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Old 06-02-2019, 12:19 PM
 
Location: NYC
53 posts, read 177,342 times
Reputation: 43

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Hi everyone!

I've been in my current work level for 6 years and was told I'm ready for a promotion to manager, which I shared I was very interested in pursuing. There was a new manager role posted this week and both my manager and director have actively encouraged me to apply. I get the strong impression I'm the lead candidate. Normally, I would be thrilled with this opportunity, but something feels a bit off.

All the managers in my function, regardless of level, report into the director and do not have project work like the individual contributors do. This job, however, reports into another manager and also has all the same job responsibilities I have now plus a reference to "coaching and developing" others, but is never explicitly stated as having direct reports.

While I'm appreciative a promotion has become available, I can't shake the feeling that it's a fake manager role to appease me and to keep me doing the same work I've been doing. This suspicion stems from the fact that over the past 4 years everyone else in my function has been moved around to work on different teams and grow their skill sets, but I havenít moved since "I'm the best person for that role." Furthermore, a younger coworker of mine was recently promoted to a typical manager job a few weeks ago instead of me, so I feel they may have created this current position to keep me from leaving and keep me where I am.

All of this combined has led me to feel slighted. Am I being ridiculous and should just take the promotion if offered or should I try to negotiate the role responsibilities to be more in line with all the other managers? My concern is that Iím ready to be doing something different plus I donít want to fall behind my peers who are advancing into traditional manager positions.

Curious to hear outside perspectives! Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-02-2019, 01:33 PM
 
1,676 posts, read 550,083 times
Reputation: 3560
Hard to tell without being in the situation.

It could be a step up and a chance for you to prove you deserve a more "normal" management position. It could be that they want you to take this, knock it out of the park for the next year, then get another promotion to have formal direct reports.

If that's the case, turning this down could be turning down your only chance to move up. Don't let your ego get in the way of your career moving forward. Even if they are creating the position only to keep you happy, it means they want you around. Why do you care if you "fall behind your peers?" If you're basing your career around keeping up with your peers instead of doing what you enjoy doing, you're never going to actually be happy.

At the very least, having manager in your title makes it much easier to find your next job.
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Old 06-02-2019, 01:45 PM
 
10,058 posts, read 4,654,843 times
Reputation: 15280
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowlove View Post
While I'm appreciative a promotion has become available, I can't shake the feeling that it's a fake manager role to appease me and to keep me doing the same work I've been doing. This suspicion stems from the fact that over the past 4 years everyone else in my function has been moved around to work on different teams and grow their skill sets, but I havenít moved since "I'm the best person for that role."
No, you haven't moved because you never took the steps to move. You didn't seek out a new role from your story. You sat around while others left by their own choices to gain new skills.

What kept you there if you really wanted to leave? You weren't forced to stay but you did.

Now they promote you and you still complain?
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Old 06-02-2019, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Fuquay Varina
4,554 posts, read 6,642,062 times
Reputation: 11272
If you are content with doing your job then take the promotion and enjoy the extra money. If you aren't, then why haven't you done something about it before now?

It sounds like they do appreciate you since they are concerned enough to appease you as you say.
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Old 06-02-2019, 02:58 PM
 
1,546 posts, read 400,415 times
Reputation: 2891
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowlove View Post
Hi everyone!

I've been in my current work level for 6 years and was told I'm ready for a promotion to manager, which I shared I was very interested in pursuing. There was a new manager role posted this week and both my manager and director have actively encouraged me to apply. I get the strong impression I'm the lead candidate. Normally, I would be thrilled with this opportunity, but something feels a bit off.

All the managers in my function, regardless of level, report into the director and do not have project work like the individual contributors do. This job, however, reports into another manager and also has all the same job responsibilities I have now plus a reference to "coaching and developing" others, but is never explicitly stated as having direct reports.

While I'm appreciative a promotion has become available, I can't shake the feeling that it's a fake manager role to appease me and to keep me doing the same work I've been doing. This suspicion stems from the fact that over the past 4 years everyone else in my function has been moved around to work on different teams and grow their skill sets, but I havenít moved since "I'm the best person for that role." Furthermore, a younger coworker of mine was recently promoted to a typical manager job a few weeks ago instead of me, so I feel they may have created this current position to keep me from leaving and keep me where I am.

All of this combined has led me to feel slighted. Am I being ridiculous and should just take the promotion if offered or should I try to negotiate the role responsibilities to be more in line with all the other managers? My concern is that Iím ready to be doing something different plus I donít want to fall behind my peers who are advancing into traditional manager positions.

Curious to hear outside perspectives! Thanks in advance.
I think you should take the promotion, regardless if you have direct reports or not. Because an increase in title and compensation is always better, especially if you want to them find a job elsewhere.

Ask the questions that concern you most about the role, so you know how to be successful at it, but if you don't have direct reports I wouldn't worry about it. There is a danger that if you don't take the promotion you might find your job eliminated in the near future, or you then report to some young person you have no respect for.

Take the promotion.
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Old 06-02-2019, 02:58 PM
 
Location: NYC
53 posts, read 177,342 times
Reputation: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lekrii View Post
Hard to tell without being in the situation.

It could be a step up and a chance for you to prove you deserve a more "normal" management position. It could be that they want you to take this, knock it out of the park for the next year, then get another promotion to have formal direct reports.

If that's the case, turning this down could be turning down your only chance to move up. Don't let your ego get in the way of your career moving forward. Even if they are creating the position only to keep you happy, it means they want you around. Why do you care if you "fall behind your peers?" If you're basing your career around keeping up with your peers instead of doing what you enjoy doing, you're never going to actually be happy.

At the very least, having manager in your title makes it much easier to find your next job.
Great points. I didn't actually think that this could be a stepping stone position, but it makes sense. The manager I would report into is from a different site and expected to go back to that site next year so it could be they're setting me up to replace him when that happens.

And I agree about the ego point. It's something I've noticed in myself when it comes to my work and have tried to address it internally, but helpful to hear it called out! I shouldn't let that hold me back even if I feel temporarily ashamed I'm not where I'd like to be or feel I should be.
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Old 06-02-2019, 03:02 PM
 
17,254 posts, read 10,183,539 times
Reputation: 28770
Being asked to apply is not the same as being offered the position outright.

Don't count your chickens before they have hatched.

If you apply, go through the process, then feel like you have a good shot at getting it, that is the time to think about things. As touched upon above, this seems like a situation where the OP was in a comfort zone and never took the initiative to advance, and waited around for someone to automatically promote based on tenure.
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Old 06-02-2019, 03:08 PM
 
Location: NYC
53 posts, read 177,342 times
Reputation: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by MLSFan View Post
No, you haven't moved because you never took the steps to move. You didn't seek out a new role from your story. You sat around while others left by their own choices to gain new skills.

What kept you there if you really wanted to leave? You weren't forced to stay but you did.

Now they promote you and you still complain?

While I like my current role, I have tried twice in the last year to apply for other internal positions to seek growth, but have always been told they need me where I am. I'm unfortunately in a very niche field where if I wanted to look for job at another company I would need to relocate and my personal life doesn't permit me to do that for the time being. To be fair though, I'm not very good at "fighting for myself" when it comes to telling my manager what I want and could definitely be more firm in those discussions like perhaps my coworkers are.
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Old 06-02-2019, 03:15 PM
 
Location: NYC
53 posts, read 177,342 times
Reputation: 43
SVTLightning, rummage, and Suburban_Guy - Thank you also for your responses!

While it's true I haven't yet gone through the interview process and given the promotion yet, I would definitely take it if offered. My company tends to move very quickly so I wanted to think through the situation and craft my questions before the interview is scheduled in case I did want to push for clarification on the discrepancy of this position's responsibilities compared to a traditional managerial role.
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Old 06-02-2019, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,159 posts, read 11,768,218 times
Reputation: 32147
It sounds more like a team lead role as opposed to an actual manager position, but these are the types of questions you get to ask during the interview. Why would this position report to another manager rather than to the director? Why does this contain all the same individual contributor responsibilities rather than solely managerial functions like other managers? What is the anticipated path for this role over time? No one here can answer.
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