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This is the situation my sister is in. Last spring she accepted a deal with her company to move halfway across the country to help open a new branch office, in exchange for a promotion to Manager and appropriate raise.

Yesterday the CEO announced a total reorganization, shuffling job titles and everything. There is no longer a "Manager" tier. My sister's title is now Account Executive (she had been Inside Sales before), and she is no longer supervising anyone; "Directors" are now supervising everyone in the branch offices.

She doesn't quite know how to feel about this. They didn't reduce her pay. But a large part of her reason for agreeing to move was the leap from individual contributor to Manager. She says, "I could have been doing this job without leaving home."

Thoughts? Opinions?

TomW's picture

I'm in a pretty similar situation (though without the geographic move, a recent reorg stripped me of almost all authority and responsibility). All I can say is (1) it stinks and (2) it has me looking for a new position.

Gareth's picture

[quote="terrih"]
She doesn't quite know how to feel about this. They didn't reduce her pay. But a large part of her reason for agreeing to move was the leap from individual contributor to Manager. She says, "I could have been doing this job without leaving home."

Thoughts? Opinions?[/quote]

Ouch.... That certain does stink!

I wouldn't be surprised if things changes as the re-org is put in place!

Your sister should remain positive and support the re-org, showing she is able to adapt to change even if she doesn't like it!

Ultimately after things settle down and your sister is still unhappy with how things have worked out then looking for a new position is the best option?

The geographic move certainly adds to the sting!

ramiska's picture

Perhaps enough people will be upset by this re-org that, if she remains positive about it, she will be closer to the next promotion.

HMac's picture

TomW nailed it.

I'll add only that as the pace and unpredicability of change continues to increase, hanging around and hoping it will get better seems to be a less dependable strategy.

She's moved into a new geography - with new [i](and better?) [/i]opportunities?

Best of luck to her. It DOES stink...

-Hugh

terrih's picture

New opportunities, probably. Better, probably not, as she went from one major metro to another. On the economic side, at least the cost of living is considerably lower in her new area.

Relocating for a job is a huge gamble, isn't it?

HMac's picture

Yes.

And experience has taught me the need to work [u]doubly [/u]hard on developing your network in your new location. Because it stinks to find yourself looking for work in a place different from where most of your network is.

Make sure your sister really works that new metro area!

-Hugh

US41's picture

I've been re-orged out of my management job before in the company I currently work.

Your sister's situation is pretty common, actually, during economic downturns. One way companies save money is by reducing the number of layers, and therefore reducing the number of management bonuses they pay out and the number of director level jobs that exist. Then they lay off directors.

There are some "hindsight is 20/20" type tips it is too late for your sister to use to prevent this from happening to her in the future:

* Make sure you are the direct that reports success statistics proactively and that your boss never has to chase for anything ever.

* Ensure you are talking to your boss about their objectives and your numerical contribution to your boss achieving and exceeding those objectives

* Behave in a way that leaves people astounded with how professional you are.

* Give your boss credit for everything you do. Don't get upset or otherwise behave ineffectively when your boss takes your work back to his boss and says, "Look what I did."

* Never complain about your boss to anyone but your spouse EVER. Even then, I'd think twice before I did that. Your spouse may have a tell should they ever meet.

In whatever position you are in, you want to be the one employee that your boss relies on for whatever it is that they need.

I also have some recommendations for getting back into management if "I quit" doesn't work for her.

1. Act like a manager: Still find out boss objectives and still report performance on yourself back to your boss regularly

2. Talk about performance during O3's with boss. If no O3's exist, then schedule a meeting with your boss about performance and go talk ask about it and talk about it.

3. Find out how you are doing. It works like this: "How 'm I doin?" Keep asking weekly until your boss pops his cork and says something. Then, start fixing the problems and emphasize the strengths you have.

4. Dress like a manager. Dress like the person two levels up from you. If your peers are in jeans but your boss's boss wears Brooks Brothers, wear Brooks Brothers. I believe dressing like the next level is an exception to the "fit in" rule especially if you have already established yourself. When you dress up a little, your peers will start to gossip about your promotion. When they gossip, eventually it leaks upstairs. The idea just gets around.

5. Seize any management opportunities that come along. Be aggressive in expressing interest in them. "Hey, I hear we have a management position coming available. I can help out there."

lazerus's picture

[quote="HMac"]Yes.

And experience has taught me the need to work [u]doubly [/u]hard on developing your network in your new location. Because it stinks to find yourself looking for work in a place different from where most of your network is.[/quote]

Amen, brother. Having just gone through this, my advice is twofold to anyone considering a relo for a job: Do MASSIVE amounts of research on the new area. Any cost of living difference you find, multiply by two.

Accept that you are an individual contributor in the current (shrinking) job market. Middle managers seem to be the first place upper management looks when "cutting costs".

Oh, and print out 41's advice, hang it up next to your computer, and do everything on the list daily.

terrih's picture

Dang, I think I'll print out US41's advice for MYSELF!!

TomW's picture

[quote="lazerus"]Having just gone through this, my advice is twofold to anyone considering a relo for a job: Do MASSIVE amounts of research on the new area. Any cost of living difference you find, multiply by two. [/quote]

I think more importantly: Get real numbers.

Get online, find out what apartments, houses, taxes, insurances, and such will actually be. Once you think you know, actually go there and check. I know, I know, no one can afford to do that.... but can you afford it any less than a major oversight?

When I moved to Philly, I had no idea that their city wage tax was almost 4%. So, my budget was off by 4%. I was 23 and barely surviving. That little oversight had be eating Ramen noodles for a year.

Cost of living calculators are nice, but they are only a guide. They are not enough to base a move on. Besides, you'll never make what they tell you in the calculator anyway.

lazerus's picture

Precisely. Real numbers are easily acquired on the net, unlike even 10 years ago. If you can't afford to go there and check, as Tom says, then maybe you can't afford to move.

Because ramen is great occasionally, but you don't want to eat that every day! :wink: