Author Topic: Possible promotion problems UPDATE & DETAILS #5  (Read 3455 times)

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JacklynHyde

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Possible promotion problems UPDATE & DETAILS #5
« on: June 21, 2013, 07:14:58 PM »
I've been offered a promotion at my job, acting as a team leader.  My boss has given me at least through the weekend to think about it.  I'm mostly excited about the opportunity, but I'm friends with the person (let's call her Teri) who held the position until now.  At first, I wasn't sure what had happened to cause this change, but she's gone online to announce she is moving to run another team.  Apparently, Teri thinks this is a dead-end position and that she took the opportunity to jump ship before the boat sinks.

Here are my questions:

  • What is the best way to bring up this possible ending of the team with my boss?  I'm not sure if I want to be in a lurch when my job dries up, even if I'm placed elsewhere (most likely not with my current team)
  • How do I politely handle conversation with Teri if I do accept her former position?  She seems to think that it's a dead-end job.  I think there's a possibility I'm being brought in to see if new leadership will save the team.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 07:04:12 PM by JacklynHyde »

WillyNilly

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Re: Possible promotion problems
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2013, 07:33:55 PM »
If you are friends with Teri, you might want to call her and discuss the position. Dead-end for one person is not necessarily dead-end for everyone; she might have very different career goals then you. Also just because that's the public excuse she's giving doesn't mean its a whole story - the position might not actually be dead end, but she wants to save face.

Also what are your options? Do you have the option of 'jumping ship'? Or is your option be team leader until the project ends or be a team member until the project ends but either way you are on the same soon-to-be-ending project? If you are going to remain on the project no matter what, you might as well get the resume and experience boost of being the leader.

lilfox

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Re: Possible promotion problems
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2013, 07:39:49 PM »
I think before you commit (unless you know for sure you don't want it), ask your boss what the current status of the team is, how it's viewed within your organization (at whatever level is relevant), and what your boss' expectations are for your role and plans for the team in general.  Perhaps you can ask whether there are recommendations for keeping some things the same or changing some things, and that might give you insight into whether they're looking for a new approach/new leader personality.

For talking to Teri - my tack would depend on how long she was in the role.  If she was leader for multiple years, then you could see it (and talk about it) as a transitional role:  you'd be taking it on to learn new leadership skills, but you know that in a few years you may outgrow that position too.  At that future point, you'll be in a better position to take on yet another promotion due to your experience.

If she was only leader for a year or less... you could still talk about it the same way (investment in new leadership skill development) but I wouldn't expect Teri to be as supportive if she found it dead-end in a shorter period of time.  You'd still be trying out a new role and getting new experience, right?  If she thinks the team is doomed but you get reassurance from your boss that it's not, then shrug and smile if she says negative things.

KB

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Re: Possible promotion problems
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2013, 09:38:35 PM »
I would primarily look at the job from your perspective rather than anyone else's. Would it be something useful for you to have on your resume, even only for a short time? Is it the direction you want to go? Is it an area of your skills you believe could do with the experience for other roles later in your career? What opportunities might it give you in the future?

Talking to your boss could be quite tricky. I doubt s/he will come out and say that this is a dead-end role with no future. Who wants to put off the person you want to take the role in that way? I would approach the conversation from a very positive position, discussing each of the people in the team and their roles in the future. This will probably give you quite a bit to go on without straying into difficult territory.

Keep in mind, too, that Terri may be being sidelined for you and she be very bitter about it. If so her comments would naturally be quite negative as a result. If you discuss things with her, I would be very neutral. Don't make any suggestions for improvements. (This can be done once she's gone.) Be grateful for any information she provides and publicly acknowledge the work she has done in the past (perhaps check with your boss that s/he is comfortable for you to do this).

*inviteseller

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Re: Possible promotion problems
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2013, 11:20:11 PM »
I wouldn't talk to Teri about the job.  She is online bad mouthing her old position, which is never a good (or professional) thing to do.  If they are giving you the promotion and moving her, I would lean towards the problem is not the position but the person who held it.  Before you accept it, I would talk to the boss.  Don't tell them what Teri has said, but ask what the vision is for the job and if it is temporary or long term.  If temporary, what is the plan for when the position ends. 

JacklynHyde

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Re: Possible promotion problems UPDATE & DETAILS #5
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2013, 07:03:38 PM »
To clarify things without giving away too much, I am a teacher at a rather large school district.  The position is a Team Leader for a special year-long program for freshman students (most of our classes are block scheduling).  The program is under evaluation and may, after next year, be scrapped and integrated with the rest of the semester-long classes.  This would make the promotion irrelevant.

I sent this email to my boss this afternoon (she and I are alike in our inability to enjoy our weekends work-free):  "I have one major question.  Is 9th Grade Academy going away after this upcoming year?  Is there a possibility of it surviving if the new teachers on the team make an impact?  Any information or insight you might have would be helpful.  I’m still leaning heavily toward that 'yes', but I am pondering all things."

Thankfully, she was very forthcoming that there is a chance the program will end and that it is currently under evaluation.  The change in staffing, however, is one of the things they are testing.  As she put it, "Yes, I am a firm believer that good teaching makes a huge difference for students. :) "  I'll take that as a compliment.

The problem will now lie in talking with the former Team Leader.  Honestly, I want her input.  She's done this job for a couple of years at this point, and I have never taught freshman (just seniors and 7th graders).  However, I don't want to give her the impression that I was brought in either as a last-ditch effort or as an attempt to reboot the program.  She will find out in August at the latest, but I'd rather discuss it with her over the summer so we can meet in person and talk openly about what worked and what didn't.

camlan

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Re: Possible promotion problems UPDATE & DETAILS #5
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2013, 07:09:29 PM »
Given this update, I'd ask another question. Start off with the fact that you hope the program can be turned around, but if it doesn't achieve what the powers that be want, what would happen to you? Would you be out of a job, returned to your former position, or something else?

Even if the program ends in a year, the leadership experience might be good on your resume. Stepping in like this can show you are a team player, and get you consideration for future leadership roles. All sorts of good things could come from this. But you need to know what the downside could be, as well.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


JacklynHyde

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Re: Possible promotion problems UPDATE & DETAILS #5
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2013, 08:16:31 PM »
I would not be out of a job if the program was ended.  Worst case scenario, I'd be back in my old position or one comparable to it (I'd probably stay with the freshmen and not go back to my current seniors).  My boss knows that I'm aiming for a leadership role, and I think that, worst case scenario, this would be a step toward that goal.

artk2002

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Re: Possible promotion problems UPDATE & DETAILS #5
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2013, 10:28:57 AM »
Hmmm... sounds like an opportunity to shine. If you like a challenge with a little bit of risk, then I'd take it. Since your actual job is safe, the risk is pretty low.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

bopper

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Re: Possible promotion problems UPDATE & DETAILS #5
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2013, 10:58:49 PM »
If you take this job you might have a hard time to get people on board, but it would give you a chance to show your leadership potential.
If you don't take it, will you have some other leadership position or just your regular teaching?

jpcher

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Re: Possible promotion problems UPDATE & DETAILS #5
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2013, 07:24:11 PM »
My boss knows that I'm aiming for a leadership role, and I think that, worst case scenario, this would be a step toward that goal.

By all means, accept the job. It seems that your boss thinks that you are an excellent candidate, and like others said, even if the program is discontinued (doesn't mean you failed) it will look good on your resume. ;D


The problem will now lie in talking with the former Team Leader.  Honestly, I want her input.  She's done this job for a couple of years at this point, and I have never taught freshman (just seniors and 7th graders).  However, I don't want to give her the impression that I was brought in either as a last-ditch effort or as an attempt to reboot the program.  She will find out in August at the latest, but I'd rather discuss it with her over the summer so we can meet in person and talk openly about what worked and what didn't.

Bold above -- so Teri doesn't know that you were offered the position? But you want to talk to her before she officially finds out? I'd shy away from that.

Her comments about it being a dead-end job almost sounds like sour grapes to me. Especially with the bold below . . . did she really leave the position of her own choosing?


Thankfully, she was very forthcoming that there is a chance the program will end and that it is currently under evaluation.  The change in staffing, however, is one of the things they are testing.  As she put it, "Yes, I am a firm believer that good teaching makes a huge difference for students. :) "  I'll take that as a compliment.

I agree, I would take that as a compliment, too. It sounds like the previous staffing (Teri, Team Lead) wasn't working out too well for the program. Are they changing the entire staff? Or just Teri's position?

Which brings me to gently say "Do not ask Teri for advice."

Have you ever asked Teri for advice before? Or have you achieved this offer of leadership on your own?



Instead of seeking advice from the old team lead, ask for information from those in charge (your boss and other board members.) Ask about problems concerning the program, specifically why they are thinking about discontinuing the program. What went wrong? What went right? Over the summer, talk to them about changes that you're thinking of implementing.

It sounds, to me, that you're a little bit excited about this opportunity. ;D

Talking to Teri might change your mind on implementing a really great idea that you had. Teri: "Oh, I tried that, but it didn't work" Maybe it wasn't the idea that was wrong, maybe it was the implementation that didn't work?

Maybe Teri just isn't as good at the job as you are.

gramma dishes

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Re: Possible promotion problems UPDATE & DETAILS #5
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2013, 09:12:32 PM »
...   The problem will now lie in talking with the former Team Leader.  Honestly, I want her input.     ...

I'd rethink this.  She's already given you her input.  She thinks it's a dead end job and apparently (for whatever reason) she wasn't able to make it work -- to the extent that the whole program might possibly be abandoned.  What you would learn from her, if anything, would probably not be helpful to you in the long run.

I think you're being brought it because the administration thinks she didn't do a particularly good job and they have reason to believe you'll do better.  So come in with your OWN ideas, your OWN enthusiasm, not some rehashed version of her experience.