Hi, all --

I'm in a sticky situation at my new job, and would love some feedback/advice. 

I'm mid-career, senior level but not a people manager. Was hired a few weeks back by a large, well-known NYC firm and was thrilled about the prospect of going from a low-paying position at a company that was losing business (due to some bad decision-making) and laying off. Was very lucky to find this position as it's a competitive company in an industry I haven't been in for very long. 

So, here are the issues

  • My (leadership-level) manager works in Department A, but my Account Director works in Department B
    • Manager is High D but has zero interest in development/people management and I wasn't offered training(he sees this as a waste of time; "people should just pick things up if they are smart"). That was a red flag.
  • This company has completely new (to me) and complex software systems, business processes, and very particular/complex clients (=learning curve on my part). I'm having to mostly self-train. 
  • My manager hired me to replace someone on the Account Director's team who is being sent to another department -- however, my manager is not at all involved in Department B's business/team
    • Department B's business is extremely volatile and fairly new for the company
    • The Account Director is straight out of his Stanford MBA program and is brilliant, but not a people manager, and struggles to trust anyone new -- he was convinced to hire me but did not really want to
    • The junior person I'm meant to replace supposedly had "performance problems" -- however, that was months ago, he has since corrected them, and is not only performing extremely well, but beloved by the entire team
      • I believe it will take me at least another month to get to his level of productivity - they see this as "too long"
      • He is training me, but as you can imagine, isn't too happy about it and has hoarded a bit of tribal knowledge -- I don't even think on purpose, there's just a ton of moving pieces and nobody is organized
      • Yesterday I discovered he'd not told me a valuable piece of info that I looked bad for not knowing
      • Account Director keeps openly saying "he should stay on the team"
    • This position, while similar in title to my last one, is way more "High C" and detail-oriented (I'm a High D/I) -- which wasn't clear from the job description when I applied
    • Account Director has callled out every mistake I've made (I have made a few, like sending out an incomplete email he had to correct to the team) and used it to make the case that I'm "too slow to ramp up, not trustworthy" -- someone else on the team told me they feel bad he handled it this way, wasn't that big of a deal
    • I'm now terrified to make bigger mistakes and am already way out of my comfort zone
    • we have talked directly about this and in short, he feels I shouldn't have been brought on after all, but realizes it isn't my fault -- his beef seems to be with my manager, so he's been sympathetic to me in talks
  • Work itself is fascinating, I'm learning a ton, and team is actually very welcoming to me in spite of loving guy who's leaving
  • Finally, my manager has only spoken with me twice since coming on board, and both times to tell me he doesn't think I'm doing well and is getting feedback I'm "untrustworthy" due to my small errors (yes, the email again!). I'm concerned that since he's so uninvolved, he's going to decide I was a bad hire on very little information and fire me
  • What I've done to try and make this better:
    • Worked into the night every night to try and teach myself their complicated software systems; slowed down when writing emails, triple-checked them for content; researched the client lots, but as I've not yet been allowed to be in client meetings, it's hard to gain this knowledge externally; met with the AD to get some actionable feedback items (such as, "go through our past files in your spare time," which I should've honestly been doing but my days have been so packed with learning I went home and slept!); tried to talk to my manager about the resistance of AD, etc. so he was aware of the situation -- he heard it as "complaining" and told me to "just deal with it, that's why I hired you." Did not help my cause. 

So my question is: with all this, I know about the 18-month rule and have listened to the cast about "I hate my new job," but should I be looking around? I had two other great companies interested in me when I took this position, but I took this offer because it was the only firm one I had at the time. I'm more scared every day of being let go for "bad performance." 

Thanks for any advice you have!

DJ_150's picture

Haivng been in a similar situation, I would continue to try to do better in your current position and also actively look for a new position.