I have been with a company for 5 years.  I have been promoted twice and have always received good reviews, highest amount of bonuses and recognition.

I expressed interest in doing a lateral move to another department since I was unhappy with my current job.  My manager recommended me but I did not get the job.  Now, my manager tells me that he does not have any role for me and is asking me to either leave or find another position.

Has this happened to anybody else before?  How did you handle it?



gpeden's picture

Did you tell your manager that you were unhappy in your current role before trying and failing to get the new position?  



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Mattias's picture

You shouldn't have told your manager. Its always a gamble and it seems your manager isn't mature enough to handle this in a professional way. It could also be that your manager actually has been ordered to cut head count and was hoping you would leave so he wouldn't have to pick someone but that is probably just wishful thinking.

My advice is that you try and salvage whatever can be salvaged. Find out if your manager has been pleased with your performance so far and ask them if they are willing to give you a good reference (Its important that you ask if they would give you a good reference). Look for new opportunities elsewhere and learn from this experience in the future.

The thing you have going for you is that you have a good track record if you have been promoted twice, leverage that when writing your resume.

AnonymousP's picture

George, Yes, I did say that.  I wanted to challenge myself a bit more and did not feel that my current position was providing that to me.

Mattias, I'm sure that the company is not cutting head count.  The entire department is growing. 

It's a lesson learned for me - I did not realize that expressing an interest in doing something would do this...


mattpalmer's picture

Your manager is an ass.  A good manager wants the best for all of their people.  This is the motivation for a good manager to provide feedback, to coach, and to delegate.  Once you've expressed a desire for a new, more challenging role, a good manage will help you to develop the skills that you need to succeed in that new role.

In a way, your manager has done you a favour.  You've now got solid evidence that your current manager doesn't know how to do their job.  It is a near certainty that if your manager is deficient in this area, they are failing to meet their managerial obligations in many other areas, too.  You can now take action to find a *good* manager to work with, which will have myriad benefits beyond not getting shafted when you express a desire to be challenged.

gpeden's picture

I think the words used in this situation is critical.

"I expressed interest in doing a lateral move to another department since I was unhappy with my current job"

is very, very different than

"I expressed a desire for a new, more challenging role".  

Matt - I am not sure that blaming the manager is constructive at all. How many people have you met that go from one 'dumb-ass' manager to another?   That sounds like a rationalization of blaming ones plight on 'they'.  

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duplicate_account_MarkAus's picture

Agree with the above - the problem isn't (usually) expressing a desire for a change and growth, the problem is saying "I don't like my job".

Ultimately, finding satisfaction in your career rests all on you.   Put yourself if your manager's shoes for a minute.  What would manager you say to a direct who says "I'm unhappy in this job.  I want to do something different"?   Probably something like: "Go find a job you'll like."  

At the end of the day the manager has core work to be done in a specific role.  If you've said you'd rather not do that role, I'm not sure what else the manager can do for you except encourage you to move on.   Sure, he can do things like expand the role or tweak it to be more suited to the person.   But if the core work doesn't interest you, you need to go. 

It sounds like the manager has been supportive of you while you look for other work.   I'm not sure what has caused the change of tone.  If you are still performing well and delivering in the role, even if you hate it, then yes - the manager is an ass.

But how publicly and frequently have you expressed your unhappiness?  Is the team aware?  Could you be seen as being negative and bringing down the team?   Does the team think that you've checked out?  Those would be good reasons for asking someone to go.

So after that huge preamble, here's how I would answer your question about how to handle it now.  (Assuming you don't have a specific deadline to work to)  First, tell your boss you are going to put your best foot forward while you look for a new role.  Say you will focus on delivering results and then do so.  Keep quiet to your colleagues with regards to your bad feelings about the job, the company and the boss - stay professional.

Then, get your resume in shape.  Talk to your network, let them know you'd like to hear about opportunities.  Go in to job seeker mode.  A high performer like yourself should have no trouble finding something if you've got a good network.

Good luck.  I know where you're at and it isn't fun.   But it sounds like you at least know what you DO want, so the next step is a step forward.