I have been working for an IT company for 5+ years as an Engineer. Two years ago my boss promoted me to the Team Lead position.

After a year of being on a Lead position my boss told me that he is not satisfied with me as a Lead and he decided to replace me with an engineer who I hired while I was Lead. This kind of replacement is normal practice in this company - some other Leads were also demoted.

A year has passed since then, and I'm still feeling very uncomfortable especially when I report to my ex-subordinate.

I thought of changing my job but current conditions are really high and I was not able to find something even equal to this. What should I do to make myself feeling more comfortable at my work?

  • Can someone explain me why downvoted?
    – Anon
    Feb 17, 2019 at 15:27
  • 9
    Did you perform poorly in the lead role and Is your replacement better than you at the lead role? I ask because that makes a difference Feb 17, 2019 at 15:47
  • My boss thinks that my replacement is better.
    – Anon
    Feb 17, 2019 at 16:02
  • And what do you think? Feb 17, 2019 at 16:04
  • 3
    i think this was downvoted because there is no concrete result you want to achieve. "make myself feeling more comfortable" includes a lot of solution. What is desired outcome, you want situation back? What have you tried already? You want to be managed by someone else? IF you could have anything you want, what would it be? Feb 17, 2019 at 16:38

3 Answers 3


It sounds like your feelings stem from anger and resentment, and that's not a healthy position to be in. Workplaces are dynamic environments and you can expect people to change roles and positions.

I would say that you should feel a sense of pride for hiring that guy, and maybe also helping him to develop his skills. Some people see the workplace as a zero-sum game, but it is rarely the case.

Try focus on working together with this person on achieving higher goals that would reflect positively on you both, and allow you to push your team forward. You hired him, and were his manager for a while, I'm sure you guys have more in common than you think. It might be a good idea to have a chat with him and see if you can agree on mutual goals. I haven't had the exact same experience myself, but I did find that working towards a similar goal helps put differences aside.

In any case, I wish you luck with resolving your dilemma!


"My inferior was promoted above me and .."

"What should I do to make myself feeling more comfortable at my work?"

I have the actual, specific solution.

  1. Make more money.

If there is anything you do not like about a given workplace, the solution is

  1. Make more money.

There will be some dollar figure, where, you just "laugh all the way to the bank" about the fact that you have to put up with the problem in question, to get paid so much.

The second point is best expressed in the following way:

  1. Get A Life.

The one and only reason you go to that office each day, is, so that you can go home, pay for food, and be with your family. Sometimes people lose sight of this, and, many of the questions on this site relate to that.

Say it was me in your situation. I would barely be able to remember the name of the person you are having a drama with. It is utterly irrelevant to your life.

If, incredibly, for 2 seconds my mind was occupied with the notion "Oh, at this particular contract, person X got promoted above me" the only thing I'd think about it is Laugh, and then I'd cash another paycheck and go home to my actual problems.

I feel offended and can not overcome, it is poisoning me inside. Ideally I want to return to the times when I was lead or remove it from my memory. But of course it is impossible.

That's beautifully explained.

  1. "Make more money" remember that the very raison d'etre of your paycheck is to put up with nonsense like this. Laugh all the way to the bank!

  2. Have a "flash of realization" that work is nothing: you just do it to get paid only. (If you "won the lotto", you wouldn't be there for 1 further second.)

If you can't get that "flash of realization" that the workplace is comic, a non-issue, you'll always have these "it gets inside you" tensions one way or another.

As is often said on here, these days it's absolutely normal to go see a therapist/whatever for mental poise issues. Simply start with your GP.

If you go see a therapist for like 5 years, you will finally have the "flash of realization" that the workplace is just comic, and your life is your life. Or, you can have that "flash of realization" right now! :)

  • Thank for detailed answer! To summarize you you mean “don’t take it personal it’s just a business”?
    – Anon
    Feb 18, 2019 at 4:25
  • Fantastic summary, @Anon ! Good luck !
    – Fattie
    Feb 18, 2019 at 12:22
  • This answer assumes money is everything, or at least that enough money will overcome any obstacle or bad feeling.
    – stannius
    Feb 18, 2019 at 20:20
  • At work, money is everything. Enough money will overcome any obstacle or bad feeling at work!
    – Fattie
    Feb 18, 2019 at 20:21

Dose of the real world:

What should I do to make myself feeling more comfortable at my work?

  • Work to get better at you job.
  • Act like a leader, even if you're not.
  • Find out from you manager what (s)he expects from a Team Lead.

This is all up to you. Unless you don't want a promotion, then just work on the first because demonstrating expertise is a good way to earn greater respect.

  • 1
    Yes to point 1 and 3, but no you shouldn't act like a leader. Acting with authority when you have none is a sure way to at best make things awkward in your team, at worst being seen as a difficult employee who should be dealt with.
    – MlleMei
    Feb 18, 2019 at 13:11
  • Agree with @MlleMei - act like a boss when you’re not is a bad idea.
    – Anon
    Feb 18, 2019 at 19:53
  • 1
    @MlleMei Acting like a leader is not acting like a boss. Plenty of teams have de facto leaders that merely support management.
    – DTRT
    Feb 18, 2019 at 22:25
  • @Anon Above comment.
    – DTRT
    Feb 18, 2019 at 22:26

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