I've been in my current position for 6 months (out of a 12 month contract) at a higher education establishment. The management have given me lots of praise during this time about how my apps have transformed areas of the business in such a short amount of time saving 100s of man hours.

Only my boss (Network Manager) really understands Web development here, it was his idea to move away of off-the-shelf packages and start developing in house. I'm the first and only in-house developer.

My boss has just handed in his notice, and I've really pushed to take over the part of his role that involves managing me, specifying new apps, project managing and communicating and presenting ideas to management. This is something I really want to do, and as the person closest to the action, I'm best placed. If there was ever an opportunity to progress here, it's now.

I've been told that they definitely want to make my job permanent but plan to draft in a current teacher with a background (10 years ago) in C++ (no Web or project management experience) to take over managing me and act as a middleman between me and the internal clients.

I've dealt with this member of staff before and he's more of a hindrance than a help. I've decided to leave and I've made clear that I have been looking elsewhere. I still feel I should be able to leverage my position here to improve my situation. What's the best way to go about this? I know my current company will be very unhappy about having to go through the recruitment/training process again.

  • 2
    Have you thought that they may like your work, but don't believe you have management skills?
    – squeemish
    Jul 24, 2013 at 13:36
  • If you're looking to improve the existing situation, I think we need more detail on what you're trying to improve, and less of the history that got it to this point. The real thing I think you're trying to fix is your relationship with the new manager - but most of the paragraphs in your question are about your attempt to become a manager. Jul 24, 2013 at 20:18
  • How did your work save "100s of man hours"?
    – acolyte
    Jul 31, 2013 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


It is too late to get them to make you the manager when they have already announced the other person is going to do the job.

Now what that means is that you need to learn how to position yourself for the job you want before it is vacant. You need to ask for more leadership opportunities and you need to make your boss aware that you are interested in management. You need to learn the realities of politics (all managers deal extensively with politics daily.)

However, based on what you wrote, I don't think you are interested in management, I think you just don't like having a new boss you don't care for. What you appear to want is freeedom to do anything you want to do which is a nice pipe-dream but is something no responsible company will give you in practice. You want to be a developer who can play with whatever he wants to play with which is a recipe for career disaster.

You don't indicate that you understand managment or that what the users need is more important than what you want. Further, you are a contractor, the management position is never going to be given to the contractor over the permanent employee. You are not an employee of the company, so of course you were not considered for the position. As a contractor, you will work for many people under many circumstances and you will very often be faced with working for someone you do not care for. It is a work skill you need to get.

Now as to this guy and how to work with him. First, I have in the past been assigned to work for someone I disliked or did not respect. Sometimes when you actually get to know them better you will find they are better than you think and they will be someone you can learn from. At a minimum this person clearly understands more about how to work the political end of management which you clearly do not. You can learn from him. Now granted, on occasion, what you learn is how you don't want to behave later when you are a manager yourself if this is truly where you want to go. This too is valuable knowledge. I have never worked with any person that I did not learn something valuable from.

The first task you have is to talk to the new manager and find out how he wants to work with you. Then adapt to his style. (This is critically important, his style of managing work is the new normal, adapt.) He will consider your input more if you do not antagonize him from the start. Don't be patronizing and come off as the expert because he doesn't know web developement. Never make your boss feel as if you dislike him or think he is stupid, especially if you do. This guy now has the power to end your contract or decide if you wil be converted to a permanent employee. You need to impress him with you abilities and part of impressing him is learning what he will find impressive and doing that. You only have 6 more months on your contract, give this guy at least that amount of time and if you still don't think he is a good manager, start looking as your contract end date is coming up. In a career, 6 months is a drop in the bucket.

Leaving becasue you have a new manager is an indicator that you are difficult to work with to a hiring official. At least give the guy a try. Leaving at this point is the single worst mistake you can make. You need to learn how to roll with the punches and keep working and doing a good job. Or you will shortly find yourself with a series of short jobs because something you didn't like happened. Well here's a hint, something you don't like will happen at 100% of all organizations you could work for. Even people who own the company have things they don't like that they have to deal with. Learn to deal before you move on.

  • 1
    beautifully written
    – squeemish
    Jul 24, 2013 at 18:21
  • 1
    +1 for "Leaving because you have a new manager...". I know that I certainly wouldn't be interested in bringing you onto a team if i saw that you left because you didn't get the manager you wanted. You would be a liability.
    – acolyte
    Jul 31, 2013 at 13:46

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