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How to Manage an Internal Move inside a Company

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How to Manage an Internal Move inside a Company

Postby D.X. » Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:27 am

Hi Forum,

Some recent posts on the forum have highlighted some struggles around the managing of internal moves once one is an employee inside a company.

Where as a large porportion and target audience of the forum include those making the leap from academia to non-academic career path there are quite a few of you who are already in a company and whereas this post many not be applicable to all reader's situation, you can benefit as it may be a spot you may be in the future.

This post is NOT about pursuit of a promotion. Rather its is more about making a lateral move first and for most, which "could" have an element of promotion but more releveant to personal development be it a role of new subject matter expertise or increased resposiblity/leadership.

So once you are an employee in a company, how do you move internally to a postion that you're interested in?

Let me first give the punch line - YOU SHOULD HAVE YOUR LINE-MANAGER/SUPERVISOR/ aka BOSS on board and supporting you.

Ideally your first step is to have an idea of positions/jobs you want to grow into. Once you're an employee inside a company, over time you'll learn about differnent roles that may inspire you.

You second step and most important step..DISCUSS THIS WITH YOUR SUPERVISOR. As an employee you will have a personal development plan. Your career aspiration should be integrated to your development plan.

Your third step is to map a plan and a timeline to include milestones. Your plan can include training as well as hands on involvement in a job-area that you're interested in - be it a project or program. Here you're getting your boss to commit to your development.

A good timeline for say eventually moving to new role is about 1.5 years to 2 years from the time you start initating discussions. It can be less but you need to give your boss and team time to develop you.

Your plan should include an engagement plan with peers who are already in the roles you're interested in as well as functional heads.

The above sets the platform for you then to move to an internal role when an opportunity arises, you must have your boss supporting you.

So with all that, say for example you are sitting at your desk one day and you see a job on the intranet job portal that you have interest with. What do you do?

Some will say apply. I say DO NOT APPLY using the job portal platform! If you do that without your Boss's support, then you may as well be an external candidate. It's not efficent and does not work to your advantage.

Your first is to inform your boss and have a discussion. With their blessing you should then arrange to talk with the next hiring manager. You goal is to test the new hiring manager's interest. If there is SOLID interest from the new hiring mangager, that should be relayed to your current boss. With the blessing of your boss then and ONLY then you apply internally if it agreed that is the next step in the process.

Now there are ideal elements here. There are times perhaps you may see a role that you have not discussed with your boss development wise and you'll like to apply. That should be a trigger for a development discussion and you can see where you stand at that point and if necessary plot a development plan.

It makes ZERO sense as an internal employee to apply to an internal role without endorsement of your boss and the new hiring manager. Your competitive advantage is that as an internal employee you do have access to a network external candidates have! You should be networking internally anyways so that when in the future you're looking at a new role you would already be known!

Now I can tell some won't agree with me, but this is what i've done and i've also made my mistakes here and learned the hard way too. Some will say its ok just to talk to the new hiring manager - that doesnt work!! Some will say just talk to HR...NO that does NOT work.

You really have to have your boss on-board. No matter how good you are!. I can tell you, Do this the WRONG way (outside how I've described) and you WILL lose CLOUT. You'll take a back step and put yourself in an ackward situation development wise.

As I've been through this, if there is an agreement for you to apply as I have described, ensure YOUR boss has NOTIFIED THIER BOSS!!! Here I speak from experience where I was trying to do a lateral move, all was agreed as I described, by my boss never informed her boss (Head of our function and Executive Committee member) and well the fire-works was quite a show. She was in a bad spot, as was as my the hiring mangager of the other function as was I.

I'm happy to address questions and comments. Of course things are and can be different for senior managers, those with clout etc but similar pattern hold true, every body has a boss and they most be involved no matter where you sit in an organization. This is more applicable to say middle management at individual contributors which is ore relevant to this audience. So that's my caveat. Also i'm Not in a small biotech where I hear things are different, i'm in a commericial organization consitent with the complexity associated with the manufactoring, distribution and marketing drugs.

Look forward to your thoughts.

DX
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Re: How to Manage an Internal Move inside a Company

Postby Nate W. » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:51 pm

Dear DX,

I think this situation of getting ahead or noticed applies to all organizations, including academia. The most important reason people leave a job is because of their supervisor and his behavior. Sometimes a supervisor doesn't want to their employees to move ahead or they covenant their employees for their selfish reasons. This means when the employee wants to move on; this selfish supervisor doesn't have a reason for letting his good employee go. What is in it for him?

I agree with your comments but it assumes you have a gracious supervisor who wants to help his good employees move on and reach their goals. Unfortunately, we don't live in an ideal world. There are many academic supervisors who think this why and hoard their productive lab members; by extending their graduation date unnecessarily or placing ridiculous publication expectations on them.

I am happy to share an egregious example which deals exactly with this and because of it I have had to start over. Still today my lab coworkers call me up and tell me about a former PI who still takes credit for work I did entirely myself (which got him a RO1 grant after he lost it) but he will not provide an honest reference. For selfish reasons; the former lab coworkers think I should do something after five years. People in this lab have move on to the right PI to get ahead because the PI's demeanor is self centered and narcissistic.

DX, I think the punch line is work for the right supervisor to get ahead. To me it is bizarre the way some supervisors act when an employee wants to move on or get ahead. Why act so selfish?

Frankly, this is why I just do it myself and avoid the discussion about the future with a supervisor, unless I really trust them, and focus just doing the job well.
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Re: How to Manage an Internal Move inside a Company

Postby D.X. » Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:02 pm

Hi Nate,

Thanks for the comments. I did not address some points as I forcasted there would be some commentry. Yes you are right this advise applie to most sectors I just highlighted my environment.

There are times that a supervisor is not ready to support an internal move. Where it can happen that a supervisor may resist supporting an internal move to advance thier own objectives first despite an employees readiness, this is a bit rarer but it happens. Usually this happens when there has been a re-organization or say your supervisor has moved on, and the end result is a new supervisor. Then usually unless the parting supervisor has paved the path for thier prior reports, those employees are left to rebuild thier job with the new boss because they are putting thier objectives first in the absence of taking time to understand thier new staff and thier development wishes.

So this goes to your point, in the corporate sector you CANT always choose your bosses! Yes you can come into a company with a boss you like, but on the commercial pharma side - we are in a constant state of reorganization and that means new line management quite often! For example in my last company I had 8 line managers in nearly 3.5 years. Do the math on how frequent I had a new boss. I thought i was an exception but then my friends in other companies reported similar statistics - one wa already on boss number 5 in 2.5 years. So that’s one difference to academia.

More often a boss may not support an internal move because thier feeling of the employees readiness differs from the employees! Now on the commercial pharma side a bosses view on employees readiness is not just the bosses opinion -the same is often held by the organization to include the boss, thier boss and other leaders who sit in other functions - thus it can be a combination of the boss and the organization per se. Most bosses talk about thier reports with thier bosses in performance and talent development discussions.

So then when employees are in situations I described above, how they handle it is a function of thier individual situation, energy level, and readiness for change. They have 2 choices - deal with it and navigate the organization or leave.

Yes, people leave bosses but they also leave thier organizations - in my last job, i left the organization! I got a new boss (number 8) - I thought he was just awesome from a leadership perspective. But he was my new boss, he was not in a position to take me anywhere’s due to the new re-org (we had nice transparent discussion), he was ready to offer quite a few things to keep happy and I could have been happy... but then a new opportunity externally was revealed and well c’est la vie and ciao ciao.

So in summary, in my sector you can’t always choose your boss, you inherit them because change due to re-organization (for varied reasons is the norm) or you boss moves on be it internally or externally (in pharma we have what’s called employee turn over). Organization more so than individual boss is the influencing body (see my comment in original post on ensuring the bosses boss is in the know or rather endorcing the move), and if in s situation where a boss is not supportive then the individual takes a decision on how they manage.

The process I described, remains the process.

I would have liked to choose my boss but over the past 3.5 years I would have had to quit 7 times. But with change there is opportunity - it’s not all doom and gloom!

I don’t agree with not having a development discussion with the boss, that’s not good advice.

Because one misses out on valuable training and experience!! That can be kept as your own and ported elsewhere. In my last job despite my line management changes i secured specialist degree training, courses from a leading international business school, and was in the company’s Leadership Academy program. And got to be part of a great Global Pricing and Market Access project! Just to babe a few, so why miss out? All on the company’s dime and time!


DX
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Re: How to Manage an Internal Move inside a Company

Postby Nate W. » Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:17 pm

DX, ever seen the movie the Devil Wears Prada? Imagine having a supervisor like the one in this true life story. You don't get to choose your boss in academia either or the private sector. Personally, I think it is the luck of the draw and discernment about others. This discernment about other people is were I stink in my career; I am too trusting with my career and don't stand my ground. I had a truly narcissistic supervisor for 12 years in academic who I did good work for and never got anything out of it (not even a thank you) because he wants to hoard my accomplishments as his own because he is a MD who has poor experimental bench skills and doesn't want the scientific community to know this. So, he hires the weak minded (as to not to question him) but technically skilled biologist to do his research for him, while he works in the clinic, but never gives anything back to those who help him in his career.

If you ask about a promotion or an opportunity outside of his lab, he would only find excuses as to why you are not performing well or that you should have greater high impact papers given how long you have worked here? (even though he has never published in these journals)

Hopefully, you can understand my perception about some selfish supervisors and my unwillingness to get the permission of my supervisor to apply for a position, especially if the issue has something do with his demeanor or his own career (and not me)? If this is the case, why should I be so respectful of his needs above my own?

Given your background, I am sure you know what they say about dealing with narcissists; leave them alone and don't engage them (Run!!). So, DX, what would you do if you had a narcissistic boss like mine or the one in the movie?

My coworkers from this old lab want me to stand-up for myself and report this PI for submitting fabricated work to the NIH grant proposal by another student as well as demanding for a honest and accurate letter that helps my career. DX, can help me figure out how to deal with this mess from the past, privately?
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Re: How to Manage an Internal Move inside a Company

Postby D.X. » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:29 am

Hi Nate,

Well I understand you view but I really would hate to communicate that your experience is the normal. All supervisors/bosses have thier objectives and agenda to drive not all have time to hold your hand. Not all are narcissist as you described and there reality the responsibility to make a relationship work first and foremost is with the employee - ye old truth, you can only control what you can control. Because if you wait for them, if in the best circumstances you be waiting for a while. As we say “your career is your own responsibility”.

Yes I saw the Devil Wore Prada / and yes the boss, Miranda, here was a mean one. But what did Andy do? She adapted to that boss and found ways to make things work for her career - she did not run! She actually career wise for that sector and environment had a great thing going in the movie - she then choose to leave the life style - NOT Miranda! Watch the movie again. That was a movie and getting back to the world of this audience those bosses would not exist in my sector - they may survive for a bit but enough complaints and well they’re gone.

But you will run into challenging bosses and the first response is to adapt! If after flexing and adapting - just like Andy did in the movie then one moves on. I had a boss who was in favor of her own agenda - many hated her and moved on -yet by flexing and adapting to her needs, we worked great together. Yes there was a bit of a Miranda in her but we worked just fine. So I hope I answered your question re what would I do with a boss with an agenda? I would sit down and see how I can help that agenda first...and that’s what I did. It’s called Managing Upwards. If it didn’t work well move on - my career is my career not theirs. Plenty of other employers out there.

Personally I don’t think it makes any sense to go back and hash up your past about a supervisor who didn’t support you. As a professional I think that does more harm nobody cares what happened in your past. Plus not only would it potentially immature to show up with letter stating you had an unsupportive supervisor but it could be perceived that YOU couldn’t get the relationship to work nor could you manage upwards.

Does that make sense? Put the past behind you is my best advice!

Dx
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Re: How to Manage an Internal Move inside a Company

Postby Ralf K. » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:59 am

Hello DX,

Thanks for a little how-to for the forum audience which summarizes the discussion we had in the other thread.

I would like to point out nevertheless that you describe the optimal scenario. Things in live happen and organizations change.

Let me give a little overview of a point you have not described:
-> What if your current LM has an bad reputation or no network? What if he already burned the grounds in the other groups? Why would you wait for his "approval"?

I would say I have been a quiet OK networker as even high up managers in the floor stop and shake my hands and ask if my development is going ok. If I want to meet with them.

So in short my exemption to your rule:
If he/she doesn't want to support your change because of own interests - use the personal touch. Explain what is changing in your personal situation and /or interests. Don't use the apply button. But I had excellent experience in my current situation with internal recruiters and other well respected employees. I had a chat last friday with a well respected collueage in the company and he is now going to help to get a presentation slot in the Business Dev team - something my Boss would have NEVER been able to do.

So in summary: Keep a good relationship (evtl only on the personal side) but use others to network if your boss can't/doesn't want to do it for you.

Cheers
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Re: How to Manage an Internal Move inside a Company

Postby D.X. » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:56 pm

Hi Ralf,

You are right - my recommendation is say the best practice for the ideal situation. That being said many get it wrong and thus face the consequences. Your post is perfect in terms of what I was expecting for conversation.

So yes there are many times an employees boss is NOT in a well favored position in the organization and in a situation like this where that boss is not supporting you then absolutely you internal network whim ever that are can be activated. A surrogate name for your “internal network” can also be “political circle”.

So that being said - in the scenario you describe, that’s playing politics now. Yes not all line managers sit well in thier organizations and to you point depending on where they sit or history thier networks may not be as vast or supportive as you suggest.

However as you then start to play politics you had better be assured that you internal network is in seated in a more favorable position in the organization than your boss is. Yes your supervisor may not be in the best relations within the organization but it does NOT mean they don’t have relations! Be mindful of your bosses boss, and be mindful of those who may use you to move an agenda against your boss. If it back fires - only one person stands to lose... that’s you.

So it’s great someone is trying to help you but be sure you boss is informed at some point, ideally before you presentation. You may find that where as you network may be say “not aligned with your boss” they will not overtly work against them, they will follow process and will file thier grievances in an official manner when the time is right and not before. And those manners many not be visable to you nor, your boss or your boss’s boss response. So watch for process and make sure you are withing the process your political circle or internal network is using. If you find yourself outside a process - watch out!


So yes - you can use the political approach but watch out - very easy to get burned big time - however there can be gains. However when you play this game, somebody will lose - that’s what a game is right? Winners and losers.

Neutrality is hard to achieve — very very hard to achieve and weilding neutral authority even more difficult.., I think you and I know something about armed neutrality (wink wink).

So in one case I waited it out while playing my cards and siding with those in the organization who were not aligned with my boss (my boss was a rogue) - so he was eventually parked - another time I played my cards and that was a fail - there was a relationship I missed, that put me in some troubled waters. You must nap your territory as they say - know the organizational behavior and know relationships.

So be careful!

Personally to those at the beginning of thier careers- don’t play the game. Either deal with the boss or move out (find a new job). Play politics if you must when you are more experienced - don’t worry it will find you.

DX Tygarian (nod to Game of Thrones)
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Re: How to Manage an Internal Move inside a Company

Postby Nate W. » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:34 pm

DX, I think this is an important topic for those trying either out of academia or get ahead while in the private sector. Graduate school is not exactly starting out in your career. Many PIs don't have an incentive to help out and that's why I think many struggle to make the transition to the private sector. Plus, they only have an academic network at best. Why would a PI in academia help his best graduate student move out of his lab to help somebody else? The only reason is that the PI is a reasonable and nice person who wants to reward an employee for helping his lab. Getting the support of your supervisor, after a few years of productive employment, really comes down to the demeanor and reasonableness of your supervisor. If you are looking for a position outside of academia after graduate school, why ask your PI unless you know you can trust him to act in your best interests in reciprocation for helping his laboratory or academic goals?

The problem comes in play is when you are dealing with a dysfunctional personality or selfish individual as a boss. There are managers out there (and PIs) who are not going to change and can be NOT be trusted to work for. Miranda from the movie is one such personality. Would you trust Miranda with your career? Think she (aka Anna Wintour) would ever reciprocate the loyalty and dedication exemplified by Nigel's effort to the magazine in terms of helping him with another job in the industry (or even within the Runway magazine)? So if you can't trust a supervisor 100% with your goals and you know that he doesn't have the demeanor to reciprocate, why ask or feel you need to get his permission? It should be pointed out that even when Andy adapted to her personality style, Miranda still treated Andy like crap. Psychologically, when dealing with a controlling and self-center personality, like Miranda, you ONLY enable the behavior when you (the target) try to appease or accommodate the person doing the controlling.

Remember, not everyone is as gifted as you are with the interpersonal skills and often have reasonable boundaries based on their values. Many individuals will not tolerate being treated in a controlling manner when those boundaries have been violated. This is why many employees have to stand their ground on certain issues and hope their supervisor is a reasonable manager. In order to accommodate certain selfish and controlling tendencies of a supervisor, often you have to become a sycophant which often violates one's values and boundaries. DX, why do you feel the instinct to always accommodate any personality or bad behavior by a supervisor? Don't you feel it demeans you or it might violate a boundary? Or are you always willing to be a sycophant to protect your job or seek a promotion; where is your boundaries? I am thinking maybe you just haven't experienced working with some really difficult personalities. DX, there are managers that neither you or I could ever get along with nor do we want to; trust me I tried with a personality probably far worse than Anna Wintour and I had to lose my pride and ethical boundaries in trying to please a narcissistic jerk. This is why I say find the right supervisor if you want to progress and stop trying to please personalities who will not change. This requires discernment about people.

The key I think with any manager is to develop a trust over the course of your employment. If you develop a strong bond with your supervisor, yes then ask him about opportunities. Even then some managers act weird when they suspect another group within the company or rival company might be poaching "his" good employee. Plus, there is a stigma factor if you worked for a supervisor who has a notorious reputation and you might have worked for them too long; prospective managers who know him will judge you unfairly by the company you keep. In my case, I often have to make up an excuse for my former PI's notorious reputation and unreasonable behavior when asked about a reference; in other words I have to lie for him.

I will leave with this question:

"To what extent should a current or former supervisor have a say in my future career and why do I have an obligation to ask them for their help in this regards?" WHY? Do you really need their help if you have a good network?

For example,

If you were Nigel, would you ask Miranda for help and can she be trusted to reciprocate given her demeanor?

I suspect Anna W. never helped a sole who worked for her and only helps those in the industry if it benefits her reputation or bottom line; she is probably a selfish supervisor and it is unhelpful to one's career to work for her regardless of her reputation. Probably easier to get ahead working for someone else who is more reasonable.
Last edited by Nate W. on Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to Manage an Internal Move inside a Company

Postby Nate W. » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:45 pm

Ralf K. wrote:Hello DX,

Thanks for a little how-to for the forum audience which summarizes the discussion we had in the other thread.

I would like to point out nevertheless that you describe the optimal scenario. Things in live happen and organizations change.

Let me give a little overview of a point you have not described:
-> What if your current LM has an bad reputation or no network? What if he already burned the grounds in the other groups? Why would you wait for his "approval"?

I would say I have been a quiet OK networker as even high up managers in the floor stop and shake my hands and ask if my development is going ok. If I want to meet with them.

So in short my exemption to your rule:
If he/she doesn't want to support your change because of own interests - use the personal touch. Explain what is changing in your personal situation and /or interests. Don't use the apply button. But I had excellent experience in my current situation with internal recruiters and other well respected employees. I had a chat last friday with a well respected collueage in the company and he is now going to help to get a presentation slot in the Business Dev team - something my Boss would have NEVER been able to do.

So in summary: Keep a good relationship (evtl only on the personal side) but use others to network if your boss can't/doesn't want to do it for you.

Cheers
Hi Ralf, The key here is do you trust this manager and this manager's demeanor. I agree with you network privately and internally within the company. However, you have to be concerned about the apperance of being poached by another group in the company. However, I would be more concerned with being judged unfairly by potential peers because of your supervor's notorious reputation; you can be judged unfairly by the company you keep even if it is your boss...loyality does not give you any brownie points!

You might have to loook outside your current employer if your boss has too much influence. It looks you have some allies within who you can trust. Best of luck
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Re: How to Manage an Internal Move inside a Company

Postby D.X. » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:17 am

Nate W. wrote:DX, I think this is an important topic for those trying either out of academia or get ahead while in the private sector. Graduate school is not exactly starting out in your career. Many PIs don't have an incentive to help out and that's why I think many struggle to make the transition to the private sector. Plus, they only have an academic network at best. Why would a PI in academia help his best graduate student move out of his lab to help somebody else? The only reason is that the PI is a reasonable and nice person who wants to reward an employee for helping his lab. Getting the support of your supervisor, after a few years of productive employment, really comes down to the demeanor and reasonableness of your supervisor. If you are looking for a position outside of academia after graduate school, why ask your PI unless you know you can trust him to act in your best interests in reciprocation for helping his laboratory or academic goals?

The problem comes in play is when you are dealing with a dysfunctional personality or selfish individual as a boss. There are managers out there (and PIs) who are not going to change and can be NOT be trusted to work for. Miranda from the movie is one such personality. Would you trust Miranda with your career? Think she (aka Anna Wintour) would ever reciprocate the loyalty and dedication exemplified by Nigel's effort to the magazine in terms of helping him with another job in the industry (or even within the Runway magazine)? So if you can't trust a supervisor 100% with your goals and you know that he doesn't have the demeanor to reciprocate, why ask or feel you need to get his permission? It should be pointed out that even when Andy adapted to her personality style, Miranda still treated Andy like crap. Psychologically, when dealing with a controlling and self-center personality, like Miranda, you ONLY enable the behavior when you (the target) try to appease or accommodate the person doing the controlling.

Remember, not everyone is as gifted as you are with the interpersonal skills and often have reasonable boundaries based on their values. Many individuals will not tolerate being treated in a controlling manner when those boundaries have been violated. This is why many employees have to stand their ground on certain issues and hope their supervisor is a reasonable manager. In order to accommodate certain selfish and controlling tendencies of a supervisor, often you have to become a sycophant which often violates one's values and boundaries. DX, why do you feel the instinct to always accommodate any personality or bad behavior by a supervisor? Don't you feel it demeans you or it might violate a boundary? Or are you always willing to be a sycophant to protect your job or seek a promotion; where is your boundaries? I am thinking maybe you just haven't experienced working with some really difficult personalities. DX, there are managers that neither you or I could ever get along with nor do we want to; trust me I tried with a personality probably far worse than Anna Wintour and I had to lose my pride and ethical boundaries in trying to please a narcissistic jerk. This is why I say find the right supervisor if you want to progress and stop trying to please personalities who will not change. This requires discernment about people.

The key I think with any manager is to develop a trust over the course of your employment. If you develop a strong bond with your supervisor, yes then ask him about opportunities. Even then some managers act weird when they suspect another group within the company or rival company might be poaching "his" good employee. Plus, there is a stigma factor if you worked for a supervisor who has a notorious reputation and you might have worked for them too long; prospective managers who know him will judge you unfairly by the company you keep. In my case, I often have to make up an excuse for my former PI's notorious reputation and unreasonable behavior when asked about a reference; in other words I have to lie for him.

I will leave with this question:

"To what extent should a current or former supervisor have a say in my future career and why do I have an obligation to ask them for their help in this regards?" WHY? Do you really need their help if you have a good network?

For example,

If you were Nigel, would you ask Miranda for help and can she be trusted to reciprocate given her demeanor?

I suspect Anna W. never helped a sole who worked for her and only helps those in the industry if it benefits her reputation or bottom line; she is probably a selfish supervisor and it is unhelpful to one's career to work for her regardless of her reputation. Probably easier to get ahead working for someone else who is more reasonable.


Hi Nate,

First, I never advocated to accept bad behavior by a supervisor. Of course the issue is what bad behavior are you talking about? Being yelled at and verbally abused? Well i'm in corporate, we have HR to manage that, that's not tolerated ever. Is it the boss's responsiveness is not aligned to the employees timeline or boss's view of employee readiness and ability and not supporting a move. That's not bad behavior that's could be at worst poor people management but not bad behavior. So lets be clear on that.

I do advocate flexing and adapting that's what will work and it has nothing to do with being a sycophant. In fact i'm not sure where you get that persception from me, but let me assure, even with bosses I didn't work well with or even with those who were say "worked towards their own agenda first", they always reported me to be a great sparing partner. I challenged them and gave feedback in a way that was consistent with upwards management approach. It was in the "how" I communicated and challeged them..constructively and wiht respect and with courtesy and with active listening. People are people and you can have converstations. So contrary to your belief, the one way I have been able to secure trust and respect was via contructive sparing contrary to being a kiss-butt. Hope that's clear.

In terms of level of extent your supervisor is a part of your career, ideally it should be a supportive role. Contrast to academia in industry every employee has a development plan that's linked to the performance objectives. Every employee has to sit down at least once a year had have a development discussion - that's in the HR books. Sometimes it can look like the supervisor is controlling your career, for example differentiated views of readiness for a new role internally. And well its up to the employee to respond - either work with the supervisor to map a plan, i.e. get feedback etc., leverage internal networks (with care) or leave. On my side most saavy bosses know you can leave so they do know about the prinicples of keeping employees motivated. And that's why its important to talk. You may not get the role or job you want, but you may get training. You may get more compensation, you may get a hands on experience with an area you're interested in. And if you get nothing well see what I said.

Some times just sometimes the boss could be right. In one experience I have previously mentioned, basically my boss's boss stopped my internal movement in a very rare move. Initially I was upset but we sat down and had a nice conversation. To be honest I didn't agree with him at the time for him barring my move but about 3 months later well I understood why he did what he did - he protected me. And in that nice discussion some of my interests were put on the table, and he did a few things to keep me happy and about 5 months later he put me into an experience that I could not have expected to ever achieve (I got to lead a global commerical brand team for one of the company's strategic assests).

In a pharma you are obliged to talk to your supervisor about your next steps as part of the official process i described. You may have a good network but in rare cases will they trump the process or organization way of working to move an employee. If that happens you can be assured conversations are being had with you boss, your boss's boss, their boss and HR, it other words alot of energy and time and effort. If they move without endorsment of your boss's function in the absence of support well..its not a good spot for them, trust me they don't want ot put themselves in compromised spot just for you. Only in very very very rare cases will they move without a boss's endorsement, usually linked to a shift of the boss to a new role or a re-organization that favors thier political standing to do such acitivity.

Your internal network is great for the process, i.e. finding new opportunities, new projects that you can work towards getting involved or getting with the support of your boss. For the most part Nate, Bosses DO SUPPORT YOU. Yes they many not align to your timeline or their support may not be exactly what you're looking for but this is where negotiation and compromises come in. So you're internal network isnot really to trump your boss! Its to also to learning about other opporunities be in collaboration, be it idenfication of a new resource or a future team. All with the process in mind.

Just don't blindly go for the internal network, watch the politics.

As for external network, hey that's not in scope here but that's fear game too with those who are ready to leave.

And if I was Nigel, absolutely I would ask Miranda. Miranda was'nt that bad actually if you look a the movie. Miranda had very high expectations but if you look very well she did move people who served her and that's why her role of exectuive assistent was a highly coverted job. And if I remember correctly, in her own way, Miranda respected Anna and supported her next role via an interesting but affirmative letter. Was Miranda that bad? She did give a little smirk at the end of the movie right? Not at her own happiness but for Anna. So I challenge your view on Miranda, there was a person in there.

And in closing, as you and Ralf noted do try to form that personal bond with the boss. You know I had difficult bosses but at somepoint I was alwasy able to sit down with them, have a coffee and shoot the breeze no matter how superficial it could have been, there was always a point of connection..these days ..for me its family and my little one, its amazing what an ice breaker that is even with the hardened of personalities.

Best,

DX
D.X.
 
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