Hurry up and promote me already!
March 4, 2012 8:56 AM   Subscribe

I have the opportunity (passed the first interview) for a super-dream job. My current boss is leaving at the end of this week. He wants to cross-train me on his duties but doesn't want to bother if I am just going to be taking off too. Is there any way I can expedite this process without ruining my chances at the new job?

I came to my large company 4 years ago, with the intent of ending up with a job like the one I now have the opportunity to get. My current job is okay but not something I want to do forever. I really like my boss but also like the guy I would be working for in the new position. I am also familiar with many of my potential new teammates and would be happy to work with them as well. I believe I am an excellent match for the new job.

My current boss is leaving for another position in the company at the end of this week and we are of course all sad to see him go, but happy for him. I actually applied for this other job prior to finding out that he was leaving, so this is coincidental that we may be leaving at around the same time.

Current boss wants to cross-train me on some of his duties before he goes. But he doesn't want to waste his time doing it if I'm leaving as well, because then either he or I will just have to train someone else. This is totally understandable.

Now would be an excellent time for me to move on to a new position. I am dying to try to contact potential new boss and let him know about how I ideally need to know by the end of this week about next steps (another interview, getting ruled out, or maybe a job offer haha), but I can't think of any way to do this without instantly getting ruled out. Maybe that's just my self-esteem issues talking.

What do you recommend, hivemind?
posted by agress to Work & Money (9 answers total)
It's unclear if the new job is at the same place or a different place, and it's unclear if your current boss knows about the new possibility.

Regardless, my advice is to let the process play out at the new place (don't try to rush it) and treat it as nothing until you get an offer. That is, take the training with your current boss. You may have to beg forgiveness later, but the important thing here is your career, not your current boss's frustration.
posted by OmieWise at 9:06 AM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

I agree that some of this is unclear, but regardless, what you need to do here is Cover Your Ass. Do everything you would need to do if you were planning to be staying in your current position for the next X years. Don't worry about the inconvenience that will be caused to others if you end up getting the new job, because this is Business, not Real Life. Your primary role in the business world is to take care of your number one customer, which is you. You need to look out for your bottom line before worrying about anyone else's. However ethical a company may be, they will not destroy or bankrupt themselves to keep from inconveniencing and employee, and you need to have the same attitude in reverse. It's just business, it's not personal.
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:37 AM on March 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

[I agree that this is somewhat unclear, but in my reading of this, you are looking to transfer within the company and everyone knows about everyone else. Based on this assumption, I give the following suggestion]

I would not push it with the new boss. I would do your current job as best as you can for the time being. This probably involves doing the cross training that your soon-to-be-former boss would like you to do. It sucks if you just move onto another job soon (and you should acknowledge as much to your boss), but you just don't know what's going to happen with the new position. From the tone of your post, your current boss seems like a cool guy, so while the situation is not ideal, I'm sure he'll understand that you have to do the cross-training right now in case you don't get the new job.

I think you want to remain interested in the new job. Something like, "Hey, [new boss]. I just wanted to follow up on the interview. I'm very interested in this job and wanted to know if you have a timeline for making a decision on the hiring process" is a generic enough way to express interest and maybe give you some additional information. However, I would not say anything like, "ZOMG, [New Boss]! I really need to know if I'm going to get this job NOW, since I really don't want to have to do extra work at my current job!!!1!!!"
posted by Betelgeuse at 9:45 AM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

From the title of your post, it seems relatively clear that this is probably an internal position / promotion.

What isn't quite clear is the reasoning behind your boss wanting to train you on his duties. If you were to stay, would you be doing his work, doing parts of it, or assume his position? It may not be 100% relevant depending on what industry you are dealing with, but I've had relatively significant boss turnover in the last 4 years in my job, and never once did they attempt to train anyone on our team to do their job - because their job is not our job, and we wouldn't want to do it anyway.

Anyway, I wouldn't push it too hard on either front. You didn't specify how long it had been since your interview, so that has some bearing too - if it was last week, leave it alone and let the process work out. If it was a month ago, it would certainly be warranted to shoot a quick, simple e-mail to the appropriate party just inquiring about the position.

Whatever you do though, the last thing you want to do is press them (or sound like it) into making a hiring decision quicker than they normally would have just for your benefit. Yes, the timing is awkward, but that's just the way it is. Be comfortable with boss not wanting to train you. It sounds like you're remaining in the same organization anyway, so no need to burn bridges or alienate people. Accept that your boss wants to be efficient in the transition, be patient on the new position, and whatever happens, happens. Depending on how fast they can fill your boss's position, if this new opportunity doesn't pan out (which, by the way, you need to accept as a possible outcome), he may end up training you on some stuff anyway.

"Thanks boss, I understand where you're coming from. If this new thing doesn't work out, I'll still be up for learning what you do, so please keep me in mind, ok?"
posted by SquidLips at 9:55 AM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

But he doesn't want to waste his time doing it if I'm leaving as well, because then either he or I will just have to train someone else.

This implies that the boss knows about your interview. Is that correct?

Think of it this way: if you leave, you'll likely be training someone else on your duties before you go. So it wouldn't be a waste of your time to train your boss's stuff, too. And he'd be training someone no matter what, so it's not really a waste of his time.

Probably the best way to proceed is for you to completely unlink these two opportunities and let them play out independently. If you push the new boss to make a decision, who knows how they'll react? And if you act in your current role as if you expect to leave in two weeks but don't get the offer, what then? Right now, go as planned with the job in front of you and don't worry about the possible upheaval of leaving until it happens.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:05 AM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Your boss (the current one) is gone as of March 9th?

Just get briefed on his duties and promise that you'll take the responsibility of passing it along to whoever takes his/your place. This promotional opportunity is basically irrelevant to the "boss gone in 5 days, we need to keep things running" situation.
posted by SMPA at 10:13 AM on March 4, 2012

Sorry yes. New job would be same company, different department.

Thanks :)
posted by agress at 10:17 AM on March 4, 2012

Since it's all internal and everyone knows everyone else, what is the likelihood that the new interview position guy will start to think: "hmmm, agress is training for his boss's job, so we can eliminate him from the running in this new position and concentrate on these other candidates"?

If that's possible, you might want to think this through a bit more.
posted by CathyG at 11:58 AM on March 4, 2012

Hey, current boss, if you cross-train me, I'll commit to documenting it, and sharing any expertise with your successor, if I should get other new job.
posted by theora55 at 12:35 PM on March 5, 2012

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