Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.
161

I cannot decide whether this is me getting demoted, or just Alice getting promoted, or both at the same. Unless your title is changed, this is just Alice getting promoted. Congratulate Alice, enjoy the new focus of your work, and work hard together so that you both succeed and get rewarded. Also I was planning to ask for a raise soon, maybe even today....


59

You certainly can save face, but the first step is to not feel humiliated. With one exception, it seems as though everything you've done has been good. You've worked to create a technological success. You talked with your peer to make sure that there was no conflict with you stepping up to lead. You talked with your boss to make sure that they were clear ...


40

It's very hard to give clear direction on a one-sided take on this. And this is an area where I've seen plenty of unclear management happen - so I guess my first thought is -- you aren't alone in your frustration. I can think of two thoughts: Next time - Preventative Steps It's hard to tell whether you and your boss had one conversation or many about ...


38

Find Power To be in a position of power you must have options. "They" (your employer) have options, namely firing you, doubling your pay, demoting you, "constructive dismissal" (making you want to leave so they don't have to fire you), requiring your resignation, promoting you, or leaving you alone...and surely many more. What options do you have? I have ...


34

15 people is a lot of people to report to one manager. It's entirely reasonable to split the team up. Alice got the chance to step into management. Congratulate her. Having said that, it is reasonable to give the new manager a good bunch of people to work with. Take it as a vote of confidence that you are on her team for that reason. As for ...


31

Improving yourself can be quite hard, especially without practice. I cannot see how someone would improve as a manager or team lead without actually managing or leading a team. Find out what went wrong. No matter who caused it, think about what you can change so it works better next time. Propose those changes to your manager and ask for his experience on ...


21

It looks very bad. You had a senior management title (Director) and were demoted to grunt. It shows your company did not respect you and was willing to shove you aside while doing it. If you accept the position it will appear to many that you do not respect yourself or your abilities either. As someone reviewing resumes its a red flag. Why would ...


21

Am I being demoted? You are not. Your role is what you do. How many layers are above you is a function of the company's organization, not a reflection on you. Most change is just change. You're still doing what you were doing. Even if there isn't growth, there are going to be many mergers, reorgs, others leaving and you moving on throughout your career....


17

Wow sounds like you failed to play the office politics game effectively. Good performance is never enough. You don't play the game and you lose, 100% of the time if you are in management. Ok now you have to salvage what is left. First, and I know you are going to hate this one, you have to make friends with your new boss. You have to get him to mentor you. ...


17

You've seen a glimpse of how things really work in your current company. Out of a sense of duty, loyalty, and ambition (all very good things in business) you voluntarily stepped in to fill a leadership void. By doing so you saved your manager some hard work: that is, finding, choosing, and publicly supporting a person to fill the void. That person could ...


13

You've learned something that some leads and programmers turned managers never learn - leading a team, even in an arena you are familiar with, takes a very different skill set than being a superstar programmer. In fact many of the things that can make someone a 'superstar' programmer are detrimental in a leader. The other answers bring up an excellent ...


13

I've been in your position. First thing to do is go to your boss (the old one, not the one you've just been given) and demand to know why you've been demoted, and what your future is. Demand is not too strong a word here. You should be polite, but you should not allow them to fob you off with nothing. You are entitled to an explanation. You should get an ...


13

I would say this situation is very well suited to quitting gracefully. Quitting at a random time, with no warning, is a little unprofessional (but still your prerogative.) However, simply being asked to move to a different position, be it up, down, or laterally, is a great opportunity to quit in a professional manner. Simply decline the new position, for ...


13

You definitely need to communicate your concerns to your manager first, not the director. Jumping over his/her head will create even more of a political issue. Have a private, and (relatively) candid conversation with the manager. Say that you feel that you carry the responsibility of a team leader, however your title does not reflect it. (don't point a ...


12

Your characterization of the newly chosen product manager as "a failure", I think, might be part of the reason why you're puzzled with why it is so hard to get ahead. Everyone fails sometimes but to call somebody "a failure" is a very severe judgment. Although I doubt you even said it outright, that kind of thinking tends to be very transparent to savvy ...


12

I would suggest your friend start by reframing what happened. Your friend was not demoted, and even more so your friend was not demoted for a political reason. Your friend's department was eliminated. This is a thing that happens in both public and private sectors. Sometimes (rarely) it's because the people in the department aren't doing their jobs well. ...


11

You seem to have a habit of jumping the gun, and then being grumpy when you are told to get back to the starting block. I suggest that you get in the habit of consulting your management and getting their EXPLICIT approval before you do something like appointing yourself team leader. Your manager "being open to the idea" does not equal your manager having ...


11

On the one hand, 85% of my salary is still enough to survive, but on the other hand, the market rate for my position is about 120% of my original salary. Plus, this whole fiasco raises serious questions about the company's trustworthiness and ethical outlook. What should I do? If it were me, I'd do the following: Start looking for a new job ...


10

If you want to continue on the team lead track, don't request a demotion, fix the problems. Requesting a demotion is fine if you have decided that being a lead is not for you, otherwise it is running away when the going got tough. In that case, you will never be a succesful lead, because in all honestly, the going is always going to be tough when you are ...


10

Given this sounds like a particularly spectacular failure in the hiring process I'd suggest that the only reasonable course of action would be to have a conversation with the new employee and see if a suitable plan can be worked out between them and the company. Explain that you don't think they are going to work out in the position they have been hired to ...


9

You've got to start looking for a job yesterday. Seriously, it's time to bail. I could understand a lateral movement or a change from Architect to something like Senior Software Engineer in charge of X, Y &Z but to be reassigned to Entry Level is career suicide. Every job on your resume needs to build upon the one prior. If you have vacation/...


9

It sounds to me like the whole process is set up as a post-hiring evaluation period. For the first few levels, you are required to advance to the next level within a set number of months, or you're fired (well, PIPed, so... fired). So you're hired as, say, position 8, and need to advance to 9. That's not exactly a Kobayashi Maru situation; they want you ...


8

Is it ethical at all to stay further on the job in spite of all humiliation and pressure to leave and taking into consideration the fact that I have no other option? It is obviously ethical to stay on the job. You are doing the best you can, so you are holding up your end of the contract. The current situation is not your fault. That said, if I was the ...


7

Not a legal answer, but as you may expect, a promotion and a demotion are two sides to the same coin. In either case you do have the choice of refusing, in the demotion case though this is likely to lead to dismissal (although refusing a promotion can lead to the same outcome).


7

First abandon the tactic of taking your lead down to get ahead. Once you start doing this you lose the good will of your team because if you are willing to step on one person to get ahead, the assumption is you will do it again. You can create a culture of cutthroat office politics that can change a productive and working team into a cancer that needs to ...


7

Are you going to trust your employer again after this? No. So, get along with what they want you to do while you pursue another opportunity. It's not worth even taking the time to ponder what to do. Just move on.


6

First of all, a Sympathetic "EWW" The thing that bothers me here is that your boss called you back to her office and asked you the question "Why are you telling people you're in charge?" when the answer from what you've told us is "Because I asked you and you said I was." But Why Feel Badly About Yourself? Where is the humiliation here? It should be ...


6

Is it normal to never have been promoted over a 30 year career? No, it definitely isn't. Figure every year or so you have a review. That's 30 chances at a promotion that you missed. Pure dumb luck should have netted you at least a few, because most companies will often promote you just for staying there for 5+ years "man, Bob's been here for 5 years and we'...


6

I don't know what to make of this. Does your manager have a history of being dishonest with you? If not, then it is what they told you it is. I cannot decide whether this is me getting demoted, or just Alice getting promoted, or both at the same. This Alice being promoted. If your title didn't change to a lesser title, your salary wasn't reduced, and ...


5

So... the new owner moved back into town and decided to put her friend in charge of the business so her firend would run it the way s/he wanted it to be run. I am not a lawyer, but I don't see where your friend has grounds to sue based on what you've said. My sympathies to her though. She can talk to someone in field called "Employment Law" if she's in ...


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