I am at my job going for the 3rd year. I am a senior staff, report to the Director. Her boss the CFO, made it clear when I was hired that he planned to groom me to take her position when she retires.  Everything was going great for the first 6 months then my relationship with the Director started to turn sour. She started to alienate me and influenced other team members to do so. A little background, everyone on the team but me has been working together close to 10 years. I am the new addition.

The situation got so bad that one time the Director told me to my face: I will be here for another 3 years. This position is not for you yet.  
At first I tried to stay through this because of the good will I have with the CFO, but day to day I have to work in this department with other 4 women, lead by my boss who just flat out doesn’t like me.
If I leave, I may not be in a Director’s position in the next 3 years in the new company, but if I stay, I am just miserable.
Should I stay in my role and tough it out? Or should I leave and create something better?

jrosenau's picture

I guess I'm wondering what happened 6 months in that things changed.  Is this known or unknown to you?  That may influence the answer to the question.

Either way, you have to decide how much what is going on is affecting you and how much longer you can take it.  I think you should make sure to have your resume updated, keep your network warm, and keep delivering results.

Also, if you are staying for the possibility that someday, maybe you will be the Director, remember that until you've got something, you've got nothing.  Unless you have something more substantial than the word of the CFO, I would not add it into your calculation.

One other note - if the CFO said he was going to groom you - is that happening?  I would take that into account as well.


wjpl24's picture

Thanks John.

Reasons are unknown to me as to why she changed her attitude. I've been modifying my communications with her to make things better but still sense too much hostility. Read an article on HBR about jealousy at work place and know that what happened to me is not unusual.

CFO is grooming me. He sent me to the company's new leader program and arragned a coach for me within the company, though that coach I got isn't very experienced so my coaching hasn't gone anywhere. Also since the coach is within the company, i have more reservation to share my thoughts with her.

Good point, until i have something, i have nothing. so true and i forgot.

I feel my production is going down, no motivation. This company is a global corp and I'd really like to grow within, but what good will that do to me if I no longer make accomplishments because I'm worn out by the bad relationship with my boss.

Mark is so right in his podcast that this Forum is VERY HELPFUL! Thanks John, your advice brings more clarity to my mind.

JustHere's picture

 Here's an article I keep around.  I wish I saw this many years earlier.  I was stuck in a tough spot: great salary, but the work was changing.  I was in charge of a team one day, then suddenly someone else was in charge and I reported to them - there were no big signs, but his list would have made me leave earlier.  When things are bad, we tend to make some bad emotional choices.  As someone said, HEAT UP your network, and just find another job.  Sounds to me you aren't going anywhere there.  I was in a different boat.  I was getting a lot of promotions, and then they stopped.  And then I was promised a promotion that never came - I was lied to.  15 other people got promotions the year there were supposed to be no promotions.

Great article:

Deciding whether to stick it out or leave your job and explore new opportunities can be one of the most stressful decisions you ever make. How many reasons do you need to take the leap and pursue something different? Well, we've rounded up eight scenarios to help you make this difficult life decision a little easier.

1. Your relationship with your boss changed. For years you've had a fabulous working and personal relationship with your boss, but you begin to sense a shift in the organization's culture and your boss's leadership. You are being asked to take on more responsibility and do more with fewer resources. The relationship is deteriorating, and you feel like you are losing your support system within the organization.

2. Work and life values are no longer being met. When you were hired, you knew the organization and role were a good fit that met your work and life values. However, with the changes in the organization you’ve noticed you are no longer feeling satisfied with your work. Or maybe the culture shifted, and you are not able to perform at your fullest potential. Ask yourself: If you interviewed at the company today, would you want to work there?

3. You are left out of decision-making meetings. A business decision was made without your input and you don’t agree with the direction. You’re losing influence with upper management and are no longer “in the know.” Your subordinates begin to ask others for input and decisions, which further diminishes your authority.

4. You are not being asked to take on high-visibility assignments. What about me? You begin to notice that your subordinates are now in the spotlight and asked to lead a major project working directly with your manager. Your high-performing team is being broken apart and moved onto other teams to maximize their strengths. Not only are you not being put on highly visible assignments — your team is being broken apart.

5. You are frustrated with the direction of the company and are more vocal than usual. The company is changing its focus, and you do not support the decision. Y ou are becoming more vocal about your disagreement. You are feeling frustrated; your input is not being heard because management is hearing undertonesof dissent in your voice, as opposed to the content of what you are saying.

6. You find yourself awake at night with an anxious feeling, replaying conversations. The pressures of work assignments, tight deadlines or disagreements with your manager resulted in not getting a solid night’s sleep. The anxiety over work is increased, and the lack of sleep has prevents you from performing at your best.

7. You are managing the political arena more than performing your job.

There are rumors the company may be bought and “every person for himself” seems to be the mode of operation, which doesn’t allow time to do the work. At the end of the week, you have spent more time managing the politics than accomplishing something on your to-do list.

8. You are no longer passionate about your work and dread going to the office each day. Do you wake up in the morning energized and look forward to your day, or do you dread it? If getting out of bed each morning is becoming a challenge, then you need to listen to your instincts and ask yourself, “Why?” We spend a majority our lives working, so don’t ignore the signs that are telling you, “It's time to move on." You will find another job in which you look forward to going to work each day.

Accepting that it might be time to leave is the first step toward finding a job that is in alignment with your values, skills and interests. Finding the courage to leave is the next step, but before you do, make sure you plan an effective exit strategy. 

delete_account_per_reacher_145083_dtiller's picture
Training Badge

One comment makes me worry for you.  You say that your motivation is down.  I hope this is not affecting your performance.  No matter what is happening around you, you must continue to work hard and do your best.  Otherwise you will be viewed as a lower performer and confirm what you believe the Director is thinking.

On the coaching front.  What's there to share here?  The coach should be helping you to develop the skills to move to the next level.  Perhaps ask your coach what you can do to improve your working relationship with your colleagues and the Director.  Remember you can only control your behaviour not that of others.

Overall, I think it sounds very positive if the CFO is sending you on courses, assigning a coach, etc.  Many would love to have these same opportunities.


scm2423's picture
Licensee Badge

I have used a coach within our organization but I have used an external coach a number of times.  Trust is critical to the coaching model and it you have reservation about that it is not going to work.  Is there someone else in the organization that you can use as a coach that you can trust to keep your conversations just between the two of you.  I really believe in the use of a coach, it brings in a fresh perspective and allows you to see what you may have been blind to.  It is that awareness that brings real change.  

scm2423's picture
Licensee Badge

I have used a coach within our organization but I have used an external coach a number of times.  Trust is critical to the coaching model and it you have reservation about that it is not going to work.  Is there someone else in the organization that you can use as a coach that you can trust to keep your conversations just between the two of you.  I really believe in the use of a coach, it brings in a fresh perspective and allows you to see what you may have been blind to.  It is that awareness that brings real change.  

scm2423's picture
Licensee Badge

I have used a coach within our organization but I have used an external coach a number of times.  Trust is critical to the coaching model and it you have reservation about that it is not going to work.  Is there someone else in the organization that you can use as a coach that you can trust to keep your conversations just between the two of you.  I really believe in the use of a coach, it brings in a fresh perspective and allows you to see what you may have been blind to.  It is that awareness that brings real change.  

wjpl24's picture

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. In that article, #7 hits the spot.  That's the theme of my work day. I'll keep this article around.

Yesterday someone told me what doesn't break you make you stronger. It's tough when the relationiship with my boss is rocky. What if I overcome this, show that I can turn it around? Doesn't matter if i get the promotion in 3 years, and I can show the CFO what I am capable of and there will be other opportunities in the company for me? Most importantly, I know I can turn this around.

I think about this, and keep looking.

Glad I found manager tools.

wjpl24's picture

Exactly my motivation worries me. I am not used to this. I am used to turn in results  on schedule, bring something to the table, something tangible. I love it. It was within my control. and knowing that I was working on a project and i will accomplish it.

THAT motivates me.

Now since turning in something tangible only accounts for 10% with the other 90% politics to be effective, my relationship with my boss is my MAIN project.  There is something to share with my coach in this arena and i like what the other member mentioned: "trust" is very important and it is hard to establish the trust with a coach within the company. Readings and podcasts have helped me more than the coaching so far.

Maybe i need to redefine my motivation now. Maybe now my motivation needs to be: can you break through another wall with your boss today? Can you move an inch forward and enjoy the little difference you make? See how that little difference can have a significant impact?

yes i am very lucky that the CFO invested in me, and that's why I am still here.

Thanks for your input, helps me to rethink what needs to be my motivation now. :) great stuff!

wjpl24's picture

Hi S,

yes TRUST! That's what's missing for me.

Unfortunately, I am a believer of what Mark said in one of the podcasts about confidentiatliy. I really don't believe there is confidentiatliy with anyone in the company. It is just not possible. People talk, bottom line.

If you don't mind sharing, where did you find your external coach?

So far readings and podcasts from various places helped me going through the tough time. AWARENESS is one of my favorite discovery in self development. I agree with you 100%.  

Wish you great success in your career, feel free to send me private message about coaching.


JustHere's picture

 Trust is the key here.  I recently conducted an information interview with someone and asked him how he determined when it was time to leave a job.  He answered: When they aren't being honest or forthcoming with me any more.

It was very powerful and I knew what he meant.  Two jobs ago I was promised a promotion for three years that never materialized.  My last job basically lied to me about my role when they hired me, once the contract was signed it was downhill from there, and I didn't properly articulate it.

You mentioned that your boss said that you weren't ready for the role yet, did you follow up with that comment?  I would approach her and say, remember when you said I wasn't ready for the role yet, what do you think I need to do to be ready?

Ask questions, get answers and decide from there.  It's tough sometimes to have difficult conversation, but it is empowering.

ProcReg's picture

This is great information! I've been in two positions where the political climate was "every man for himself". The first lasted for two years; it was awful. The infighting and ego within our department was incredible. I improved a process, and it was not implemented because it wasn't the seniors' idea...the end of the story is that the director's exit interviews were SO ugly, they demoted her.

The second, my results were poor because my manager had made changes to the structure of our Excel spreadsheets, without changing the formulae. I worked for months to change them, and it wasn't appreciated. It was a disaster; the anxiety was soul crushing. We also worked a lot, because my boss and my manager couldn't manage their time (Twitter and music at work are not effective behaviour, I don't care what anyone says). It lasted six months. Of hell. I had the "1000 foot stare" as my dad called it.

Talk to the coach. The Bible says, "Be at peace with everyone, as far as it depends on you". Take a day off, recharge. If the boss is jealous, there's not a lot one can do but bite the bullet, and produce results. Then the job is yours.

If it can't be repaired, leave. It's not worth it.

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." - Theodore Roosevelt

"Public opinion is a weak tyrant to that of private thought." HD Thoreau Walden

wjpl24's picture

Thanks everyone. I decided to leave.

My very respected teacher (a very successful and retired businessman) shared his wisdom with me that it will be very valuable for me if I learn what I need to do to get that promotion, reason being the parent company is a very good company.

From the time I posted my question till today, weeks have passed and increasingly my heart is leaving this place faster than a rocket.

Yes, I don't want that "potential" promotion anymore. Company coaching isn't helpful, as "trust" isn't there and the coach insisted on 360 feedback faciliated by company people and thank god to the podcast about 360, now we all know how dangerous that can be and back fire if not done EXTREMELY WELL. Imagine more rumors flying around in this place, horrible.

I wish I can do what my respected teacher suggested but I can't. I am not happy here.

I'll take what I learn here, don't make the same mistakes again, and play a better game next time!

GlennR's picture

Perhaps this is off-topic, but I feel the need to chime in on the comments around internal coaching and the (perceived) lack of confidentiality. I have been an executive coach within my organization for about five years now. Confidentiality has been drilled into me from day one and is a written integral part of the coaching agreement signed by both the coach and coachee. I have coached half a dozen staff and mentored two or three more. I have never ever mentioned who my coachees were even when talking with someone who worked closely with them. In my organization, and many others, this is the norm. Confidentiality is not an issue.

I have also improved as a coach. I am much more effective now than I was with my first coachees. Perhaps your coach is inexperienced or is not supported with adequate resources.

Perhaps your coaching program was poorly constructed or the coaches inadequately trained. But if word ever got out that I, as a coach, had violated the confidentiality agreement, I would be thrown out of the program and my supervisor notified. I shudder at the thought because trust and confidentiality are highly valued in my organization.

Obviously no coaching program is perfect and they vary in quality. But for those of you interested in coaching or being coached, the default position should be that confidentiality is a pillar of the program.


wjpl24's picture

Thanks Glenn! After hearing your experience about coaching, yeah sounds like the coaching program in my company isn't structured, to be more accurate, there is no coaching program. I was assigned a coach, someone from the development department.

I'm now listening to all mentoring podcasts, so I know what a mentoring relationship should be like. Now hearing about your first hand experience as a coach, I feel truly blessed to have your insight at this junction of my career.

Thank you thank you and thank you!!! In the future if I am lucky to be a coachee in a good progam, I will know it right away!

GlennR's picture

You're welcome. And thanks for making my day:-)

wjpl24's picture

Big gratitude to everyone chime in here! and Career tool podcasts!!!!

Finally leaving...

Just accepted an offer!  Excited to work with the new boss and company. Can't wait for that change.

Used all resume and interview podcast tips, worked like magic~! Most thorough interview process I've been through, layers of interviews, took about 2 months.  Learned a ton and had so much fun because I was so well preprared!!! Thanks to the podcasts!!!

Now listening to 90 day new job plan.

Anyone out there having similar issues, and see my post, feel free to send me a message. I'd love to share and help!!!!

Thanks everyone!!