Training Badge
Submitted by commsinaust on



Long time listener and forum stalker ... first time poster. 

Upfront I want to thank Mark, Mike, Wendii and the whole MT community -  I have learnt so much from MT and CT ever since I stumbled across the podcasts almost five years ago. I truly believe all the great actionable things I've learned here have helped me move a bit more quickly along in my goals and ambitions.

So, enough love, let's talk about me... (I'm High I, can you tell?)


I have been with my current company for the past 3 years and it has been a great learning experience.  I've been promoted and worked through a major merger in that time - am onto my 3rd manager, due to all the restructures/reshuffles!.

For all of that time, I've worked closely with (and for the past 1 year, had a matrix reporting line to) quite a senior leader in the organisation and I have a good working relationship with him.  He has been supportive of growing my team and working more globally , I physically sit right by his office and have a monthly O3 with him. More recently, I have a new manager in the US and essentially have only been really working with her (she was out on long term sick leave) for the past 6 months. She is based in the US (I'm in the UK) and I'm working on the 'boss updates' with her.

So while it has been great, I have reached a point where I have pretty much stretched my current role/specialisation and am not really challenged/inspired and am looking to make some a change.  I've identified a couple of areas I'd like to move into internally, but this is more on a 1-2 year timescale.

In the first few months of this year, I was approached regarding a couple of roles outside of my current company and took the opportunity to explore those options and am in midst of interview processes for two roles - I've outlined where I'm at and the propositions below.

Proposition 1

  • very cool high-tech company
  • a more specialised role, with similar (EMEA) regional remit as current role.  The company is a big global name and fast moving
  • the role is a bit of a side-way step... but it feels like there would be room to move around within a year or so of delivering, as it is a bit of a 'clean up' role, the team seem great and their is a lot of scope to be more creative. 
  • I have been through phone-screen, face to face and video conference interviews with positive feedback, have submitted all my background details and references etc, am now waiting to hear back from the hiring committee (will hear back this coming week I'm told). 

Proposition 2

  • client-facing role as a consultant with a competitor organisation, which is likely to be pretty similar to what I could do if I made a move into that space with my current employer.
  • Am keen to venture into this type of work at some stage in my career - moving into a revenue earning role with a more commercial focus (I have been in internal roles for most of my career)
  • I have made it through to second round interview with really good feedback and I liked the people. 
  • If this comes through, I should be able to get quite a decent pay increase (+15%) that will likely take me 2+ years to work up to if I make the same move in my current organisation (which is an option as well, but has only been discussed in general teams as something to look at in the next few years).

Even if the two opportunities above don't come through, I'm pretty likely to move on sometime this year and it is likely to involve moving externally.   As such, I have recently listened to the 'resigning podcasts' again and am working on my transition plan, ahead of giving my notice. 

As I work through it, I have two questions that I would love to get your advice and opinions on:

Question 1.  When I get to the 'delivery stage' of my resignation - who to tell first - the new manager who is my true 'direct manager', who I don't know so well... or my matrix manager, who I have a longer and more direct relationship with and who is big on loyalty...?  I feel divided  ... thoughts appreciated! 

Question 2.  What is more important in career progression/development - 'progression' into more senior roles OR the company you work for?  Ultimately, I know it will come down to what offer/s are on the table and what I feel is right for me at the time... but I've been abiding by the 'tell no one' rule and as a High I ... I need to talk about this!!

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts/guidance.

jocadl's picture

Sounds like an interesting situation, thanks for sharing. Some thoughts follow, somewhat indirect maybe, but I felt like sharing those too.

My general guidance would be that worrying about one's resignation should wait until there's an offer on the table. Giving the resignation too much thought in advance seems like a significant distraction. I've been there, and it's tempting. But you have nothing in hand until the ink is dry on the new contract, and there really shouldn't be any pressure or attention on anything else but getting the best offer you possibly deserve.

That said, when the time comes, I'd make sure I resign with both managers almost simultaneously (i.e. within less than an hour). I'd start with the "official" / direct manager, respecting chain of command. But I'd also speak to the "matrix" manager who's big on loyalty, making sure he/she hears it directly from me.

On your two propositions, I really liked how you stated you'd like to move into a "revenue earning" role. I've observed that this is a significant difference, so would encourage you to experience first hand. Keep in mind, though, that the company's movement in the market makes all the difference. I've been in stagnating- or falling-revenue situations, and it was a drag. I've been in aggressive-growth periods, and it was a hell of a joyride with a constant wealth of new opportunity. Do your homework and research the "target" market best you can to pick a winner.

That's what I have to offer. Hope it helps.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Thanks for the kind words - glad we're helping.

1. First your direct boss, and then very quickly thereafter the matrix guy.  And, as Jochen says, this is premature.

2. Impossible to answer.  The rule is : results and relationships.  It may be that either role is better for you. Simply because one may have more of an aura of leading to senior roles is not a big deal because it's predicated on performance, and you might not perform well there for all kinds of reasons.  There are wonderfully effective folks that choose both.  It depends on you and the company and the role and the future.  ALL too hard to measure at this point.

And hey - don't forget: get the offers.  Until you got something, you got nothing.


PS: Next time, questions first, then the story.  I skipped right to your questions before I read the story above them.

commsinaust's picture
Training Badge

Thanks Jochen - appreciate your thoughts and nice to know I'm not the only one tempted to jump ahead.

Mark - thanks also and will remember to ask questions upfront next time around!  BLUFF.

I have an offer from Proposition 1 and a second interview +_a request not to accept any offers from Proposition 2, AND two other recruiters wanting to talk to me about interesting roles...  When it rains, it pours!

I am pretty sure I am going to accept Proposition 1 (just waiting to hear back on a couple of questions I had on the details of the offer) and am all set to inform my direct manager first and matrix manager shortly after.

Mark, your rule re: results and relationships was really helpful in getting my head in the right place to decide what (I think will be!) the best fit for me now.   I think the 'client facing' revenue generating opportunity will be available to me again in the future, however I am pretty sure the chance to work with Company 1 won't.