Resigning & Garden Leave

ub86's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 24

There is a good chance that I will be resigning soon from one BB to take a job at another BB and I'm trying to figure out if I can look forward to garden leave, or weeks of sitting around. I am currently in a quasi-research position, but would be taking a job as a business manager. What is the governing principle? I've known people in sales & trading who were gone the day they resigned. In research, it seems that people are usually put on garden leave if they're heading to another sell-side shop, but have to serve out their notice otherwise. I knew a middle office guy who had to serve out his notice, which was a surprise.

Is the decision made by HR, or the direct manager? If it is an HR decision, is there something I can say to make them lean towards garden leave? Do I need to disclose where I'll be going, or can I just say "i'm going to a competitor"? My current boss is a nasty [email protected]$# who would probably force me to work till the very last minute. I'm not too worried about burning bridges, as I would never expect a future reference from this person. In fact, I think he might go berserk if he knew where I was going, as I'll be working for his former employer.

Comments (51)

Aug 2, 2014

Have you thought of looking in your contract with your current employer...?

Aug 2, 2014

Aside from notice/non-compete period, why should there be any reference to garden leave in my contract? Isn't it the employer's discretion to ask you not to come to work during your non-compete period?

Aug 2, 2014
ub86:

Aside from notice/non-compete period, why should there be any reference to garden leave in my contract? Isn't it the employer's discretion to ask you not to come to work during your non-compete period?

No offense, but are you stupid? The notice/non-compete *is* the "garden leave."

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Aug 2, 2014
mrb87:
ub86:

Aside from notice/non-compete period, why should there be any reference to garden leave in my contract? Isn't it the employer's discretion to ask you not to come to work during your non-compete period?

No offense, but are you stupid? The notice/non-compete *is* the "garden leave."

I think you're mistaken. At my former firm (an investment bank), I know for a fact the two were separated. Garden leave is a paid-leave in order to protect a firm's trade secrets (in this case, ongoing transactions and client relationships) whereas (if I recall correctly) a non-compete is punitive and is an unpaid-leave. A non-compete is placed in a contract as a disincentive for leaving the firm (going for some period without being allowed to work in your field), whereas being on garden leave sounds totally awesome. Also, most non-competes expire after a designated period post-signing, whereas garden-leaves don't expire since it's an employer protection method and not a retention mechanism. This is why in Socialist "pro-employee" states like California, a garden leave is still common practice, since the outbound-employee isn't being forced to go without pay, whereas a non-compete is deemed unenforceable since it forces the employee to go without a livelihood in his or her field.

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Aug 2, 2014

You don't seem to get it at all. Garden leave is the outgoing employer's discretion to ask you not to work during a (paid) notice period.

Aug 2, 2014

Work till notice if that's what it says in the contract.

But they might pay you not to work, so you get what 1 - 2 months paid plus any other compensations you are entitled to. It's ad hoc. Not standardised, speaking from my own experience of getting fired (more than once I'd say).

Aug 5, 2019

Question.. is there a way for the new company to verify your garden leave period.. what if 'a friend' exaggerated the garden leave notice to take few more weeks off?

Aug 2, 2014

There's a paid notice period and a non-compete period. At the most you will be required to work through your paid notice period, though this is unlikely. However, it is your employer's prerogative. So I'm not sure why you are asking *us*.

Aug 3, 2014
mrb87:

There's a paid notice period and a non-compete period. At the most you will be required to work through your paid notice period, though this is unlikely. However, it is your employer's prerogative. So I'm not sure why you are asking *us*.

That is precisely the crux of my question. Some people are put on garden leave. Some are not. It is the employer's prerogative. I was seeking advice on how to sway the decision. Clearly stupid of me to expect a useful response here.

Aug 3, 2014

I just don't understand the point of your question. You won't be able to "sway" your boss; they've likely been through this a dozen times before and there are policies in place to deal with employees leaving for competitors.

In any case, if you are going to a competitor it is likely you will be asked to leave that day. I've quit three jobs to go to competitors and this has been my experience every time.

Best Response
Aug 3, 2014

so the obviously answer is travel and get out of the office. The real question is where. I suggest Bolivia salt flats for the sights http://tourists360.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/... and then in no particular order I think interlaken or switz alps is amazing. Depending on how much you want to party dictates where you want to go. Ibiza if you like EDM, Lisbon (see castles in Sentra) and Madrid are amazing. Barcel if you like to party. Australia or go see the Great Wall of China. Just some things that come to mind. Ideally, you aren't traveling alone as there is a lot of downtime in trips where you want to be with friends.

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Aug 3, 2014

What's your budget? And what type of traveler are you? Don't mind backpacking and slumming it or you need a decent hotel? Or would you go to Bali and surf for 3 months?

Aug 3, 2014

Budget is $15-$20k. Have done quite a bit of backpacking and enjoy staying in hostels (have been to most of Europe).

Aug 3, 2014

Don't stretch yourself across continents.. 3 months would be great to do LatAm or SE Asia. I'm biased towards the latter!

Aug 3, 2014

Boxing training camp in Cuba.

Aug 3, 2014

Interested in the original question but I'm also just wondering how commonplace/ legally binding this garden leave is... do all incoming FT analysts get this in their contract? And how does it interact if you do the whole PE recruiting waltz while working your first year?

"I did it for me...I liked it...I was good at it. And I was really... I was alive."

Aug 3, 2014

3 months gardening leave is almost always for more senior bankers (eg VP above)- I doubt an analyst would ever get this.

Aug 3, 2014

Do the southern cone or the national parks

Aug 3, 2014

This isn't even a decision.

New Caledonia.

Aug 3, 2014

With a budget like that the world is your oyster. Regardless of your preferences, I would definitely recommend working some outdoorsy adventure stuff into your plans. Three months of city-living would get bland. Hike/fish/raft in Patagonia, do Everest base camp in Nepal, dive the Red Sea, ski the Alps, take a surf class in Portugal, etc etc.

My .02

Aug 3, 2014

SE Asia with that budget and you'd live like a fucking king. Have a great time.

Aug 3, 2014

I'm big into anything on the ocean (surfing, fishing, etc.) so I'd spend the entire time in the south pacific: Maldives, Indo, Micronesia/Caroline Islands, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, etc. really nothing there to do but fish, surf, and relax, but that'd be the perfect thing to do for me. if I got bored those are close enough to SE Asia I could jet set for a bit, rage, and then chill again.

Aug 3, 2014

What about you get the offer first - lots of potential downfalls:
1) They make you an offer that doesn't have the comp you had in mind
2) Someone at the later stages does not like you
3) Hiring is frozen
4) Big stock market crash, they forget about you.
Also make sure you actually get your garden leave, heard of some people banks make them work through it (in an individualized office with a new role consisting of sitting around but coming into work - yes that's legal)

After that come back here and ask about where to go and spend your cash....
Welcome to life.

Aug 3, 2014

I would touch down on every major city with @AndyLouis where there is a sizable WSO community and have an epic happy hour in each one.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Aug 3, 2014

Man a ton of proponents for SE Asia here. I'm less of a fan of SE Asia. I'd probably spend a few weeks in a few select cities across the world. I've always wanted to see a few South American countries like Argentina and Chile, and then there are some countries in Europe that are beautiful in the summer. Stockholm quickly comes to mind and if you waited until the fall to see some of the more popular tourist destinations, those usually empty out a little after the summer.

I went to the Caribbean for the first time this year with some friends and that was a blast too. For 20k you could probably stay at a luxury all inclusive resort for a while, but thats not at fun alone. Anyways I'm sure you'll have a great time regardless of where you go.

Aug 3, 2014

Was in a similar situation when I made a move from 1 bulge bracket to another at the analyst level. I was actually surprised to find out I had a garden leave clause in my contract (and so was my new employer as I found out/told them after I accepted).

It was one of the best things to ever happen though. My new employer had no choice but to accept it and pretty much just said "enjoy, see you in a month". No stress. I had no idea where to go and was a bit nervous to travel alone. Everyone I knew was working so I needed some motivation to just go solo. I read just about every blog on the four hour work week site for some inspiration and booked a trip to south america. Split my time between Argentina and Chile. Funny enough, I ended up meeting and going out with Patrick in Buenos Aires. Good times. I went to South America because I had friends there and it was close but with 3 months, SE Asia sounds incredible.

Take advantage of this garden leave because it doesn't happen too often in your career. Having time off and knowing you have a job waiting for you at the end? GOLDEN. Have fun.

Aug 3, 2014

There are two continents where you'll probably never work: South America and Africa (unless you get off the normal career track in finance). When you live and work in London, you'll discover Europe and maybe Russia and the Middle East. New York gives you easy access to North America.

In your position, I'd find a way to do South America for a month (1 week/country), Africa for a month (start in South Africa and move north) and Asia for a month (personally, I'd do Japan, Beijing, Shanghai/Hong Kong and Singapore with my four weeks). I would weigh more developed countries higher (speaking as someone who has collected a fair number of the LDCs); a lot of the third world countries are, really, quite similar. Also don't get too hung up on weather, tropical climate is the same everywhere and gets boring after the first couple weeks. Try and avoid the expat hangouts and hotels (anywhere an IBM executive would stay, eat and drink). I'm literally amazed by the sheer number of ang mohs who tell me Singapore is a boring giant shopping mall (but, I guess, I think much the same about Dubai).

Try hard to figure out how locals think, use CouchSurfing liberally to save costs but also to meet new people far outside your social circles (there's other sites, that's the one I know). Spot what is common between countries and what is truly different in the way people think. Look at regional differences: Koreans and the Japanese are closer than they'll admit, and quite different from mainland Chinese; Chileans and Argentinians are polar opposites on the same continent (this is gradually fading away); the British and Boer lot in South Africa/Zimbabwe also have their own quirks which have been overshadowed by the simplistic "white vs black" view from far away. Why did Rwanda switch the side of the road they drive on? There is immense wealth in figuring out how others view the world, but it requires a fair bit of effort on your part to go out of your comfort zone and talk to anybody you can - bartenders, taxi drivers, but also local "characters" and expats. Date the locals, if that's your thing - that's a great in to a local culture.

If you have time, and generally on the plane, read up about your destination. For South East Asia, Lee Kuan Yew's "From Third World to First" gives a nice in to the regional politics and local characters.

If it's not clear yet, I'd privilege people over sights. You'll have your entire life to do the sights, and when you get older you'll find flights and hotels are relatively cheap once you're well paid, and these things are much nicer with your significant other anyway. Same applies to parties. You can get drunk and laid at home, it will feel the same. You'll go to enough parties anyway if your hosts know what they're doing.

I wish I was in your position and had the balls to do it. It's affordable within your budget - I know many people who did it with a lot less.

Edit - a good book describing the ultimate version of the above is Investment Biker by Jim Rogers. Whatever you think of the man's investment abilities, the idea of taking a bike through every country in the world, hot blonde in tow, within a couple of years is quite something. Worth a read if you need inspiration.

Aug 3, 2014
EURCHF parity:

In your position, I'd find a way to do South America for a month (1 week/country), Africa for a month (start in South Africa and move north) and Asia for a month (personally, I'd do Japan, Beijing, Shanghai/Hong Kong and Singapore with my four weeks). I would weigh more developed countries higher (speaking as someone who has collected a fair number of the LDCs); a lot of the third world countries are, really, quite similar.

This is terribly misguided advice. Slow down and see more.

Japan, Beijing, Shanghai/Hong Kong and Singapore is a dreadful itinerary. Singapore is a place where you don't even want to leave the airport, it's that dull. You might as well stay in New York.

And Africa is huge, much bigger than it looks on the map. Add up Russia and China and you're still looking at an area smaller than Africa. You could spend all three months in Africa making your way from Cape Town to Nairobi. The same principle applies to South America.

Pick Africa, South America, South East Asia, or India and spend all three months in the one continent (country in India's case).

Aug 3, 2014

Is garden leave something you negotiated haha?

Aug 3, 2014

Greece? The beaches are equally as crystal clear/turquoise, if not better than SE Asia, big party scene in quite a few islands, a plethora of isolated places if that's your thing, or even mountain hiking/biking etc

Colourful TV, colourless Life.

Aug 3, 2014

Agreed. I actually had the chance to spend >1.5 years living in Latin America, Africa and Europe. In the end, it depends on what you're looking for - adventure, partying, cultural diversion, volunteer work, or just a different world that is very similar to what you're doing (ie. Europe). Pay heed also to the time of year you'll be going - hurricane / monsoon season or even winter isn't fun!

Each place I've been to I've loved but for different reasons. South Africa for its beautiful landscapes, food and beaches. Brazil for its rich diversity, culture, clubbing and beautiful beaches. Argentina for its simplicity, european flavor and cheap delicious food. Hungary for the hot people, beautiful city, eastern european vibe and beautiful night life in abandoned warehouses and on the river.

To many to list - but if you start with what you really want to get out of it..beach leisure (Cape Town, Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Torre de Lago/Viareggio, Mykonos, Ibiza, Sitges, etc). You wont' go wrong....Enjoy!

Aug 3, 2014

Definitely a well planned Europe trip if you've never been there. Definitely stop by Venice before it sinks in 50 or so years

Aug 3, 2014

My gardening leave without children - Chile, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, India, Oman, Jordan

My gardening leave with children - Home (which was great in its own way, because I actually got to spend a good deal of quality time there)

Enjoy it when you can!

Aug 3, 2014

They're more interesting because most of the poor countries have the same survival economies due to their tenuous individual rights. I include large parts of China in that. The food, your interaction with taxi drivers, everything ends up being a repeat with slight variations and a new landscape. I've spent a while living in these countries and eventually I just wanted out. I remember the sheer happiness upon landing at Heathrow and seeing clean, unbroken tarmac and hearing people speak without shouting. Little things in life.

I found Tibet nicely spacious, but after a while, you get bored of eating dried yak and riding on horseback. At least in the Alps, you can stop over at a restaurant or sleep in a hotel with plumbing. The shepherds were all addicted to mobile games which they played continuously as they herded yaks. "So, we have loads of yaks, and horses, and we use the horses to round up the yaks, and when it's cold we take the yaks somewhere else. Also, everything we do is yak based, like our leather (yak skin), cheese (yak milk), fuel (yak crap) and so on." How about Indonesia then: "I was a fisherman. Now I have 2 rooms. So I rent the rooms and I don't need to go fish. But if you want fish for dinner I'll go buy them from my friends the fishermen."

It's relatively interesting to learn how you can survive in practical autarky when you're 3000km from the nearest spot of civilisation, but less so than witnessing first hand, say, an ultracapitalist first world nation's way of thinking when welfare is practically inexistent, after you've grown up in a social democracy (most of the US counts, since you have state-run welfare benefits).

To each their own, I guess.

Aug 3, 2014

I would suggest East Africa area, namely Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Zambia and Ethiopia. Lot of different stuff to see. Some of the areas not that overrun by tourists. Pretty cheap too.

Aug 3, 2014

As long as you're comfortable with genocide happening within a couple hundred miles of you, go to Africa.

Aug 3, 2014

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Aug 3, 2014

Unless there's something funky in your contract, outside of not being able to start a new gig right away you shouldn't have any real issues. The gap in employment is pretty easy to explain (you contractually are not able to work) so that shouldn't be an issue. In reality it's not a bad issue to have because you'll be getting paid while you're networking and interviewing. Just put it out there that you can't start until June XX up front so you don't waste your time with positions that need you to start in 2 weeks.

Aug 3, 2014
  1. No, you don't need to tell them what you're doing
  2. Gardening leave is given at the employers discretion
  3. If you want them to give you gardening leave and let you leave on the spot then let them think you're going to a competitior