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New job and strange dynamic

(16 Posts)
Luckystarr Wed 27-May-20 22:43:19

Started new job two months ago in lockdown. New boss is lovely and very down to earth and enthusiastic. She supports my plans/ideas and is very supportive. The work I do is also interesting.

But... the wider problem is with the boss of the company. We are a small team. We have 3 meetings each week and go round discussing our work and plans. This is where the issues lie and has turned into a pattern. Any idea I have is usually discussed with my boss who tells me it's a great idea, all companies doing the same and even throws some further suggestions in. I mention it in team meeting and big boss shoots it down. Not even 'we could try it' or 'it might work but...' just plain 'no, I don't think so'. And when big boss says that my boss never says anything, just silence despite saying what a great idea it was preciously!

Yesterday, I had the idea of a LinkedIn page. Considering what our company focuses on, a LinkedIn page would be ideal and I'm surprised they have barely any online presence. I have a lot of experience in networking/gaining revenue from advertising etc. My boss said great idea, it's definitely time and even she suggested all the connections we could make in there. I bought up the idea in team meeting and OMG, big boss and another work colleague looked at me like I had just shot someone. One work colleague said 'oh I wouldn't have time for that.' Big boss agreed saying 'No, I simply don't have time for something like that.' I then said 'But I'm happy to manage it' and gave some examples on why it would be beneficial. Her reply was very blunt - 'let's leave this and move on.' My boss sat in silence, didn't back me up or say anything. So I feel a bit deflated. What's the point in making any suggestions with big boss. She is a stern character. I don't think I've seen her smile since I've been there!

I will say I took a bit of a pay cut for this role and am feeling a bit stiffled already. Should I be? Wwyd?

OP’s posts: |
Judiwench Wed 27-May-20 23:01:36

Let your boss make the proposals of changes and keep quiet for a bit. If she wants you to suggest something she will need to ask you to
It could be that it's just not part of the culture that someone in your role makes these suggestions.

Wagamamas Thu 28-May-20 04:53:22

Keep your head down and carry on.

Luckystarr Thu 28-May-20 07:44:29

Really? @Wagamamas I know I should do this but why? I feel like I have a lot to bring this position but nothing I say by big boss is appreciated.

@Judiwench those proposals are mostly my ideas. Should I not bother saying any of those?! Keep my update to a bare minimum?

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wallywonker Thu 28-May-20 10:16:48

I have a similar problem. I have a lot of experience and a billion ideas. New boss has come in and rather than shooting me down is just ignoring me. Some of the things I have suggested have been assigned to a colleague who appears to be her 'pet'.

Have decided to get my head down and stop suggesting anything unless directly asked. In the meantime, I am looking for another job.

wallywonker Thu 28-May-20 10:22:31

Also, have you discussed the meetings with your line manager? What is her take on your ideas being shot down by the big boss?

I would be very wary if I were you. Very odd that she is positive and encouraging but not making any comments in the meetings. She might be setting you up to fail. It's not uncommon.

Luckystarr Thu 28-May-20 10:35:36

@wallywonker it's odd isn't it! Glad you can relate. How long have you been in your job? Keeping head down is a good idea. I do wonder about these managers. They want someone with a wealth of experience and then when you do suggest new ideas they shoot you down.

I haven't discussed it with my line manager. Should I? It seems to be that she is afraid of the big boss and doesn't want to create any tension and therefore keeps quiet? I think I'll just shut up from now on but I had so much enthusiasm to begin with, now I've lost most of it as a result.

OP’s posts: |
wallywonker Thu 28-May-20 11:04:06

I've been in my job under a year but new boss came in a few months ago. She hasn't really got to know the team and has taken on a raft of other stuff (we have a lot going on with Covid and organisational changes).

Sometimes I think she feels threatened by me and other times I think she just doesn't like me! The member of the team who has become her pet is very nice but not always particularly effective. He has proven himself to be very good at aligning himself with her though so he is clearly cleverer than me in that regard. I just find it very hard to play the game.

It is difficult. I'm not sure discussing it with your line manager would be worth it. She doesn't back you up in the meeting which doesn't really help.

Next time, don't suggest anything just listen and see what happens. This is what I'm doing. I'm not getting involved in anything unless I am directly told to. It's rubbish but I think it's the only way I am going to survive at the moment!

TheHighestSardine Thu 28-May-20 11:15:25

Definitely talk about it with your boss, and see if she gets any better results by presenting the ideas.

Some (shit) senior managers seem to work by the idea that no-one can have useful things to bring in until they've been in the company for some time. These people are idiots, since new hires are the best source of new ideas - that then do need to then be filtered for appropriateness, but not just shut down like this.

I'd be considering starting looking for another job, I'm afraid. Company culture follows the boss, and she's a dick.

wallywonker Thu 28-May-20 11:20:13

If you're looking for another job don't take a paycut this time!

Luckystarr Thu 28-May-20 19:25:58

Agree @TheHighestSardine I was a bit shocked how big boss reacted. Of course she might have thought the idea was rubbish but diplomacy goes a long way! I know someone else high up in the company left quite recently because there were some 'tensions'. Now I can see why. It seems a lot of these top managers have no peoples skills.

@wallywonker yes, this position looks good on paper and I'll be gaining some new experience but will keep my eye on new positions. And just won't bother suggesting any new ideas if they won't even be appreciated.

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TooSadToSay Thu 28-May-20 19:35:28

Do you need to ask the big boss? If your line manager says go ahead on LinkedIn and then you could just do it under the radar a bit?

Luckystarr Thu 28-May-20 20:48:36

@TooSadToSay well, it was to benefit the company. No point making the effort if big boss is not up for it.

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CoRhona Fri 29-May-20 00:31:27

I would a) talk to your manager - it's bizarre they are so supportive of you in private but not when you need them and b) do things and then tell your manager you've done them. Don't ask for permission. Don't raise them in your higher manager meetings unless asked.

I think people think that you are creating work for them although that's not the case.

wallywonker Fri 29-May-20 08:40:13

New experience is good but not if it's at the expense of your sanity/happiness!

Weirdly, the jobs that look amazing on my CV were actually the worst ones for me personally (i.e. awful boss, toxic workplace, etc). The jobs that I accepted slightly reluctantly often turned out to be the best ones where I had the most impact.

InescapableDeath Wed 03-Jun-20 00:59:15

I’ve worked in places where people have basically taken offence to good ideas - as if by coming up with them you are criticising them for not already being on it. Very hard to work with people like that!

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