I’ll be giving my resignation notice next week. Not sure if my (small-mid size) firm is expecting it. I’m nervous. Has anyone felt bad or scared to give their notice? Felt bad for letting them down? Or feel nervous for how they may react? Any advice?

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I’ve done it and I’ve had it done to me. Here’s the real truth: you are replaceable. I don’t say that to be mean or harsh or to trivialize your worth. I say it to remind you that businesses and relationships are always fluid. The firm will survive. So will you. (And here’s to hoping you thrive as well!)

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It will be okay. The fact that you care puts you leagues ahead of most. Well done.

I think it’s normal to feel bad or scared about it, especially if there are people there you respect or like working with. However, people resign and move around for all sorts of reasons, and it is not a let down or some sort of character flaw if you to want to do so. If the people you work with are professionals, then they will cheer you on as you exit and wish you the best in your future endeavors. If they react with hostility, then that is a reflection on them and not on you. I would not worry about it too much.

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As someone who has done it before, it’s absolutely terrifying, but something that you just need to get out and in the open. The longer you wait, the more you’ll let the anxiety build, and the worse off you’ll be. The reality is that if they liked you, they will hope you don’t like your new job and want to come back soon anyways.

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I had incredible mentors and sponsors fighting to promote me to partnership and I walked away from it, so felt terrible. I dreaded giving notice, but once I did and the shock of it was over after a few days, people literally moved on. I was the “rock star” young attorney, but as someone else said we are all still replaceable. Be appreciative to the people who were good to you, but the guilt will go away quickly because the “pain” to them will go away quickly.

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Incredible opportunity in house at a unicorn. Felt more exciting than making partner since I know exactly what partnership looked like and was already doing it to a certain extent and wasn’t happy. Being good at the job and enjoying the money, but still miserable is fine if you have no other options you’re interested in, but once my dream job was offered it made no sense to stay.

Employment is purely transactional.

If this firm wanted a lasting relationship with you they would have either paid you more than your market value or made you partner.

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I’m also about to do this in the next couple of weeks. It’s going to be devastating to them on a number of levels, from morale to simply being able to absorb my caseload. At the end of the day, you have to do what’s right for you. They’ll survive or they won’t, and if they can’t survive without a single associate the outlook for them was not f—ing good anyway. It’s their responsibility to deal with associates coming and going. It’s a part of the business. If they can’t deal with it, they’re not running their business well.

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They’ll survive.

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