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Submitted by SteveAnderson on


Good day, everyone.

I'm about to make a significant career move within my organization and I'm concerned about managing relationships going forward. Right now I'm an individual contributor who manages customer projects for our client. I intend to accept a position within the next 60 days with the client which will give me management of the contract I'm currently on. What this means is that I'll have direct oversight for about half of my current peers as well as my program manager.

Aside from the normal new job 90 day plan, I would appreciate any recommendations in managing relationships with
- my former boss
- my former peers
- my customers who are transitioning to my replacement


lauran's picture

Hi Steve! I don't post here often, but your situation is so similar to mine that I just had to write. I am not sure I have specific advice, but I can tell you what I did. First, a quick question. Will you be a manager, or just a project manager in that you will be supervising work, but not responsible for the careers of people?

I was a team lead within a large group of consultants, leading approximately 1/3 of the onsite staff, and was hired by the client to be the manager for 1/2 the division (my previous clients and their accompanying consultants).

The first thing I focused on was relationships, just like MT recommends. I setup O3s, talked about everything openly and honestly, and addressed the periodic awkwardness of the situation head on. I gave everyone time to adjust, but after 90-120 days, when I decided that the adjustment period was over, I was firm whenever challenged that this new dynamic required changes on everyone's part, just like any new team member or boss did. Developing relationships, adjusting relationships, growing relationships, they are all the same; they require time and attention.

I realize I wrote, "The first thing..." as if I had more steps after that, but I don't really. I have just kept to the guiding principals that are so nicely packaged here at MT, strove to improve relationships, and kept focused on our core missions. I have fallen off the wagon of O3s a few times - we all get swamped and think we can beat the system- but I ALWAYS come back to the MT Trinity. It works, period.

My only piece of advice is this: Remember, they hired you for a good reason! They believe in your abilities to accomplish their goals. There might be some awkwardness at first, but in six months you are going to look back, wonder where all the time went, and not even remember those moments. You will just be leading the team, doing your work, and continuing to grow your relationships.

Good luck!

SteveAnderson's picture
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Lauran - that's the closest thing I have to a plan as well!  To answer your question, I'll be a project manager initially but will eventually hire up a staff as budget allows in the future.  The role I'm currently in is a bit different from other contract workforces as we serve as de facto representatives of our client.  What this means for my future role is while I won't be responsible for the career development of my former peers, I will definitely have a role in developing them within their present role.

When you made the jump, were there any specific points of heartburn that might be worth calling attention to?