Question: “I recently learned that my manager may be planning to replace me. I work for an art museum and am very active in my professional association. A fellow member called to inquire about an opening here after he saw an ad on the association website. I told him that I wasn’t aware of any vacancies, but when I looked up the ad, I essentially found my own job description under a different title. The address for responding is our museum. Although no one has mentioned any problems with my performance, I am apparently in danger of being fired. I can’t believe my boss thought I wouldn’t find out about this. Should I talk to him? Or should I just apply for my own job? —Betrayed
Answer: Either this is a misunderstanding or your boss is a coward. A competent manager would address performance concerns directly instead of conducting a clandestine search.
Before you jump to any firm conclusions, however, give him a chance to explain. You never know what’s going on behind the scenes. Management might be creating a new position, or reorganization could be in the works.
On the other hand, if your job is indeed up for grabs, your boss owes you an explanation. A direct inquiry will force him to come clean and give you a chance to negotiate the terms of your departure.
Although the idea of responding to the ad yourself has an appealing touch of irony, a more straightforward approach will allow you to clarify the situation immediately.
Worried about your own job security? For a general assessment, see Quick Quiz: How Secure Is Your Job?
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