Position Ignition Guides respond to the question and scenario posed by many job seekers and employees…
Jobseeker Question: The person who hired and sponsored me has gone, and now I feel exposed. What should I do?
Guide Question 1: Who exactly are you working for at the moment?
Guide Thought: When you’re hired, it’s like a courtship that culminates in marriage. You and your boss are both committed to the relationship, both invested in making it a success, with a shared vision about what matters, where you are going and what success looks like.
And then, one day, they’re gone, and you have a new boss. To make this work, you are going to have to discover who you are now working for, and do so in detail: as much detail as you’d want to know about a new long-term life partner. Where have they come from? What are they interested in? How do they like to be communicated with? What do they appreciate, and what don’t they?
Guide Question 2: How much value do they see in what you do?
Guide Thought: In most cases, your boss rarely changes precisely at the moment your main project or projects come to fruition. In other words, they come into post and see you as someone not necessarily delivering something. If you’re going to succeed in this new situation, you must discover what value they see in you and what you do. Remember also that they may feel they’ve had you, and your work, foisted on them. They may be getting pressure from their boss, your existing colleagues, and perhaps even previous sponsors to use you in ways that may not be comfortable for them. They may not like this at all.
So now you need to discover, in what may be a conversation, or more likely a series of them, what value they see in what you’re currently doing. Ideally, you will prepare these conversations quite carefully, perhaps with a Position Ignition Guide.
Only once you know the answers to both questions, can you move on.
Guide Question 3: What are your options now?
Broadly speaking, when your boss changes, you have three options. Stay: and stay willingly. Stay, but reluctantly. Plan to move.
Stay willingly: Once you understand your boss, and the value they see in what you do, you may be able to agree a strategic direction that they can support. In this case, you can build on what you are doing, and perhaps even improve your situation from what it was before. Stay reluctantly: you may discover, over time – especially if you work with a Position Ignition Guide – how to manage your boss, and may even find this expands your capabilities and choices. Plan to move: you are much better placed to find a new job while you are in a job. So now is the time to think strategically. First, check your contract. If anything precipitous happens, how much time do they have to give you? Second, can you arrange to leave in a way that works for your boss, your organisation and yourself? At Position Ignition, we believe that leaving one job well is important for your career. Done skilfully, the organisation you leave will be a future ally for you, perhaps a resource they can call on, someone they can make referrals to, even someone they can recommend to others. And while you are arranging your exit, something unexpected may happen, presenting you with other options.
So has your boss gone? What will you do?