I've been working with my company as a head of Technology for around 15 months now.

I can simply say they weren't pleased with my performance, and I admit it's my mistake. I had different traits that I needed to fix but I simply didn't.

I've done a self reflection and gathered a list of issues I needed to fix and discussed them with my manager. He's very understanding.

He doesn't want to do any damage to me nor to the company. He wants me to either suggest a different suitable position in my company or maybe find a good opportunity in another company. But he doesn't want to push me out.

First of all, on a mental level, this is very difficult. The feeling of failing in my job. I believe I can fix the issues I've identified, but it's clear that the company don't want to keep stretching having me in a "wrong" position for too long.

Second, I don't know what to do. Should I find a job in another place? If in my same company, what's the best way to "create" a position for myself to utilize my skills.

I'm currently leading the Software Development team. I was thinking of suggesting a position where I'll handle: data science & analytics, R&D, market analysis.

Am I thinking in the right direction? It's a mess and I don't know what to do exactly.

  • Giving career choice advice isn't really on-topic for this stack, but it's great that your company is exploring options that are more applicable for your skill-set. Most companies would simply encourage you to leave. – user44108 Sep 13 '17 at 8:02
  • @Pete Thank you. I thought this was the goal of this stack. Anyway, do you have any tips on how I can find what my skills are and how to deploy them in my company? – Advice Seeker Sep 13 '17 at 8:09
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    @AdviceSeeker if you're brave enough and have the ability to stay objective in the face of criticism, you can ask the people you're working with for their opinion on what your strong and weak points are. This won't work if you become defensive or are generally not receptive to criticism. It's important to realise that who you think you really are doesn't matter in the workplace: it matters who you are perceived to be. If you are perceived to have negative qualities, you need to either change yourself or the perception people have of you, whichever is appropriate. – Cronax Sep 13 '17 at 8:48
  • @JoeStrazzere thanks a lot. Your words are encouraging. – Advice Seeker Sep 13 '17 at 18:49

I think you are on the right track. The first step in fixing a problem is to acknowledge that there is a problem. You have done that and have had a discussion with your boss. I will suggest you also have a discussion with your subordinates and get their feedback as well. Once you have all the inputs, create a plan of action as to how you plan to address those issues and give regular updates to your manager.

15 months is a long time for a Head of department to perform. You need to assess is how secure your job is. And that may not depend on your boss alone. Its hard for us to assess correctly, but depending upon how you did, company may already be thinking about asking you to go. Some organizations have a accommodating culture, where as some may think its best to let you go. If the organization is willing to invest in you, its worth staying. If its not, then its best to look for another job.

If you are certain that organization is willing to invest in you the next best thing would be to look for a smaller department where your skills could be used. One way could be that you suggest to your manager to swap you with another (possibly smaller department ) head. Your manager may have thought about something, ask him what that is. See if you are open to take one role below your current role. Also explore if there is some individual contributor role ( may be like account management in IT) where you could fit in.

It is also not a bad idea to look at this opportunity to switch tracks if you are interested. A few of my friends moved from technology to HR. You could look at some other function. All depends on what your manager has in mind and what you are open to doing.

A few organizations have internal job portal. If you have such a thing, then please go ahead and see what all openings are available. If its not so, see if you have friends in HR who could help you with the list of vacancies company is looking to hire for, and if anything is suitable to your role. It is always better to apply for those vacancies. Its cheaper for organization as well to transfer an existing candidate.

Also, don't loose heart. Everyone makes mistakes. It takes courage to admit you made one and even more wisdom to try and fix them. Most people are busy defending themselves. If you improve yourself, organization will be very happy to continue with you. If it doesn't work out here, some organization will love to have you. World is full of people who boast what they have done. Very few people have the courage to admit they made a mistake and learned from it. :)

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    that is one nicely written answer. Thanks. Admitting one's own shortcomings is not that easy, but at least it feels like (and is) the right thing to do. We don't have an internal portal, but I can look for a different role, maybe with less responsibilities, that focuses on my skills. – Advice Seeker Sep 13 '17 at 9:32

Although directly asking for career choices is off-topic here, I'll go ahead and try to offer some advice on how you go about changing your role.

Obviously, we don't know you, we don't know your circumstances, your skills, or in what way you've not met the objectives for your current role.

You have an understanding boss - this is great.

It might be an idea to ask him/her for suggestions (there might not be any, and you may have already had this conversation). Maybe the question needs editing to reflect how to go about changing your role rather than advice on what choice to make...

If there's any vacancies for internal roles, you have the luxury of being able to speak with the hiring manager directly (whether face to face or by email). From there you can gain some insight as to whether your current skill-set or knowledge can map onto that role.

If you're looking for roles outside of your company, then you're in the same boat as everyone else, except that you have the luxury of time (and less pressure).

  • thanks. In my situation, we're a small startup. So it's more of me creating the position based on our business need. Thanks for the tips. – Advice Seeker Sep 13 '17 at 9:44
  • Yup. Your question makes no mention of the size of your company, or the route that you're open to create your own role. – user44108 Sep 13 '17 at 9:46

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