Remember the letter-writer who was hired to take over as a department director, but 10 months later, the old director still hadn’t left? Here’s the update.
After my letter was published last year, the situation resolved itself fairly quickly, with Old Boss finally finding another job and me being promoted as planned. I love this gig and my small team, which is great!
I’ve learned since writing that letter that I shouldn’t be afraid of initiating direct conversations because they might be awkward or uncomfortable (and it sounds silly even writing that, but I can tell from other reader questions that I’m not the only person who has struggled with that idea). The conversations we fear are rarely as dramatic or uncomfortable as we imagine they will be, and “direct” does not necessarily equal “aggressive.” Maybe that’s obvious to some, but it was a lesson I needed to learn.
In my situation, I didn’t speak up to Old Boss sooner because I didn’t want to appear pushy, but in retrospect, it would’ve been completely reasonable to initiate a discussion about the reason I was hired and our expectations/timeline. The responses to my letter (both from Alison and commenters) resulted in a little epiphany about how I should act in the workplace to accomplish what I want, and I’ve actually become much more direct and assertive in how I conduct myself – with good results. So, thanks everyone for the advice!