Advice please! Handed in my notice and received an offer I wasn't expecting. What is the best course of action?

Hi fellow Elphas,

I need your advice! (It's a long one)

I have been working in my company for just over 2 years (through the pandemic). For this role I relocated to a new country with my family and then the pandemic hit. This coupled with a lack of understanding of our role in the business and poor leadership has meant someone like me with specialism has worked herself to burnout.

After a lot of thinking and other factors including the need for family support, wanting to grow our family in the future, my husbands career progression and the decision myself to potentially make a career change we decided as a family it's time to return home and reset. So with no new job lined up I handed in my notice.

My line manager cried ☹️ she then said some great things about me and the amazing value and change I have brought, but with a heavy heart she accepts my resignation. That I should keep it to myself for now as she wants to break the news to our group lead.

The next thing I know, I have a meeting in with our lead.

She shares her heartbreak at my news, that I am one of the strongest hires she has and she will move mountains to keep me. "is there is anything at all I can do to change your mind?

The ideas included the potential to return home for good and change to a new contract, go part time what do I want she will fight for it?

She has given me 2 days to think about it and return with my wants so she can discuss this with HR.

I was always expecting an offer but not this, I thought they would offer more money which I planned to refuse.

I have decided that this could benefit me and as I was returning home with no job security this could be worth my while.

So I will be returning back with an offer my aim is to try and get them to give me the experience I need for my potential switch. That means splitting my time between two functions of the business. Perhaps a 4 day contract (2days each function, no change in salary)

What is too much to ask for and could scare them away? What other benefits could I consider adding to a new contract?

I've gone round in circles and keep doubting myself as I don't want to undercut myself however also don't want to seem crazy!

How would you play this?

I thought I would add:I am the only one in the business who can do what I do. Other colleagues have left from other teams and they have struggled to replace them.
liztalago's profile thumbnail
This right here means you are in the best possible place to negotiate so don't let imposter syndrome get in the way of that! Let them show their cards first like someone else mentioned and then ask for exactly what you want (or more so you have room to negotiate). I've had clients wind up with literally double the original offer because they asked and stuck to their guns. I know money isn't your main issue here, but the strategy is the same no matter what you're asking for. Also keep in mind that if asking for what you want scares them away, it's probably not a long-term fit (or they're terrible negotiators). I'd also be a bit concerned about the level of emotionality that you were met with when you handed in your resignation. While this could be genuine, it can also be an attempt to pull at our heartstrings in a way that does not serve your interests. Hope that helps!
You shouldn’t be naming what you want. THEY should. It’s a negotiation, and whoever names their price first loses.I’d flip it back on them and ask them what they are willing to offer, pointing out that your chief goals are to avoid burnout and to get the experience needed to switch to [ ] role in the long-term. Maybe you want dedicated staff under you. You could even frame it that these are the things you want, but you don’t see how it’s possible to achieve, so it’s up to them to figure it out.If you absolutely must name what you want first, you should be asking for monetary and non-monetary stuff, and make sure to ask for something you don’t think they will give so that they have to counteroffer something that is still good.
Thanks!They initially offered me part time 3 days a week, fly to the office once a month and to move to a local contact (which will have more benefits due to the country)
Gotcha — but if you are the only person in charge of the thing that you do, will you be responsible for accomplishing the same amount of work while working only 3 days a week? If so, that's not a compelling thing for them to offer.Obviously the other pieces are nice, but the question is whether it solves your burnout problem or not (it sounds like it DOES address your desire to move back home).
Thanks so much. The focus is definitely on insuring if I take them up on any offer that it doesn't set me up for a repeat scenario.
pipermartz's profile thumbnail
From what I gather, you're leaving the company for the following reasons:1. poor leadership + communication has driven you to burnout2. decided as a family you want to return home to focus on your family and support your husband's career progression3. exploring potential career changes.Since you were initially willing to leave without having another job lined up- I imagine that the situation was quite dire and you REALLY wanted to leave and head home with your family. If that's the case, then ask yourself if what they're offering would solve those major pain points that caused you to leave. You know that extra money wouldn't solve the issue. Would working part time across 2 different parts of the business help you with issues of leadership/communication/burnout? You'd have time to start your job hunt or career change if you worked part time. So that's one benefit. But is it enough? I think you need to really write down all the factors/elements that made this job a bad fit + working environment for you. Then create a non-negotiable boundary that would protect you from those bad issues. For example, if leadership has poor communication than maybe you need to clarify weekly accountability/check-in meetings with you and leadership. That's a great stipulation to include in your negotiation process (and even your contract!) If you've been experiencing burnout because of long hours, then stipulate something in your contract that you get paid double for extra hours -OR- that you simply won't go over your allotted weekly hours/working days. Can you demand that all your work is remote so you can head home as planned? Set some good boundaries that YOU really need to take care of yourself and your family with this big move.
This was very helpful, really appreciate the advice.I have done exactly that and noted down or the pain points.The original offer was that I return home and move to a local contract, this would mean remote work. Boundaries are definitely something I need to create as well as the understanding that anything If agreed would be on a review basis as it may or may not work for me and my family in the long term.I need to remind myself that the power is in my hands.
pipermartz's profile thumbnail
The power absolutely is in your hands! You've taken a bold step to walk away from this job and it has reminded you and your employer that YOU have the agency to set boundaries + take what you need. It's a great opportunity (one that you have fought for) to set boundaries- whether they be to walk away entirely because the job just isn't worth it, or find a hybrid solution. Worse comes to worst, you try a hybrid solution that lets you move home, don't like it, and leave the job entirely. You've got this- I wholeheartedly believe in you.
UPDATE!The negotiations feel flat and I was totally ok with that as I was already going and only willing to accept what I needed.I have now however been approached by a new Team lead for a very exciting role. It will be based back home and give the flexibility I need.The team lead is really singing my praises and has already put me in front of the right people to start conversations before internally interviewing. The role will be on an exciting project I'm really interested in under a different Team lead. There will be so much to learn!Dilemma: Team lead 1 that originally approached me has now themselves been given budget for a role on a different project. So I have 2 options, do I go for the role/project I'm more interested in or do I go for the role under Team lead 1 who I'd love to work with?People can make a huge difference to job satisfaction and progression, however the other project I would really love to be a part of and from what I have seen the whole team overall no matter the project is great.Totally stumped.