Six months ago I moved to another country to take up a job in a new company. I'm getting a great engineering salary. I'm Principal Developer, and I have 20 years of experience in several languages and worked in various projects.

But now my team has two new managers with a style of micromanaging that I don't particularly enjoy. Technical tasks were deprioritized, and pretty much all the automation work I did last year to automate most of our work has been scrapped. Now we just write HTML/CSS by hand or do data-entry.

I'm a developer, this is not what I'm good at.

I had to talk with the CTO after my last review came with some bad feedback. They helped me with some of my complaints (apparently I'm in the right!), but I don't think we're going to change soon, since both managers are not interested in the changes I'm proposing.

I also asked to change teams, since there are other teams internally needing people with my expertise

I got a "let's try to work things out". It's been like this for three months.

After 20 years in this field, my experience is that pretty much every company prefers losing an employee over transfering him to a more appropriate internal position in a sensible time.

This is my fifth job in those 20 years and in the previous four I left because after 4 or 5 years things changed and I started doing work that stopped matching my expertise or would be good for my career. It was never salary, fights or anything of the sort. Never been fired, companies never went bankrupt.

Since I've been in this job for less than a year I'd rather avoid having that in my resumé and would like to try other teams.

I think the problem might be with me.

I also want to fight to stay in this company, but I believe I deserve to be in a team that's more appropriate for my skillset.

Is there any advice on what to do? Am I fated to change jobs?

  • If you've changed jobs 4 times because they don't do things your way and they'd rather lose you than transfer you internally.... maybe your way has issues?
    – Kilisi
    Commented Mar 8, 2020 at 21:57
  • The advise you are seeking is a bit to specific to your situation. I see two questions here. One about how to get your point across (Involves standing your ground and having proper discussions) and another about changing teams internally vs externally (which ends up being a payroll and budgeting issue usually).
    – Shadowzee
    Commented Mar 8, 2020 at 22:08
  • @Kilisi It's not because "they don't do things my way". Doing HTML/CSS templates is a completely different skill set from a developer. And it's also waste of money, and waste of my time.
    – ssdev
    Commented Mar 8, 2020 at 22:10
  • @Shadowzee Sorry about that, I'm new here. I'm more focusing on how to change teams. I was never able to accomplish that before, and one co-worker suggested being more assertive. I'll try to edit to make it clear.
    – ssdev
    Commented Mar 8, 2020 at 22:20
  • DO you have a team in mind? It's a lot easier to say "I do want to be on this other team" than just "I don't want to be on this team". Commented Mar 9, 2020 at 1:11

2 Answers 2


I got a "let's try to work things out". It's been like this for three months

Request another meeting with the CTO, and tell them that nothing has changed. Be prepared to look for a position elsewhere if you don't get the move you need. From the CTO's viewpoint, they had a meeting with you, you went away placated and didn't come back to them - so for them, the problem appears solved.

  • 1
    I'd add: And if they offer another attempt to find another position or look how something goes, always make sure you have a fixed timeline - i.e. get a date fixed for a review of the situation. Commented Mar 9, 2020 at 0:20
  • This is good advice in general but we've been "trying to work it out" for three months. I guess I'm gonna have to give an ultimatum.
    – ssdev
    Commented Mar 9, 2020 at 19:08
  • @ssdev If you've been trying to work it out for three months, and the CTO has been involved and updated all the time, then I agree. It could be new position time (get the new position before you tell them, of course...)
    – PeteCon
    Commented Mar 10, 2020 at 3:15

Changing teams internally can be extremely complicated because it involves two separate teams, whereas if you are changing externally, it will only involve a single team (the one that hires you).

Firstly, the team you want to move to must have a vacancy. This isn't extra work they need to be completed or a specialist skill set they need. This is enough money in the budget and HR approval to hire an additional person. So you need to confirm with the manager of the other team that this is the case, otherwise its pointless. You will need their backing to change into their team.

Secondly, your manager must approve the change. Your manager spend time and money to hire you. They assign you tasks and expect you to finish them. You switching teams means that they need to redo this entire hiring process again and they may not be happy about this. There may also be additional paperwork from HR which your leader needs to complete. Team leaders won't want to tread on each others feet, so not only does a position need to be vacant, your manager has to be willing to let you go.

Finally, you probably have to go through an internal hiring process with the new team to make sure you are the right fit for the team and the role. There can be contract changes and pay changes as well as you are technically switching roles/teams and compensation may vary. The time for this to take effect can vary greatly, but usually its just business as usual until all the paperwork is finalized.

So if you want to change teams internally, you need to approach the manager of the team you want to switch to. Confirm there is a position and they want you. Inform your current manager of your intentions and get their backing. Then go through the internal exchange process.

This is all compared with just interviewing with a new company and declaring you quit your job. So more often than not, changing jobs externally is far easier. (Unless there just happens to be a position opened internally and offered to you by your own manager).

  • 1
    I think you're right. It's probably easier to just go find another job. There are six other teams with vacancies (looking for someone in my position actually, it's a great company), but I don't think my manager is willing to let me go yet. It's a shame. I kinda like the company, and I'm very productive writing code together with other team members, but I think that's just tough luck that I got assigned to the wrong position.
    – ssdev
    Commented Mar 9, 2020 at 19:11

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