Exit Interviews - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-21-2009, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just quit my job and I'm wondering how honest to be in the exit interview? So far I'm just using the standard "I'm taking a position more in line with my career and personal goals" line.

I've heard that HR uses the comments to try to make changes withing the organization and department and have had some people encourage me to speak up during the exit interview. At the same time I want to make sure I'm leaving on good terms. This is a company I wouldn't mind working for in the future. I just don't like my current job and with the economy I won't be able to transfer for at least 1-2 years.

A big reason I'm leaving has to do with the management in my area of the company. Many of my job perks like a semi-flexible schedule and abilty to work at hom part of the time have gone away which used to allowed me to juggle my time and schedule with my DH's. Their expectations are unrealistic and not what you would usually see in the industry. For example some of my assigned tasks means I'm working 7 days per week, nights in addition to days, etc. In my industry these types of tasks would get rotated among several people so the same person isn't working every night and weekend in addition to 8-5. I'm also seeing examples where management is flat out disrespectful. I know my direct supervisor has sought to tarnish my image and say I was doing bad work/not enough (and I was putting in 60-70 hours, had just delivered several key things, and have never said no to a task, or missed a deadline).

Should I speak up or keep my mouth shut?
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Old 08-22-2009, 07:03 PM
 
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I think you should be honest, but keep it very professional. Not a hint of whining or any indication you felt "forced to leave."

Perhaps something along the lines of:
I understand in this economy the management felt the need to have these tasks consolidated under one person and I'm sure that makes good business sense. From a personal level though, no one wants to work 7 days a week plus nights for an indeterminate amount of time. I'm happy to do my part and I understand crunches and short term needs but it can't go one forever.

I like the company, I thought it was a good place to work. I respect our management but I also know that it isn't standard in the industry. As much as I liked it here those decisions gave me the impression we were a bit unstable.

You want to make sure they respect you and don't give it the "She couldn't hack it here, that's why she left. She had kids and couldn't handle the commitment to work." You want to be perceived as the one with better prospects due to your professionalism and too much self-respect to be jerked around by crappy policies that are employee-hostile!

I think you can do it as long as you are certain you don't sound whiny and disempowered - like 'It was all their fault - I wasn't LOVED and appreciated."

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:45 PM
 
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I personally think exit interviews are ridiculous. It's like all of a sudden HR cares about my opinion and my work life quality when I'm on my way out the door? Whatever.

I'd keep my mouth shut but for the vaguest generalities about pursuing a different line of career goals. The #1 biz lesson my dad taught me: never ever ever burn a bridge no matter how much the people on the other side of the bridge suck.

If you do decide to be fully disclosing, be sure to get your rec letter in hand first.

wild.gif  kickin' it old school
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:53 AM
 
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Would I absolutely love to be completely honest? Yes. Just to get my whining out of the way

Would I actually do it? No.

Like a PP, I don't see why my opinion matters more when I'm gone. Plus, I just don't see a personal benefit to it. If I'm moving on and leaving it behind, then it's over already. Why potentially impact my future to help a place I didn't like enough to continue to work for? I'm all about protecting future re-hire-ability and recommendations so I plan to always be pleasant and vague and give nothing away.

WOHM to DS11 and DD9, both T1Ds

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Old 08-24-2009, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice. I don't think I'll be completely honest. I think I'll just focus on my need to move on in a position that isn't available in the company.
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:45 PM
 
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I would mention the scheduling issues, so they can choose to address them if they want to retain other employees.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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Yeah, I wouldn't spill it all, but mentioning the scheduling issues at least sounds like it would be a fairly neutral comment that HR might actually act on. As far as managers, perhaps spin it in a way that emphasizes you felt there needs to be more direction given on what the managers are looking for and that sort of thing. That's a diplomatic way of saying, "I busted my ass and my manager was bad mouthing me, what the hell do they want me to do?!?"

Katie trekkie.gif - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13  hug.gif 

 

 

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Old 08-26-2009, 12:51 AM
 
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If it's a real in person interview I'd have an outline of what you want to say and stick closely to the script.

I'd err on the side of vagueness, the exception to that would be anything really concrete that is easily verified.

I think it's likely that the intention of the interview is to improve the company, that doesn't mean what you say won't come back to bite you.
~Cath
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