What can I do about being moved against my will?

Friday December 6 2019


By Caroline Mboijana

I was moved to a different section in my department against my will. I am passionate about what I do and wouldn’t willingly drop it for anything in the world. I have tried to explain this to my superiors in vain. What should I do? Patra

Dear Patra,
By asking you to move, your superiors are acknowledging you have the skills and abilities that are valuable to the organisation. It’s best practice for managers to speak with a staff member to alert them of a possible move and determine their willingness to take on new responsibilities.

In your case, this discussion has not taken place, but can still happen from a different angle. Your concern suggests the decision is final. If this is the case, I’d recommend you focus on how you’re going to succeed.

A key point for you is to understand that you’re going through a change, out of your comfort zone and into a new environment. Take a different view about the move and see it as an opportunity for you to shine.

Your superiors are not listening to your need because you’re presenting your case from the position, “I don’t want to move”. Consider presenting it from an alternative point of view, where you communicate your commitment to move, work in a different section and that you want to do well.

This will open the door for a structured discussion where you understand what’s required of you, you can seek clarity of what the role entails and essentially all parties can agree how to work together for a successful transition.


The discussion will also allow you hear your superiors’ reason for the move, why they selected you and how they think you’ll add value to the new department. You’ll also have their attention to table your concerns and highlight where you need support.
It’s important for your superiors to appreciate that your success reflects their good judgement and its collective success for all parties.

Caroline Mboijana
Managing Director
The Leadership Team (U)