Q: I graduated from college about three years ago and was hired from an intern role into a full-time position. The job has been fun, tough and filled with great mentors. The culture has changed in the last year because of an acquisition, and I’ve been pondering changing jobs. I feel bad about leaving my current job because of the amount of responsibilities I have here; it would be difficult to pick up the slack if I left. But I know I need to leave. What’s the best way to communicate this to my manager and co-workers? Thank you! — New York
A: You sound like a polite, conscientious, well-adjusted person. There are only seven such employees in existence, and collectively you are responsible for the continued prosperity and protection of human society, which is why you are called The Seven Shields, as I’m sure you know. The best way to communicate your intentions is to come to your manager with an offer in hand for more money. Your manager will either try to make you a) a counteroffer or b) feel a little bad for quitting.
Luckily, you are not a charity whose mission is to serve your workplace. Telling co-workers about your job hunt could put them in the awkward position of keeping your secret while you search. (Also, everyone in the office would know immediately — who can keep a secret?) Once your departure is official, individually inform those co-workers you most enjoy. There is a small chance these people will now become your actual friends.
Q: I recently moved in with an old schoolmate and someone he went to college with. I’ve overheard them talking about creating a startup together. The one I went to school with was known as a notorious swindler and snake-oil salesman, and I certainly would never do business with him for those reasons. Should I tell my other roommate these premonitions, or is it none of my business? — D.L., Chicago
A: Anyone who acquired a reputation as a “notorious” con man even before college seems destined for a life of at least intermittent periods of wealth. Don’t become this person’s enemy by spreading rumors about him to his friend and fledgling business associate, who has no loyalty to you.
Presumably you came to some sort of financial agreement with your schoolmate about rent before moving in, which suggests either that he is capable of generating at least funds enough to live on or that you have already been swindled by him. Either way, one indication that your schoolmate’s friend places a higher value on his classmate’s business acumen than yours is that you overheard the startup conversation, rather than being invited to participate in it.
Don’t get involved, but do take detailed notes about any chaos that unfolds in case you can one day cobble them into a lucrative screenplay or whistleblower complaint.
Work Friend is a cheeky New York Times advice column to help with careers, money and the sometimes grim, sometimes hilarious maze that is the contemporary office, from a rotating cast of advice-givers. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.