I am looking for an advice from those more experienced than I am.

In my current team I was working in a project for quite a long time, mainly doing maintenance (unfortunately). I believed that I had a very good relationship with my manager and I believed all was fine. I had told him that I was unhappy with the long time spend doing maintenance tasks and he told me that this would change with a new project coming.

When the new project came up, it was passed to someone else. From what I can tell, this was done on purpose, but due to the manager's lack of action in informing me and assigning it to me directly it was "picked up" by another colleague. I never received feedback about any problem with my skills or that he does not trust me or anything else.

I don't really know how to handle the situation.

I am angry and feel wronged. I would like to move to another team and stop working with this manager. But these are just my feelings and I want to be professional. I don't know if it makes sense to complain to him, confront him or ask his manager to move me elsewhere.

Basically I would like to know what is the most professional way to handle this that would benefit me in the long run as well.

Most important I would like to stop feeling like a fool.

  • Have you discussed your goals / future plans with your manager? Set it up - get a training plan going, and stick to it (you should be doing most of the work), but your manager should be involved so that he can share in the sense of accomplishment - if there isn't any, then you should start looking elsewhere, perhaps on-the-side if you are comfortable with your position. Also if the small tasks/chores are truly painful, look for ways you can optimize them and make them less painful. Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 21:14
  • @user2813274:We rarely do such discussions.And when we do, I did not get a negative feedback that is why I was surprised.Generally I think this guy only cares about himself.Concerning the tasks, they are not painful, but tedious and I am fed up with them.Which is something I have already told him in the past
    – Jim
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 22:25
  • @user2813274:See my last comment in Roger's answer
    – Jim
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 18:23
  • 3
    @ReallyTiredOfThisGame:No it is not related.If my boss slapped me I know exactly what to do...
    – Jim
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 20:05
  • 1
    @Jim Consider reworking the question then to ask a more targeted question. What is your goal or what is it you want to communicate that you do not know how to do effectively? Maybe explain why you are having the problem so that we can help you over come that. In the linked question the violence was just a minor escalation of unprofessional behavior. The solution to the problem is basically the same as it stands right now. Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 20:13

2 Answers 2


There could be any number of reasons why your manager assigned this project to someone else:

  • He may have thought that the other person was a better fit for the project.
  • Someone may have specifically requested that the other person lead the project.
  • Your manager may have a different project in mind for you, and you may not know about the different project yet.

These are just a few possibilities - there are many others. Always remember that your management is acting upon information that you don't necessarily have, and it's dangerous to make assumptions based solely upon your limited knowledge of the situation.

I would suggest simply asking your manager if you were considered to lead the project, and if so, why you weren't selected. If you can do this in a non-confrontational way, you will preserve your good relationship with your manager while gaining some insight into his decision.

  • 3
    Why wouldn't he tell you? You're borrowing trouble and taking offense prematurely. Don't make assumptions -- just ask what you can do to improve your chances of being chosen next time.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 22:01
  • 4
    Only your manager knows why you weren't selected for this position. The only way you will find out is to stop (yes) ranting and ask. "I never had a negative feeback" is different from "I've been getting tremendously positive feedback", especially when you're looking for an opportunity to do something considered more challenging... but either way, YOU NEED TO ASK, POLITELY, AND LISTEN SERIOUSLY, BEFORE DECIDING YOU WERE WRONGED.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 22:20
  • 2
    He's telling you that you need to be more proactive about watching the queue and grabbing stuff that looks interesting. Depending on how your company does things, that may be an important skill to learn. Could he have been more proactive on your behalf? Yes. Could you have been more proactive on your own behalf? Apparently.
    – keshlam
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 18:52
  • 1
    Yes, a good manager will help you develop your skills... not every manager is great in this regard, just as not every manager is great in any other regard. But yes, you're also supposed to be proactive in seeking out opportunities and managing your own career. I have to admit here that even after decades in the business I'm not as good at that as I should be.
    – keshlam
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 20:47
  • 1
    @Jim: I don't know the way that your organization works and don't know your manager. I think you should find a tactful way to discuss your concerns with him. If he brushes you off, your only recourse is to be more proactive and alert, fair or not.
    – Roger
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 22:25

Lots of things here. First never go to talk to your boss angry, that will lead to bad things for your career. Give it enough time that you have calmed down. Then don't focus on what happened but on what you can do to get the next opportunity. What has happened in the past can;t be undone, so concentrate on how you can get what you want in the future.

Now, frankly, this particular incident is nothing to even be angry about. It is not your boss's job to look out for only you. He has a lot of people to look out for and most likely all of them wanted that opportunity. If you want your boss to push you up to the next rung, you have to show him why you are a better choice than anyone once else, not just assume that because you expressed an interest that you will get all the plum assignments from then on.

You have to be proactive and look out for your own career. You have to make sure that people know you want opportunities and when a specific opportunity comes up, then you need to remind the decision makers that you are interested. If you say in November that you want to move to a different type of project, but there are no project openings to move you to until March, is that November conversation something your boss is even thinking about at that point? Probably not. So mentioning something once (especially if it was in passing), is rarely enough to get the best assignments.

In your case you appear to have a work queue where anyone can pick up a task. If so, then yes you need to monitor the queue and pick up the tasks you want.

Next you have to make sure your performance is such that people want to help you out and that not only do you do your work well, but you make sure others are aware of that. Just because you do not receive any negative performance messages does not mean your performance is good; it means your performance is acceptable. That isn't enough to get the tasks you need to move up in most places.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .