I fear change.

My manager let us know that he’s taking a new job, and thus won’t be our boss for much longer, although he’ll be around until the end of the year to do our year-end reviews.

I’m going to miss my boss!  He never took anything too seriously, and sometimes would hang out and chat and joke with us on Friday mornings or over lunch.  I’m convinced he’s a big part of the reason that my department has a reputation for being the happiest group at our work site.  And lest you think that this is great for the workers but bad for the company, our group is actually one of the best-performing.  And!  We get a lot of long-term employees who enjoy working here so much that they stay for decades.

He’ll still be working for our company, based out of our work site, and this is really a very nice step up for him.  I’m excited for him, and yet…

Since this is my blog and I’m a very self-centered person, I have to wonder what this does for my plans to get promoted next year.  It’s hard enough to get a promotion when you have someone advocating for you, and I don’t know how easy it will be trying to convince someone who has very little idea of what I’ve accomplished.

Well, I guess this will take some of the pressure off.  At the year-end review, I think I’ll bring it up as a “What do you thing my chances are?” and see if he’ll be willing to give me some concrete advice on what will be the best way to stand out, to show that I’m able to fulfill the next level (our promotions are mostly just pay-grade – the people several pay bands above me do essentially the same work but just have more years experience).  After all, he’s been a manager for years and years, and he knows how higher-ups make the decision to promote.

Or is that really tacky and desperate?  I feel like I will never get the hang of work etiquette.

Have you ever had a boss leave?  Was the change good or bad or not a big deal?

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7 Responses

  1. I would absolutely bring it up. The biggest advocate for your own advancement is you. This should also be one of the topics of discussion with your new manager. Not at the first sit-down with him/her, because you need to feel them out first.

    I can offer some insight into our promotion process though. Promotions must generally go through the full management chain, up to your director. Some VPs are even saying they want to approve all promotions. I would ask your outgoing boss about that. Higher level promotions are based heavily on tenure. If you don’t mind me asking, are you looking to go from a 2 to 3 or 3 to 4? 2 to 3 with your tenure should be pretty easy to justify. 3 to 4 might be tougher. It’s generally your Sr. Manager that pushes for promotions, so does he know the quality of your work?

    Anyway, take all this with a grain of salt as it is just my experience… good luck!

  2. I had a boss leave me a few years ago, to take a similar position in another department in the same company. It was a promotion for her, but I felt the loss keenly. Her leaving allowed me to have a frank and honest conversation with her about my future, and a few months later, she called to offer me a big promotion myself, and I began working directly under her again. I know that that conversation was a big part of the reason she offered me that job – I had laid my cards out in a way that I was never really comfortable doing when she was my direct supervisor (because there was no room for her to promote me in that department, so it would become apparent that I would have to leave to get to where I wanted to go). But because of it, she knew where I wanted my career to go, and it turned out in her new position she was able to help me make that happen.

    I had another very happy two years working under her before moving across the country. Of all the people I miss from New York, she’s in the top 5, easily.

    If you have a good relationship with your boss, this is an EXCELLENT time to have that kind of conversation with him. It might not lead to him being able to actually get you the job you want in the future, but he can help with leads, become a mentor, serve as a reference or sounding board, and otherwise be an asset to you. There are often things about your career you can’t say to your direct boss because it sounds like you’re wanting to look elsewhere (even if you aren’t at that moment) and might make your current position precarious. A boss leaving on good terms is the moment when those things cease to be a problem. Definitely talk to him!

    • I think you said it best, this was exactly my advice (though never experienced it, good for you)

  3. If my current boss left, it would be the best thing that ever happened to me, but that’s another story.

    I would definitely talk to your boss before he leaves. Be honest. Our dept. head left a few years ago and as you said above, before he left I had the courage to ask him for a promotion/raise that my direct supervisor was not giving me. He made it happen in less than a week.

  4. Yes – and I was devastated, because he was fair, calm and went to bat for me and all his staff.

    His replacement was also a great boss – a little less experienced, but still a good manager, motivator, and a champion for our team. Not a bad change…just a change.

  5. Everyone already has good advice, better than mine. Try. Have the conversations. For your own sanity, don’t get your hopes too high, because they are really difficult in this environment, at least at my site. You may have a different “chain of command” and better luck. I am so far beyond qualified for mine, and got the highest ratings and highest IPA, and I’m still having trouble. My boss said they need a “business justification”, whatever that means. Definitely push for it and do everything you can, I’m just giving you a realistic picture of someone who isn’t getting what they deserve.

  6. Sadly, it was pretty bad for me when my boss left the company. She only gave me a little bit of advice, and her replacement was a horrible woman with a bad reputation.

    I had to leave the company shortly after that, I just couldn’t take it.

    The only good thing is that I realized that I didn’t want to become like the new boss, and I would if I stayed in advertising. It made me realize that I can do so much more and actually be happy at work. So now I am.

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