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Submitted by bryan on


BLUF:  What is the best way to handle it when your role is eliminated and you’re asked to search the organization for a new role?

Some more context: My director-level position is basically being eliminated as part of a restructure.  It was between me and a peer to get the single manager/director position remaining.  My peer was chosen given his deeper technical background.  I’m told that my performance is good, but it is a vote of no confidence so I am looking closely at my weaknesses.
My boss and HR have offered to help me find another position in the company.  He has even talked to his peer VP to see what option might be possible.  I’m in a very large organization so there is a reasonable chance they will find me an option to consider.
Usual great mgr tools advice applies: remain ethical and professional, be open to opportunities (internal/external), leverage your relationships to learn about potential positions/teams/bosses, keep your network warm.
Some deeper questions:
* How often does this happen?  How often have you seen this work out for the positive?
* How quickly should I expect things to move?  My gut tells me quick.
* How should I go about exploring the organization?  How careful should I be with conversations and managing perception?
* How bad a sign is it that they don’t have ideas for me already?  My gut tells me pretty bad.  Of course they aren’t letting me go immediately so it could be worse.
* What’s the best way to figure out how much this sets back my career?  (i.e. What are the odds this will be seen as a scarlet letter in the organization?  How hard is that to overcome?)
* How best to let my team know and smooth their transition?
It’s my first time in this situation and would appreciate any insights from the manager tools community.
P.S.  I have been keeping my network warm and talking to recruiters as a practice which is incredibly helpful in this situation.  I’m not starting from zero.
P.S.S. Found some excellent advice in these podcasts and link.

CV's picture

 Hi Bryan,

I can only help with part.  I was just laid off due to a similar situation.  I was told I could apply back to the person who got that job.  But with the recent changes made, I don't want to work for the organization again.  Initially I thought this would be a good idea once I got my pride out of the way, but I have less confidence in the future of the organization. 

Regarding your comment on the "scarlet letter", I think: Just work toward excellence in your new role.  Build relationships, manage well, excel at your craft, and you'll be known for what you do.  I probably wouldn't spend much time talking about the move, and spend more time on moving forward.  

Good luck,