I've been working for a large website for just over two years now, firstly as a web designer, and then, for the last nine months, as a front end developer. I made that change by announcing, about a year ago, my intentions to my boss that I wanted to go into full-stack development, with front end as the immediate stepping stone.

I'm happy enough in my current job, but I'm a bit concerned about the woolliness and evasiveness I perceive from my boss about my long term ambitions. He's been lukewarm about my transition (I recently heard that he tried to get my salary reduced when I moved jobs), and previous conversations about my long-term goals have been less than cordial, to say the least. Because he is the head of design, my movement to back end development would mean me leaving his team, and he is especially uncomfortable about having fewer people underneath him.

Since our last discussion five months ago, he seems to have been avoiding our scheduled catchups, and I'm a bit concerned about this. Whilst I suppose I don't have to have his blessing to move on (I could just formally apply for the internal post), it would obviously be best if we worked towards this goal together, and as my pay is related to my performance, I'd obviously rather have my goals reflect my ambitions and my pay assessment reflect my planned progress.

The situation with my boss is a bit bizarre in some ways, as I haven't really worked directly with the rest of his team in about a year now. For all intents and purposes I'm just a 'one of the other developers'. My status in his team is a bit ambiguous.

We're set to have a catchup this Thursday. Should I raise my worries? Do I even have legitimate concerns here? What's a good way to broach this subject?

  • 1
    What differences are there from this question? It seems the answers there would be directly applicable to your situation as well.
    – enderland
    Feb 18 '14 at 12:40

I don't know if I'm the only one thinking that he's scared. He does not want to clear things up between the two of you. He does not want a drastic change. You're the one who's being professional.

  1. Yes, you should raise your worries. How can you continue working with that in mind?
  2. Of course you have legitimate concerns (I think)! I am also leading a department, and I want my members to open up to me regarding their concerns, especially with their career. It's part of his job as a manager to take care of his members, especially if it's absolutely work-related.
  3. Hmmm.. Actually, it's up to you. You're the one who knows his behavior and outlook toward things. Just be professional, as this site always recommends.

I hope this helps.

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