that's 2 weeks ahead, 3 months or something else .. and not more than a week extra! Someone I know gave her boss very early notice, and they immediately assigned her subbordinate (AKA replacement) to her full-time for training. Two weeks before the date she planned to leave, they told her they didn't need her those 2 weeks .. and didn't pay her! The boss also identified all the special reports that would have to be done the month after she'd left, and despite her training her own replacement, the boss told her to do as much of those extra reports ahead of time, as she had information for.


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I decided to retire six months before I actually did and informed my manager three months before the retirement date I chose. It was concidental that at that same time the international finance company I worked for was sending more and more work and transferring more and more responsibility to our mothership in Canada. Giving them a few months notice allowed them to make the transition factoring in my absence from the team. I had a very peaceful three months, wrapping up projects and "holding down the fort" while they focused on a shift in management. It was as pleasant and as peaceful an exit as I could have hoped for. My advice: Don't give too much lead time, but give enough to make the transition as smooth as possible for you and for your manager. 

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The difference in giving notice differs from the civilian workforce and the federal government.  There are requirements that certain paperwork must be done within a timeframe.  Even after retirement it took three months for my retirement paycheck to stabilize. Since I retired the end of September I didn't know exactly how much I would have every month until February.  Everyone's situation is different.

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I do work in a large corporate IT shop. With 40 years in large corporate IT, 10 year with this employer, I definitely have seen that the employer is almost always looking out for themselves and not the employee. A little too late now, I realize that it would have been best to keep retirement plans close to my chest until my deadline to announce which is 09/01.

 

I very much respect my employer and boss. I have a very specialize job that will be very difficult to fill. After seeing a pattern these recent years of extreme difficulty in hiring IT specialists, I want give my boss sufficient time to fill my position. I have suffered from the times when the departing employee left those remaining having to carry the load.

 

Tom

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@BearonaBicycle - Don't feel too guilty! One of the most important thing any supervisor/manager needs to do - whether it's a corporation, small office, or even a non-profit/volunteer operation - is SUCCESSION PLANNING. Few are good at it or even bother, so if/when they get caught with their pants down, the only ones to blame are management who didn't train/plan ahead.


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@ASTRAEA wrote:

@BearonaBicycle - Don't feel too guilty! One of the most important thing any supervisor/manager needs to do - whether it's a corporation, small office, or even a non-profit/volunteer operation - is SUCCESSION PLANNING. Few are good at it or even bother, so if/when they get caught with their pants down, the only ones to blame are management who didn't train/plan ahead.


You know, I work for a large global company with tons of employees and many have retired in the past few years..  and it is amazing how little concern anyone shows about talking with the people who are leaving and picking their brains about what and how they work.  We have seen several long time key people leave and a total unorganized mess afterwards with no one knowing how and what to do with many parts of their jobs.  It is just astounding how little anyone cares to get prepared.  They actually do not want anyone to sit with these people..  althought the other employees do ! 

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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I must say I have witnessed this as others have retired. Management talks about succession planning but basically do nothing. It falls into the  "that is too hard" bucket and is largely ignored. It is only after the person is gone that people start saying, "I wished I had talked to XXXX about this." Alas, it's too late.  

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@BearonaBicycle - I had to go back & read your original post, about being treated differently, after announcing your projected retirement, and that you're in a very specialized area. Then during your last week at work, be super nice to the manager, and let them know you'll be available as a consultant, if they need your help after you're gone .. then figure out a reasonable but high rate for it! 🙂


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@nyadrn - I had a very perceptive boss many years ago, who talked about people & corporations having to address both immediate & long-term goals simultaneously, because if you only address the immediate needs, the long-term goals will probably never been important enough to address "now". Many companies just don't force themselves to spend at least some time, planning for the future!

 

When I was project managing the relocation of the entire engineering department, I had to identify/quantify all the people & their storage requirements first. I went thru one section several times, and never met the person working in one cubicle (with their name on it). The manager then told me that they'd retired 2 years earlier. Their cubicle was like an untouched "shrine"; they'd never had the person & supervisor go thru all their lower priority projects, and reassign them & move all the records to current employees. After 2 years, no one knew half of what was still sitting around in that cubicle!


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"...Most people who've had at least a 25 year career, have gotten to see corporate management - small or large company - do whatever is best for THEM, not the employees necessarily....".

 

 

   What cynicism!!! And true! I agree!


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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While I have seen that one too many times I ended up working for a company who was owned by a woman and showed compassion. I was treated like gold, allowed to work from home and eventually given 25% of the net profits due to my contributions to the company over 23 years. 

 

The company is only 20 people and we are like family. Once we had a million dollars of profit and the bank and the three corporate offices, me included, voted to use it to prevent laying off employees during the last recession and that was worth $250,000 to me.

 

I also worked for a company where with one day notice stepped in for the President of the corporation who suffered a stroke, flew to Hong Kong and secured their major account making up software in my head on the fly and by staying up all night doing budget work. I was promised at least half of my salary for doing this as it was a multimillion dollar account. When the end of the year came, my boss told me that if he gave me a bonus he would have to give everyone one so I got nothing. Then he lost the account when they discovered he was cheating the account. He made me a deal to fly all over the world to shut our offices and deal with attorneys in return for a job in one of his other comanies. Guess what, I was handed 3 months severence pay and told goodbye for my troubles while all the other officers accepted jobs from the competition that I had turned down.

 

I learned to work for the money. My job was to find jobs that paid me more and more. As soon as I got a job I updated my resume and started looking for a new job. One year I changed jobs 3 times and doulbed my salary. I lucked out with the company I retired from this week. Every promise was kept and it had a heart that was concerned about its staff. The owner picked me up at the airport and drove me to my dad's funeral last year. She stayed the whole time. She considers me her friend and has done many things for us including transferring me to Florida when my wife wanted to be near her sister whose daughter has stage 4 brain cancer.  There are some good companies out there but I have found them to mostly be the smaller companies.

Retiring is trading one boss for the one you married.
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@retiredtraveler - I have a classic story I tell:

 

I loved the work I was doing in the late 1990s into 2001; I was probably putting in 60 hrs/week, including time I took home a laptop so I could work on a corporate mainframe over weekends. In January 2001, my Mom's cancer had spread, and she became hospice-eligible. I took a Family Medical Leave, to take care of her affairs, as well as get her older sister ready to move in with me. Officially when Mom died, I had to continue the leave as just personal time off, until I could get my aunt moved. And just as I was getting ready to sell Mom's house, I fell there, breaking my right heel .. not covered as "paid sick time" as part of an unpaid leave. I couldn't return to work until mid-July. I was anxious to get back to work, but still building up my stamina walking.

 

My first day back on the job, my boss - newly assigned my group - informed me I had to go for training in another plant location. Having to find parking midday was impossible, and I just couldn't walk from a far-out spot. I asked to drive directly there to take the class the following morning, and my boss balked .. that day just happened to be the deadline for the class. I said, "I've been out on leave 7 months, and could easily have come back tomorrow or the next day; would I have been penalized for being automatically "late" for training I knew nothing about?! I'll take full responsibility, if anyone complains that I took it past the deadline" He just looked at me. That was the moment .. after 7 months out .. I decided to retire, because I couldn't believe that a manager didn't have the balls to make a better common-sense decision!


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I would assume there are no more than a handful of people left in the world that stay at a job long enough to announce they are retiring in a year. 


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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My employer requires a 6 month notice. That would be September 1 for me.. 

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@tb69139184 wrote:

My employer requires a 6 month notice. That would be September 1 for me.. 


Don't be surprised if that's your last day.

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