Office Politics 101: Moving on up?
Q: I’ve been offered a significant promotion with my company, but it will require I move to a town where I don’t know anybody. I’m married with two young children and my husband is supportive, but it seems a bit frightening. Your thoughts, please.
A: You are obviously a rather cautious individual, which is not necessarily negative, but you will need to reflect carefully on this opportunity in order to make the right decision for both you and your family.
You should be grateful for this prospect as your employer is paying you a major compliment; the quality of your work is being affirmed and they would now like you to assume more responsibility.
I presume you would gladly accept this promotion should it be situated in your current office and location. Reflect on this for a moment as perhaps the new duties may also be causing you a measure of stress over and above a prospective move.
It is great your husband is supportive, as you note. He would need to secure a new position, I presume, but perhaps your salary — which will be higher as a result of the promotion — will be sufficient for your family’s requirements, at least for the first few months.
Your children may experience some stress should you decide to accept this position. A new home, neighbourhood, schools and friends could make them somewhat anxious, but young people tend to make transitions more successfully than adults.
And, speaking of friends, you acknowledge that moving to a new town will require you begin new relationships. It may be somewhat sad to leave friends behind, but there will still be opportunities to keep in touch, by phone and email, for instance.
Friendships are most often made through work so this should reassure you to some extent. You and your husband can also form social connections through sports, clubs and church, if appropriate.
It may be constructive for you to investigate the length of time you would be expected to serve in this capacity. Is it possible you could return to your current work setting after, say, three years?
Although you may be anxious about all the changes involved with such a move, you might be pleasantly surprised to find that the new office is genuinely welcoming and the town itself more than meets your expectations.
Ultimately, this decision will be yours to make after much reflection and further discussion with your husband (and perhaps other family members). This would appear to be a wonderful opportunity but you will still need to have a sense of peace about whether the move — and timing — will be right for you.
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