Hi, it's been a while since I posted on here but I have received some news at work today that I thought I would share.

Just to give you a brief background, back in January I was requested to leave my current role in a specialist area to concentrate on a new project the company was delivering. This, more than anything would aid my own development, I weighed up the pros and cons and made my decision, go with the project role. A few weeks later I left the department and became a "Floating" Manager helping out in a different department (to cover long term sickness) until the specifics were ironed out.

The role never transpired.

I continued to be a "Floater" and settled nicely into a team where I let my knowledge and general people management skills do the talking. Six months down the line, the original role is not going to come about, the team that I am currently looking after is getting their original manager back and due to a company re structure guess where they have asked me to go - yes back to the original specialist department.

During the last 6 months I feel as though my knowledge within the business and throughout the industry has increased ten fold. The relationships I have forged with colleagues and direct reports is fantastic and the improvement I have made with the team has been noticed by my manager and also his.

The department, colleagues and directs want to keep me, but also the specialist department are also requesting my services.

I have been advised that the two managers involved are going to be meeting in the next two weeks to decide where I will lie, however I feel as though if I go back to the original department I will be taking a step back in the knowledge I have gained.

In the long run I have made my feelings known about where I would like to manage but the final decision is out of my hands, I am prepared to go back to the specialist team and let my knowledge and hard work do the talking - but would prefer to advance within the company and feel as though if I stop out of this department would be my best means to do this.

Sorry for the long rant, but I really had to get this off my chest :(

I know this is not really a question but I would value your comments and advice.

Thank you.

mikehansen's picture

Can you clarify 1 point? Are they asking you to move from a Manager role to an individual contributor in the specialist group? Or, are they asking you to go back in a Management capacity?

guvnor2000's picture

This is to go back in a management capacity.

To take over the role I previously held.

mikehansen's picture

Ok, thanks for the clarification.

My approach and thus advice in this type of situation is make your preference know but emphasize that you are eager to play whatever role the organization needs you play.

From what I can infer, your organization changes things around on a regular basis. Excelling in a role where they need you will help the company and it will be noticed! As new opportunities arise, you should be considered for them and your career will advance accordingly.

One area to focus on is making sure you have a successor in whatever role you land. This will also be noticed since it is rarely done well, and it will enable your boss to allow you to move without hurting the team.

In my experience, any career plans you have over 6 months will likely not play out the way you predicted. However, top performers always (well almost always) float to the top and advance. Show dedication and flexibility and do not look at it as a step back. You are not the same person you were when you left, and your impact on the old team will reflect that. I do not see any downside in the role with the old team.

It sounds like you are doing well, so try not to get frustrated with the situation.

I hope that helps.

guvnor2000's picture

Mike, that's fantastic advice, thank you.

It seems as though I was putting the old role down in my original post. I agree with you, whatever knowledge and experience I have gained can only be beneficial to whichever directs and colleagues I go on to work with in the future.

I will keep you posted with the outcome.

mikehansen's picture

My pleasure!

jhack's picture

Let me offer another perspective:

When you do eventually move on, you might get asked why you didn't move up steadily. Yes, it's great to help out whereever needed.

Years back, I found myself in a similar situation. I'd led a major project and earned my master's degree. I was ready for the next step - they wanted me to keep doing what I was doing. I ended up leaving.

This is The Curse Of Competence: many companies want you to keep doing what you're good at, because they need that done. You miss stretch opportunities, and both you and the company lose in the long run.

Sure you're a great guy and all. Are there really going to be opportunities and is this a firm that really wants to give them to you? Or will you always be asked to do what you already know how to do?

You might want to get your resume in order and crank up your network. If the next re-org is more of the same, it might be time to move on.


guvnor2000's picture

Thanks for all your advice, a decision has been made.

I have aired my concerns about returning to the specialist area and these have been listened to so much that I will still be reporting to the manager of the specalist area but doing a different role.

There is currently a manager moving to this area who also wishes to develop, so a straight forward swap is taking place.

I have taken all your advice and am really looking forward to the challenge ahead. I've already started scheduling in my monthly one on one's with the new team and I don't take over until the 18th :) .

Thanks again.