BLUF: Should I apply for a position working for someone I can't stand if it will keep me and my family where we want to live?

I want to apologize up front for the length of this post.

I have been with the same employer for the past 12 years and gone through a series of lateral moves within a single site. Over the past several months I have been interviewing internally with the company at several out of State locations with mixed results.

Currently there is a new position that seems tailored to my experiences and skill sets within the company. The problem is that this position will most likely report to my current matrix manager. This individual and I do not get along very well because of different leadership ideas.

I have been encouraged; it is almost a demand from some, to apply for this position. I have been looking to move into management and have been applying for ISC Supervisor roles. This new position is a Materials Coordinator position with no direct reports but the next logical step for the person in it is the Materials Manager position for the site. If I were offered, and were to accept, this role I would be the Manager’s right hand man so to speak.

My ultimate goal with the company is to join our Operating System team (HOS) where I would need to leverage my soft people skills to influence and motivate sites as they transition through the various stages of the company operating system. I would continue to develop these skills in this position as I would need to motivate and influence our buyers and planners globally to help our site perform.

My wife thinks it is a bad idea but I do not want to move across the country right now as this would take me away from my family for an indefinite period of time (18 months minimum).


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GlennR's picture

Sometimes people will give you a pro and a con. I'm going to give you a "pro" about each of the scenarios above. One where you work for a boss who has a different management philosophy and the other where you move across the country.

First, the manager. When I was a new middle manager I reported to someone who has a totally different management style than me. There were times when I was convinced he was almost incompetent. However, of all the bosses I've had, he gave me the best advice I ever received and he helped me learn that my way wasn't the only way that worked. He was also much better at relationship building than I, especially with his peers and superiors. He is now the number 2 person in our division and I will always be beholden to him. Even though we are totally different in management styles, personality, religion, etc. I still have a great deal of respect for him.

Also, he's superior to me and when he speaks, I listen. And, as I've matured over the years, so has he, and he's a darn good executive. Just because your potential supervisor has a different leadership style doesn't mean the two of you have to clash. If you think you can have a productive professional relationship, then consider seeking the position. If your matrix supervisor is an effective executive meaning he is not petty or something similar, but only has a different management style, then you could thrive in that situation if you behave professionally and don't take things personally.

Now, for the transfer. My father worked for an international corporation for 35 years. Every two years we were transferred as he rose through the ranks. Moving across the country away from your family  does create some personal hardships, but overall you may find the transfer opens up a whole new world for you. One question you will need to consider is how an out of state transfer will impact your wife and any children. If you have a teenager entering his or her senior year in high school after having attended that school for years, don't transfer. I still am angry over that transfer that happened more than 40 years ago.

Eighteen months or two years is but a blip in your career.

Good luck,



SteveAnderson's picture
Training Badge

First, bonus points for using BLUF.  Second, double bonus points for getting The Clash stuck in my head with  your title.

There are many factors for you to weight here and the most significant is the opinion of your spouse. Why does she think it's a bad idea? Are you completely miserable at home because you're working for a guy you clash with? Is it so bad she might prefer for you to be away for eighteen months?

For myself, I can stand working for a jerk (for a while) so long as I know my work matters. My wife, however, knows that if I'm doing a job I feel really isn't having an impact, that it would be better to take a move or even a pay cut than deal with my sullen, cranky self at the end of every work day.

Setting that aside, how long is this guy likely to be in the position? Is he a lifer and not going anywhere?  Can you take your lumps for a few years in order to stay closer to your family and advance your career? Can you figure out how to work with him? All things to consider.

Something I've found is that we all take our turn in the barrel with having a disagreeable boss - this time it's your choice, next time it probably won't be. It's benefited me to figure out how to work with them (DiSC is a great start) and many times I found out that they weren't so bad - it was usually my desire to be right vs. being effective.

Good luck and please let us know what the outcome is.

tedtschopp's picture

Simple answer.  Yes apply for the job.  Just because you apply doesn't mean they will interview.  Just because you interview doesn't mean they will offer.  Just because they offer doesn't mean you accept their offer without negotiation.  Just because they accept your proposal doesn't mean your past problems will be future problem.  

Ted Tschopp
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BariTony's picture

One of my mentors told me something years ago that sums this up nicely:

"Never say no to a job you haven't been offered."