Resignation timing

Ian’s (Being Bold Blog) got a great post today about resignation timing relative to bonus pay out. It’s definitely another reason that this time of year can be quite busy in the staffing industry. A lifetime ago, I did delay a resignation so that I could collect my bonus (it was a staffing firm so bonus made up the better part of compensation) and that was the right decision. Ian offers some good advice

Comments (9)

  1. Andy says:

    Please tell me you are kidding. There really aren’t people out there dumb enough to expect their bonus if they leave early are there? If there are then what they really nees is a good trout slapping.

  2. William Prado says:

    While not about this specific post, just a short note to share what a great Blog you have -congratulations. It shows the power of Blogs in business. This is one of the reasons I chose bloggers as participants in my research (A global business risks perceptions survey is offered for your participation at: As a result of my research I have visited many business Blogs and I enjoy this one much). Again, congratulations!

  3. HeatherLeigh says:

    Andy, if they already earned the bonus based on past performance, why would’t they get the $$? It’s part of peoples’ incomes, not a just a "gift" from their employer because they want to be nice. Many companies time a bonus "payout" a certain amount of time after the end of the bonus period. So given that it’s already earned, the question is whether the company is required to pay it should they leave. If it’s a matter of waiting a couple weeks to get the money, then people should do that. And they should look at any verbiage on any agreements they signed around bonus pay-out timing. So it’s not about people being stupid, it’s about looking into what you need to in order to minimize the negative impact to yourself. Regardless, I’ll be staying away from you and fish ; )

  4. 4 3y3s says:

    The right thing to do is that you should file the resignation after you have the bonus in your hands for me thats the right thing to do.

  5. D-Wang says:

    A bonus is different than a salary… right? So I do not see how a firm would be required to pay that unless it was explicitly put in the hiring documents.

  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    D-Wang, yes, it’s different in that it is considered "at risk" compensation but consider bonuses that are based on very specific metrics. Those are very different than discretionary bonuses. For example, sales people may get a bonus based on a certain percent of achievement over quota and the bonus anmount is spelled out plainly. If they achieved that percent over quota, they deserve that bonus…it probably has more in common with salary than a discretionary bonus in terms of how people think about it, but it is a bonus intended to create a reward structure so that the people doing themost work reap the most benefit. I think what you said about a firm not being required to pay could be different based on how the bonus is administered. Anyway, I’m certainly not saying that people should or shouldn’t leave before a bonus pay-out, just that they should know whether they are leaving something on the table and plan accordingly.

    4 3x3s-we all have to make that judement for ourselves. For me, it isn’t a matter of right versus wrong. Just a matter of what’s the smart thing to do. It’s up to the individual to decide what works best for them. By the time someone gets a bonus, they have already earned it so I really don’t worry about the departing employee doing wrong by the company.

  7. Pagan says:

    It is a goodmove i’ve also done te same thing 3 years ago with my job.

  8. It’s not just resigning, but also changing groups at Microsoft that’s an issue. If you move from some groups then you can routinely expect the next performance review to be skewed to punish you and eliminate any bonus. I raised this at a Microsoft HR briefing once, and got a huge ovation from the large crowd of employees… and then a steady trickle of employees and HR staffers through my office for the rest of the day. The latter acknowledged the issue, said it was not considered correct, but did not indicate that anything would be done to change it.

  9. HeatherLeigh says:

    Mike-you should either attend one of Lisa Brummel’s forums or e-mail her directly. I don’t feel comfortable posting on my blog about all I hear in HR All Hands meetings but I definitely think you need to make your opinion heard (by her specifically). Please promise me you will do this.

    When I can post some changes that are safe for public sharing, I’ll definitely do so.