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I work at a Hearing Aids company in Brazil and I'm a Marketing Coordinator/Specialist. We are in 4 marketers. I was hired to build and develop an e-commerce business for Hearing Aids, the actual web developing and business developing. 70% better income than my last job. I'm the only marketer that is supposed to work on this project. Other marketers have their roles (Graphic designer, Social Media Analyst and Marketing Assistant).

The e-commerce is the first step to make the company evolve from a local business to a national business, according to CEO's strategy. Very promising.

I felt awesome about it, since it was a great professional challenge for me. But now, after 1 year, only 30% of the e-commerce business project is complete and all I did during this first year (CEO orders) was helping with the company's local marketing and social media (which is not a challenge at all for me).

I feel that I haven't done much in this 1 year, neither learned new things of developed important projects (i.e did not evolve much as a professional).

What I have thought about this situation:

  1. It is a process, I was hired to an expansion project, but maybe the company is not ready for it. It needs more time and professionalization. I'm the part of a transition.
  2. Maybe I should leave and pursue another challenge since I'm in a different moment comparing to the company.
  3. Maybe I should focus on e-commerce and tell CEO that I was hired for it and if he needs help on local and social media marketing I should not put my hands on it. Let the other marketers do it, or hire new marketers.

Can you help me interpret this situation better? Should I take any actions?

I feel unmotivated and without purpose.

Thank you!

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    Have you spoken with your manager about expectations around when you would have more focus on the new project? – dwizum Dec 6 '19 at 15:13
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    "Maybe I should leave and pursue another challenge since I'm in a different moment comparing to the company." Don't do that unless you already have an offer in hand. Look for a job while you're still employed. It's much easier that way. – Stephan Branczyk Dec 6 '19 at 15:44
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    @dwizum we did talk last week, and there is no expectations on when the new project will become a priority again. According to him, he needs efforts on our local stores for now. – renanAlmeida828 Dec 6 '19 at 15:52
  • @StephanBranczyk yes, I will not leave without an offer. But you do agree than I should leave then? I'm wondering if there is a reason to stay – renanAlmeida828 Dec 6 '19 at 15:55
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    Yes, I agree that you should leave once you have a new employer lined up. – Stephan Branczyk Dec 6 '19 at 16:19
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You asked,

Can you help me interpret this situation better? Should I take any actions?

It's hard for us to direct your actions, since they will depend on your personal goals and motivations. However, we can provide advice on a framework to help you proceed.

It sounds like the crux of the matter is that you expected to work on a specific project, and that project has not really started yet. In the meantime, you are being directed to work on another, less interesting project. Your next steps should be:

  • Mentally, take a step back from the job. Take some time to collect your thoughts, and consider what your true motivations and goals are. It sounds like you've done this at least a little, because you seem to know that you're interested in the web-based business. However, you also seemed excited about the huge salary - so make sure you are carefully balancing what is important to you (salary vs work subject?).
  • Make sure you consider not only your immediate happiness and your immediate needs (especially salary), but also your long term goals. It's frequently the case that companies in transition end up moving more slowly than originally planned - the current work not being interesting doesn't automatically mean that you will never get interesting work from this employer.

Those steps may seem unnecessary if you already know what you want, but before considering any big step (like quitting your job) it can be helpful to deliberately take the time to refresh your goals. Some people in your position may decide that they're so happy about the larger salary that they're OK with putting off their desired project, for instance. So, take the time to consider your motivations.

  • Once you know what is important to you - both in the long term sense, and the short term sense, you can engage your boss again and attempt to get some clarity. When you do this, be specific and ask questions framed in a way that helps your boss give specific answers that will actually be helpful to you.

I am making that last point because many times, employees will want a certain change or will want to know when something is going to happen, but they ask about it in a way that doesn't get them an answer that they're happy with. So, for instance, instead of asking,

When can I start focusing on the web project?

You may want to ask,

Can we discuss a road map for the next few years, that will help me understand the timing of the web project?

If your boss redirects you and says the focus needs to be on the local project for now, you can seek further clarification. But instead of asking,

When will the local project be over?

You can ask things like,

Can you help me understand the goals and targets for the local project? What things do we have to achieve in order for it to be successful?

This can help the two of you draw up a concrete target - then, once you have a plan to ensure that the target will get met, it will be much easier to talk about a time line for working on the web project.

If you continue to feel unhappy, and you are not getting satisfying answers to your questions, then it may be time to look elsewhere. But, don't just walk out the door. Instead, consider this a learning experience. Make sure you understand why you are unhappy in this job. Then, as you search for a new job, make sure you are searching in a way that will help you avoid the same situation all over again. So, if working on a specific type of project is important to you, the first (and obvious) step should be looking for jobs that feature that project type.

However, you should also make sure you are developing a list of questions about things that are important to you. Then, as you go on job interviews, you can ask your questions. Again, be specific. If a potential employer says that they will soon branch out into web business, and they will want you involved in that, you can ask about the timing for that up front. Ask about how they are resourcing the web project and how they are preparing to keep the rest of their business stable while branching out. Questions like those will help you understand if your new employer has a concrete plan that will let you focus on the work you enjoy, instead of risking your current situation where there is no apparent plan.

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    I get it now, instead of asking when MY interests are going to be achieved. I ask how WE (myself and the company) can achieve our interests together. And then I should be satisfied with the answers so I can make a decision. – renanAlmeida828 Dec 6 '19 at 18:01
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It seems that your company had big plans for the future, but then immediate concerns came and stole the show. This isn't all that unusual in corporate reality.

You mention that the e-commerce project has moved forward a bit, but not nearly as much as you'd expected. What's the holdup? Is it money - are the company's financial reserves tied up in something else? Is it work - is everyone too busy with something else? Is it attention - is your boss not so good at running two projects at the same time?

This could be an opportunity for you to take a bit of a leadership role. Have a talk with your boss, about how it's a shame that the e-commerce project isn't making much progress. And how e-commerce is pretty important to being able to take the company to new places. You understand that he's pretty busy, so here's what you propose: take some of the load from him. Ask to get a slice of your time reserved for the e-commerce project, say a day per week. You get to work on it, and pull in some resources.

It doesn't mean that working on the project means you become unavailable for other projects, you're still in the loop on those and contributing. But you're also building foundations for this project.

You keep your manager up to date on it: where are you, what have you accomplished, what are you going to do next, when is the project going to get to a new stage of maturity. It should be relatively little work for him, but you keep him well-informed so that he can do what he needs to do as a manager.

If the project makes progress and tangible results come within reach, you can ask for more resources. He's going to get a bunch of the credit for the result (because as a manager he helped shape the cirmcumstances for success), but he'll also know you did much of the work and allowed him to look good. You should be able to both get credit for it.

So, this requires you to take more initiative to get this project rolling.

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