I am a top-performing manager, no negative feedback (not even when I ask for them) from my superiors, yet someone else is going to be the new vice-functional/departmental head following an organizational change.

There is a subtle culture of cronyism. Our company is spread out across the world and the CEO and most senior managers are in one country, in one very tiny office, most of them are alumni and good buddies, whereas the rest of us are based in various operational headquarters in other countries. Well, this new someone else was working as an assistant in a senior manager's office.

I am not sure if that was the only reason, but I don't see any other as I am generally well-perceived by senior management and other managers around me; and I have been seen as the "face" of my team.

In any case, I have an inner crisis about this situation and my team and I would never work for this new boss. I am thus considering if the time has come where I should think of looking elsewhere.

I detailed my specific situation here ( How to react when I am demoted for reasons not related to my performance? ) but wanted to ask more generally what consequence it will have if I decide to quit because of it. Moving would be a big leap and I am concerned it will have a significant impact on my career development.

Apart from this situation, I truly enjoy the company, learn a lot each day, am very involved with my responsibilities (though many of these will be stripped away from me!) and I believe in the company's future. I love the job but not the management (not any more).

What ramifications will leaving have if, aside from this new superior, everything else was just fine and an excellent track record for me?

closed as unclear what you're asking by jmac, CMW, Monica Cellio, Michael Grubey, ChrisF Mar 30 '14 at 20:27

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    Hey AntarcticGorillas, and welcome back. I'm a bit unclear on what you're asking. It sounds like you have already decided that you are angry for being passed over, you don't want to work for your new boss, and you are strongly considering quitting which is why you're asking the question in the first place. What types of answers are you expecting when it sounds like you already know what your priorities are? Could you edit to be a bit more specific on what you're looking for? Thanks in advance! – jmac Mar 27 '14 at 8:22
  • I have no idea why I got a negative rating – AntarcticGorillas Mar 27 '14 at 8:45
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    Have you considered that the reaction pattern you show here could actually be an indicator of why you did not get promoted? – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Mar 27 '14 at 9:43
  • What does that even mean? – AntarcticGorillas Mar 27 '14 at 20:53

In general, it would be much better to look for a new position while still employed at your current job. It sounds like it would be relatively easy for you in that case to explain that you believe that you've gone as far as you can at your current company, citing a long string of successes, and that you're looking for opportunities to take the next step in your career in your next position. That would allow you to talk about your current position and company in positive terms and to interview from a position of relative strength since you're still employed.

If you resign, it becomes much more difficult for you to talk positively about your current employer in interviews and forces you to talk about the conflict at least in broad terms. That puts the interviewer in a tough position. It's common enough for people, even qualified ones, to get passed over for a promotion. It's common enough for people to look for new positions when they believe there is little room for advancement in their current company. It's not common for people to resign when they're passed over for a single promotion and that strongly implies some sort of underlying personality conflict or political maneuvering. That puts the interviewer in a position of trying to figure out whether you're the innocent victim or whether you played politics and lost with no real way of making that determination. Sometimes they'll take the chance that you're just an innocent victim, particularly if the rest of your resume blows them away, but you don't gain anything by making yourself a riskier choice.

In an interview, you don't want to say anything bad about your previous employer. In fact, you don't want to dwell on your previous job very much at all, other than all the things you learned and accomplished, and how that experience will help in this new opportunity.

Concentrate on what you are bringing to this new potential employer, show how what you have done in the past will provide a benefit to them now. If they ask why you are leaving, give the standard (but still honest) reason that you are looking for new managerial opportunities, that you want to continue to improve in your skills, and that this job appears to provide this.

The past is past. You will still think about this and possibly fret over it, but it's happening. None of that has anything to do with jobs you interview with, and the replacement job, so none of it needs to come up in the interview. The only thing that applies is how you will be a better manager because of what you've learned here, and vetting the new company so that where you end up is not worse than where you are leaving.

The ramifications are that you've learned a lot from this position, and you have a lot to offer because of that. You know what you enjoy doing and want to continue doing. Focus on that in interviews.

Note: you want to have that next job accepted before you give notice at this one! So do plan on working with this manager for at least a time, unless you find that next job very quickly.

THE reason for leaving is that you don't want to work for your new boss. If you don't respect him/her, it doesn't matter how they got promoted, or what the broader culture is - you don't want to face this person in a meeting.

"There is a subtle culture of cronyism." On the one hand, this is probably subjective. On the other hand, in some countries there is a tendency to promote people of one's own nationality regardless of competence. You might find that it is less cronyism than prejudice. Regardless, you should fully engage your talents wherever they're appreciated - if they're not appreciated where you are it's time to move on.

Explaining this in so many words in an interview would be a problem if the company you're going to work for has the same habits. Many Oriental cultures put a high premium on loyalty. Rather than indicate that someone at HQ was promoted in your place, itemize the effort that person made or is making to pull the rug out from under you. In short, what precisely are they doing that limits your capacity to do your job?

  • Meredith, I am not sure if I understood your last sentence/question correctly. This person has officially taken over my responsibilities due to a reorganization (so it's technically not a promotion but a reorganization with a new layer of management, which entails me giving up many if not most of my responsibilities). My capacity to do my job is limited by the fact that my responsibilities have been reduced. – AntarcticGorillas Mar 27 '14 at 20:57
  • @AntarcticGorillas - "My capacity to do my job is limited by the fact that my responsibilities have been reduced." Meaning it's time to leave. Why they were reduced doesn't matter - if they aren't using the best you have to offer you'll go somewhere where they can. This is all you need to tell anyone in an interview. – Meredith Poor Mar 28 '14 at 4:55

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