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I unfortunately received the unpleasant information at work that my immediate supervisor will be departing the company for reasons unknown to me. I have a performance evaluation upcoming within next week, making the timing even more unfortunate. I have occasional meetings with the next level of management above my own supervisor but day to day concerns are handled by my direct supervisor who is leaving the company.

The other members of management within my department is only slightly familiar with the projects I am working on, on a day to day basis. These people operate and run the company on a high level and rarely gets involved with the fine details of individual projects. A lot of what I am responsible for is assigned to me by my direct supervisor. I want to be evaluated fairly on my evaluation, but realize it will be difficult under the tight deadline and the hands off nature of higher management. Higher management is also incredibly busy managing the overall direction of our department.

I am worried about the upcoming evaluation and also how to fill the void regarding concerns and projects going forward. How can I handle this situation in the most professional manner? How do I communicate my progress with other members of management?

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    Have you had a conversation with your manager? If your supervisor is leaving, presumably someone else will be taking over those responsibilities even if that is on a temporary basis until a replacement is hired. Assuming that your current supervisor is leaving in the next couple of weeks, the announcement of his or her departure would normally include information about who is taking over (commonly followed by the new person scheduling meetings to get to know the team or the individual members of the team). – Justin Cave Mar 16 '15 at 23:38
  • @JustinCave Only very briefly. Supervisor is leaving at the end of the week and my evaluation is next week. Incredibly tight timeline for the replacement to be familiar with the work I am doing... – Anthony Mar 16 '15 at 23:43
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    You had a brief conversation with your current manager. Did you talk about how to transition project management over to the new supervisor? Did you talk about the logistics of your performance review? Have you talked with the new supervisor at all about how he or she wants to handle things? Most decent managers are capable of doing normal day-to-day management of a project without needing to understand every last detail. – Justin Cave Mar 16 '15 at 23:49
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    talk to your current manager and ask him to kindly document what were the projects you were working on. Also ask him, if times allows it, to put together his thoughts on you/your performance to make your review go smoothly. In parallel prepare to give an overview of what you've been working on to your next boss + prepare a thorough self-assesment for the review. good luck. – Mircea Mar 17 '15 at 5:37
  • 1. Find out why your immediate supervisor is leaving. If he is getting canned, you might not want him to do your evaluation. 2. If your supervisor is still a respected voice in the company, ask your supervisor to push up the timetable and do your evaluation before he lives. 3. If your immediate supervisor can't help you, find out who your new supervisor is going to be. Your evaluation might have to be postoned either because the management decides to postpone or because you are asking for a postponement. If there is a postponement, ask for your raise to be retroctive to the time your sup left. – Vietnhi Phuvan Mar 17 '15 at 11:24
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I am worried about the upcoming evaluation and also how to fill the void regarding concerns and projects going forward. How can I handle this situation in the most professional manner? How do I communicate my progress with other members of management?

  • It seems alarming that you are finding out less than 2 weeks before your sup's departure. I am not sure what this means but it signals the transition is a bit rocky not just for you but possibly for higher ups as well.

  • Look at the issue from the perspective of higher-ups. A person is leaving who has direct reports with whose tasks and bandwidth they are unfamiliar. This point contains part of the answer to your question. One way to improve your evaluation may be to focus on what information would be helpful for them to know. It may be helpful to prepare a one or two-pager bullet list or table of your projects (and specific tasks within those projects that you were responsible for), results to date, and next steps. (this seconds @Mircea's suggestion re: "In parallel prepare to give an overview of what you've been working on to your next boss").

In other words give whoever will conduct your review some 'ammunition' that helps them first, and you second. This will reflect foresight and the ability to see the transition from different vantage points and trying to be helpful.

The evaluation will also be a great opportunity to answer any questions you have about the transition. Talk not from the position of personal concerns (what will happen to me now?) but from the impersonal standpoint of business case - how to ensure effective communication and delegation of important tasks, how to ensure that the stakeholders of your work remain aware of any issues or results in a timely manner, etc. That should help you come across as having group-level issues and concerns on your mind more than your personal situation. Good luck!

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I have faced the same issue previous year. So I am answering.

Regarding work:

  • If your team size is 2, I mean only you and your supervisor. Yes you may have some extra work pressure.

  • If your team size is little more like 4 or 5, I think it should be fine. You all should be in a position to handle the work. But you all team members need some knowledge transfer to make sure the work deliveries. And it is an opportunity for all of you to lead the work.

Regarding upcoming evaluation:

  • Never worry about it. You will get a chance to speak about your work.
  • Surely, your manager will make sure to get required feedback for all your team members from the supervisor who is on notice period. This will happen for sure as it is your manager's duty. At this moment, your supervisor will give 99% unbiased feedback for various reasons.

Being Professional:

  • Just be cool. Already your manager will be in tension to fill the gaps. If you add your panic also for that, it's not good for you.
  • In frustration, Don't show any disrespect to the person in notice period.
  • Speak with your supervisor(who is leaving), in person, about your situation, in a friendly manner. Surely he will give some hints about coming developments in your work place. This last point will help you more to take some decisions.
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  1. Find out why your immediate supervisor is leaving. If he is getting canned, you might not want him to do your evaluation.

  2. If your supervisor is still a respected voice in the company, ask your supervisor to push up the timetable and do your evaluation before he lives.Tell your supervisor that you'd like the matter of your evaluation be treated as a priority item before he leaves.

  3. If your immediate supervisor can't help you, find out who your new supervisor is going to be. Your evaluation might have to be postoned either because the management decides to postpone or because you are asking for a postponement. If there is a postponement and the result of the rescheduled evaluation is that you are getting a raise, ask for your raise be retroactive to the time your current supervisor left. Take the rescheduled evaluation as giving your new supervisor a chance to introduce yourself to them.

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Since you have a little bit of advance notice, you can take some steps (I've had a direct manager separated from the company on a Friday afternoon, after we all had gone for the weekend and we didn't find out about it until the Monday following!).

  • Get your manager to write you a recommendation (if the 2 of you get along and he likes your work. Otherwise, ignore this one). Not only can you use it in your upcoming review (for which I'm assuming your manager won't be taking part), you can use it down the road if/when you're job shopping.

  • Find out if his position can be filled by someone on the team (i.e. YOU), or are they going to look outside the company to replace him. You might be able to position yourself for a promotion (and a raise).

  • If they are going outside the company, take the opportunity to get together with the rest of your team and tweak any processes that you as a group have been unhappy with. The new manager will likely see your new processes as the status quo.

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