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Last 6 months, I joined a known tech company. The team is located in a new site. In the meanwhile there is one team - which I joined, that counts 4 employees including the manager. I've done exceptional work and the remote management was baffled with the advance I did in a short time. However, I and my manager didn't get along and I was bullied frequently Until one day, after a vacation of 2 weeks, he set a 1:1 meeting and handed me a pre-termination hearing invitation.

In the hearing session, the management accepted my proof that all the manager's accusations are not valid. They presented two options:

  1. Join the team with the bully manager and try to get along - I refused.
  2. Try to interview for other teams in another site -(which happens to be in the same city where I live) during the next 30 days. Since my direct manager gave me negative feedback on the performance review portal, his manager offered to present me and give verbal positive feedback to the interviewers instead of the written performance review.

I had my first introduction interview. The interviewer asked why I want to move to another team. Because of my answer, where I mentioned that I and my manager don't get along together and therefore his manager will provide feedback about me... he refused to continue the process.

Of course, he asked me to send him the performance reviews that I have. I sent him both performance reviews (first one is positive but the later is not) and highlighted that regarding the last negative performance review, he should talk to my manager's boss - which he didn't.

How should I answer the question: "why you want to move to another team?" in the described case where:

  1. I have two performance reviews, one of them is negative.
  2. I am interviewing during a disciplinary hearing process.
  3. My manager's boss will happily give feedback.
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    please add a location tag – Hilmar Jul 7 at 12:13
  • @AlwaysForward, welcome to The Workplace. In the future, you should consider leaving your question open (without an accepted answer) for a bit longer to see if you can gather a diversity of perspectives. – Jay Jul 7 at 13:52
  • Thank you @Jay for the feedback. I am new here and this is my first time. – AlwaysForward Jul 7 at 14:01
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Be direct and honest. "I'm leaving my previous team after my manager inappropriately attempted to fire me, as decided by the company's termination committee.

Given your description, your company has accepted that your previous manager inappropriately attempted to fire you. This is a very valid reason to be searching for a new team.

You should consider asking a leader in the company for help finding a new team. You mentioned that another team manager failed to reach out to your boss's boss. Ask your manager's boss or another senior leader to contact teams you're interested in and help you explain the situation.

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    Your approach is what worked for me. Thank you. – AlwaysForward Jul 25 at 10:16
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Sorry, but something doesn't feel right here.

Your existing manager wants to fire you, took (presumably) the first required step (pre-termination hearing) but wasn't able to substantiate his complaints, so technically you got exonerated. So far so good.

What's strange is the company's reaction. It sounds like they gave you just enough support to minimize the risk of a legal liability, but not enough to actually help you. Here is why

  1. If they really felt, the existing manager did something wrong or objectionable, they would put some corrective action or checks & balances in place.
  2. Asking you to keep working for the existing manager is pointless unless there is some tangible change in rules. If you don't change anything, you just going to get the same results.
  3. The support they give you for a new role search is backwards. They should clear up your record first, and then shop you around.

All in all that doesn't sound good and it feels like they still want to manage you out of the door while minimizing legal risk.

Here are the things you should consider:

  1. Ask (in writing) for a written transcript of the hearing. Don't let them say "no". If they refuse, find a lawyer and have the lawyer ask for you.
  2. Ask (in writing) for an official finding of the hearing. Either they felt that you are in the clear or not. If you are in the clear, any disciplinary process should have been ended right then and there. The finding should be attached to your personal record.
  3. Ask (in writing) for your negative performance review being removed from your record and replaced with a corrected one or with a note indicating that the senior manager will provide feedback on request.
  4. Ask the senior manager or HR (again: in writing) to provide a cover letter that explains the situation that you can share with any internal hiring manager up front. The notion that you can get considered without this is ridiculous. No hiring manager wants to get involved in a disciplinary process.

In parallel, polish your resume and go hunting for a new job. The situation at your current employer isn't promising for a long term career. It may also be time to talk to a local lawyer or a union rep (if applicable).

On the plus side, you may be able to use the situation to your advantage. Chances are the company wants you to go away and is willing throw money at the problem. Once you have a new gig lined up you can start hinting that you may be open to a "mutually beneficial agreement". Which means: "I'll leave voluntarily and indemnify you if you give me healthy severance package". That needs to be done carefully, so, again, professional help would be useful here.

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