I am an experienced IT professional who was leading a small team in my previous company. I joined a new company a few months back. My manager & most team members are completely new to IT, and there are very few IT engineers (with little IT experience) in the team.

My previous company had a strong IT team with lots of experience, but this new company is basically product-based & inexperienced(IT-wise) people within the company are grouped to form a new IT team with a few experienced IT professionals hired from outside.

My new manager has divided the work into small pieces and is giving each person a small piece of work and ask me to only work on that. When ever I come up with overall project methodology or give ideas, he is indifferent and asks me to only work on the small piece he has given me(which will only last two weeks), thus limiting my scope & influence in the project. Also he is not supportive of me overall.

My problem is that the role he is trying to assign to me is a step down from my role in the previous company, where I "architected" the solution and led the team as well to do hands-on work along with other team members.


How can I convince him without causing any problems to give me the lead role where I architect the solution & coordinate with other team members, and report to my manager regularly like the role I was doing in my previous company?

I hinted my intention indirectly few times but I now want to setting up a 1-1 to convince him.

Edit: I was technically hired in a team lead role but this team has been formed very recently.

I was told during hiring that when the team expands in strength I will be given a team lead responsibility, but it was not specified when that would happen.

The problem here is more on how to convince an unsupportive manager & get into a team lead role quickly without causing problems.

  • 1
    You definitely should have made that clearer in the original question. Your conversation with your manager should begin with / focus on: "I accepted this position since I was excited about the prospect of leading a team in a green field project, but I've been doing lower-level work for a while now. Can you give me a sense of when I can transition into the role I signed on for?". Answering in the comments as I don't have the time to fledge this out, but you only need to open a conversation with that, there's no script on how to continue from there as it depends on the reaction you get.
    – Lilienthal
    May 15, 2016 at 12:12
  • I was told during hiring that when the team expands in strength I will be given a team lead responsibility, but it was not specified when that would happen. I'm confused so are you the team lead or not? If you're given the responsibility you are the team lead right? If there is time but you are next in line, why the rush? Is this more of an issue with your job title?
    – Kevin Xu
    Jul 12, 2016 at 23:57

3 Answers 3


You may need to complete this task as an individual contributor to demonstrate your skill and ability to take orders. He has explicitly told you to only work on the small piece he has given you. I don't see that pushing for more right now is the way to go. He is clearly not ready to give a new employee architect and team lead.

How long will it take you do complete this task? If it is a long task and you don't think you can wait until the end then approach him directly. Tell him you had a bigger role in your previous job and feel like you can contribute on a higher level.

You edited that this is only a two week task. Just do the task and see how it plays out from there. Not the time to convince an unsupportive manager that you need more responsibility.


You were told this would happen when the team grows. Don't expect it to happen before then.

Meanwhile, lead by example -- do the work you're given efficiently and to high quality, help educate your co-workers on how to do their juice better (constructively not by criticising)...

To get promoted into a role the best thing you can do is look for opportunities to demonstrate the skills associated with the role. But the official promotion will occur on the company's schedule, even if you're actually doing the full job well before that.

Stop complaining and start proving you have the skills they hired you for.


You are jumping the gun expecting to be put into a leadership architect role straight away on the strength of your last job. You need to focus, start building trust and work relationships and prepare yourself for that role in the future, not make a nuisance of yourself asking for something the boss probably can't or is unwilling to actually give you at this point.

I have employed people with impressive credentials on paper and years of experience, they still need to prove themselves to me before I entrust them with too much. I've seen too many paper heroes and there's a lot more to organising a successful project than the tech side..

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