How do I propose a new position to my boss?
September 12, 2023 5:20 PM   Subscribe

I have a potential opportunity to expand my role - how do I broach the topic tactfully with my boss?

Yesterday I learned that another manager in my department is leaving the company. When we were discussing the move he suggested that I absorb his position and manage my team and his (with a corresponding pay and title bump).

Our two departments work very closely together to the point where it’s tough tell where one of our managerial duties ends and the other’s begins. I was also a manager of a similar department at a different company and have a lot of experience doing that work. I also have a good rapport with the other team and know the ins and outs of their duties. Not to mention the cost savings of eliminating a FTE role and not needing to recruit a new manager, it makes a lot sense. Taking both managerial roles would also dovetail nicely into my next career milestone (director).

My instinct is to propose this to my boss ASAP because 1) I think this is a real opportunity for a promotion and pay bump and 2) I do not want to hold off discussing with my boss and be voluntold that I will be taking these duties for an interim that doesn’t end. To be clear: I do not think my boss would default giving the duties to me with nothing in return but I want to make it known that if I’m going to be taking on more responsibilities I am happy to do so if the price and title is right.

So how do I have this conversation in a way that doesn’t make me come off as too mercenary but asserts my worth and material expectations for an expanse in scope?

I have written a three page proposal that makes the case pretty well but I’m not sure how to best deliver it and get the conversation started.

Any guidance is appreciated!
posted by Tevin to Work & Money (3 answers total)
Best answer: Some variation of stopping by the office and saying "boss, I had a thought about X's position that could save the company money without hurting productivity, and I'd like to talk to you about it, if you have the time". These kinds of things should, in my opinion, be presented in a benefits-to-the-company-first manner - though you _must_ include any costs you in that analysis (such as your pay bump).
posted by TimHare at 6:36 PM on September 12, 2023

Best answer: Assuming you work in a relatively stable, good faith workplace, this seems like a golden opportunity.

Your question almost answers itself - you offer evidence of your reasoning, and a proposal you could share with your boss already. Check. To bring that to your boss, maybe do something like this:

Request a one-on-one with your boss, in a more formal/important way than you'd usually do so - you want them to know this meeting is important.

In that meeting, get to it quickly and directly: "I asked for this meeting because I want to discuss my position and role here, and "another manager's" departure has created an opportunity I believe will benefit the company and my professional development."

Don't beat around the bush, don't chat them up, don't ask them if "they have time". Make it feel like an exciting conversation about a mutually beneficial idea.

Have your pitch ready, verbally - 2-3 sentences. If that is well received, give them the documented proposal. (As an aside, 3 pages seems long unless there's something really vital in all that info; 1-2 should suffice.)

As far as your demeanor: this is an opportunity you see and believe in, so come to it with confidence and directness. If your boss won't go for it, not much you can do, but if you don't come at it directly, it easier for them to miss the benefits of proactively pursuing this and just follow normal protocols (hiring a replacement).
posted by RajahKing at 6:21 AM on September 13, 2023

Response by poster: Thank you for the advice!

I scheduled a meeting with my boss and gave him my pitch. He was very open to the idea and admitted he was also wondering if there were alternatives to hiring a straight replacement.

He asked to see the proposal (which I pared down to 1.5 pages) and said he would think it over and discuss with our CFO. He thinks the CFO will be in favor of saving cost of eliminating a manager position, which I used as an opportunity to bring up the idea of expecting a pay and title bump which was not met with any resistance.

It’s still up in the air but I made a good case for myself and he was pleased that I was on this train of thought at least. Thanks again!
posted by Tevin at 10:33 AM on September 13, 2023 [1 favorite]

« Older Stand-alone movie scenes?   |   A man, few plans, several canals, Amsterdam Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments