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I recently applied for an internal vacancy after some issues working with my current team. The position will help me basically double my tech stack in size, the team seems to have much better dynamics and the position is a step more senior from my current which will save me at least a couple years in trajectory easily. I have been told I have the position and pretty much waiting on the paperwork after the holiday week.

What worries me is that this happened very quickly and during a time with very high tensions between me and line management. I looked into internal vacancies and found this position on a Friday (10 mins after this conversation), the informal interview was over the weekend which I aced and the formal interview was within a week with a thumbs up.

The new team within this big multinational company also just happens to be in the same area my current team is already seated, which will make for some awkward times.

I am already accepting this will burn some bridges with the soon-to-be-old team but I am worried the sudden lateral promotion after a couple of heated incidents, located at the exact same site and seating will cause some drama or even draw some retaliation.

What are some things I can do to make the switch as smooth as possible and avoid the drama?

  • Why would there be any drama once you're no longer under their authority? Would think they'd be happy to see the last of you. I'd be more worried that it's a prelude to termination. Do you have a probation period in the new position? – Kilisi Nov 22 '18 at 7:58
  • What makes you think that it might be "a prelude to termination"? How would that make sense? If they want rid of him, let him go; don't slide him sideways to a team which will be slowed by his initial learning curve, and deprived of getting a "real" team member because he is on the headcount? – Mawg Nov 22 '18 at 8:04
  • @Kilisi There is just a transition period e.g. 2 weeks with current team, 2 weeks part time new team and part time current. The toxicity is definitely prelude to termination though. They would not be seeing the last of me - instead of getting rid of me they will be seeing me every day under a different internal organization – Victor S Nov 22 '18 at 8:11
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    @Mawg in some scenarios it makes sense not to be direct especially with someone proven to be willing to make trouble. You minimise morale impact in your team while moving them sideways into a dreamy sounding position which actually keeps moving sideways out the door. – Kilisi Nov 22 '18 at 8:24
  • "The toxicity is definitely prelude to termination though" .. doesn't really gel with "They would not be seeing the last of me". Did you mean that it is NOT " prelude to termination"? – Mawg Nov 22 '18 at 9:09
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I don't know if you can avoid the drama in such a toxic atmosphere, but here is what you can do to lessen it:

During the transition phase

  • Be professional. Inform them of the move ahead of time, but after you have the paperwork. Be helpful in the transition of your duties to someone else. Do your job to the best of your abilities until your last day there.

  • There will likely be retaliation coming from them. You might be targeted with openly hostile or passive aggressive comments. Do not reply in kind, remain polite and matter-of-fact at all times. They might be trying to provoke you to hurt your lateral move, so keep this in mind and don't give them a victory.

  • They might give you an unreasonable workload in your last weeks. If that happens, go to your manager and inform her of that. Be matter-of-fact about it. "I have been assigned task C. I was also working on A and B as you asked me to. To do C I will need to cut back on B. Is this alright with you?" If she insists that you need to do all of them, say, "I will not be able to do all of them because of time constraints. I will prioritize A and C, and will get to B after I have finished them." If necessary, put this in an email so that you have a papertrail.

After the transition

  • Remain courteous and professional if you run into them. Ignore snarky comments or reply in a matter-of-fact way.

  • If there are more serious retaliations, such as accusations that you did not do your job properly, or other things that could harm your career, you will need to deal with them swiftly and firmly. Go to HR (or your manager, or the manager of your manager if you feel is more appropriate for the work culture there). In short, inform someone formally of these steps taken against you. Assuming your HR is not a toxic cesspool as well, they should take steps to put a stop to it.

  • Do you lunch with the current team? Could you continue to do so (with at least one of them)? – Mawg Nov 22 '18 at 9:10
  • @Mawg If the OP is currently going to lunch with people from his current team, he could continue to do so, but I would advice that he go at most once a week until he has settled in in his new team. He needs time to connect with the new team and should make an effort to go to lunch with them. – E.T. Nov 22 '18 at 9:31
  • I agree with that. Maintain some connection, if only a few lunches, morning greetings, or a 5 a side football team would help - even if it only keeps one of the old team on his side – Mawg Nov 22 '18 at 9:47
  • I note that he says "very high tensions between me and line management" and doesn't mention coworkers, so avoid the former and cultivate the latter seems to be the way to go. – Mawg Nov 22 '18 at 9:49

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