I am an individual contributor and was just passed over for a promotion to be the manager of my team. I have a year of management experience from 5 years ago, before I moved across the country (Canada) because my wife had a fellowship. We moved once more after her fellowship was over. Each time I have felt like I was starting over because I didn’t have enough experience behind me to get a management position so both times after some searching I accepted positions as a individual contributor. I have always been a top performer, so I was OK with this thinking that I could build relationships, get recognized for my work and make my way up in the organization. I have been told by my associate director (I am his skip) that I am preforming at a level well above my current position and have had clients contact upper management directly about the work I do for them.

The management position for my previous team will be coming up shortly (the previous manager has a new role in the organization). I am outwardly very qualified for this position, but I have some serious reservations about applying for it. I was part of this team for a year and am not well respected by two of the three members of the team. I know they call me things like brown noser behind my back. This team as a whole is underperforming, which I believe stems from the team members being comfortable and unchallenged in the same roles for two long (10+ years). I have maintained outwardly professional relationships with all the team members of course, but what my associate director does not see is that I am not respected. I left that team for my current team because I was unhappy being around such negativity and being on a underperforming team, but did not speak these reasons publicly.

So, I am in doubt of my ability to effectively manage this team given the poor relationships I have with the team members and am concerned I will hate the job because of this (I'm a high S). Here are some thoughts on what I could do:

  • Not apply. I think this would send the message that I am bitter about not getting this latest promotion (I am not)
  • Approach my associate director and explain the situation. This seems like it may be a career limiting move, basically saying that I cannot effectively maintain professional relationships.
  • Apply and see what happens.
  • Any advice or feedback on any aspect of this is greatly appreciated.