If you’re like me (the one who didn’t have a UK job offer), you’ve got some soul searching to do about what this means for your career. Hopefully you and your partner have already agreed that moving overseas is a real option, and you’ve talked through what the expectations are around you finding a job once you arrive in the UK. But regardless, at some point you’ll need to tell your boss.
I have an excellent relationship with my former boss. She’s always been supportive, and I’ve always felt I could be open with her. Our journey to London can be traced back to my husband being laid off about seven months before we arrived, so she knew that he was looking for work. I told her when he flew to the UK for an interview in September, and when he received the job offer. We worked together on transition documents and planned for all eventualities.
But — and I think this is key — she didn’t consider my notice official until our visas arrived. So in the end, she had about three months’ notice that it was a possibility, two months that it was likely, and one month that it was definitely happening.
If you want to keep things positive between you and your company, I recommend you spend time putting together a comprehensive transition document. I also recommend you start saving files and contacts that you might need to either get a job when you move back, or to help show prospective employers in the UK what you can do (within the rules set forth by your employment contract, of course).
If you don’t have a good relationship with your boss, or you are worried that if you give them a heads up they’ll let you go just when you need to be building up a little reserve of funds, then just follow the regular process as if you’re leaving for another job. Usually even the more unreasonable bosses will understand that you’re leaving for your partner and an opportunity to live in another country, and that it isn’t personal (even if it totally also is).
Some rental agencies might want evidence that you used to work, so if possible, see if you can get a generic “to whom it may concern” letter of reference from your boss that says you can be trusted to rent a flat, and includes what your salary was when you left.