I'm a Java developer at a large FTSE 30 company.

My line manager approached me and asked if I'd like to be the teams lead developer. I was keen to accept.

Initially he said I'd be acting-up for 3 months, then changed his tune and said I would be doing a 6 month secondment.

During this time, he has got himself promoted and I have a new line manager.

I have been very successful during this secondment and reviews have been overwhelmingly positive: both from my former line manager and current line manager.

However, six months on, no lead role has been created in the organization and a new director has re-organised the structure of the team: two senior roles (senior Android and senior iOS) are going to be created.

I feel a bit put-out that my secondment has amounted to nothing. I could have just done nothing and then applied for the senior role 6 months later (which I feel aren't as marketable as Lead developer).

During my secondment I have basically become TA, senior developer, line manager and general go-to guy for all things (across Android and iOS).

What do you think I should do, and has my company abused it's position? I feel they have offered a secondment to a role that they never really planned to create. During this time I have received no financial benefit for doing a more senior role.

closed as not constructive by squeemish, Oded, yoozer8, gnat, jcmeloni Dec 19 '12 at 14:40

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I've been in a similar position; in my case it was around expenses and additional payments associated with a secondment.

One key lesson I learned from this was always get all of the details put in writing when dealing with any short term secondment, promotion, or acting role.

A second point is never accept an increase in duties without leverging an increase in pay or conditions, as this can avoid managers avoiding "official" channels and creating informal posts that are not recognised.

I would suggest, however, that the situation would have been identical no matter if the position is/was officially acknowledged by HR, or even if it was a full role and not a secondment. Your whole department is being restructured, and it is very unlikely that your former line manager had any idea this was going to happen. It may not have even been on the companies agenda, six months ago.

While you may feel the secondment has amounted to nothing, on your CV this will appear as an internal promotion. This is always more impressive, as its usually harder to get promoted internally than it is to apply for a senior, external role.

Two suggestions :

  • some firms (or indeed countries) have a consultation period before any restructure, which gives you a chance to propose a different structure, with a lead developer role. If the structure is not "set in stone" this may still be possible

  • it is important you apply for one (or both) of the senior roles, with your revised CV showing the key achievemnts of the last six months. By stressing these at an interview, you may be able to leverage more out of the role than is currently proposed.

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