I had been working for one month almost and today my team leader called me in private and told me that they are going to hire another person with my position to help with other projects, as "they didn't anticipate the workload would be this much when hiring me. Therefore I can focus myself onto the project."

He said that I didn't have to worry because I am permanent and the new hire will be on contract.

Does it mean it's a sign for me that they are not happy with me or just a regular conversation on hiring someone along me? I just moved to this country and I can't speak English like a native Briton so I was wondering if I am in hot water?

They had been happy with my work and my understanding of what is needed and be able to deliver. But I am not vocal in meetings like other people because they been there for 2-10 years. So many things confuse me.

I did ask my boss if my job is in trouble and his reply was that I didn't need to worry. Yet I am worried. Am I on the verge of losing the job or is this just a hiring process of letting you know if someone else is joining? If so, why not announce it in meetings with department? Why alone?

  • 56
    Your boss explicitly explained that he was hiring someone on a temporary contract to help you with your heavy work load. Why are you still worried? – David K Jun 18 '15 at 17:11
  • 4
    @DavidK just thoughts of giving me signal that we r replacing you – user15704 Jun 18 '15 at 17:54
  • 12
    What else could he have said that would have made you not suspicious? It sounds like your boss was being completely upfront and honest. – David K Jun 18 '15 at 17:56
  • 1
    Telling someone to "not worry" can sometimes sound like you're eluding the question - especially to a worried person's ears. If there's no problem at all, the boss can go further out of his way to assure that in his body language and the way in which he words things. – Panzercrisis Jun 18 '15 at 21:37
  • 6
    It's understandable when coming from a culture where you're never safe (or just a different culture in general) to be suspicious of these things. However I can vouch that in the UK/US and through many more countries in Europe that what this manager has done is actually showing he wants to keep you around. He anticipated your worry and tried to address it before you got surprised by the hire. In these countries, that kind of behavior is almost always a good sign, and means your manager is perceptive. Don't stress about it :) – thanby Jun 19 '15 at 15:56

I do understand why you are worried about your job - you clearly explained your reasons -, but I too understand that it's a common misconception and that your job is very probably safe.

You are probably suffering a bit of impostor syndrome when you remark that you're not the most talkative person at meetings. People don't expect you to excel in every possible aspect of your job - it's enough if you are just very good in a single aspect. The fact that another person is better at talking than you doesn't make you bad nor worse - you're just different. And if you think someone else is better than you in all aspects - that would be OK, too. If you are not too experienced, they don't expect you to be highly experienced - they expect you to do your best (and not better than that) and to get more experienced.

It's not that weird in my culture (here in Argentina) for people to lie to you so that you get a false sense of security and then they can take advantage of you. That's why I understand your doubt about all this "you are not being fired" thing.

But I'm pretty much sure your job is safe and you are doing a good job - you can't imagine how valuable it is that They had been happy with my work and my understanding of what is needed and be able to deliver. The whole company depends on all their employees collaborating and helping the company to progress. If someone works well and has good understanding, why bother firing him?

Congrats on your good work, and don't underestimate it :)


I don't understand what is causing you to worry.

It sounds like your team lead had a private meeting with you to explicitly address the concerns you might have about the new hire. It sounds like your team lead has done everything possible to tell you that your job is safe (at least as safe as any job ever is). It sounds like your team lead wanted to tell you in person before a job posting was created or a candidate was interviewed just to make sure that you didn't jump to conclusions.

Presumably, they'll let the department know when a new person is actually hired. It would be odd to tell the entire department about every job posting that the department creates, it makes much more sense to wait until there is an actual person coming in to fill a role to announce the hire to the department. And that often comes long after the actual hire-- if the department has quarterly meetings, they may be announcing new hires that you've been working with for a few months.

Is it possible that your team lead is reassuring you just to get you to stick around long enough to transition to the new person? Sure, it's possible. It would be pretty poor behavior on his or her part. But there are psychopaths in the world so it can't be completely discounted. Everyone can be replaced and everyone should be prepared for the possibility of a job loss. Being paranoid about the possibility, though, probably does you no favors.

  • 3
    I agree there's probably nothing to worry about, but sometimes people get a "gut feeling" based on non-verbal cues and other combinations of issues that strike people as strange. Never hurts to be ready to move on, even if that day never arrives. – mcknz Jun 18 '15 at 20:58
  • 6
    Sounds way better than the alternative, which I've seen second-hand (my wife), and it's not pretty, where they just kept giving her work way beyond her time capacity, and were too cheap to hire another full-time developer for any of her projects. (Eventually they did agree to hire temporary help... then of course didn't renew the guy's contract after 6 months. Eventually she got sick of this and left. Then they were left with 0 developers on any of her projects, and serves them right.) – neminem Jun 18 '15 at 22:26

Out of my 15 years in workforce, I have spent months worrying about my job throughout my career, but was never fired in my life. 99% of things that we worry would happen, never happen, so, relax, enjoy your work, smile a lot, avoid arguing, build good relationships, focus on what you are doing 99% grantee that you will not be fired, but if you will be, it is not the end of the world.


It sounds like your job is very safe. Look at it:

  • Your manager says he is happy with you
  • There is lots of work, too much for one person to handle
  • Your manager told you this in advance, in private, especially so you know you don't need to be worried
  • The new hire has a temporary contract while yours is permanent.

All of those are positive signs.

I think he is telling you in private and not in public because it directly involves you, you can be happy to know your workload will go down a little bit so you can focus on one project. People who are involved will know things a bit earlier than everybody else.

If he were unhappy with you and about to fire you, he would tell you that things needed to improve, not that he is happy with you.


To hit it from a slightly different angle:

Does your manager's description of the circumstances match your understanding?

For instance - the manager says that they have more work than expected? Does this match what you've been noticing? Have they made comments about a large backlog, or that some tasks and projects have been pushed off (or "we don't have time to do that right now"-style comments)?

If you agree with what the manager is saying, then you're probably worrying too much (especially since you asked the boss point-blank).

On the other hand, if you're wondering what this extra work is (or if you don't feel you're busy as-is), and generally what he's explaining doesn't match your experience, then that's cause for concern.

And on the third hand, if you have reason to distrust what your boss is telling you (as in, you think he's just flat-out lying to your face)? Then you need to start looking for an exit ASAP - regardless of what's going on here, if you can't trust your boss things just aren't going to end well regardless.