I was hired eight months ago to supervise a particular specialty at a remote site. I have a graduate degree in this field and ten years’ related experience. The day-to-day job on my site does not require any degree, just a license and judgment/experience. However, the company has contractual requirements to provide a specialist with the degree, on certain occasions, so I assumed their recruiting team (in the USA) brought me on for that role.

Recently I realized that that the project manager doesn’t know I have the degree, and he is relying on someone who’s been with the company longest to cover that role, with no degree. So, some of the things I’ve been monitoring and working on, perhaps are not part of my role. I don't know the project manager well at all. I work day-to-day for the site manager, and he doesn't care about any of this as long as the site work is done right (it is).

Now, I see two possibilities. 1) The PM doesn’t know he has someone on the team with the specialized background he needs, but would appreciate it if he did know. 2) The PM doesn’t care about having someone specialized, he just wants to have the person he trusts in that role, and would not appreciate if I speak up.

It is highly possible that I tip the scale toward 1) or 2) based on how I diplomatically approach the issue. I am new in the company, coming from a military background where roles and responsibilities are usually very clear, so I don’t know how to proceed.


You can have a word with him or fire him an email saying how you've noticed that the team is involved with field X and you specialized in that area as part of your degree, and would love to work on that project.

Either he accepts the offer, or he doesn't. If he does accept your offer, you can use this as leverage later to further your career and wage.

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