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Several months ago, I agreed to a new job in my company and I was transferred to my company's IT department. I agreed to this new job and departmental transfer because it would introduce me to a high-demand career and there was a significant bump in pay.

Before the transfer, I felt I was very successful and mostly fulfilled in my job. I truly felt like I was making difference in my company. I routinely provided deliverables for employees at the director-level and up. According to feedback from my supervisors and various coworkers, my work was above-average and highly-comprehensive . Many of my achievements in that role look terrific on my resume and will likely open up opportunities for me for years to come.

After transferring to the IT department of my company, I was given responsibilities that have very little to do with my new job title and written job description. My manager doesn't understand fundamental concepts about my job title and seems unable to assign responsibilities that pertain to the job I expected to do. When I mention those concepts, he quickly changes the conversation. He is now saying those concepts are low priority in the IT department. I requested to work on responsibilities that directly relate to the job I signed up for on several occasions, but that did not work.

I'm taking classes that directly pertain to my job title, but my boss said he will not provide assistance moving forward. On two occasions, I requested to go to one-day training sessions on cloud platform products that directly pertain to my profession and he said no each time.

There are many days when I can't easily reach my boss and when I do, I have to be very careful about how I word some questions and comments--a problem I never had with the managers I had in this company before this one.

A short time ago, I found out that my current manager has an intense hate my previous manager and the department I used to work in before the transfer, which makes me suspect that my departmental transfer was part of some type of a game. He doesn't care much for the work I did in the other department because I needed to use a data source that was slightly different from his preferred data source due to technological challenges the company was and is still facing.

Interestingly, my boss was actually directly warned by the CEO of our company about a situation pivotal to his team's performance and, long story short, he's officially on a one-year notice to improve or else--a relatively unusual occurrence.

I'm trying to interview for other jobs to get away from this unusual situation, but my manager is starting to keep a close watch on the vacation hours I'm using. It seems he's angling to find an excuse to fire me and he's going to use my repeated requests to use my vacation hours as a reason.

How can I avoid being terminated by this manager before finding a new job? I would hate to have to explain this termination every single time I apply for jobs in the future when the premise of it seems underhanded based on what I observed. I'm not even sure how I would explain it. How do I handle this situation in general?

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my boss was actually directly warned by the CEO of our company about a situation pivotal to his team's performance...he's officially on a one-year notice to improve or else

This seems like something you can use. Do you have a direct line to the CEO (e.g. email address)? You could let your CEO know about things like:

I'm taking classes that directly pertain to my job title, but my boss said he will not provide assistance moving forward. On two occasions, I requested to go to one-day training sessions on cloud platform products that directly pertain to my profession and he said no each time.

and

There are many days when I can't easily reach my boss and when I do, I have to be very careful about how I word some questions and suggestions--a problem I never had with the managers I had in this company before this one.

Those would probably be things any party considering your boss's performance would be interested in knowing about. I'd let them know about those types of things. I presume you didn't post the details here for personal reasons, but be aware to be as specific as possible when you relay the details to people at your company.

But these are more long-term kinds of things. As for what you should do now to handle your boss, the answer is not a lot. As someone who has been shanghai'd in the past in a similar way, if your boss wants to sack you, they will find a reason to sack you, and that's all there is to it. Just do your best, make sure you meet your deadlines and your standards, keep your head down, and hope for the best.

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    So, in other words, you suggest to escalate this to the CEO, correct? – DarkCygnus Feb 20 at 21:23
  • @DarkCygnus If this manager has been reprimanded for failure to perform, and he is blocking you from improving your personal performance, then interested parties who are evaluating your manager's ability to perform should be made aware. It seems in OP's case that that person is the CEO based on the company's organizational structure; in general I would say no because the CEO has better things to do, but in this specific case it seems like the CEO is the correct person. – Ertai87 Feb 20 at 21:26
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    To elaborate slightly, part of managerial performance metrics includes the metrics of that manager's team. Meaning, if the manager gets in trouble, you (his direct report) could also find yourself in trouble as well. To protect yourself from this, you should proactively show that an issue which could be perceived as your personal issue is actually being caused by your manager. – Ertai87 Feb 20 at 21:29
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    I would have to think carefully before even attempting to escalate that high. This manager in question is probably one out of fifty concerns this CEO has and it would potentially place me into another risky situation. Although, it seems weird that this would go on inside of a company and there aren't preventive measures to prevent this behavior. I'm trying to view this objectively, but what I'm observing seems unusual from a business-perspective. – TechnicalTim Feb 20 at 21:58
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    If the CEO isn't approachable, it sounds like you're on good terms with your previous manager so consider taking it up with him. If you're really lucky he might have an opening for taking you back and you can get out of the hellhole department that way. – Matthew Barber Feb 20 at 22:13
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How can I avoid being terminated by this manager before finding a new job?

Find your new job as quickly as you can. Meanwhile, don't give your manager a reason to fire you.

You know your manager better than anyone here can. If you feel he is closely watching vacation time, then minimize your requests for time off. Interview before or after work hours as much as possible. Group interviews into a single day as best you can so that you don't need to ask for multiple days off.

Above all, do your work diligently and to the best of your abilities. Keep your head down. Don't make waves. Don't ask for training. Concentrate on finding a new job and doing your current job.

  • I'll see if I can do all of that without being a nervous wreck--it's definitely straightforward and practical advice. But if a company I really like demands an interview in the middle of a weekday with only several days notice for an awesome opportunity, I may get myself into trouble just by taking that natural lure. And it's likely going to happen sporadically and repeatedly. I guess no one said that life would be easy. – TechnicalTim Feb 21 at 3:32
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Be the perfect employee until you find your new job. Don't over do it but also don't give them reasons. Plan your vacation days accordingly if you need to go to an interview.

It will probably be hard, but if you feel your termination is inminent (like if they stop giving you work) then quit before he does it.

  • Thanks for the advice, Juan. I definitely need to perform as best as possible under the circumstances. However, quitting will cause me lose the ability to draw unemployment. I wouldn't get much, but I would sure wish I didn't quit if it takes a little longer than I expect to get a new job. Predicting when a termination could occur would have its difficulties because the workflow of my department is relatively unpredictable and the requirements are sometimes unclear. – TechnicalTim Feb 21 at 3:39

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