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Looking for some work advice - not allowed to do the role I was hired for

(2 Posts)
Stroan Tue 07-Jul-15 21:55:53

Looking for some advice on a work situation, it's very long but I'll try to keep it as brief as I can. Changed a few minor details to avoid being identifiable.

I should point out that I'm pregnant, but don't feel I'm being too hormonal/emotional!

I have a niche role but it's a function which exists in most industries. A bit like an accountant or IT manager. I've been doing it for 14 years, gained professional qualifications and lots of experience. I absolutely love what I do but it's the type of role where you need to be constantly learning and evolving- staying still is career suicide. For me, it's a career and not just a job.

2 years ago I got my current role, based on an exciting job description. I loved the new company, culture, industry and the work. I've had excellent feedback on performance, achieved all objectives with no suggestions that there are areas I need to improve. I had concerns that there was no obvious progression route, but decided that as long as I got to work on interesting projects, I could cope with that.

I work in a small team of 4, as part of a larger department. My line manager does a role related to mine, but different enough that there was clear distinction between us. He has lots of experience in this industry, but none in the niche role I do so I often have to explain my skills to him and spend a lot of my time devising strategies then persuading him of their importance. He's also very protective of his own job and doesn't let anyone help or cover for him. On a personal level, he's great. Easy-going, chatty, perfectly friendly.

A year ago the company was taken over and we got a new department head about 6 months ago. The changes have been disruptive - there are people here who have never worked anywhere else and it's been a shock for them. Lots of bitching and nastiness, particularly towards the dept head, who I personally feel is a positive improvement.

My manager has been particularly vocal, refusing to help the new dept head and being deliberately obstructive. He has stopped the rest of us from being involved in any new projects and has taken any interesting ones for himself despite lacking the skills/knowledge. This has left me doing the team's basic admin work and twiddling my thumbs. I'm bored and worried that I'm not achieving anything. It's the most junior I've ever been since I started out.

It sounds dramatic but I compare it to being a doctor who is not allowed to perform surgery but gets to wheel the patient to the operating theatre!

The head of dept gives me projects (or I've developed my own proposals which I've been asked to progress) but they are immediately taken off me by my manager. I wouldn't be so bothered but they aren't actually being done at all. The whole team is basically just not doing what our function is supposed to.

I've had one meeting since January with my manager where he said I had to continue with what he called "the shitty tasks" as he wanted to lead on my projects. I discussed it informally with the head of department who is concerned but doesn't have a solution. She did say that she doesn't want to lose my skills and is worried that I'll leave.

I've requested a meeting with both of them to discuss the scope and future of my role. My manager refused to attend.

I requested a copy of my job description and it's a work of fiction.

The added complication is that I'm 23 weeks pregnant and will be finishing up in mid-October- when I announced my pregnancy I expressed an interest in proving myself to the new company/directors before I finished so definitely didn't indicate that I wanted to slow down. I should point out that my Manager was being tricky before my pregnancy.

So, my question is whether I should push the issue further and whether I have any rights? It seems wrong that I can be effectively demoted without any way forward. Is there any point approaching HR to discuss my concerns, especially given that I'm not working to my own job description?

If this can't be resolved before I finish for mat leave, I'll have two years with no relevant experience which would be very bad for my career. I'd have to go back a step and work my way up again - I'm reluctant to do this without fully exploring all the options in my current job.

(if you've made it this far, thanks and well done!)

Thetruthshallmakeyefret Tue 07-Jul-15 23:58:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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