“I Need to Transition to Another Employer. . . Can You Help?”

Question: After 12 years of successes and promotions (6 times), my reputation was unduly damaged among the senior managers and reputation lost. I am looking to go to another company, but with the current level of responsibility, am struggling to find the time to make the change. I would like to quit. Questions: Can I receive unemployment? What do I need to provide to unemployment? Do I have any recourse against unfounded reputational damage? What type of attorney should I consult with? Thank you for your assistance.

By the way, I love your website. So incredibly helpful.

Arthur, Columbus Ohio

Answer: First, “Thank You” for your compliments on our Blogsite. Glad you find it helpful. “Helpful” is the ultimate compliment we strive for.

Second, you surely seem to be in need of a Transition Plan, a plan to “travel” from this job to your next job without “hitting a wall” in the process. Take it one step at a time, and it’ll be a whole lot easier. “Yard by yard, it’s very hard. Inch by inch it’s a cinch.”

From the sounds of your letter, it seems that you really believe that you need to make an employment transition. That means you need to plan and navigate each step, carefully. As you probably know, we have many articles on the challenges you face, and how to meet those challenges, in our Newsletter Library. Look them over. We wrote them, and offer them to you for this very purpose.

Let’s take your questions one at a time:

Resignation: When asked about resignation, we always say this: “No, no, no, unless you really, absolutely, positively must.” Resignation leaves you unemployed, and thus with less chance of getting re-employed. It leaves you unemployed, and thus likely to get less compensation when rehired. It also makes it look like you were fired, because very few people resign without first getting a new job. Resignation probably will disqualify you for unemployment insurance benefits, at least in most states. Resignation makes you unlikely to receive any kind of severance, or other employer assistance you might receive through negotiation. Please review my Newsletter entitled “Resignation, the 21 Necessary Precautions,” unless you already have.

Unemployment Benefits: As noted above, in almost every state unemployment benefits are denied those who voluntarily resign. The key word in the previous sentence is “voluntarily.” In most states people who resign because they were harassed, or asked to do something illegal, or the like, can still receive benefits, because their resignations are not considered truly “voluntary.” Your own circumstances are unknown to me, so I can’t comment on them. I think, though, you understand the concept.

What kind of Attorney Should You Consult With: You should locate an experienced employment attorney in your locale. We would prefer to see you consult with an employment attorney who represents employees, only (as we do) because then you need not worry about conflicts of interest, real or perceived. The best kind of employment attorney is one who will help you strategize and plan both your transition “out” and your transition “in” to new employment, hopefully without a gap, or a “wrinkle.” [If you like, we can recommend an attorney in the Columbus area for you.] Your attorney should be able to answer for you whether you have any recourse for the reputational damage done.

Can’t find time to Plan and Execute the Plan? On this, we can only say that “You can only do your best, and you have only one thing you must do: your best.” If you need to, schedule a vacation, and work on this. If you have to call in sick, take a day or two to work on this. Let the lawn get overgrown. Cancel that golf game. Tell your sister you may not be able to travel to her house in Pennsylvania this year. Planning and executing on an employment transition plan, for you at this time, has to be one of those “higher priorities” in your life, just below eating, sleeping and bathing.” If only for a few weeks, adjust priorities a bit. Though easy for me to say, I think you’ll be happy if you do.

Hope that helps. Let us know if you need the name of one or two local employment attorneys. If this has been helpful, I ask you two simple favors: (a) subscribe to our blog; its free, and (b) tell you friends about us. We’d love to help them, too.

Best, Al Sklover

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