My question is a bit vague, but I have worked in an engineering consultancy for the past 3 years and was recently promoted from Grad to Consultant. Shortly after, my manager put in their resignation. I expected increased responsibilities, but our team's under-staffing has caused some serious issues requiring me, as well as others, to perform well above our titles and some major overtime.
With my managers resignation, I have been put in charge of a project that has been going for 2 years that I have only worked on for 6 months. My manager has said this project was the most difficult they have ever worked on in their 15 years of consulting. We have been the only ones working on it so I am the next most familiar with what is happening. I'm expected to take it from 75% point to completion.
The idea of managing it is overwhelming and now I found out I will have to finish it from the client's office alone without having worked there prior. There will be no experienced team members to help or buffer me from the client who will likely be upset with the situation. The timeline also assumes 2 people would work on it full time, but again, I will be alone.
I have spoken to my team director about how unprepared I feel and they expressed sympathy, but nothing beyond that since I'm the best option out of a bunch of bad ones. No mention of recruitment either. This has left me feeling that I need to resign, otherwise I'm going to be underpaid, working massive overtime, and stressed out for the remainder of the year. All of this occurring while a number of seniors in the team fight for the manager role.
In some ways, this is not bad since I wanted to spend some time in school again to gain some new skills and refocus my career path. I am not interested in large project management responsibilities at this point in my career and rather build my technical skills. At the same time, the project will just become someone else's problem and I may burn a bridge.
My questions are:
- Is this a typical request to be put in charge of something you're not even close to prepared for?
- Is it too knee-jerk to resign to go back to school to avoid an oncoming management nightmare?
- Would it be a major jerk move to my team to resign, or is this kinda what happens?
Let me know if any of this doesn't make sense, my writing is suffering because the idea of the project and resigning makes me anxious.
Edit: Thank you everyone for adding answers thus far. I am unable to comment on answers due to my reputation, but I would like to add some info. I am not interested in a ~5k bonus for 4 months of busting my butt. They can't give more than a certain amount without getting approval from a regional director and I'm 99% sure they won't get it, not that whatever they could get would be enough (except maybe some ridiculous amount). I have also already busted my butt to get promoted and I'm not about to continue in hope that they promote to a role with even more responsibility that I do not want. Only thing I want is to pass the job to someone else to manage but the seniors in the team are too busy and we can't train new people fast enough. Julia Hayward has said to tell the director 'I don't want this', which is where I'm at.