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Ask HN: Is it okay to resign in six months?
27 points by buzzwr on May 12, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 82 comments

I joined a YC company 2 months ago. Currently, there are around 400 people working here. People over here are good as well but I got an offer from Facebook on yesterday. I think so it can be a good opportunity for me. Not just in terms of money but in terms of career growth, people, work, learning, tech, etc. My job profile is a Software Developer.

I am 24 years old. Graduated six months ago. After a year or two, I am also thinking to do MBA/MS from a top 20 universities. I think so Facebook's tag will also help me to get the admission at a good university.

I need the help of HN community to guide me a little bit over here :)

Sorry, but I can not provide you more details about myself because many people from my current company are on Hackernews.

Thank you.

Since you’ve given enough details to identify yourself, I would go ahead and pull the trigger on the Facebook offer as promptly as possible.

After you leave your current job, people will look at your empty chair for several weeks and shrug. After 3 weeks, there will be someone new sitting there. After 6 weeks, you won’t be mentioned. After 6 months you won’t be remembered. After 6 years, you won’t remember them either.

I just had lunch with folks that I last worked with twelve years ago. We seemed to remember each other.

But did you have any contact with them outside of your work within the past 12 years?

This. Also did they work with them for only 2 months in at least a 400 person company.

Just to add on to this advice: if you want to do an MBA (or really even if not), stay at Facebook for a few years. Otherwise, people will think you either can't hold down a job or just lack commitment. That's a bad image to have whether you're applying to graduate programs or starting a career.

I can tell you as someone in business school now, my resume has some similarities and it has definitely hurt me.

Take the FB offer if you want it. There is nothing wrong with doing so. The startup you are at should be fairly far along given it is at 400 people, but face it even with FB on your resume you'll become more attractive to other startups later. Take the cash, save some money up.

Given you have only been at the YC company 2 months you stand little to no chance of negotiating a higher wage immediately, so even if they do entertain it I'd say they would make it a future agreement. e.g. you do x, y and z then they will increase you to a new salary etc.

In general, don't go to any existing employer with another offer and say I am leaving unless. That is a bad move and makes you look bad and leaves a sour taste with people about you. Instead if you like your current employer and want to stay, go to them and say hey, I feel I am worth more and try and negotiate the increase. If they say no, then explain you understand but feel differently. Tell them it may change whether you can stay at that point because you have X goal, but don't say another offer. If they still don't budge then that tells you what they think of you or the companies health. If instead you do it with the job offer as an ultimatum what happens is they may temporarily give you an increase, but now consider you disloyal and will be putting you and every action you take, or day off you take under a microscope and will replace you in short order. If they instead gave you a raise because you negotiated it without putting them over a barrel with another offer then they won't have that same feeling. Also, sometimes when you approach an employer, as I have suggested, they'll ask if you have other offers already, I wouldn't lie, I'd say yes but I am not here trying to back you into a corner, however I have certain goals I want to achieve and needed to see if my opinion on my value would be validated in the market, as they were I was hoping to stay here but be compensated with T....

Having another offer in hand gives you leverage. It signals to your current employer that the market is willing to pay more than your employer pays now. I would not dismiss using it to get more compensation. Just don't present it as a threat. Just be straight forward to your manager. Tell him/her that the offer makes it very hard for you to justify to stay and if they can do something about the compensation to make it worth your while.

An employer that doesn't understand that an employee would leave over a significantly better offer is an employer that you don't want to work for to begin with.

I would personally never do this. If you stay, it will be different. Everyone, especially your boss will think of you as someone who is about to leave. That's not a good thing.

It's ironic, because anyone could leave for a better job at any time. But actually going through the negotiation/threatening to leave makes it more real.

This is really good advise. Thank you very much for it. I will definitely keep this in my mind.

I don't even understand the question. You can resign whenever you want. It's customary to give 2 weeks notice.

Also, remember that a company will fire you in a minute if they no longer need you or can't afford to pay you. You shouldn't feel the need to have more loyalty to this company than they have to you (which is zero).

They _can_ get rid of you immediately but it’s not customary.

Most employers who want to maintain any sort of reputation will provide severance. That is the other side of the same coin as giving advanced notice of leaving.

That said normal notice is counted in weeks not months.

Two weeks notice? I wish. My current employer requires three months.

I would assume/hope this means you have a senior role and are well paid. This is not uncommon for members of a leadership team etc to ensure reasonable transition times and stability. Also most employers will show flexibility here in my experience. E.g. A couple of jobs back an employee just requested I be on call for a couple months for the new person should they need help and kept paying my salary just to be available.

That said, if you're a lowly paid shit kicker that would seem wrong as typically a new junior job they want to to start ASAP and wouldn't wait for 3 months. So that could hurt your ability to find new work.

I'm not in a senior role. I do enjoy my job but I'm basically a sole Rails dev - I develop an app that the company offers to clients, which I suspect plays into the long notice period - I suspect they'd have a fair amount of difficulty replacing me.

But yes I suspect that's part of why they have such a long notice period - when I've spoken to recruiters / hiring managers elsewhere they're interested right until the point where they discover I have a three month notice period.

Then I'd suggest ensure you have some savings together to cover a 'just in case' prolonged search then talk to your employer that you need a better notice period as you keen for something new. Pitch it as this gives to time to find the right job rather than rush off. They might be reasonable. You might even end up with a counter offer that makes you want to stay.

If they won't change, quit on the spot. Then you've got 3 months to find a job.

Edit: Added the pitch it as.

Assuming you are in the US, they can't require any notice. In most other countries to the best of my knowledge, but your local laws may vary.

A company can certainly ask you to give more notice, but you are under no obligation to do so.

You could in theory have an employment contract that requires notice. But it probably wouldn't have much force; such a contract would establish that failing to give notice would be a breach of contract, and you could theoretically be on the hook for making your employer whole for the "harm" you caused, but unless you were given some significant consideration for your side of the contract --- a signing bonus or something, maybe? --- the harm your employer could demonstrate in court would be so minimal that the cost of enforcing the contract would far outweigh the return they'd get from enforcing it.†

In practice: a pretty rare situation, and not a meaningful deterrent to quitting at will.

I believe the cases where you're meaningfully prevented from quitting without giving notice, generally, are cases where you already know clearly that you can't, and why you can't, because you negotiated your contract and know what you'd be giving up to leave. There are key-person agreements that get signed in acquisitions that have that kind of effect.

Employees, though? Not so much. Employers in the US that purport to require notice from rank and file are pretty much generally full of shit.

(Not a lawyer, have just seen a lot of weird employment situations).

Signing bonus claw-backs are also super common outside of "notice" situations, so it's not like that's an exotic case; if you have a signing or retention bonus, you probably already know you have a contract requiring you to return it if you leave within N months.

Do you work in the U.S. as an "at-will"[1] employee? If so, your employer can't "require" anything of the sort.

The vast majority of employees in the U.S. fall into this category, and are free to leave their jobs at any time - and their companies are free to fire them at any time. Under this system, giving notice of your resignation is a courtesy, not a legal obligation.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At-will_employment

I work in the U.K., as a not very well paid Rails dev haha.

Are you working somewhere abroad where this is a norm? It is extremely unlikely that's a reasonable demand in the US. You can quit on no notice in the US.

I’m from the U.K.

It’s a bad look to be leaving jobs every 6-18 months repeatedly, but one or two incidences won’t tank your career.

The FB offer looks like a great opportunity, but if you only stay there a year, you’re designing a resume that will get you labeled as a job hopper and screened out of a lot of future roles at the resume stage.

Whichever you choose - the current job or FB - I suggest you make sure you stay there for at least 2 full years before making your next move, whether to grad school or another company.

Anecdata: I jumped jobs every 3-5 months for the first 2 years of my career and went from 50k - 250k with a 20-50k raise every time.

I’ve been at my current gig almost two years now.

When was that? With comp being much higher these days, companies are being more selective. Well, non-FAANGs are.

shouldn't it be the other way around? by being more selective, companies shrink the pool of candidates that are already limited. That results in them having to pay even more comp!

Selective about the job hoppers, I mean. They do give solid comp but if you get a 100k signing bonus with a 1 year clawback you aren't keeping that.

2014 - 2016

Thank you.

No problem, thank you.

And just for clarification as I'm reading your other comments - my numbers above were salary only, not total comp.

Also something I think that is important to note is that these were small startups (5-50 people). I don't think you could use the same tactic successfully at a larger company with more defined roles. The ambiguity of wearing multiple hats makes it easier to showcase your direct value to the business.

Thanks for that. Priors updated.

Totally makes sense. I will keep this in my mind. Right now I am planning to stay at least 2 years at Facebook.

Thank you for your guidance :)

I happily resigned from a big four consulting company after three weeks. They misrepresented the location and hours I'd be working during the interview process.

I don't doubt I have a black line through my name at the company, and I don't give a damn.

Is it okay for me to have resigned after only three weeks? For me, it certainly was.

Absolutely. It's better to resign after 2 months than 6 months.

I left a job after 2 months because I got the offer of a lifetime (leadership opportunity at a fledging startup). I felt really bad about the situation, but at the end of the day it hasn't affected me negatively. It was a huge boost to my career and I'm way ahead as a result.

the thing is you are getting nervous over this. it is understandable as you only graduated six months ago, and this is clearly your first job.

however, leaving your current job for a better opportunity is an everyday affair in the private sector. we are all accustomed to it.

There is nothing wrong with this. Your colleagues should be happy for you.

You will be fine whichever you decide. There are always consequences to any path of action. In this case, let yourself be calmed by knowing that none will cause your ship to spring critical leaks. I have back to back <6 months full time positions on my resume. I was hired by a YC company directly after those.

You sound like a bright kid. You'll figure something out that works well for you. Remember that your own judgment is the signal in all of this tech hype chatter noise and you'll be just fine.

I would take the FB offer. More money and more opportunity for future jobs.

Also, for reasons I don't understand many startups have a loyalty test for their devs that you may have failed by interviewing with other companies. I didn't believe that was actually a thing until it happened to my brother two months ago. Your manager may already be looking to replace you... even if you do stick around.

FAANG jobs are more or less corporate jobs deluxe unless you are going to work in some r&d team doing interesting stuff.

Evaluate following:

Does money matter to you ? If so go with FB. Does stability matter to you ? Go for FB.

The thing is if you go with FB you will become much more risk averse thanks to the lifestyle it is going to provide for you. Steady stream of $ and a relative stability will make you too comfortable.

Although money never hurts.

I've done it before. The job wasn't at all what I expected, and I didn't see myself growing the way I wanted while there. It sucked to do as it was a very small team and a non profit, but it was the right choice for myself. I have no regrets.

I think it's really interesting seeing how companies ranging from a small startup shop to massive multinational conglomerates have managed to instill their workers with a sense of loyalty and duty.

I've worked at tech companies with 10, 100, and thousand of employees and every time it was the same. Eventually I'd feel like I've stagnated, stopped learning, and it was time to move on into a new position for my own personal growth. However, after spending years with a group of people there's an unmistakable camaraderie so even if you don't feel duty-bound to do right by the intangible entity that is the company, and why would you, you may still feel that you gotta do right by your colleagues, people with whom you've spent heaps of time in the 'trenches'. Every time I felt that I had to do right by them and not leave them hanging.

I dunno if this is due to me having empathy or just a result of my inflated ego, maybe I'd like to feel like they'll crush-n-burn without me and I wanna feel magnanimous? In any case, I've experienced this over and over and each time while I'd eventually leave I'd make my intentions known several months in advance and try to be as accommodating as possible.

I wonder if any of you have struggled with this conundrum and if so how you managed it cause I'd like to stop experiencing this moral whirlwind every time I feel like I'm ready to switch jobs :).

One thing to keep in mind, you don't owe your current company anything. (Well assuming you don't have a signing bonus or something) Somehow we got a culture where it is ok for a company to fire people in a heartbeat but it isn't ok for them to leave in a heartbeat. Do what is right for you. This isn't something we can answer. Is the compensation significantly better? Do you like the people you are working with, what you are working on, where you are working? What is the work life balance like? How is your current commute?

Finally I'm not sure why you want an MBA, but i don't think having Facebook on your resume is going to help you get into an MBA anymore than any other job.

Leaving what sounds like a reasonably good gig, just so you can tag yourself with "Facebook developer" for getting into a school only 1-2 years from now sounds short-sighted.

Don’t make the mistake of humanizing a company. A company is not a person: it has no loyalty or sense of decency, and no moral obligation towards your wellbeing. You are a worker: you provide work for money. If you were a farmer selling lettuce to a supermarket and a new supermarket came along offering more, would you sell your lettuce to the old or the new customer? The new one, of course. Same here. Because the supermarket won’t think twice about ditching you when it finds cheaper lettuce elsewhere.

This said, your manager will have feelings about it, so you want to deal with that. Just be frank with him and manage his expectations: “Obviously I’ll help the transition as much as I can and I’ll always be grateful for the chance, and let’s stay in touch in case you need anything when I’m not here anymore.” Talk to the man, not the company. The company doesn’t care.

Take the chance dude, some boats only pass once. After you have “those” names on a CV, more doors will open.

Thanks a lot for it. Your words are really helping me to take the decision. :)

As a hiring manager that has been in similar situation with employees - do what is best for yourself, but be aware that your current manager won't feel good about this situation and will try to move on as fast as possible as well. If you go to FB try not to leave in the next 2 years, because hiring managers don't like job hoppers these days. Ideally, don't even include your 6 months tenure in your resume.

Isn't job hopping expected for somebody this young? An entire career of job hopping I could understand but somebody in their twenties is going to benefit from different experiences, no? Seems like working at a few different places would be more helpful to a potential company than somebody whose only experience is one place for five years.

OP is here. Totally agree with you.

I would say take the Facebook offer esp. if you are considering MBA/MS in next 1-2 years. That brand will help immensely. One thing is not clear. You joined this company 2 months ago and graduated 6 months ago. Is this your second job? If yes then by the time you apply for MBA in 1-2 years with 2 job changes that may cause issue but am not sure in which schools.

Thank you for your advice.

Actually, I was waiting for my visa :-) I studied somewhere else and now working in Amsterdam. I guess I can simply hide my current job in my resume or I can say it didn't work out. What do you think about that?

> I guess I can simply hide my current job in my resume or I can say it didn't work out. What do you think about that?

Leave off your resume. If it's brought up in the future, simply explain an opportunity you couldn't pass up presented yourself, and you took it. You're not leaving it off your resume to misrepresent your situation, you're leaving it off your resume because it doesn't accurately represent your work history.


Thank you very much guys for awesome guidance. I also have one more doubt. How should I talk to my manager about it? My manager put some serious efforts(time and company's money) to get me there. I am feeling bad about my manager. I don't want to disturb my relations with my manager.

It is your managers job to build their team, so the time and money put in to bring you on board is their problem, not yours. Maybe your departure will be a lesson learned for your manager. And maybe they will try to avoid hiring short-timers in the future. So you helped them learn a lesson, and contributed for 6 months. And they paid you for your time. That is a fair business transaction.

Also, 5 years from now, if you do go on to Facebook and higher degrees, and other things... you may barely remember the names of the people from this job. Your current situation has a far larger place in your mind than it will in the bigger picture of your career and your life, once you have more experience under your belt.

I had this discussion, frankly, with my manager the last time I left a job. It was a startup, with struggles, but a promising future. It was a good place. But I didn't want to follow them to an office farther from my home. So I told him that while it seemed like leaving would be a big thing, that in reality, 6 months later, it would make no difference to them or me. And that was true - they hired other devs, I got a different job, everyone is doing fine.

In short, you just need to make this decision for yourself.

It depends a lot on what your relationship with your manager is.

A good manager will support you and if you explain your reasons for leaving will either try to find a way to fix problems and provide you with those same upsides where you are; or if that's not possible (for instance, your reason is that you want "Facebook" on your resume), will be supportive and maintain the relationship because there's always the possibility your paths will cross again in the future.

A mediocre or bad manager can be mediocre or bad in any number of ways, and any advice would be highly situational and specific. The only general piece of advice I can offer is to express appreciation for the opportunities you've been given and to make it clear that your reason for leaving is not something you blame your manager for.

No matter how you word it, your manager will be justifiably upset. There's really nothing you can do, except explain why this next move is better for you personally, and keep it to a minimum.

You should expect this move may damage your relationship with your manager permanently, but that's life in the big city. You have to do what's right for you, not what's best for your manager.

People hate surprises. Talk with your manager to give them a heads up before you accept the new offer and officially resign.

Having an open conversation with your manager will help build or preserve the trust in the relationship in part because you are including them in the decision that you'll be making.

Your manager cares a lot about you and your career. They will probably be supportive and it gives them an opportunity to provide feedback, will give you opportunity to share your appreciation too.

Give the YC company a chance to match the offer. If they decline, take the FB offer.

Unless that YC company turns into a unicorn, that FB experience on your resume will open many many doors for you in the future.

That company will go for an IPO in 2023 most likely. They might become a unicorn company in 2023 but still, I am not sure about that.

I have to stay up to 3-4 years at least in the current company to get all the rewards. This is my first job actually.

Every startup hopes they'll be a unicorn in 3-5 years. A couple actually will. Most of them won't. Many of them won't even be around.

Don't make job decisions based on the internal hype of where a startup hopes to be in the future.

This comment is more than enough to identify you by any YC company following this thread.

yes its ok.

don't overthink.

FB is the only company I wouldn't accept an offer for, I'd still apply but only use any offers submitted for leverage.

I'm surprised no other commenter has brought this up yet but you do realize that short of working for the NSA Facebook is the most unethical job I can think of for a Dev.

Every other week they're being blasted on HN for another ethical violation and everyone comments on how their devs must have known what they were doing when "they did X fucked up thing to Y users", etc...

I'd take the offer to your current employer or literally anyone else you might be interviewing with and tell Facebook to suck a lemon.

What company would you accept an offer from then? This is a serious question - I would appreciate a reply.

Are banks more ethical? How about healthcare or insurance companies? Google was supposedly working on a search engine for the Chinese. Would you decline them too? Are the aerospace companies passing your ethics bar? How about fast food companies who pay low wages to staff or WalMart? Would you consider working for energy companies like Chevron or BP? Or how would Tesla? Supposedly, their factory jobs are a real grind.

You have an arbitrary ethics bar. Who or what defines if a company is ethical or moral enough? You?

Op has a great opportunity. I don’t use FB and certainly don’t agree with Zuckerberg. Being an outsider, I also have limited knowledge.

I certainly wouldn’t pretend like I am on some moral pedestal and hand out advice to young grads to skip taking a fantastic opportunity because it conflicts with my biases.

Setting facebook itself, and the OP's specific decision aside for the moment...

> Who or what defines if a company is ethical or moral enough? You?"

> I certainly wouldn’t pretend like I am on some moral pedestal and hand out advice to young grads to skip taking a fantastic opportunity because it conflicts with my biases.

This is like saying that that ethics is equivalent to a category of personal biases, that they are therefore arbitrary and completely personal, and that therefore nobody has any right to use their judgment about the ethical content of the actions of other people.

"Are banks more ethical? (...)"

This is like qualifying the above by saying that 'not only is everything relative, but let us look at things relative to these other notorious actors. In that light, who indeed could condemn a person for doing X?'

Although the contents are drastically different, this sort of argument is logically similar in form to 80-year old nonsense such as: "if all the other restaurants are forbidding black people from entering their premises, who are you to say they are wrong?"

While I personally think that there is an ethical way to work for an unethical company, I don't think that pretending there are no issues to carefully consider is an adult behaviour. Its like an hiding your head under the blankets when something unpleasant is happening.

...in other ethics related news, a UN report has recently declared that 1 million species are in danger of extinction. Will we say that concern for this also is a relative, personal bias?

>This is like saying that that ethics is equivalent to a category of personal biases, that they are therefore arbitrary and completely personal, and that therefore nobody has any right to use their judgment about the ethical content of the actions of other people.

That wasn’t my point at all. There’s a general trend on HN to insult tech companies as being immoral, unethical, evil, etc. just because you hide behind the word ethics doesn’t mean your personal bias doesn’t exist. You’re arguing a strawman and taking this off topic, but nice try ;)

My question still stands - what companies are more ethical than FB? You can point to any other industry, and more than likely we could discover examples of that company performing activities in its personal interests or interests of its shareholders that aren’t moral but still legal.

>...in other ethics related news, a UN report has recently declared that 1 million species are in danger of extinction. Will we say that concern for this also is a relative, personal bias?

Your example doesn’t make sense in this context at all. 1 million species being in danger is a big deal assuming there’s scientific evidence. For the op to state that FB is an unethical company and therefore someone not take an opportunity to work for them is completely different and an apples and orange comparison at best. What makes them unethical and is that a bar we apply consistently to other employers or just to the companies we don’t like?


If you're not troubled by ethical issues, Facebook is probably a great deal. If you are, then you might regret working there in the future. A lot of people mistake the notoriety of people who make these bargains for fame

>short of working for the NSA Facebook is the most unethical job I can think of for a Dev

"unethical" — there are many reading your comment who work at the NSA and do not share your point of view, to say the least.

That would be congruent with them being unethical.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions and a lack of ethics. No one wakes up in the morning and thinks 'geez it's a great day to do some immoral shit.

None of us is ethical.

What does this answer have to do with OP's question. Surely he already knows ethical issues surrounding FB.

Its like bots pattern matching the word 'FB' in every single post and posting the same comments over and over.

pls don't ruin his post with flamewar tangent.

The original author of this post is here.

I respect your ethics but if I will follow your advise then literally I need to leave my current company as well. We also do some unethical things to increase sales. It is hard to find any company which is totally ethical and ideal.

What is unethical about working for the NSA as a dev?

I wouldn't say it's necessarily so clear-cut that you could call it "unethical" but it definitely requires a different set of values. The classic hacker ethos involves collaboration, a disregard for artificial boundaries like national borders, and a distaste for secrecy. Working for the NSA involves lots of secrecy, working to undermine the efforts of the crypto community, and buying into some level of American exceptionalism. (For example, it's believed that they knew about Heartbleed but didn't disclose it because they wanted to use it for themselves. Even as a US citizen I'm not sure I'd be comfortable putting the national security interests of the US ahead of the interests of my friends and colleagues around the world.)

You're willingly assisting an organization with very unethical goals. It doesn't matter whether you're a cryptographer, janitor, developer, or whatever.

>unethical goals What are their goals that you think are unethical? Is gathering intelligence for maintaining the security of the US unethical?

Mass surveillance and reducing the security of the US by undermining cryptographic standards (eg Dual-EC DRBG) are unethical.

Facebook is hardly the only tech company that makes its money by compromising its users' privacy and selling their users to advertisers. And they're hardly the only tech company that violates laws and regulations when it's convenient for them. I'm not at all a fan of Facebook, but singling them out as if they were some kind of unique evil seems a bit unfair to me.

I'm always so disappointed to read comments like this on HN. People who won't work for Facebook because they think it's actually an evil, unethical corporate machine. There's lots of reasons not to work there, but "they're unethical" does not ring true for me.

I used to work there, and I only very, very rarely saw behavior that I truly disagreed with. Leadership's decisions will look weird when viewed through a New York Times lens, but are sensible when you have the whole picture and can ask leadership questions directly.

You're giving up the opportunity to work with some of the best minds in the industry, working on actually novel engineering problems that only come up when you're at the sale of billions of users and trillions of datapoints. They're a great place to grow your career when you're just starting out, because you get a peek at how a global scale company is structured, and how the tech was built. There's no shortage of senior engineers who are incentivized to mentor those just starting out. There's literally hundreds of teams to choose from, and switching teams is easy.

> Leadership's decisions will look weird when viewed through a New York Times lens, but are sensible when you have the whole picture and can ask leadership questions directly.

I'd love to hear FB leadership's justification for trying to milk money out of kids playing games with their parent's credit cards.

Unethical doesn’t ring true for you even as fb faces a multi billion dollar lawsuit over targeted manipulation of individuals in concert with Cambridge Analytica?


I don't have a dog in this fight, but what a bizarre comment. You think to be consistent OP would have to abandon their family and friends and go to another country? That's the same thing as having ethical concerns regarding which job to take?

how is it different?

moving away from family and friends is worse than being complicit in massacre of millions of ppl ?

> That's the same thing as having ethical concerns regarding which job to take?

yeah same logic. Working at FB is automatically being complicit in their unethical behavior even if you aren't directly working on any such thing.

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