Help, my manager is killing my career

women stressedChances are if you like your manager, your team mates and the tasks at hand are still interesting, then you may be less likely to jump ship unless you are vastly underpaid or you have a personal situation that requires your attention. There is a saying that “People leave managers, not companies,” and a bad manager changes everything. If your relationship is less than cordial with your manager, this can permeate daily interactions to a point where you feel that he or she is a hindrance to your advancement or even your emotional wellbeing in the worst case scenario (and I hear about this more than you think with serial offenders showing patterns with the new hires.) This issue is very tricky and I hesitate to give advice in a one size fits all matter since there is nuance to this topic and I would advise you to speak to your career coach or a trusted advisor first.

What can you do? Explore other options within the same company and navigate the politics by lunching with peers from other teams and even get a sponsor who a leader (the boss of your boss, or higher or a different team leader) so that you can start to understand the bigger picture of mobility, project allocation and promotional tracks. Also, sometimes a bad manager isn’t just someone who has a bad personality but someone who is stuck between a rock and a hard place themselves suffering from systemic constraints ( such as lack of resources, understaffed etc.) and so you have to figure out if this is a temporary issue or a true sign of dysfunction of the entire company.

Failing that, sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade and move on. There are other firms out there.

By Nicki Gilmour, Executive Coach and Organizational Psychologist

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