For several reasons I assume that I'd be more suited for the job of my boss and my boss is more suited for the job I do. From my perspective it would be best if we'd simply be switched.

Given I can name at least 7 topics where I perform better than him, including examples of the last 6 months. On the other hand, consider that I work in that company for only 6 months and he works in the company for 30 years (which could be the main reason that he's the boss).

I have 10 years of work experience, 5 years in a position comparable to my boss now, so I know what his tasks are and I can roughly compare how good he performs. The next level of management is located in a different country.

Whom (if at all) should I contact in that case, in which order and why?

Is it

  • other colleagues to check for their happiness with the boss? Should I mention my plans in that case or not?
  • the boss himself? Go straight forward or critique him (professionally, of course) step by step?
  • the boss of my boss?
  • my boss and his boss together?
  • all of them in a meeting?

In the latter two cases, note that I'll have to invite for the meeting in advance. Please suggest what caption could be picked for such a meeting invitation.

Some personal attitudes which might be relevant: I don't care about the money. It'd be totally fine if my boss earns more money than me when being my employee. Also, it's ok for me to have older employees. I had that in the company before as well. But I don't know for the opposite.

  • 3
    I highly doubt a "switch" is a realistic scenario: either you manage to get his job and he won't accept working for you and leaves, either you won't get the job and it will be very hard for you to come to work every morning.
    – ereOn
    Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 21:33
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    What is your basis for assuming that you are better at something than your particular boss? In either role, I would find that neither you or your boss DO the same thing to begin with. So you're comparing apples to oranges. Your post (and the actions you've proposed) comes off as arrogant, and is a good way to get yourself terminated, not promoted.
    – SQLSavant
    Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 21:35
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    @ThomasW. Shouldn't you apply for a position more suited to your skills elsewhere then ? Seems to me that the fact you took a wrong job and that your boss isn't good enough for his are completely unrelated.
    – ereOn
    Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 21:42
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    @ThomasW. Do you feel he would be happy with a demotion though? Truly? Additionally, it's not your job to judge his job. It's his job to judge your job, and his boss' job to judge his job. You're not doing your job if you're judging your boss' work. Which puts you in the same position as your boss is. You're both not doing your jobs to their fullest.
    – SQLSavant
    Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 21:45
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    @cloyd800: Regarding demotion: do you know Isaac Barrow? He gave up the lead of the university to pass it on to his best student - Isaac Newton. Not many people that level of professionalism, so no, he'd not be happy. Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 22:20

2 Answers 2


There are currently two distinct problems here:

  • Your boss is (according to your 6 months experience with him) not suited for his job.
  • You are working in a position that doesn't fit you too.

The first problem, if it is real, should have been both detected and addressed by upper managment and has little to do with you. Of course you can raise problems with your manager but doing this while asking for the position will just make you look arrogant. Why would upper management even trust you when you clearly have an ulterior motive ?

The second problem is actually up to you: if you don't like the position you have, you can apply for a more suited position: just do so elsewhere. It won't be as nearly risky as it will be if you try to pull this in your current company. Remember that failure to pull that would make your day-to-day work with your boss really hard to live (and I feel like the odds are not in your favor).

If you are up to the point where you want to try that, you might as well apply elsewhere immediately and avoid ruining the life of somebody who has been working there for 30 years.

  • 1
    Yeah... If I were the boss's boss and had someone say "My boss is less capable of his job than I would be, give me his job"... yeah... I'd pretty sure I'd fire that person on the spot... First, tackle the issue is your boss not up to snuff, then if I agree he's not worry about filling the vacuum. Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 22:04
  • Thanks. The upper management was the keyword for me. Seems that one is no better, so I might still not be happy (disregarding my boss for a while). I'll look for a new job. Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 22:59

Your boss's job is already taken. In general, he would have to leave, get a promotion himself, or really screw up in order for you to take over his position.

If you would prefer a position similar to his, you could check if maybe a similar opening is planned sometime soon in your company. The correct person to ask would either be whoever decides to create these positions or whoever fills those positions.

The most-likely solution would be to look for a similar position in another company.

Assuming you ignore all that, and decide to try for his job anyway because you have "nothing to lose" - (I would greatly disagree with that action) - You could try to talk to his boss. Let him know what you would do better and what the impact would be in statistics and numbers. The % increase of production your ideas would get and how you came to these numbers. That information would be hard to ignore, but then I would expect your boss's boss to instruct you to take your suggestions to the correct person (your boss) before you even get to have the conversation. If you do get the conversation, he'll probably just hand these suggestions down and simply thank (or terminate) you.

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