Forums - View Single Post - Leaving a job of 20 years. Any other options?
View Single Post
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2019, 02:44 PM
mdf_dan mdf_dan is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 4
mdf_dan is on a distinguished road

Originally Posted by BobT69 View Post
I would like to share a recent dilemma at work that has caused me to consider leaving a job that I had enjoy doing for 20years. Iím taking a step back here to recount the situation and hope to seek your views.

Allow me to give a quick background. Iíve been in my current field for almost 20 years, and have always had good bosses who trusted me and gave me opportunities to work on complex projects. Iím 50 this year and draw a gross pay close to $10k. Iím a ďfarmerĒ not a scholar, my academic achievements being distinctly mediocre. But Iíve managed to secure favourable performance grades in the past 3 years (A, B+, B) and enjoy a good standing amongst my colleagues.

Iíve been transferred to a new branch this year to be given one of the lead roles (specialist, not leadership) for an exciting cross agency project. The high signature of the project means that my new boss, a high-flyer, is very involved as he reports it directly to the top management level.

My bossí speed of thought and decisiveness contrasts with my more deliberative and analytical approach to problem solving. For the last 6 months, I found myself being compelled to execute my bossís ideas and unable to communicate to him what I believe are viable,if not more appropriate, alternatives. Unfortunately, not one of my bossís ideas was able to take the project forward and we stumble from one roadblock to another because of short-sighted action and chasing of low-hanging fruits. I soon found myself being derided frequently by him for thinking too much, not doing fast enough and supposedly imagining false threats that slow down decision-making and action.

For instance, I was told off for suggesting that we take one month to do a formal industry scan to identify expert partners as my boss believe that we should cut to the chase, target a major player and focus on working out a partnership with them. 6 months later, after courting a couple of major players, we are still without a partner as we were unable to demonstrate to management that our decisions are informed by the due diligence of industry knowledge.

I was unsure how or where I had lost the trust and confidence which earlier bosses had in me. I acknowledge that there is a difficulty and sought the support and advice of my immediate supervisors. I was advised to ďjust do as he says, and even it does not work, he needs to find out for himselfĒ. This is not principled and I am deeply disappointed to receive this advice.

I have lost confidence in the ability and acument of my new boss and immediate supervisors to execute this project. I am not able to freely exercise my core strengths and fear that the cost of failing to deliver the project will be unfairly imputed to me. I considered requesting a transfer to a new project, but the shadow of this current project lingers and the working environment is status quo. I am due to receive a loyalty bonus of up to 5 mths pay in a yearís time. But unless the situation changes, another 12 months would be a most deflating and contradicting period. Beside the possibility of leaving the job, what do fellow forumers think is good way to handle this situation?
There seems to be many parallels to my own situation that I found myself in earlier this year before taking the plunge to leave having served for about 5 years in my own organization

My situation was somewhat similar:
- have good standing in the organisation as a high potential employee
- transferred to a new sub-unit to coordinate several organizational projects (range of low to high signatures)
- in an environment where it was difficult to disagree with the direct supervisor's ideas, even though 1 year after the branch was formed a lot of the projects were at a standstill or encountered roadblocks which were borne out of the supervisor's directions
- unable to speak freely due to fear of reprisal
- supervisor did not adjust the working style despite management attempts to mediate

Since the inception of the sub-unit (part of a larger umbrella department also newly formed 2 years ago), it has seen high turnover (133%) over the course of about 1 year ; 3 resignations (including myself) and 1 transfer on request. At the same time, I was also grappling with personal issues at home being a primary and secondary caregiver to 2 close family members with mental health condition and a child that was exhibiting signs of developmental delay. There was also an incident where I had experienced a minor anxiety attack but I managed to address it before it got worse. As I had arrived at the 5-year mark and was also harbouring aspirations to pursue a different field, made the difficult decision to leave. I was also considering that it was still early in my career (I just turned 30) and that considering the personal and professional circumstances at that time, I feared that if I stayed in the job longer something would break and I would also lose the opportunity to start a new career elsewhere early enough to put in some mileage that can provide the foundation to kickstart a new career. Having said that, if I did not have those personal circumstances bearing down on me on top of my own personal aspirations for career switch, I would have probably stayed and sought to ask for either an internal or external transfer.

Looking at your situation, I personally don't believe you have arrived at the point where you need to even consider leaving. Do consider that you are 50, and although I do not know your specific expertise, I personally know of a friend who is in late 50s, have extensive experience with European companies in project management in the oil & gas industry, and have been told point blank by companies in Singapore that they do not hire anyone 55 or older. It is a very tough job market outside right now.

My advice, take steps today to get higher management involved to get a conversation started, while at the same time, engage your your boss directly to reiterate your concerns, especially that of having the failure of the project be unfairly imputed to you. If this approach fails, then get HR involved, especially the Head of HR. If again nothing seems to change, escalate the issue higher until it reaches the top man/woman. At all times, always be professional and do things according to the appropriate procedures. Meanwhile, time will still pass and you'd have arrived at your loyalty bonus. At which point you can request for a transfer to a different branch.
Reply With Quote