BLUF: I am a veteran welder in my industry, promoted rapidly, and looking for a way back to my beloved shopfloor welding position … but how is this best done without irritating the benevolent souls who have promoted me four times in the last five years?
To clarify for those of you new to MT: the “tragedy of the welder” refers to the promotion of the top welder in a shop, leading to his/her general state of dissatisfaction. Great welders just want to weld; they do not wish to manage other welders.
Yes, it’s a pay-cut; I don’t care. I’ve used MT principles and practices in several of my previous positions, and I believe this has been one of the main factors in my successive promotions. In every promotion I’ve been offered, my response has been the same: “I would really like to keep welding, but I am a team-player and will go where I am needed.” However, I have gotten my team to the point where I have several deputies and team-members who meet the 150% standard for promotion and could certainly take my place. I would like to approach my boss about this, but several issues confound me:
- I have been promoted twice in the last year, and have been in my current role for less than a year (i.e. nine months). MT guidance when one “hates his/her new job” is to stick it out for at least 18 months. Does the 18 month rule apply here, even for diligent welders?
- My assessment of my directs meeting the 150% standard may be questioned or disregarded. After all, these directs were passed over when I was promoted to be THEIR boss. I have data to back up my assertion that several of them are ready to move up, but I am not sure how to communicate this to my boss.
- Finally, and most dreadfully: my own pride is hampering me. I have followed MT guidance and kept my feelings to myself. I have also done my best to stay engaged and achieve strong results; I have yet to have a performance evaluation, so no strong evidence supports this save the occasional praise from my boss and my boss’ boss. However, my pride almost wants people to know that I am NOT getting demoted for poor performance; part of me wants my directs to know that I am an excellent welder and that is why I want a demotion. I know this is unrealistic: I am part of an organization and I have to honor what is best for the team … not me. But pride is a dreadful sin, isn’t it?
Eager for advice,