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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Any advice on knowing when to quit LLNL?

Anonymously contributed:
Any advice on knowing when to quit LLNL? Particularly for postdocs/flexterms, how do you decide it's time to move on to someplace where it might be easier to do science with less restrictions? Will my boss even care? How much notice do I have to give? Any horror stories?


Anonymous said...

As of October 1st 2007 you may be dismissed without notice, symmetry would suggest that none should be required of you either. If you are a key team member your boss and colleagues may care but unless they are upper management their opinion does not count.

Anonymous said...

If you have an interesting offer in hand, go in peace. There will only be absolute certainty if either a) you are totally miserable here, or b) the next situation seems too good to be true. Some reasonable term of notice can be a small, easily accommodated gesture that maintains some goodwill in return. If you remain in the same technical field as your LLNL colleagues, they may be in a position to help you somewhere down the road.

Anonymous said...

Leave when you find a better situation. Give 2wks notice. If you are a decent employee, your boss will miss you but no one further up the chain will much care. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

You should give LLNL the same notice they promise to give you: essentially none.

Those of us who were ISP'd in 2008 were told a layoff was coming, but it wasn't until they day we had to leave that we learned it was us.

Anytime you find a better opportunity, take it. I didn't follow that advice voluntarily. However, there are much better jobs outside the Lab, and the layoff was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Anonymous said...

I retired after 29.5 yrs. as an FTE 3 mos. ago. Gave them 4 days notice. My seat wasn't even warm and I got my vac. pay, and my last paycheck by FedX next day at 1100. Door didn't hit me as I left, NIF was a nightmare, and after 25 yrs. in the WFO's arena, where there is absolutely no work, I have not looked back.

Anonymous said...

Anonymously contributed:
1. Any advice on knowing when to quit LLNL?
2. Particularly for postdocs/flexterms, how do you decide it's time to move on to someplace where it might be easier to do science with less restrictions?
3. Will my boss even care?
4. How much notice do I have to give?
5. Any horror stories?
Posted by scooby at 8:10 PM

1. As soon as you start. Better yet, don't hire on.
2. Best advise is don't hire on. Science? What's that?
3. No.
4. None.
5. Bret Knapp.

Anonymous said...

agree with the others, leave ASAP. I left 1.5 years ago after 25 years - no regrets.

Anonymous said...

I will retire when I turn 60. In TCP-1 that's when the slope of the curve declines by 2/3.

Until then, I keep my head down, hoping I don't get sent back the Gulag-NIF or to the graveyard WCI. Instead I keep a low profile in the GS looney-bin.

Not at all like the UC run lab. No wonder we have second tier college grads leading engineering at both Labs. Can't get the smart grads any more, 'cause the work is neither important or fun. Who wants too spend a lifetime looking at moss growing the in the stockpile boneyard, or being intimidated by Moses or even meaner folks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the comments - I am the original poster. I come from a 'top tier' grad school and came to the lab because I had a good experience with someone at the lab who does really great science. Unfortunately, he couldn't pay for me when I was looking for a postdoc and I ended up working for someone else at the lab. I had been secretly looking for a few months for an academic postdoc at one of the top bay area schools, and that's where I'll be going now that I have an offer. My mind is fairly made up, but I just wanted to hear whether quitting the lab unexpectedly (i.e. early on in an appointment) can cause any strife. It sounds like the concensus is that two weeks of notice should keep me covered...

Anonymous said...

Dear Original Poster. Your making the right decision to not hire on at LANS/LLNS. I too graduated from a top tier school (U.C. Berkeley) and eventually spent my entire career in the nuclear weapon program (30-years). I soon realized that the majority of the weapons engineers at LANS are New Mexico State University (NMSU) graduates with B.S. degrees. As an example, 3 of 4 nuclear weapons managers have B.S. degrees from NMSU. The W-Division Leader has an M.S. from U.C. Davis and not by coincidence so does the Associate Director for Weapons "his highness". As you can tell, the LANS nuclear weapon program is dominated by 2nd and 3rd tier engineering graduates. The beauty of this, is that these 2nd and 3rd tier graduates forced me out of my job; they have the upper hand and that's the bottom-line at LANS. Don't bring your "top tier" degree to LLNS/LANS, you will face the same destiny. Good luck in your career. And that brings up the final point, there are no careers at LANS/LLNS, just jobs.

Anonymous said...

"I have not looked back."

August 24, 2010 2:02 PM

But here you are, hanging around the water cooler...
(I'm just jealous.)


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