One of the most common dilemmas one will face in the professional world is how to handle the process of switching jobs. It’s not easy for everyone to just up and leave the people who hired and worked with them for any amount of time, especially when it’s their first time doing so. Everything about the process, from interviewing with other companies when you’re supposed to be working to the moment you have to confront your boss about your decision, is stressful, anxious, and has to be handled in a delicate, professional manner. Numerous questions have been asked about how to handle a situation like that, and truthfully it seems like there isn’t any one “best” answer.
There are, however, certain ways that you should definitely not handle leaving your current job for a new one, and Chris Ziegler, a founding member and now former deputy editor for the science and technology reporting website The Verge, put on a masterful demonstration of that over the past two months. While Ziegler was still working for The Verge back in July, he accepted a position at Apple, one of the companies the site actively reports on. Going off and taking a job at a company that your current employer covers presents a number of problems as it is, but there was also the matter of Ziegler never telling anyone at The Verge that he had taken a new job at Apple in the first place. In fact, nobody at The Verge had any clue where Ziegler went at all. They were almost completely unable to communicate with him, and all his social media accounts had gone silent for the better part of two months. And while this was all going on, he was still considered an employee of the site and likely drawing paychecks from them.
Here is part of a statement released by The Verge’s editor-in-chief regarding this story that will almost certainly be the subject of an episode on the next season of Silicon Valley:
Chris [Ziegler] began working for Apple in July, but didn’t tell anyone at The Verge that he’d taken a new job until we discovered and verified his dual-employment in early September. Chris continued actively working at The Verge in July, but was not in contact with us through most of August and into September. During that period, in the dark and concerned for Chris, we made every effort to contact him and to offer him help if needed. We ultimately terminated his employment at The Verge and Vox Media the same day we verified that he was employed at Apple.
Chris only actively worked at The Verge while employed by Apple in July, and was almost entirely absent from our team in August, so we are confident that we’ve reviewed the situation thoroughly. But if it happens that we find new evidence of a story being influenced by Chris’ conflict, we will add a disclaimer to that story and link back to this post in order to provide readers with further details.
Incredible. Here you have someone who is one of the website’s most popular personalities and prominently featured on the site’s masthead, yet not one person could locate him. Could you guys imagine if deFries just up and vanished for two months without telling anyone? Grandex would have the FBI on the case and he’d be back in the office faster than you can drop the top on a Miata! Hopefully, I provide enough value to my employer that they would put in more effort into finding me than The Verge did in their half-assed attempt to try and find their deputy editor.
I don’t really have anything more to say about Ziegler’s actions other than the fact that he probably should have found a better way to handle this situation. No matter how nervous you might be, at some point you have to sack up and let your employer know that you’re bailing on them. If you won’t do them the courtesy of putting in a two week’s notice, at least say something before you bounce. On the other hand, trying to see how long you can simultaneously collect paychecks from two different employers, without even working at one of them for two months, is a power move if I ever heard one. .
[via The Verge]