Author Topic: Should I bring it up or let it go? (sorry, long)  (Read 2768 times)

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GreenEyedHawk

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Should I bring it up or let it go? (sorry, long)
« on: February 26, 2014, 08:43:27 PM »
So, I have a co-worker whose job it is to build the aftermarket models of the widgets we build.  He has had some health issues and has been away from work two weeks.  For the first 3 or 4 days of those two weeks, he didn't call in, nor did anyone call in on his behalf.  We were wondering what happened to him when he finally came in himself and spoke to Bossman about his absences, then left again.  All in all, he missed 9 days of work, total.  I only explain this because it means that someone had to take over aftermarket building while he was away.  That someone was me.

I've been the "backup" builder for aftermarket for about a year and a half.  And I've been working my backside off for that time in order to do better, to get faster, to keep pace and prove with actions rather than talk that I can, indeed, hack it in that position.  I've worked so hard at it because I WANT that position, and I saw me filling in for Devin as my chance to swing for the fences.  I  gave it my best, kept up with the other aftermarket builder, everything I built passed testing fine, and both my boss and my supervisor registered their happiness with my performance.  For my part, I made it very plain that I like being in aftermarket and I really enjoy it and would like to stay there...I'd much rather stay in aftermarket and be the backup for inspection, as opposed to staying in inspection and being the backup for aftermarket.  I've been working really really hard at trying to claw my way out of inspection.  I'm good at it, and I am conscientious about doing the job properly even though I hate doing it...I'm being paid to do it, not to like it, after all.  I also threw a lot of time and effort into training my assistant so that she can swing inspection on her own, with me as a backup for her only.  For her part, she likes inspection and would like to stay there.  If my boss asked me if I felt she could handle inspection on her own, I'd say yes and I'd mean it.

And now that Devin, the MIA co-worker, is back, my reward for the past year and a half of hard work has been exactly squat.  As soon as Devin got back, I was stuck right back in inspection and Gary, our new hire, is being immediately trained in aftermarket.

I'm completely crushed; I feel like all the extra time and effort I have put in over all this time has been completely overlooked.  It's leaving me questioning if I should just keep my head down and do the bare minimum, or keep devoting the same amount of time and energy as I have been and hoping for another chance to get my foot in the door.  It makes me also wonder if I should ask my boss if there's ever a chance I'll get to go to aftermarket and stay there, because if there isn't, it would be nice to stop spending so much energy attempting the impossible.  The fact that someone else is being trained in the position says to me that it isn't a case of not needing someone else in aftermarket...I know how busy it is there firsthand.  I also know it's not a case of me  being desperately needed in inspection; my office co-worker speculates that it might be because I'm a woman.  I really don't want to think that my boss, who is in most ways a nice (bit of a pushover) guy, thinks that way.  I also know that my supervisor has spoken highly of my work to Bossman.  He described me as a hard worker and a fast, keen learner.

I don't know whether to bring this up to my boss or not, and if I do, what words to use.  I want to know if there's something else I need to do, some other area I need to improve in, or something I'm NOT doing, to stop being overlooked for this position that I really, really REALLY want.  It doesn't come with a pay raise ( that I know of) so it's not about money to me...it's about the satisfaction I get out of doing that job,  about getting to do a job that plays so much to my strengths.  More than one co-worker has expressed they are happy with my work and that I'm an asset to that department and I haven't had any complaints about my work or systems that I have built fail testing. 

I'm starting to question whether or not I should just do the basic stuff I'm required to do and no more going above and beyond, since apparently it makes no difference.  I don't want to take that attitude at all, since all it does is reflect poorly on me,  but if I'd known I was going to be overlooked again, I could have saved myself a lot of time, energy, effort, aches and pains.

What, if anything, should I say to my boss?
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TootsNYC

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Re: Should I bring it up or let it go? (sorry, long)
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2014, 08:47:29 PM »
"Boss, I think perhaps I wasn't clear enough earlier that I really want to switch to aftermarket. I enjoy it, and I see it as a way to increase my earnings and my value to the company. I'd like to segue out of inspection.
   "I've worked very hard to train myself on aftermarket--I think that my performance during MIA Coworker's absence is proof that I'm ready to go, no training needed.
   "I also feel that I've been a really great employee--I work hard, I stay on top of things, I'm dedicated to the success of everyone.
   "I want to switch to the aftermarket field. I can be a backup for inspection, which will be handy, and you'll have someone who doesn't need any training for aftermarket.
   "What can I do to make the switch?"

You probably weren't clear enough--honestly, you do have to actively say these things. And especially if you've been conscientious and involved in inspection, they probably think you like it well enough.

Deetee

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Re: Should I bring it up or let it go? (sorry, long)
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2014, 09:17:15 PM »
I have nothing to add to TootsNYC excellent advice except some cheer leading.

Your choice seems to be speak up or sulk. Of course you should speak up. I don't see how it can possibly hurt. At the worst you stay in exactly the same position.

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: Should I bring it up or let it go? (sorry, long)
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2014, 09:27:45 PM »
The thing is (and I may not have been really clear in my post) I DID bring it up to Bossman last week.  I'm not sure how to be much clearer than to say " I really enjoy being in aftermarket, and I'd really like to stay there."  All he said was "I'm glad you're enjoying it, you're doing a good job."


I thought I was pretty plain about it, but maybe not.
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buvezdevin

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Re: Should I bring it up or let it go? (sorry, long)
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2014, 09:40:48 PM »
Another cheerleader here - definitely pursue a discussion with your boss.  Go into the discussion with your objectives for the meeting clear in your mind.  Likely ones:

1.  Clearly communicate your interest in the aftermarket department - *as a change in your current assignment*
2.  Get information/feedback on whether or not that is a valid option for you in his eyes.
3.  Reference your history of action, and commitment to doing your work well, and learning more/improving your skills re aftermarket - ask what you can do to get assigned to aftermarket.
4.  Listen to what he says - ask follow up questions if anything seems less than clear.

I am sure it will be hard to not be thinking of new guy training for the position you want, but that is not what you want to discuss.  You want to make your goal(s) known to those who can help you realize them or let you know if any goal is not much of an option for whatever reason.
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PastryGoddess

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Re: Should I bring it up or let it go? (sorry, long)
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2014, 09:44:44 PM »
Since you have been clear about liking being in Aftermarket, maybe the next conversation with Bossman should be to ask him what you need to do to move into Aftermarket.  Yes I understand that you've been busting your behind off, but you being an amazing worker  is simply something that Bossman can appreciate.  If you put him on the spot and have him give you a clear path to move to aftermarket, then after you've met all of the goals, they either have to put up or explain what's going on.

Also hopefully you were keeping track of all of the things you were doing in aftermarket because that needs to go on your resume ASAP.  I don't think you should think about leaving yet, but you should know what's out there in the job market for people with your skills.  No job should have you feeling like there is no room for improvement or advancement. 

GreenBird

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Re: Should I bring it up or let it go? (sorry, long)
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2014, 09:46:44 PM »
Sometimes you have to be really explicit about what you want before your boss clues in that you're asking for an actual job transfer rather than just expressing satisfaction.  Toots' suggestions are excellent, and I really like "What can I do to make the switch?" because it's asking your boss to help you come up with an explicit plan of action to transition into the job you want.  Ask if there are other skills you need and how can you get them, describe that you've prepared your replacement in Inspection, and ask explicitly to be considered for transfer.  During the course of the conversation, I'd also include asking what your boss thinks is a reasonable timetable for making the transition, and then check in with him regularly to make sure you're on track with your plan of action.  (And if it's not going to ever happen for some reason, one indicator will be that the timetable will keep getting pushed back.)

jmarvellous

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Re: Should I bring it up or let it go? (sorry, long)
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2014, 09:50:43 PM »
The last two posts have filled in the missing piece: I hate the word, but be "proactive." You've already shown great initiative, but now is the time to see if there's anything extra or specific you can do to assure you get the next* opening in the area you like.

*I say this because it's possible Gary was hired with the training as a guaranteed part of his future at the company. Unfortunately, it sounds like the job you want is one others want, too, so you might have to wait for another spot to open up. Don't take it too personally if they can't guarantee you're the next one in, either.

EllenS

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Re: Should I bring it up or let it go? (sorry, long)
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2014, 09:55:29 PM »
In my experience, there is a gender difference in that when women say "I enjoy and I like", that is you talking about your feelings. To many men, that is not the same thing as *asking* for something directly.

I like Toots' wording and buvezdevin's bullet points, and I'd be even more direct.

"Boss, my goal is to move from Inspection to Aftermarket.  You gave me good feedback on my work there, but I see that you are training someone else for that position. What would make me the best candidate for Aftermarket? Can you advise me on how to make that transition?"

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GreenEyedHawk

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Re: Should I bring it up or let it go? (sorry, long)
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2014, 10:09:25 PM »
Thanks, everyone, you've given me some good wording to use.  The hard part was trying to come up with questions and phrasing that don't sound like I'm complaining or whining; that won't help at all.  I'm also going to try not to emphasise how much I DISlike inspection.  That is the job I was originally hired to do, though I'm one of the lucky ones that was on the receiving end of a LOT of cross-training.  I've done inspection, aftermarket, prep, sub-assembly and shipping/receiving, as well as training and authorisation to use some of the bigger machinery like the lathe, milling machine, etc.

I like the idea of just asking Bossman directly what I have to do to get into aftermarket on a more permanent basis, or if it's even a possibility.  If it isn't, I'd like to know just so I can avoid going down this road again and having the same disappointment again.
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purple

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Re: Should I bring it up or let it go? (sorry, long)
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2014, 10:53:06 PM »
Another vote here for scheduling a meeting and having a proper discussion about you wanting to go to the other department.

The idea to make it about wanting the aftermarket job and not make it about disliking your current role is a great one.

greencat

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Re: Should I bring it up or let it go? (sorry, long)
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2014, 05:05:54 AM »
You might want to emphasize that you are cross-trained and that you've had the experience of working in the different departments, and phrase it that you want to pursue a transition to a career in the aftermarket widget construction end of the business.

Arila

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Re: Should I bring it up or let it go? (sorry, long)
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2014, 10:16:34 AM »
Was new hire hired before the MIA incident? I just wonder if the ball was already rolling before you showed off your skills/stated your preference.


The other thing you can do is keep a sharper eye out on those hiring positions, and actually apply for the one you want. So if they have a posting for aftermarket again, put in your application for that.

wolfie

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Re: Should I bring it up or let it go? (sorry, long)
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2014, 11:15:35 AM »
I think you need to go to your boss and straight up tell him what you want and ask how to get it. SO say

"I have been doing the aftermarket work for the past two weeks and really enjoyed it. What do I need to do so that I can transfer to that department?"

and then listen and see what he says. And if it sounds like that isn't someplace they want to transfer you consider brushing off your resume and moving on. Nothing against the company - but if you aren't going to move into the position you want you shouldn't be stuck in a position you don't want either. But don't tell them that you will look elsewhere - that probably won't end well. just do it on your own.

DavidH

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Re: Should I bring it up or let it go? (sorry, long)
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2014, 03:00:37 PM »
Definitely ask straight out, and I'd phrase it as what do I have to do to get there.  Do both jobs report to your boss?  If not, he may not be making the hiring decision for aftermarket, so you may want to talk to that person as well.  I'd tell your boss that since aftermarket is where you want to move next, you would like to also talk to that person to get their perspective.  It gives your boss a heads up, and it right at the edge of asking where he will have to either agree or say no.  I wouldn't ask a true open ended question like can I talk to so and so.