This Is What An Exit Interview Should Be A little long, and not orthodox, but if you watch it, notice the questions asked. The interviewer (Charles Torre) did not berate the reasons as to why Robert Scoble left. It was professional and the questions were very good: 'What do you see as successful for you in 5 years?', 'Would you work for Microsoft again?'

I think certain people could learn from this (and I know I said I wasn't going to harp on this anymore, but I felt this was worth it)

A Bit More On My Exit Interview

I have seen some comments on the web about my exit interview. Interesting comments for sure. So I thought I would add a bit more response. It's hard to express the tone of a person in a text medium like a blog. It was just the way the HR person spoke and the tone of his voice that really got to me. Almost condescending. I can understand being confused, and maybe even a bit flabbergasted, about me leaving just after a year. But there is right and wrong way to express that. I thought he stepped over to the wrong side of that line.

My boss himself understood. He didn't want me to leave, but he told me straight up that personal and family situations come first. Would he hire me again? I would like to think so; he said I did good work.

Someone told me that 18 months is a pretty standard time for many people to stay in one company. I don't know about that, but I did stay at my first company for 10 years, so it is not like I make a habit out of moving from company to company.

The job itself wasn't my dream job. I took the job not because I thought I would love it, but more because it filled a need for my current situation at the time. If I was "in love" with the work, I probably would have tried to find a way to make it work -- maybe the 115 mile commute would have taken on a different flavor. But even then, a very difficult decision would have had to be made. I would say the job was fair to good, but there were some issues with the role, the team and the work itself that did not make it a perfect situation.

The bottom line is that life happens, and life is more than just your career. You can't always time things perfectly to make sure all parties involved don't feel slighted. You can, however, do your best when you are doing what you are doing, but sometimes you just have to make decisions that you think are best for you and your family. And that's it really -- not much more I can say about it.

My Exit Interview Was Not A Pleasant Experience

In my previous post, I hinted that I was none to pleased with my exit interview. Well, here are the details. At 10 AM, I went to the HR person's office. It started out innocently enough. We shook hands. I handed him some of their belongings (badge, cell phone, VPN hardware key). I sat down.

Then it started to go downhill quick. He made quick mention that I am leaving at just over a year of being hired (3 days to be exact). He wondered why. I told him it was for mainly personal reasons, primarily that the 115 mile round trip commute was not sustainable, and we are not moving back to where the company was located. I said we are going to stay put where we are, or maybe even move back West.

Then he starting questioning me saying things like 'Well you just moved to your current location that is 115 miles away, and now you may be considering moving again. I am confused. What is going on with you?' I told him that it was personal and family related. 

He then went on to say that they did not even recoup the cost of relocating me and hiring me for the year since I am leaving so quickly -- that they obviously made a mistake with the whole hire. I felt like I was getting the 3rd degree here when I thought an exit interview was to discuss what I thought of my management and company. I was getting angry inside -- basically I was thinking, it is your damn policy that a new hire work a year at the company after being relocated and, after that, there is no further obligation. I fulfilled my obligation! I even did quite well at work over the year. My manager said I would have fell in the successful part of the bell curve for my review, maybe even almost in the above successful category. I would have gotten a raise.

It even says in the handbook that employment is "at will". I mean they can lay me off / fire me without cause, and I can leave without cause. Me doing the exit interview was a courtesy to them; and here I am feeling like I am on trial.

I kept my anger bottled up and acted professional. He apologized and said he didn't mean to make me feel uncomfortable and make me feel like I was getting an inquisition. I said OK, and we moved on to the "normal" exit interview questions. I didn't throw anyone nor the company under the bus; I just answered the questions and left.

Not fun at all; not a pleasant experience :-(

But that is the past and now it is time to look to the future, which I am looking forward to :-)

Well, I Am Off To Smaller and Worser Things

People always say they are off to bigger and better things. Since I don't really know if that is going to be the case, I figure I would mix it up a little bit. :-) So, I am officially corporately unemployed. I had my exit interview today at 10 AM. By the way, that really wasn't a pleasant experience. More on that later, maybe.

Anyway, I have some temporary contract work lined up for the next three or so months to keep "putting food on the table" while we get our life in order. Where we go both professionally and physically is still up in the air though -- it can be anything from staying put in North Carolina and both of us starting our own businesses, to moving west with one working in the corporate world and the other partnering up on an opportunity, to other combinations (although it looks like it will only be North Carolina or the West coast)

A lot will be known in the next few weeks, possibly days.

And, yeah, I know "worser" is not a word ;-)