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Your Office Coach

Suddenly cut out of high-level affairs: Is it a warning sign?

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Q: “After my manager resigned, I began reporting directly to the vice president of our department. For the past few months, she has praised my outstanding performance and frequently asked for my advice. She also included me in her weekly staff meetings.

“A few weeks ago, the vice president hired a new manager who is likely to become my boss. She is now consulting him instead of me. I have also been removed from the weekly meetings. No one has told me what's going on, so I'm becoming concerned about my future. Does this situation sound normal?” On the Outside

A: Not to worry. You're simply experiencing the turmoil that frequently follows an unexpected management departure. Having been left without a boss, you were temporarily elevated to the next level, where you found yourself assuming additional responsibilities and participating in higher-level discussions.  

Now, however, the hiring of your manager's replacement has restored the previous order, leaving you to wonder where all those fun new duties went. Had anyone bothered to view this situation from your point of view, they would have realized that you deserve an explanation of the transition process. Unfortunately, no one appears to have given this any thought.

The good news, though, is that your interim reporting relationship provided a rare and valuable opportunity to impress the vice president. Having observed your talents first-hand, she is quite likely to support your advancement in the future.

To maintain this momentum, you must now concentrate on developing a strong, positive connection with your incoming boss. Since he's the one who will be writing your next performance review, you don't want any lingering resentment to contaminate that relationship.

Got a new boss? This will help you get off to a good start: How to Survive a New Manager.

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