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My manager told me that my team is getting split into two, and that after the split, I will be with half of my team temporarily for a new project and will be moving to a new team after the project is complete, but that he doesn't know what team I'll be moving to. When I told him that I would like to know which team I'll be moving to he said that he doesn't know, but the company is restructuring (they are hiring intensively) and things are always changing so there will be a new team for me to join.

A team member with the same job title as me who started after me is going to stay with the half of my team that I will be with for the duration of the new project, so I will be the only one from my current team not staying in one of the two teams created from the split. My manager says that after I help complete the new project with half of the original team, I cannot join one of the two teams that were created from splitting my team, because they don't think they will need any more people.

  1. What does this mean, and should I be worried? I feel like I'm being railroaded and pushed out, I don't know if I'm just being paranoid. Also I don't know whether the new team I will be joining will match my skills and interests.

  2. Is it normal for a manager not to know what team one of his team members is moving to?

  3. How do I handle and deal with this news and uncertainty? It is stressful not to know what team I will be moving to, especially when the team might not exist yet.

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    Perhaps, it is a good idea to start updating your resume and looking for a new job in case this current "restructuring" does not work out well for you. Don't take it personal. Most people switch jobs a few times in their careers before they find nice jobs that fit their skills, goals, and expectations in many ways. Commented Jan 29, 2022 at 20:02
  • Are you a good developer? If you're any good, it would make sense to use you to seed a team with new recruits. "Is it normal for a manager not to know what team one of his team members is moving to?" Yes, absolutely. That being said, if you're getting bad vibes, maybe you're on the chopping block yourself. You really haven't provided us with enough information. Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 10:05

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How do I handle and deal with this news and uncertainty?

It doesn't sounds good. But other than updating your resume, checking what jobs are out there, and refreshing your professional network, there's really not much to do right now.

Be prepared, but wait it out and see what transpires. You might land in a great new team. Or if let go, you might get a nice severance package.

And if you get clearer signals down the road you can react accordingly.

Don't take it personally. One time when my team was reorged, a manager from corporate displayed the new org chart and my name wasn't on it. They claimed it was a mistake, but I got ready anyway. About 3 months later we had a big layoff and I was included along with about 50% of the former team. I got 10 weeks severance pay but had a new job within 2 weeks. It was like getting 8 weeks pay as a bonus.

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    @Duzii2 - The good news is it sounds like the manager does believe there will be a position and work to keep you gainfully employed, they just don't know what team you will be assigned to, as that team likely does not exist yet. However, I would agree, it's a good time to make sure your resume is current.
    – Donald
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 20:04
  • @Donald: I was told that during a reorganization, as my work was handed off to India, and I had no new work. I was laid off. Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 16:06
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  1. Projects start and end, and go from full on development to maintenance mode. That's normal. The people planning what's next will be considering your skills (but your interests aren't really important to them). Behind the scenes, a group of managers will be trying to allocate staff to the most appropriate jobs, making sure each new team has sufficient head count.
  2. Your immediate manager may have no part in the reorganization planning.
  3. If they are recruiting, then the company needs more people not fewer. Unless you think they particularly want to get rid of you, it's probably that they haven't worked out where you're most needed yet.
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If you are based in a country that has laws regulating redundancy and restructures, then it is very likely that you have nothing to worry about. In both the UK and NZ, restructures require employers to enter the process in good faith. They cannot pre-select people for redundancy before they announce the process as that would be considered bad faith.

Likewise, after they make someone redundant, the company cannot increase headcount in that role for a period of time, so if they are recruiting heavily, making redundancies will be problematic for them.

In the UK, small companies tend to make an employees live miserable to encourage them to move on, and larger companies promote people onto a 1 person "special project" with a fancy new job title and then in 6-9 months when that project completes, then everyone on that project is made redundant, as the work is complete.

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What does this mean, and should I be worried? I feel like I'm being railroaded and pushed out, I don't know if I'm just being paranoid. Also I don't know whether the new team I will be joining will match my skills and interests.

It depends. Did you so far get clues form your manager that they might not want you around for some reason or are you someone who "meets expectations" (to use corporate parlance)? Have they mentioned a reason why you will not be part of the teams that got split? Are your skills better used some place else, like forming a new team with you as a senior?

You know better your context, whatever people on the internet answer can mostly be assumptions.

Is it normal for a manager not to know what team one of his team members is moving to?

Depends on the company. Are you in an outsourcing company or provider, or are you a product company? If the company has clients they are discussing projects with and they still haven't figured out what they want and what kind of a team they need to staff to make it happen, then yes, that can be normal. You are basically "on the bench" until they need you.

Again, you didn't mention the kind of company you work for, so we can't tell precisely.

How do I handle and deal with this news and uncertainty? It is stressful not to know what team I will be moving to, especially when the team might not exist yet.

I don't want this to sound harsh, but for an employer, you are an employee. They will place you where they need you. Now, or when they figure out where they need you. If they figure out they don't need you anymore then that's that. But the same goes for you. If you still like working there then you can stay, if something bothers you then you can leave.

You say the company is restructuring and hiring intensively, are other people in your situation? Try to let emotions aside and think about the big picture and where you might see yourself as part of it.

My manager says that after I help complete the new project with half of the original team [...]

Have they communicated a timeline for how much longer they need you to help or not? They might not know what's coming their way, but they should have a better image about what they need to get done before starting something else. Any communication on this aspect?

What you can do now is to first calm down, then try to look at the whole situation considering all communications about the projects (current and future) not just regarding you, then decide which are the things that you want clarified so that you feel confident that you will still be around in the future.

With that, open a new conversation with you manager and ask them where you fit in in their future plans or what their intention is regarding you. If they can give a straight, honest, convincing answer then you might be good. And if instead you smell bulls#it, then it probably is.

And finally, keep in mind that job security doesn't exist. One day you can be the most dependable person in the company, that everyone wants to work with, and the next you find out that the CEO bankrupted the company, stole all the money and spent it on hookers and cocaine, and now you're all out of a job.

EDIT: Based on the extra details in the comments, it's likely that your manager just knows that you will be leaving his project soon (and his mind is already on that), and then doesn't know what will happen. But instead of saying that, he's trying to give a more acceptable answer of "don't worry, we'll find a team for you". You need a more definitive answer though, so you have to ask again about future plans. You could start the conversation by saying that you will support your current team to the fullest, but that you also want to prepare for your next role, to hit the ground running so to speak, and for that you would need more details. It also doesn't hurt to start "shopping around" and ask other managers or teams if they need someone with your skills.

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    The best form of "job security: is to consistently be a high performer and someone who is flexible. So the OP's situation may be somewhat disruptive but it's also an opportunity to shine.
    – jwh20
    Commented Jan 29, 2022 at 17:34
  • I've felt that my manager has been overlooking me and my work, and taking me for granted, it started after the new team member joined after me. For example, in meetings he always mentions my name last, and when writing a message to the entire team on the team chat, he writes my name last after every other team member. I feel like the order of the names he pings reflects the hierarchy of team members he likes/values from most to least. In a team meeting recently, he provided the team a link to a google sheet but I was the only one he forgot to give access to, and I had to ask him for access.
    – Duzii2
    Commented Jan 29, 2022 at 17:46
  • What does someone who "meets expectations" mean?
    – Duzii2
    Commented Jan 29, 2022 at 17:47
  • Have they mentioned a reason why you will not be part of the teams that got split?. He said that the teams created from the split are becoming specialized and that the senior members will be staying in those teams, and they won't need any more people for the work the two teams will have. Although the new team member who started after me with the same job title will be staying in one of the teams, it could be because he already knows a coding language in that team or that he is from the same country as other senior members in that team, or that he just likes him better.
    – Duzii2
    Commented Jan 29, 2022 at 17:55
  • Are your skills better used some place else, like forming a new team with you as a senior? I am a junior.
    – Duzii2
    Commented Jan 29, 2022 at 17:56
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Lot of this situation is based on your own assumptions with no real incident to serve as evidence. "What if my skills will not match my new team? What if they are railroading me? " Are all based on your fears. They could be as likely be wrong as well.

What does this mean, and should I be worried? You may not have anything to be worried about but your concern is real so you should ask exactly this to your manager.

Is it normal for a manager not to know what team one of his team members is moving to?

If the decision to split and hire extensively was not made by your manager, then it is very likely he does not know (yet) which team you will be moving to.

How do I handle and deal with this news and uncertainty?

Just let it play out on its own. Worst case; you are forced to look for a new job but you do not know if it will come to that. Best case; The new team to which you will be assigned will actually turn out great for you and your career. So just wait and see how things are unfolding.

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