Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Working for a new boss – Part 1: a new boss always means a new job

Posted in job search and career development by Timothy Platt on September 21, 2010

I have posted to my Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development a total of 110 times up to now when counting my supplemental postings list at the bottom of the Guide directory page. Most of that has focused on job search and career transitions, with one series on starting a new job and day one through your end-of-probationary period review (see postings 73 through 88) as a significant exception. This posting starts a new series on working with a new boss, and as such it connects to both of these major career development areas: job search and career development while on the job. That is because you are in many ways starting a new job when you get a new boss and even if you have been working with what is essentially the same team at the same business, and with the same title for years. When the person you report to suddenly changes so do the basic ground rules you work under.

I am going to discuss a range of scenarios and situations in this series, with a new boss coming in as:

• A new hire,
• Through a lateral move or promotion from elsewhere in the same organization,
• Into a situation of success, and
• Into a situation calling for change management and remediation.

My goal here is to help you to identify both positive opportunities to develop and some traps to avoid and the key to both is in understanding the underlying processes and dynamics likely to arise for essentially any major shift in who you report to. In this regard I will also add a posting on:

• Working with a new boss or manager when you have been reporting to more than one person, or for when you are working in a more explicitly matrix management system, and
• Management transitions coming from mergers and acquisitions.

I will also be posting a matching series examining issues like these but from the perspective of that new boss or manager. I add here that I have experienced both sides of this in my own career, reporting to new managers brought into teams I have worked on and going in as that new manager. So I write here both from what I have learned from others and from my own direct experience. Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments as posting comments and replies, or directly to me via email.

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