Hello everyone

Longtime listener and reader of these forums. I contribute little as frankly you're all much smarter than I.

Which is why I'd welcome some advice.

BLUF: Do I extend my secondment when its likely I'm going to start looking for a new job very shortly?

I am currently on a secondment which is due to end in March. However I have been offered the opportunity to extend this.

This should be excellent news but I have not accepted yet.

The project has not gone as it should. I have little support from the top. My project drumbeat meeting has been dismissed and I am forced to communicate everything via email.

The procurement element of the project has gone well - mainly because I could do this alone - so in terms of this short secondment period I have acheivements and have delivered on time and within budget. I fear as the project progresses to implementation the successes are going to be fewer.

I'm not enjoying my work, and more worryingly I have fears for the future of my organisation.

So I want to look at moving on. But I worry looking for work whilst in a secondment looks bad to a potential employer - as if I'm walking out on something I've been trusted to do.

Of course to return to my substantive post is a step back, and will cause political issues (I will not be forgiven!) but at least I'd be looking for work from a fixed position.

I'd appreciate any thoughts or experiences you can offer




mattpalmer's picture

I have trouble imagining that any potential employer is going to care that you're technically "on secondment".  I wouldn't be surprised if it never even came up as a question in an interview.  You previously did job X, you're currently doing job Y, you might go back to job X in the future... it's all good.

The only thing I'd worry about is burning bridges with your existing employer, if they're really relying on you to complete this project.  However, people leave all the time for all sorts of reasons, and if the company goes belly-up as a result, that's their problem, not yours.  They'd be even more screwed if you got hit by a bus, so if they're not able to cope with that, they need to fix that.  Given that you've had your secondment "extended", in reality they're treating this like a transfer with the ability to send you back where you were, anyway, not a true secondment.

Don't forget, also, that you might not get a new job immediately.  Job searches can take a while.  So long, even, that your secondment might nearly be over by the time you find something.  Best to get started early, and if something comes up quickly, it's a nice bonus.


boredatwork's picture

thats a really helpful perspective. Also you are spot on, it may take me a while to move so this may all be resolved anyway.


my worry is "phase 2" of this project is not going to be successful - so perhaps I should just get over it and make sure it is, or at least do all i can to act proffessionally myself


thank you for your advice

mattpalmer's picture

One of the things that really ruins a good reputation is when people "check out" mentally when they know they're leaving.  It sticks out like a sore thumb, *especially* when you've been a top performer previously.  "He just phoned it in over the last couple of months he was here" isn't the sort of thing you want people to be thinking about you when you leave.  They say first impressions count, but last impressions are powerful, too.  Keep working your tail off until your stuff is in a box and you've handed in your swipe card.  Go out like a true professional and keep those bridges intact.