Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Giving My Four-Month's Notice

Sometime last year, Y&R Geneva’s CEO, Marcus Brown, told Y&R headquarters that he wanted a copywriter who spoke English. Mine is the name they sent him, and we began talking in September, 2007.

When I had my first phone call scheduled with the creative director, Bob Heron, I had every question I could think to ask listed on a legal pad. I'd spent days researching expat packages online. I had moving expenses averaged, cost of living calculated, and even wanted to ask his opinion on a couple international schools for my kids. I had a career and a family to look after and I was going to let him know I was a negotiating powerhouse.

This was the gist of our actual conversation:

Bob: So you'd like to work in Geneva?

Greg: Yeah.

Bob: Well, what I think you and your wife should do is sit down and really discuss what moving to a new country would be like.

Greg: Um...Okay.

Bob: Just to make sure it's right for you.

Greg: Okay.

Bob: And when you've done that, let's have another chat.

Greg: Okay.

I think they wanted to be sure I wasn't some kid who saw this as a vacation - someone who would pack up as soon as the culture shock shook. I explained that my wife and I had both lived in Europe before and knew that the electric outlets were different. That may have sped things up a week or two.

After a series of very deliberate phone calls, the office flew me out for an interview in January, 2008. And they flew my wife and I back out a month later, when they made an official offer. So when I begin in early July, almost a year will have passed since the opportunity first presented itself.

I'd never given four-month's notice before.

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