My client “Ursula” was a talented, smart marketing manager of a professional services company. She’d been fast-tracked all the way.
Until her new boss gave her a less than stellar performance review. It was pretty obvious what was going on. He was looking for reasons to mark her down.
She tried to negotiate – very reasonably, in fact -but he was adamant. The review would stand. He didn’t even want to schedule a meeting to discuss it.
After we talked, Ursula realized reluctantly that she had to move on. If she pressed the point, she’d just irritate her new boss further.
Ursula realized she may already be at the top of the pay scale in her job category, so her manager may decide to hold back and let others catch up. Naturally he wouldn’t discuss this point but he wouldn’t budge either. (Fair? I have no idea. Reality? Often, yes.)
Ursula also realized she was completing an assignment from her previous boss that her current boss dismissed as a waste of time. Dropping the project was not an option.
And she realized that new bosses, like new brooms, sometimes sweep clean.
Time to fold. Drop the subject. We agreed she would say nothing.
But it’s always good to be ready for any curves the boss might throw. Ursula’s boss was an ardent football fan. If asked, she would draw an analogy to a team that didn’t like the ref’s call but chose to go on with the game.
Ursula needed to identify an appropriate, ethical recruiter. She might not begin a job search energetically, but she needed to have all her ducks lined up, just in case.
And she needed to get into some proactive networking. Networking is something you can do anytime, no matter whether you plan to stay 20 weeks or 20 hours.
So what was Ursula’s outcome?
Frankly, I’m not sure. I did get a one-line email: “All goes well. Thanks for the help!”
That’s often how it goes with career consulting. One session is enough. If you’d like to discuss your own career challenges, click here and we’ll talk.