Tips for leaving a job after Chinese New Year

Does anyone have any thoughts or comments about the ettiquette for leaving a job after Chinese New Year? I have heard that this is quite common in Taiwan, but I have never done this myself.

Right now, it looks as if Chinese New Year is in the later part of January. I’ve been told that many people wait until after the “wei ya” and, most importanly, after receiving the Chinese New Year bonus, and then leave. So that means February will be a time of many people changing jobs, right???

Is it common to give two weeks notice? A month? For example, leave at the end of February?

I have also been told never to announce any intentions of leaving a job until after that bonus is in your bank account. Otherwise, funny things end up happening–like suddenly no longer being needed or the amount of your bonus shrinking. Any thoughts on this?

Also, since it is a New Year (and I hate to sound miserly here), what should I do with my new seven days of vacation time? Should I take a vacation before I go (or try to)? In other words, should I somehow try to use up the days or can they be used at the end when I want to leave (say not work the last week and use the vacation days). I know–I can ask my HR person about this but this kind of question might raise some red flags, and as mentioned above, I was told to keep any thoughts about job change to myself until after the bonus comes out.

Anyway, just some questions I was curious about. I appreciate your help. And this is just between you, me, and the rest of Foromusa :wink: (I hope my boss doesn’t lurk here :blush: )

If you give two weeks notice, you won’t get the hong bao (never neglect your own fortune) and that’s the whole reason for staying up to Guo Nian. Get the money, tell a few choice coworkers (ie the people you like and at least with whom you share a reciprocal disdain [the office nark is a good choice]) after your money is pocket. Don’t show the first day back after the holiday and then call in on afternoon of the second day back and ask for a meeting with your boss. This is where you either get the stuff you want or you walk. Keep smiling the whole time and under no circumstances get angry.

The above assumes you don’t have a job already. If you do have a job and really want to leave, then think of convoluted, lame ass excuses (a lot) to tell your boss. Think obfuscation. And, don’t say you think them all a bunch of morons and slackers – the truth never helped anyone in Taiwan.

If you learn to glory in the muck of your circumstance, you’ll do a lot better. Ask your Taiwanese girlfriend (boyfriend) what she would do and listen carefully to what she’s not saying.

Forget your silly notions of propriety – they won’t help you one bit. Better over and passed them…

one other important question here…what about your salary for january…does anyone know if company’s intend to pay bonus and salary together or will they wait till end of the month? obviously it’s no use taking the bonus and running if you dont get your final months pay…

Good point, bear64.

Salary (and perhaps bonus) comes out on the fifth of the month. In other words, January’s pay comes out on February fifth. So, I definitely wouldn’t make any moves until after that.

I want to do right by the company, not burn any bridges, give them enough time to properly transition.

But I want to do right by myself, and use up all the vacation days, too, before I move on to greener pastures.

Thanks for all the help.

Giving face is important. Use the excuses, never tell them that you are fed up.

I would not quit unless I had a better offer, but that’s just me.

actually i think smaller companies like my own pay bonuses before Chu Xi…the point being bonuses need to be in pockets before the holiday so consumer spending gets the desired boost…but i guess salary itself will be paid on the normal date

I have always received my paltry bonus before CNY. It’s needed as you need to give hongbaos etc as well.

I am curious about how people handle the unused holidays as well. If I left mu employer at CNY I would still have 6 weeks holiday left. It would seem quite rude if I pushed to take said holidays all at once and then upon return gave notice. In Canada, I believe, you would be compensated for not using that holiday time.

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Surely not this year!


You could of course take two weeks over say Chrissie then give a month’s notice and take off pointing out that you are owed leave. You should get paid. Alternatively take 'em and tell 'em to stick it.


They are actually giving bonuses at the old sweatshop this year? That’s new. Last time that happened was in 2001!!!

One lives in hope . . . less abject penury.


Why is it that most people have no clue on how contracts can be terminated? Don’t you have such terms in the contract?

That’s not a reproach, just asking …

If you really want to be sure not to burn any bridges, a month notice would be best, unless the nature of your job can permit a clean break after two weeks. As far as the vacation time goes, some of my Taiwanese ex-coworkers have just tacked it on after they left. That is they were still technically employed, but not in their seat for a final week. This can be a plus for an employer because all your handover activities have been taken care of, rather than just leaving a hole there while you go on vacation. Plus, if you go on vacation, you might have a big pile-up of work that might carry over until after your departure, which would probably piss somebody off. My suggestion is after the bonus is received write a nice e-mail about how much they contributed to your professional growth , blah blah blah, and that in the interest in facilitating a smooth transition, would prefer to use the vacation days after your departure. I have to stress the importance of the letter, though. Even in work environments where a letter like that would seem absolutely ridiculous, in my experience it made everything go quite smoothly.

Well Huang, you need to give hongbao’s to your inlaws, just as you need to give christmas presents to your family.

I always give modest hongbao’s to my inlaws, and they give modest ones to me. It’s a custom, you know. I give less modest hongbao’s to the girls, but that’s something different.