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Should you work without a contract

I am being replaced and my employer wants me to train my replacement and has promised me a diminished role in the company with no change in pay. The company and I both think it will take six months and a lot of extra work to train my replacement. I feel weird about the scenario without having a contract to protect myself. I would love feedback from the community on if I am being reasonable or not.


Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

In this day and age get either a formal contract or letter of understanding. Have at least two elements: 1) compensation (full) and 2) term. It would be great if they put in your severance package in the contract/letter.

Make sure there is a "with" and "with" cause termination aspect.

Michael Filiatrault
Title: Associate Director, Financial Planning a..
Company: Merck
(Associate Director, Financial Planning and Analysis - US Market, Merck) |

You may want to immediately start looking for a new job.

Also, play both sides of the coin. You may want to ask for a retention bonus. Now is when you have the most leverage. If you leave today it hurts them, they ought to be willing to pay some insurance that you'll stick around to complete the training.

Regardless of a letter of understanding, get that severance package set up now.


Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

I urge you to read Reid Hoffman's (LinkedIn Founder) "The Alliance" book/presentation. There is a summary slideshow floating around the web based on the "Tour of Duty"concept. It will enlighten you on the "new" employee-employer "contract" (yes I know...too many quotation marks). It may guide you on your decision thought process.

I also encourage members of the forum to view the presentation or read the book. It is a new(er) paradigm on employee/employer relationship. Whether you agree with it or not, it is a good read.

Mods: Just delete the link if not allowed

My comment is based on the seeming disconnect and lopsidedness of the employee-employer relationship. To state the is employer centric.

To answer your question, it would depend on your financial position and your self-esteem. Can your financial position allow you to say....F-word it, then just go. Is your self-esteem high enough for you to say, I can do this even if i know I am being let go in six months?

Now is the time to decide as you may still have leverage (again, financial position and selft esteem). Remember, don't overplay your hand (without backups) as they might call your bluff/leverage.

I agree with Michael, with or without the contract, I would begin looking for a new job.


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