Monday, May 12, 2008

Asking your boss for a transfer-- 4700 miles away

With great relief, I am finally writing to say that I am moving to Kodiak, AK. We received orders weeks ago. Within minutes of the news, my breath starts shorten, my brain begins to race, my adrenaline courses through my veins.

An outsider would think it were an easy feat to transfer within the same company. After all, I had completed OCONUS PCS paperwork, medical screenings, HHG counseling, and dity move setup; thus, transferring my work life should be a cake walk in comparison to routing all necessary paperwork using the power of attorney we rushed to obtain as my beloved left me for two months of training, 500 miles away. But, I digress...

My master plan to execute a transfer was multi-fold. I work for a large corporation which has many service lines. I had to be calculated-- deft almost. You see, my niche is so specific, I had to make sure the business lines aligned with the Anchorage office would match my background and support my career goals. What is the point of transferring to an office that does not have work in my subject area nor wants to expand into those venues of opportunity?

To be a working professional and a modern military wife requires such a delicate balance. From family and Joe Public, I have been asked, "Why don't you go into teaching or banking so you can transfer around with your spouse?" My answer, "Because I spent a fortune on law school and don't even balance my check book b/c I am so horrible with numbers." Even teachers have difficulty transferring due to new state requirements for certification. This job transfer/seeking burden is somewhat offset by the improvements of Work Life; but alas, those benefits do not always pair up with a more, um, complicated resume. When I emailed the Work Life Coordinator in Kodiak, I attached my resume for her review and incorporation. She called me immediately to ask how she could help, stating-- ever so bluntly, "I do not have job postings or contacts of that nature ." Huh, imagine that. She was so polite and did point me to a few resources that proved unsuccessful but were helpful, nonetheless.

I began working with the Anchorage office in secret. To transfer within my company, the other office must have a legitimate job opening; this way, people (aka profit) are not stolen from one office to another. We formulated a job posting together, discussing how I would work from home in Kodiak and yet fly into Anchorage to work with my new team. We made plans for business development aimed at my specific skillset. This process took two months. Two months! Finally, the HR approved, the vice president blessed, and the planets aligned for the Anchorage office to post an opening. And then, I had to apply. I submitted my resume on our intranet and emailed my elation to my cohort in Anchorage.

I scheduled my meeting with my current boss for Monday, 5 May. Unfortunately, he had a family emergency and postponed until 8 May. With no sleep the night before and no breakfast, I walked into his office, met on a different topic, and closed by handing him my transfer sheet with the Anchorage requisition number on top.

He sat back in his chair. Eye bug Number 1: Anchorage? Eye bug number 2: last day 27 May? All I could say was, "We got orders."

Even today, my exact transfer date is to be determined. My current and new bosses are settling details about which projects I am taking with me and which ones I need to hand off. The profit follows the employee; so, as soon as I become an Anchorage employee, my work in Arlington becomes their profit. My current boss wants the revenue to add up in his coffers It's not personal; it is business.

The irony: now that I have surpassed this hurdle, the Kodiak Medical Entry POC emailed me today. Apparently, HQ did not send them my medical clearance, which was completed and signed on 13 March.

One feat at a time...


Amber said...

Well, sounds like a cake walk! :)

Congratulations on your new position. I wish you much luck and safe travels as you get ready to PCS!

Just a Girl in a Port said...

Goodness gracious! That must have been (sort of) a relief to hand in your notice. I imagine this whole PCS thing must be complicated for you. As I look ahead, I anticipate I may be up against similar (yet far less enormous) hurdles when I'm working in the capacity I desire.

You give me hope that it can be done. Though, as you've demonstrated, it requires a lot of patience.

Good luck with everything!

The FlyingFish said...

This is the part that actually makes me think it's easier to also be in the CG... that sounds insane, and yet...

Glad it's falling into place for you!

Flo said...

Woman I am SO ridiculously proud of you, I'm grinning ear to ear right now. You encompass all the things a military spouse can and should be, and I cannot stress enough how much of a role model you've been to me. convince you to visit me in California sometime during your stint in AK! haha Maybe the next time the Munro makes a stop in Alameda? I miss you already!!