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When you’re asked to train someone for the job you should have gotten

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in Your Office Coach

Q: “I recently applied for the supervisory position in my department, but management selected an applicant from outside the company. Although my boss said I was not qualified for the position, he has now asked me to train the woman who was hired. If he thinks I’m not qualified, how can he expect me to train someone else?”  Rejected

A: While your confusion is understandable, your manager’s request actually does make sense. External candidates are typically chosen for their management expertise, industry experience, or some other useful attribute. What they lack, however, is an understanding of their new surroundings. As a knowledgeable insider, you are being asked to orient this woman to the company, not teach her how to supervise.

Although your recent rejection may have left you feeling slightly resentful, you need to recognize that training your boss presents a valuable opportunity. Not only will she see that you are well-regarded, but you will also be able to impress her with your competence and helpful spirit. If you handle this interaction wisely, she might even recommend you for the next supervisory opening. 

Sometimes people screw up their own careers. Here are some mistakes you don't want to make: Nine Ways to Kill Your Chances of Promotion.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Passed Over May 18, 2017 at 7:56 am

Sitting and being helpful doesn’t seem to be the right answer for me. I have 10 years in the industry and position and already work with a friend of the boss who hasn’t been able to understand and perform the basics of her job after two years. Now, he’s brought in another friend as manager over everyone and this person has no management experience and no experience in the industry or with any of its specialized software. I just can’t see myself training this person and seeing myself in the position of not really being able to do or say anything about their performance due to the relationship with the owner. I’m going to move on, this isn’t a good situation.


Dee May 21, 2017 at 1:38 am

Happened to me also. Exactly as above. Boss told me during this guys interview, to simply “Let me have this one, meaning let me hire this guy for this position and I’ll look after you. Yeah right. No sooner had I finished training my subordinate then the Boss “seconds me” to to another area, only later do I find out he gets my job, despite a complete lack of experience in the skills he’s meant to have. He’s not even technical actual, just a technical user but good buddy of my Boss. Basically he just wants a yes man/person. And this guy is a consummate professional in that department.


Dee May 21, 2017 at 1:46 am



Samantha wise May 1, 2017 at 10:59 pm

I recently quit my job right after a less qualified candidate was hired over me for a position I had trained for over 2 years. After they chose the other person over me I gave 2 weeks notice, was polite, and left on good terms. Leaving someone else to do all the training. I found a better job where I am treated with respect. It just takes one manager who doesn’t like you to keep you from being promoted. At that point it is better to move on to better opportunities.


Philip March 22, 2017 at 3:24 pm

Three N.C. county commissioners hired their friend who is a minister of a church to be the director of one of the departments of the county. This man is now my boss and has no knowledge of the highly skilled job he is supposed to be doing. He also has no education or work background to indicate he has skills that qualify him for the position. He was given the job because he has been working for the county for five years. There is a lot of corruption in my county with three commissioners controlling the county government. The county manager has no power, just administrative duties. I am now training my boss to do Information Technology work that I paid $30,000 for in my college education. No one knows I am training him. He lies to everyone about he knowledge of IT and computers. He told me that “we are going to learn about computers as we go along.” I see this as his way of saying I am going to train him. Is this right for me to be teaching this man who makes twice as much as me, to do work that requires intense training and education?


Debbie September 14, 2015 at 8:37 am

I sympathize with you. I was asked to train for a position in April because the woman was retiring and now I have been doing the job on my own since early June. At the time of my training, there was no money in the budget to hire for the position so I was offered a small dual-position raise to do the new job but to still stay under my old department and help out there when needed. In August money was available to hire for the position, but do to a technicality with my application, I could not even be considered for my job. The dean went ahead and hired my replacement and expects me to “assist in the spirit of cooperation” after I go back to my department under a different supervisor than the position I am currently in. I feel like I was taken advantage of to take care of things as an interim only without the standard pay and the dean was looking for any excuse not to keep me in my position. She said she could have re-posted the position so that I could have applied again with the college’s standards but that she was afraid the budget money wouldn’t be there, so she had to hire someone. It’s messed up and apparently there is not a darn thing I could do. Swallow my pride and assist or stand up for my convictions and refuse…and probably get fired.


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