Advice on difficult work conversations
Snowtimelikenow · 10/03/2023 13:39
I work in a fairly small business - around 50 people. I'm senior but not board level. In theory I report into a board member but they don't and have never worked in my department don't fully understand its role, and they don't manage me in any meaningful way.
Despite being fairly senior, I've worked at a higher level in the past. I'm capable of far more than is expected of me and as I do understand my department I know where I could be adding value and where mistakes are being made.
I agreed to a slight change in my role which I thought might offer an opportunity to use my skillset more fully. It's become apparent this change was missold to me and my feeling is it has been delegated to me as my manager isn't capable of doing the work themselves and doesn't know what else to do. It requires someone who is essentially an MD. I'm not being paid to be an MD. My job description isn't that of an MD at all.
Inevitably, there are politics involved. The board member in question is a co-owner. They are in the role thanks to family connections rather than on merit. The other board members don't have a much better understanding of my department as none of them have ever worked in it either.
I need to challenge the current situation, but having been burnt by toxic politics in a previous role, I'm nervous.
What do you suggest?
Brefugee · 10/03/2023 15:13
find a new job. If family are involved you will never ever "win"
WeThreeKingsofOrientAre · 10/03/2023 15:30
Tell me about a time when you have challenged something and it went well?
How did you approach it then?
Snowtimelikenow · 10/03/2023 16:39
I don't know when I've approached a similar situation well. If I was challenging something as part of my job, I wouldn't have a problem. I'm a good negotiator on behalf of the business, but I am not so great when negotiating on my own behalf. I've certainly stood my ground with managers before, but when they hold the ultimate power - i.e. they're at the very top and are the final decision maker, that's where I have a problem because there's no one who will back me up.
I don't know what outcome I want. I guess that's part of the problem. Primarily an acknowledgement that the role I'm required to do is not the one I'm paid to do and doesn't match my job description. Partly some reassurance I'm not going to be the scapegoat if it all goes wrong. But partly I don't want to do that role at all as it's heading up an area I have no interest in. It was misrepresented to me - maybe not maliciously but because my manager doesn't understand what that department does and why it's not the same as the work I usually do.
If only I could leave. There aren't many roles in my sector, at my level and particularly for middle aged women.
vagueandconfused · 11/03/2023 10:25
Would you want the actual role if you were paid the correct salary?
Could you approach it from the angle that you are 'concerned' that you are not the right person to head up this role? You don't have experience of X, Y or Z and the role/company deserves someone who can lead on that particular area. Say it wasn't clear until it landed in your lap exactly what was involved. Tread lightly and make it about what they need rather than being lumbered with work above your pay grade or stuff you have no interest in.
Make a decision from there. If they're not receptive then accept that is what expected and the difficulties that may follow. Decide if it is worth your time and energy. If not, make a plan to get out. There is always a solution. Sometimes you have to be brave.
To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.