Hello, new to this!

A bit of background: I was hired into my position as a manager.
My manager was distant with me in the first 3 months of my job - although I found this odd I learned to accept it and as far as I could tell there were no issues - I was busy and achieved a great deal. When I started working more intensively with him, he was still "distant" but gave no indication my performance was low or that I had any reason for concern.

After I was there for about 5 months, he then hired someone in a different area of his team, and very soon I noticed that he gave this new person a great deal of attention. It was baffling, but I still saw no need for concern.

Then came the restructure. The company needed to improve costs so naturally a restructure followed. I expect this practically everywhere I work, so it came as no surprise.

But suddenly I was to report to this new person. It came as a huge blow since I worked my butt off to get my team up to par as they had been neglected over the period of a year before I was hired. I expressed on many occasions that I was disappointed, especially since I was not told the reason. "Performance had nothing to do with it" I was told, in fact my performance review came out as exceptional. I was also told that my title and pay will stay the same, and my responsibilities should stay the same as well. My manager at the time told me he had planned this all along and that it should not have come as a surprise - when in fact he never told me.

Nonetheless, my so-called "new boss" is starting to show an agenda and he is stepping on my toes. The autonomy that I had is starting to fade, and I am being pushed to take on more junior level activities. It is a blow to my career, especially after having put years into getting to my position level.

A bit more: I am in the line of Software Quality Assurance and Test Management. As some may know this is an extremely tough job - it is absolutely critical but the least appreciated.

Also I am being told how to suck eggs, even though I have been doing my line of work for 12 years. This is difficult to handle. I have spoken with both of my "managers" that I was hired into the position of Manager, not as "team leader". Although no words have been said outwardly, I see that my team are not happy with the restructure either. Also I am wondering if they will be my team for much longer.

I am considering raising this with HR and wonder if there is legal grounds for me. I would have preferred to be made redundant or retrenched into a different role. The whole thing was incredibly insensitve and although all jobs have politics, I believe in dignity and consideration of the human spirit.

I have choices of course - shut up and put up, or leave. I am already looking for another job elsewhere. I am open to a new career.

Any advice anyone may have would be appreciated.

bflynn's picture

Raising a question/obvservation - you feel like you cannot talk to your boss or his boss about this? If so, I'll pinpoint the basic problem to be communciations. There might be other things going on, but better communciations will solve the biggest issue here. Take a deep breath, get out of your comfort zone and go talk to your boss - keep it professional and work out your emotions beforehand. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, you might want to doubt a little of your own infallibility and try to see if there is a "right" way of seeing it from your manager's point of view.

I'd stay away from HR in this situation. They have no power and you don't want to be in the situation where they're between you and your boss.

Its possible that you've been moved into a bad situation. If so, I'm always hesitant to give advice to leave. I trust that bad managers will eventually be moved out of organizations, but my experience has been that most management is so chronically bad that they'll do a great deal of damage before they leave. Your choices that I recognize are to leave, to put your head down and try to wait it out, or to get on board with your bosses' new plans.

I highly recommend the latter. You are either firmly behind your boss's plan or on your way down and out.


kevdude's picture

Thanks for your feedback.

The thing for me has to do with pride more than anything else, as this was definitely a blow to my ego. I'm still at the same company and trying to make the best of it for now - but I am definitely doing what I can to make myself "redundant" so that it is a simple matter for me to get back to the level I was when I was hired. I'm also keeping my eye on the exit door, just in case an opportunity arises somewhere else. As said however I'm trying to be cheerful during the whole thing but not sure how long I can last.

Like you and many others on this forum, I have motivations and a desire to lead, not to follow. My "former" manager did indicate that there may be opportunities later down the track but we've all heard those comments before - in fact I may have even given the same lip service to others I've managed. I've read the "48 Laws of Power" (not that it is a bible or something) and have been around the track enough to know a few tricks in the book.

In the meantime I am counting my blessings, I do have a job and it is with a semi-decent company. It could be worse. But I am also actively looking out for Number One.

bflynn's picture

Keep your head up. Remember that when you change jobs, you cannot usually expect to move from non-leadership to leadership, except in rare cases. Be the cheerful happy employee while looking to do whatever you can to move ahead. If you haven't talked with your former boss about it, its ok to do it once and make sure they know its once. The first time, you're letting them know, the second, your complaining. Its a fine line.

I have been in this situation and it isn't fun. Ultimately I left, but in retrospect, I'm not sure it was the best thing.


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

I regret this took me so long. Please accept my humble apology.

You don't have any actionable grievance (unless you believe something about yourself which is innate is the reason for the perceived discrimination). You have a lousy boss, whom you may or may not have aided by not communicating more forcefully with. There may be a lesson there, but it's hard to say.

Nor do I recommend bringing HR into it. That just doesn't work, and it OFTEN backfires.

I would absolutely continue looking for a new role elsewhere. I would continue to push for clarity. I would speak up professionally, nicely, gently (and repeatedly) when your toes get stepped on.

Deliver results all the while thinking about going elsewhere, and learn, learn, learn.