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What to do when your boss puts your career at risk

Question :

A new manager joined my company about a year ago and he appreciated my efforts. However, he kept asking me when I would take a step up, as he thought I wasn’t really appreciated or being delegated to wisely. Later on, he requested to have me promoted up two levels. I didn’t get the promotion and he was disappointed. He bad-mouthed the company and told me to resign to threaten my director into promoting me. I refused to resign and lost his trust, which resulted in me being withdrawn from my core duties. I’m now assigned to “coach” three senior managers with the title of executive. What can I do?

Posted by Peter on Saturday, 10 Jan 2015

Comments :

You have certainly been put in a tricky position by a new manager whose management style seems questionable at best. To suggest you tender your resignation to achieve promotion is wrong and you made the correct decision in not following that advice.

The politics of career development is a frustrating element of the corporate working environment, but is unfortunately something that shows little sign of disappearing. To build a career successfully, it is important to develop the skills to navigate the sort of tricky situations you have recently experienced.

My first piece of advice is to stay calm and consider your options. Prior to the new manager joining the business, did you enjoy your role? Is the organisation somewhere you see yourself developing a long-term career? Given what you have stated I would not be surprised if the new manager is not a long-term employee.

If you still want to work there, continue to work effectively in whatever role you have been assigned, and the situation may resolve itself.

What has the new manager communicated to you regarding the change to your role? How do you know you have lost his trust? Is the executive title deemed a step up or down? By requiring you to “coach” the senior managers, does that mean you are viewed as the strongest team member at that level? Making assumptions can cause issues to arise when the reality is very different.

You can also look at things from another perspective: if you were not that happy in your role and feel that you were not “appreciated or delegated to wisely”, take this as an opportunity to explore other avenues. Sometimes a move away can benefit both parties.

Take your issues with the new manager out of the equation and make a balanced decision on whether it might be time to make a move.

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