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Should I stay or should I go?(3 Posts)
I agreed to return to a company I previously worked for to cover my old boss’s maternity leave. The job was a massive step up to senior management and I knew it would be a challenge however the realities of it are far harder than I anticipated. I feel as though the extent of the work was understated and I’m being asked to do 2 people’s jobs (my old boss’s role expanded in the time I was away from the company). I received less training than I was expecting and less than I needed as I am under-qualified and under-experienced, and there is very little senior support. I was also worried about line managing as I’m not well suited to it but I was told the team were self sufficient; this has turned out not to be true as one is very poor at her job and has a terrible attitude problem, which I don’t have the backbone to deal with. The stress has weakened my immune system and I keep picking up colds but having to drag myself in through illness as the company are so heavily dependent on me and there’s no one who can cover my key deliverables. I realise now I was naive to take on the job but I’m also angry as I feel my old boss understated the demands to convince me to take it; I agreed to do it as a favour and I trusted that she wouldn’t put me in a situation that would make me unhappy. During handover, when I expressed concern it was all too much for me, she just said stop worrying it will be fine. However it doesn’t feel fine; I feel overly burdened, under prepared, constantly fed up and stressed and I really want to quit. I’m suffering insomnia regularly and feel like I spend my life moaning which is not my normal nature. I’m also really demotivated now as I’m angry at being in this situation. Part of me wants to just hand in my resignation and walk away (I’m on a week’s notice) however I feel like I would be letting a lot of people down by doing this and going back on a commitment. The role will not be easy to backfill and my old boss is so attached to the job that I fear if I left she would cut short her maternity (she is already remaining involved despite only having the baby a month ago). I’ve been there nearly six months (we had a long handover period however, rather than training, I mostly got tasked with various projects outside of the role I was brought in to do). I have nearly 5 months left and I feel like if I continue it’s going to take all my energy for that length of time and I don’t want to give that. I hate to let people down but also I feel I’ve been let down (thought was also arguably naive). The ultimate question; should I stay or should I go?
Start managing effectively and this will get easier.
Can you get a PA/admin/specialist in your area in to help you out? It sounds like that would be a viable option over trying to find a new maternity cover.
Get the poor worker with an attitude issue on a performance plan. Ignoring the line management stuff only makes it worse.
Find someone good on the team (or ideally multiple someones) to start delegating some of those key deliverables to. Not necessarily all the time but so you have enough breathing room to say ‘drop less important task and sort this for me please’.
It’s five months, you can do this.
Thanks for your advice and encouragement GemmeFatale
The previous manager buried her head in the sand regarding the poor performer (another reason I feel let down!). She essentially just took duties off her to keep her from moaning so much, so now her job is pretty minimal and she takes the attitude that she shouldn’t have to do anything outside of her job description. If she does help out with anything additional she moans about having to do it, doesn’t put any effort in, and pushes it back at the first hurdle. She does her core tasks to a passable (though certainly not great) standard so would I be able to performance manage in that scenario? I have three others in the team who are wonderful and would be capable of support me more but they are working at absolute max capacity already. I have been denied anyone additional because if the poor performer pulled her weight we would be fine but I don’t know how to get her to do that when her argument is always ‘that’s not in my role’? I have zero previous management experience, by the way, so really don't know how to handle the situation!