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Author Topic: Resigning while on a secondment?  (Read 3743 times)

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Resigning while on a secondment?
« on: March 18, 2017, 01:16:35 AM »
I'm really struggling at work and would appreciate any and all advice...

I've worked for the same government organization for the last 5 years... 4 months ago, I was promoted to a higher up position (maternity leave contract) on a 12 month secondment. There is a strong likelihood of being made permanent.

I previously posted about the steep adjustment to the role and a co-worker's hostility towards me:

In short, it has only got worse. Between the co-worker's hostility and the immense workload/conflicting information... I'm struggling. Hard. I can't switch off from work like I used to and its affecting my sleep. Returning to my nominal role is not an option until AT LEAST the 12 month mark.

I've considered just limping along until my manager addresses any work performance issues with me but I'm just so miserable.

The thought of resigning and having to stick around for 2 weeks sends me into a spin... How can I explain leaving 4 months into a 12 month contract? I have thought about taking a few weeks sick leave and using that as a buffer to find another job altogether.

I feel like I can approach my former manager in my old department for a reference, however I am conscious that it could get around I'm looking for work elsewhere...

If I commit to resigning... how can I go about it?


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Re: Resigning while on a secondment?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2017, 01:32:44 AM »
I want you to know that, while I have no knowledge of how you should handle this,  I'm concerned for you. It is hard to be that miserable, especially to the point that it is affecting your sleep.

(I've been there; it was terrible and lack of sleep definitely was why I made the decision I made...maybe if I hadn't been exhausted, I could have seen another way to handle the issues.) I would recommend that you see a doctor for some help in that area while you decide what to do with the job issues. Rested brains make better decisions.

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Re: Resigning while on a secondment?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2017, 01:02:43 PM »
I agree the stress and the impact on your health is not worth it.

If you haven't already, please check out Ask a Manager by Alison Greene, or better yet pose your question directly to her. She and her readers have some wonderful advice about navigating the working world. She has some very good scripts on resigning in less than ideal situations.


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Re: Resigning while on a secondment?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2017, 03:09:46 PM »
I second the recommendation of AskAManager dot org.

But I want to comment on this:

I've considered just limping along until my manager addresses any work performance issues with me but I'm just so miserable.

Consider going to your manager directly to address these work performance issues.
Speaking as a manager, I am far more likely to be proactive and work with someone, and to view them positively, if they come to me and say, "Here is a problem; here's a possible solution, but I also need help figuring out how to fix this problem."

Even if--especially if--the problem is that they're not doing as good of a job as they should.
Being able to recognize that the job you're doing is not as good as is needed is a HUGE positive. It's sort of like AA--the first step is to recognize that you have a problem. Knowing that the problem exists is something that puts you many steps ahead with me, as a manager. It indicated an ability that's very powerful.

I'm off to read your other thread...


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Re: Resigning while on a secondment?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2017, 03:20:32 PM »
Also--here's a reason to talk to some managers.

You say "returning to my previous role is not a possibility...." but I think it's quite frequent that people think something is impossible when it really isn't.

So here's my other suggestion: Call your OLD manager and ask them to go to lunch, or something. Partly so you can seek some advice from them about how to handle this no-training situation, but mostly so you can spend some time in the company of someone who has seen you be competent and comfortable at work. So you can reconnect to that person.

But also because I think you need someone in management to help you test out the idea of whether it's at all possible to change your secondment. I'm not in your country, I don't think (we don't use that term in the U.S., and maternity leaves are seldom 12 months), so I don't know the norms. But I think you should find someone at a higher level than you who can help you probe that assumption.

I had a situation awhile ago w/ a boss you seemed to assume that I was always just wrong. Our communication styles were different, and I couldn't communicate in a way that made her see me as competent. Even though, at the end of any particular situation, it turned out that I'd done exactly what she wanted me to do.

I also felt very isolated; I tried to reach out to people from previous work experiences and kept getting blown off. When I got a new job and my boss and colleagues acted like I was competent, I can't tell you what a difference it made.

So I vote that you find ways to reconnect w/ people you were around back when you felt competent. (because you ARE competent) Bolster your sense of value there.

And also--start making a list of what you do right. Every day, start a new piece of paper and write down briefly what you just did that you did right; just two words. "Sorted out Johnson contract" (even if you didn't know what was going on w/ that contract at first, you sorted it out, and that's competence)

In your other thread, you talked about some parts of a contract not adding up, and not knowing what to do.
I want to point out this: knowing that something didn't add up is an achievement--that's competence.

So maybe becoming your own cheering section can help you buy yourself some time, and some emotional/mental well-being, while you sort out whether there truly is any way to change your assignment.

Sending you some big hugs--it sounds really tough.


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Re: Resigning while on a secondment?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2017, 08:02:34 PM »
That's all really great advice from Toots.

It sounds like you have not heard any complaints about your work directly from your manager. I would think long and hard about letting one person drive me off from a job before having another in place.  There are reasons to do that (like your basic mental health) but if at all possible try to straighten things out first and if that is not possible then find something worth going toward instead of only something to go away from.

Hugs. I've been there and truly believe something good comes out of every situation like this.


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Re: Resigning while on a secondment?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2017, 09:18:10 PM »
Please don't just limp along until someone brings it up. You never know when that will happen or if it will happen, you are prolonging your suffering and it will continue to harm your overall health.

It's always okay to resign, it doesn't matter how far along you are, if it's creating stress and making you ill, you must take care of yourself. You're more important than any job out there.

If you're proactive and let them know that it's not working out, you will feel better in the end. Please take care of yourself.


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Re: Resigning while on a secondment?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2017, 01:34:18 PM »
I third asking on and she says to talk to your manager...sometimes there is nothing they can do but often there is, even if you are convinced there isn't.


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Re: Resigning while on a secondment?
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2017, 08:29:56 AM »
Good advice from Toots!

I really think your first action is to go talk to your manager and tell him/her how much you are struggling. You're already thinking about resigning. So owning up to the struggles shouldn't make you feel like you are jeopardizing your job. I've been supervising people for 25 plus years. I'd much rather an employee come to me and tell me they are struggling so I can help than try and hide their struggles until it becomes a critical issue.

I also think reaching out to your old manager for advice is critical. There was a reason they thought you could handle this promotion. They want you to succeed. Go talk to them about the struggles and ask for suggestions.