There is a joke in my social circles that if you want to sell your company, go ahead and hire me.

Call it a curse, bad luck or simply, poor timing; but at almost every job in my professional career – the company I work at, is purchased, while I’m still employed for them.

I’ve seen this happen on the small-scale, such as when new partners come in to shake things up; or with a huge corporation, where we are purchased by one of an equal size or larger, internationally – because it’s not fun if you are unable watch ads from your new owners, in Japanese.

Typically; this has gone poorly for me.

I’m not an underachiever; far from it. Instead, I’m a dreamer. This sounds great on paper: focus on the big picture, extrovert, able to use critical thinking and strategy planning. However, dreamers do not do well in company shake-ups. Usually, we are used for the first year during the transition, because we are work horses. However, the moment we ask to advance or be rewarded for our effort, we are usually let go. This isn’t an insult to any of my former employers, nor is it a judgement against those who get to keep their jobs. Everyone has value and sometimes, the company can see you are not a good fit for the new environment.

One of the many shots of desk gifts I’ve collected over the years. I’ve had so many great coworkers that it’s hard to hate any previous job.

This is part of the reason why I have a huge issue with this checklist task.

It’s recommended, 2-3 years before, to chat with your company on your goals. I waited until the year before. I still feel as if, me asking about this,  is what lead to me being laid off. I wouldn’t be shocked if that was the case, but it’s something you have to think about.

I took a blow when I was let go and it was hard for me at first. I felt stagnant in that role, due to being a go-getter, on the promotion track since my first year employed with them, and had never been promoted to a Level 2 (Big thing in corporate, trust me). It left me disorientated and determined to never speak about my goals again with a job until I felt like I was in a financial position where I could afford to lose my job again.

When going in and seeing if you have opportunities to go abroad, you need to determine factors with your current job:

  • Do they have an office in the country you are going to?
    • This is huge in regards to visas. If they do, you will have the ability to get a Tier 2 Intra-Company or a general Tier 2; if looking at the United Kingdom.
  • Are they willing to let you work remotely?
    • In the case of how we got here, the office was in London, but Brad was looking at school in Newcastle, Durham and York. I would not have been able to work in London 5 days a week, so remote work was key.
  • How long have you been with your job?
    • The timeline is important. Nothing worse than a newbie with 1 year experience coming in and begging for a new role internationally; in comparison, a lot of experience in a role may give you more bargaining rights.
    • Note – this doesn’t work very well if you have too much experience also. Bargaining rights are great, but old dogs’ specialise. If your new role isn’t where you are going, your job may assume learning new skills may not be possible. Make sure to up your skill tree before you start asking (Shadowing, training, etc.)
  • What has been your general performance?
    • Crappy employees don’t get rewarded. However, sometimes, good employees do not get the prize, either. Do not mistake happiness with your performance with being in the company’s long-term goals. To be a part of a company’s future plans, you need to be sure that your name still comes up years after you leave – and not in annoyance. If people still consider you someone reliable and able to call on, they will call on you after you’ve left – That’s a guarantee.
  • Will they adjust your salary?
    • To do my job in the UK, on a Tier 2 requires a specific salary. This is a sore spot, because most companies, except in London, will not pay the rates required for me to get a visa. In my previous role, I made the equivalent salary easily, so I would not require a pay raise.

When deciding on this and how to broach it, take it with caution. I will never know if I was laid off because of this conversation, due to living in a Right to Work state – Which allowed my employer to lay me off, without an explanation of why. With it being a layoff, the assumption is simply downsizing, but the reasoning does not have to be expressed to me of why I was picked for the axe.

I just recommend, if you see a path for this, test the waters with your direct manager. If you feel as if you can’t; I don’t recommend this path going forwards.

Also; keep your dreams to yourself. I became a bit crazy during this point of my life, but I spent all day thinking I was going to be fired, rejected new jobs or become homeless due to the paranoia I built up over this. No matter how important this is for you; it’s likely not to the man with the purse strings. You need to be at an employer who will invest in you.

It’s a gamble if you stay quiet or ask for help on this. I’ve worked at great companies that wanted to keep me; but didn’t have the international resources; I’ve worked at places that may have liked me, but the board could never approve the transfer and finally; I’ve worked for companies that saw me as nothing more than a non-vital cog in the machine.

You need to know your true value before you ask. Who knows; the company might see a place for you… And you won’t know until you ask. You just need to be prepared that by opening up, it might cost you your job.

3 thoughts on “1 Year Before – Career Discussion

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