Another "how do I make a good impression at my new job" question
February 5, 2018 1:41 PM   Subscribe

I'm stepping into a new role that stretches me in terms of the project itself as well as the team dynamics. I want to start off on the right foot and hope you'll refresh my memory with all the best ways to do that.

My new bosses are several but there are formal and informal chains of command to keep up with and sometimes John says ask Sue for permission and then Sue says just go to Robin about that.

I'm also watching as the new manager has a very close, friendly relationship with my direct trainer, and is effectively ignoring me most of the time. I'm not used to that, at all. Like literally laughing, joking, 95% eye contact with the trainer, and one simple statement to me, over the course of a 15 minute conversation.

It's awkward. How do I go to my new manager for support if my new manager is pushing me onto other staff for most aspects of my training? Delegation is appropriate and expected but when your manager sends you to everyone else, it's hard not to feel like they don't really want you there at the same time.

People here are aware of personal life and make references to it but I'm not yet clear on where the boundaries are drawn within this particular culture. So I want to avoid "saying too much" here as well, while being cordial and building these new relationships.

Mostly I guess I need coping with my manager's current style as I find it triggering for my anxiety and need for approval. My manager's complete approval for my colleague is in my face, so of course I want to prove myself, but she is also avoiding me and so I'm a bit unsure. I feel like I should just be very quiet and receptive, answer what is asked, and play a waiting game.

I'm used to coming in to a team with desirable skills and expertise whereas here I'm being treated as very yellow and a peon. I don't really mind that from an ego perspective as this is more specialized work than I've done previously, but from an emotion management/ inner child perspective, help me keep my adult in control here with All the Advices.
posted by crunchy potato to Work & Money (3 answers total)
Perhaps your manager is polishing your trainer on a management role therefore rolling up your responsibilities under this person while you are technically still that manager's direct report.
I was a "trainer" role at a company because I had not had experience being a manager but they needed someone technical over a team. I pretty much did everything (coaching, training, etc) while their actual manager wasn't even in the same office. Maybe be on the best side of our trainer as they have a good relationship with your manager.

You can always voice concerns with the new manager about your lack of visibility and see if you can get on their calendar once a week for a touchbase. Perhaps when you're more onboarded this person will be more involved with your performance - sounds like they're respectfully letting you catch up to speed with the new responsibilities. This is what I'm thinking is happening.
posted by hillabeans at 2:48 PM on February 5, 2018

Managers are really busy people. And they don't know everything - hence, "talk to so and so about that." And being new in an established group is tough. Just try to keep this in mind. And make some friends at work. Go out to lunch with your colleagues. Hang in there.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 5:52 PM on February 5, 2018

My job requires that on paper I supervise 15 people. Obviously this is ridiculous and explicit and less explicit reporting workarounds have evolved as a result. I've specifically identifies several people to provide day to day oversight of employees and absolutely say "for cogs talk to bob for the widget development project talk to bruce".

Get it in writing, frame it as a "ensuring I've captured your intent" and then follow their intent. Give them time, if they're super busy it might take a while. It doesn't mean they don't support or appreciate you, it just may mean they're overwhelmed.
posted by stewiethegreat at 6:18 PM on February 5, 2018

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