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I work as a developer in a multinational company. I work there since last November.

At first, I landed in a project in which we had almost no work until January/February. When I started getting tasks, I started working under supervision from a senior developer and the technical leader of the team. As weeks passed, everything went well, I constantly receives praises from both superiors for working hard, and doing good on the tasks I was asigned.

Suddenly, one day, in the fist week of , I got kicked out of the team by the PM. When I got to talk with that PM and the community manager (the company has "guilds" for each technology; for example, there is a guild for .NET devs, another for Java devs, etc.; each guild has a community manager that manages the career plans and other things of every worker in that guild), they gave vague reasons for kicking me out of the team. A couple days later, the community manager sent me an email stating certain points that the PM of the team I was kicked from had stated I was failing on.

On the email, the PM said that I usually missed daily meetings (which was not true; at most I should have missed 2 meetings, due to personal problems); he also said that I took too long to answer messages, sometimes taking hours to answer (never took more than 10 minutes), and he also said that I did not know when it was time to work and when to waste time (don't know why, because when all the devs went to play table tennis o to walk outside the building, I always stayed in my desk in case any new tasks appeared). He also stated that I did not know how to properly communicate and talk in a formal environment (never said anything out of place in any meeting or anything like that). When I asked the community manager for concrete examples on those behaviours they stated in the email, and asked for some guidance on what could I do to improve, and what he expected of me, he said something like "figure it out yourself" (both the examples, and how to improve).

Before that, in the last week of February, the company decided to give everyone a raise to help fight my country's inflation since last October (the company reviews raises and promotions on April and October). This was prior to being kicked out of the team, and all the above problems. When the community manager talked to me about the raise, he told me they would be giving me a merely 10% raise. Later that day, when I talked with my teammates, they told me they all got something like 25% (so that supposed performance problem was already notified to the manager by my PM at that time).

After all that, I got moved to an internal project and started being closely watched by that community leader. At first that project was being managed by 2 devs, who were the ones that started it. For 2 months the community mananger kept saying that the 2 devs that managed the project said my performance was bad (even though I kept working as usual, putting my heart and soul on every task), that I kept missing meetings (never missed one), and all the things the prior PM said about me.

After 2 months I started working on that new project, they put a PM to manage and help organize all the work, as well as a technical leader to help the developers. And those 2 devs that managed the project got moved to other projects.

From that point, everyting went ok. 2 weeks ago I got into a 1:1 meeting with that community leader and, as he got no feedback from the current PM, he told me to organize a meeting with that PM, so she could tell us how my performance was. When the meeting came, the manager asked my PM about all the things he thought were bad with me and my performance, and she told him that everything was alright. She said that I never missed any meetings, that I was working good. Then, she addressed me, and told me she had some constructive criticism to give me. She told me I should be a little more detailed when talking about my current task in the daily meetings. She also told me to rely more on my teammates when working on any tasks, that she felt I was being too lonely and not asking for much help even if I was blocked by something. I told her that I am a very proud person, I want to be able to be as autonomous as possible and be able to finish tasks all by myself, if possible. Also I do not feel ok with bothering people to solve my problems, and that is why I don't bother my teammates too much. I also told her that, although I am like that, if I have any doubts about anything and/or I need help deciding anything, or I am really blocked with a task, I don't hesitate to ask for help. After that, I agreed to rely more on the others and the meeting was finished.

Fast forward to today, the community manager asked me to enter a meeting, and spoke to me about the raises they postponed in April til June. He started saying that my performance was bad, as he always told me (despite that good feedback from my PM), and that I would be getting no raise or anything.

Frankly, I don't care too much about the money (although raises are needed, because our money quickly depreciates with each passing month). What bothered me the most is that this manager is always saying my performance is bad, no matter what I do, and he refuses to, at least, give some guidance on what he expects and how he thinks I should improve.

Obviously I have a lot of things to learn and improve (that is why I am here too), but I don't feel I'm doing a horrible job to be getting bad reviews constantly.

Part of me tells me it's time for a new job, but that would be a shame because, despite the problems that I am having with this manager, it seems like a good company with a good work environment, and most of the people are really nice. Also, the workload is not too heavy (at least for me), which helps me keep up with my studies.

What do you think I should do in this case? Also, what do you think I should improve, and how?

  • Does your company stack rank? – Matthew Gaiser Jun 26 at 3:19
  • I would say no, but actually I have very little information on how those things are handled in this company. – foobard Jun 26 at 7:30
  • Since it’s a multinational company, I imagine it to be rather big. Instead (or in addition to) of contemplating looking for a new job, have you considered asking to be moved to another team/departement/branch ? – breversa Jun 26 at 10:08
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    hi @foobard, welcome new user - I would urge you to shorten your question. very long questions basically get little or no answers. enjoy! – Fattie Jun 26 at 12:33
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If what you are telling is correct, it looks like they are trying to establish a paper trail to be able to fire you for bad performance, because they want to get rid of you for other reasons. You didn't write your country, so I assume it's a country where you can't fire someone on the spot.

It's also possible that your performance is poor or just perceived as being poor, because you don't collaborate ("I am a very proud person, I want to be able to be as autonomous as possible and be able to finish tasks all by myself, if possible") nor socialize ("when all the devs went to play table tennis o to walk outside the building, I always stayed in my desk") with your peers. In general, loners are harmful to a company's culture, so managers will avoid hiring them or try to get them to leave if they are recognized too late.

For the first case, the choice is obviously to find a new company before they fire you. You can probably protest against the bad reviews and, depending on your country's law, also get a lawyer involved, but that won't make the company not want to fire you.

For the second case, you can take the criticism to heart and work on both your soft skills (socializing and collaboration) and hard skills (programming knowledge).

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  • I socialize a lot with my peers. At least, I socialized a lot with my teammates when working in that project I was fired from. Normally I went to play table tennis with them during lunch or after work hours. Sometimes I would go during work hours if the whole team went to play it due to no tasks being available. – foobard Jun 26 at 7:20
  • In the current project, some peers are in the same building as me, but the majority of the team is in another building, so I have very little chances to socialize with the current team. For the record, I live in Argentina. Currently we are isolated and working remotely (it has been so since mid March) due to the pandemic, so no chances to socialize with my peers, aside from playing videogames sometimes. – foobard Jun 26 at 7:23
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    "loners are harmful to a company's culture". Any real basis for that ? Where I am we have people that never eat with us, that doesn't prevent them for begin nice and most of all, get the work done. To me it seems like a huge discrimination. Yeah I do find that it would be better if we could have them with us at launch, but am I not the toxic one if I want to force them ? Am I not even toxic by thoroughly destroyed the self confidence of someone by saying they have bad performance when you just want to kick him because he is a loner ? – Walfrat Jun 29 at 7:41
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what do you think I should improve, and how?

You need to start caring about the money you earn.

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  • without an explanation, this answer may become useless in case if someone else posts an opposite opinion. For example, if someone posts a claim like "Avoid caring about the money you earn.", how would this answer help reader to pick of two opposing opinions? Consider editing it into a better shape, to meet How to Answer guidelines – gnat Jun 26 at 5:18

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