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Friday, July 27, 2007

A follow up question

Hi, HRLady,

After reading the last entry in your blog, I start wondering what would be your take on my current situation, so here goes a question for you.

I'm working as a contractor for a 100 Fortune company in the US, while I wait for my greencard process to complete.

After 4 months in this position, and a few weeks of going back and forth with my superior about my frustration with the way he delegates tasks to me (no clarity of assignments and no provision of the necessary resources to get to the desired result), I decided to resign.

The only reason I resigned is this direct supervisor, which I think lacks leadership skills (he communicates very poorly his expectations to subordinates and sometimes shows disrespect for them by not letting them know of important changes in a timely manner) and, as already mentioned, doesn't know how to properly delegate assignments to his team.

My resignation has been communicated by my supervisor to his bosses, but I'm staying for two more months so I can finish the work I'm doing and offer some guidance to my replacement before I leave. I'm in a senior support position, and because the business partners I serve like my work a lot, other groups in the same company are now trying to recruit me.

When I am asked by the people interviewing me (inside and outside the same company) why I decided to leave my current position, what should I say? Is it a good answer to say that my supervisor and I had different management styles and I felt I wasn't a good fit for his needs?

Your comments will be highly appreciated.


I believe that interviewing for internal positions is very different than interviewing for external positions. Internally, they already know your work and they know your manager.

I think in this case a very polite, "Bob and I have different styles," would be appropriate. I imagine that the people trying to recruit you already know this--please note, they are after you to join their group, not Bob.

Externally, you've got a more difficult row to hoe. 4 months in a position needs explanation. You may have to say the whole "different styles" thing to explain why you left. Especially since you are working towards your greencard. Does quitting this job make it more difficult to get that greencard?

The problem with leaving a large company after so short a time is that it's difficult to state convincingly, "there weren't any promotional opportunities available" because, really, there are. And if you are looking for positions in a similar industry, with a similar size you probably don't want to give the "I'm looking for a different corporate culture."

So, yes, overall I think you will have to mention the differences in style. But you don't insult your former (current) boss. Don't do that ever. And hopefully your resume has a longer term job prior to this position so you aren't branded as a job hopper.

I bet, though, that you'll get hired internally and you won't have to worry about any short positions.

Good luck!

5 comments:

liberalfoodie said...

This isn't meant to be on this blog posting, but I can't get your email address to work. How did you prepare for the PHR? Also, how does one move up the HR career ladder if they're stuck elsewhere? I'll take my answer on email- liberalfoodie@gmail.com. Thanks!

Simon said...

Hi There,

You've been tagged over at http://www.ere.net/blogs/SittingXlegged/DEFAULT.ASP?LISTINGID={A42796C7-E593-4E84-ADF5-783B0F2BEC84}.

Thanks,

Simon

The person who asked the question said...

Hi, HRLady,

Thanks a lot for your prompt answer - it came right on time for my round of internal interviews next week! I really appreciate your input.

About resigning after such a short period, I don't think this will be a problem. Before coming to the US, I worked for the same company for 8 years, and left to build my own small consulting firm, where I worked for 5 years.

For the past 2 years I've had only short-term consulting assignments (between 4 and 6 months), but always for clients of the consulting company of which I'm an employee (they are the ones processing my greencard).

Therefore, I was in this 100 Fortune company as a contractor. The idea was that became a full time employee when I got the greencard - my current employer is OK with that.

If I continue with the same client company, it will still be as a contractor position at least for now.

Perhaps this changes what I can say to another potential client, instead of having to explain the real reason I left? (I will have finished the process reengineering they needed, and all the analytical work that was supposed to be done until the end of the year, so perhaps I could just say that I consider my job done and am looking for the next challenge?).

Iĺl let you know what happens next - thanks for the good wishes!

Wally Bock said...

Don't be surprised if you get questions like: "Are you planning on starting your own company again when you get your green card?"

The person who asked the question said...

Wally,

You got it right. I've already been asked this question when first hired by this 100 Fortune company as a contractor. I think I answered well (since I could honestly say what I said). I'm including my answer here, since it could be useful for someone in the same situation...

I only opened a small consulting firm in my native country because this was the only way I found to work in the field I wanted. The market for what I do practically does not exist in my native country, people are hired only occasionally for specific assigments rather than becoming full time employees. Since in the US the hiring market is booming in my field, I don't think of starting a company because I love staying focused in the technical aspects of what I do, which is simply not possible when you have your own firm.