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It’s time to PCS . . . How do I Tell my Boss?

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By Rose Holland

One of the challenges of military life is the need to PCS. Sometimes this comes with the pain of leaving a wonderful job. I have had to do this more often than I would like to say. Personally, I have always tried to give as much notice as possible. I may let my boss know once we are positive we will be moving, but I never put in a letter of resignation until I have orders in hand.

When I feel it is time to inform my supervisor, I explain my time line to include final day of work. At this time, I let my management team know what efforts I feel I could make to ensure a smooth transition (think continuity binders, organization of files, etc.). I make a list of specific activities I plan to accomplish prior to departure and prioritize this list with my manager or supervisor. This helps me leave on excellent terms.

If your company has an office in the location you will be moving to, I would recommend asking your management to reach out. A warm hand-off can make all the difference. Often supervisors or managers won’t think of this, but if you ask they will gladly do so. If your corporation has a military spouse-hiring program, connect to the program manager to see if there is any paperwork for you to do. If you cannot find a point of contact, see if there is a veterans hiring manager that might be willing to assist you.

Your company may not have a location at your new location, but with virtual environment, you may not need to resign. It may be possible for you to continue in your position virtually. I personally know two spouses who insisted it would never happen in their company who ended up keeping their same job, just working remotely. Do not be afraid to ask, but come prepared with a plan.

I suggest at least two weeks prior to your last day you request letters of recommendation. Ask your supervisor and other managers. They may ask you to write something up, do not be insulted. Go ahead and do so. Once you have the letters, be sure make multiple copies. I recommend scanning them and uploading them to a couple of places. If you can, get additional contact information such as personal email and cell phone in case your manager leaves the company.

Finally, dust off your resume. Ask your supervisor to look it over. Did you capture your accomplishments? Are there things you have not included? This is a good time to see if they know anyone at your new location. They may have a former colleague or friend. Do not be afraid to ask, especially if you have a good relationship.

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