updates: giving up on a promotion, the swollen neck, and more

Here are updates from four people who had their letters answered here in the past.

1. How do I know when it’s time to give up on a promotion?

Thank you so much for answering my question. Your response and the feedback in the comments was really helpful, and is actually pretty close to what happened.

In the months since I originally wrote to you, I went to my manager and my grandboss and asked for feedback and to talk about the decision. For clarity, the hiring decision was my manager’s (and also important to note – my grandboss was my direct manager for a few years early on, and is someone I’ve always had a good relationship with). Unfortunately, none of those conversations went super well. My manager essentially told me that she couldn’t tell me anything about how the decision was made, and didn’t really give me any feedback on things I could improve on. It was extremely awkward and I left feeling really upset that we couldn’t have a real, direct conversation about it. Same for my grandboss. She was extremely diplomatic with me (as she always is) but didn’t offer any real, actionable feedback or suggestions.

So, I started looking. A month later, I was offered a lateral move in terms of pay – but in terms of role, a step up. I am now a project/team lead in an adjacent part of my company, working to lead a team working on something highly visible, exciting, interesting, and innovative. I think/hope getting this kind of project/people experience will push me forward in my career, and the conversations I had with my manager and grandboss after the decision was made really solidified my decision. They also really did not handle me leaving well, and it felt like they took my decision very personally.

2. My neck is going to swell up like a bullfrog — what do I say to coworkers? (#5 at the link)

As many of the commenters said would happen, nobody really seemed to notice! Some suggested wearing a scarf or some sort of high necked shirt, however, that seemed to draw more attention to my neck area and also I live in Phoenix, Arizona where it was way too hot to be wearing a scarf.

I did leave out part of the reason I wanted something to say if anyone asked. I teach at a university and I have to get up in front of large groups of people every day. This idea stressed me out with getting the treatments and I wished I could take a week off and just hide behind a desk. So I essentially took the scripts you and the commenters made and I ended up making a very quick announcement at the beginning of my classes on the days when the swelling was really bad. I just said something like “I had some medical procedures done and there is some swelling if you noticed any difference in how I look today!” and left it at that (said blandly). And honestly nobody really seemed to notice or care. I wore what I usually do and just accepted that I looked swollen, with myself being the biggest critic. I put make up over some spots that had bruising. (If anyone is wondering, I’ve done 2 treatments and can’t notice any big difference Kybella has made so I’m not sure if I’d recommend. I might need more treatments, but it’s expensive!)

Anyway, thanks to you and everyone who replied!

3. Sabotaged by a manager at another hotel with same ownership (#2 at the link)

It’s been three months since I wrote my letter, and none of the “hijinks” seem to have occurred for the last two. I did have a second talk with my boss like you suggested, and he told me to just handle complaints about sellouts or lack of supplies the same way we would if it weren’t caused by this joker. I suppose there’s really no difference in what I needed to do post facto, and as the B.S. seems to have stopped not too long thereafter, I’m guessing my boss did something and it worked. I got brand-new luggage carts out of the deal too, so all’s well that ends well.

4. Will I ever find a job I like? (first question in the podcast; transcript here)

I took your and everyone’s advice to heart, especially making note of what things I’m willing to tolerate and what things are showstoppers in a job. I worked with my coach to come up with questions and talking points to use during interviews to make sure I could glean this information.

After interviewing at a few places, I landed a new job a few months ago! The pay is better, my manager is really helpful, and I enjoy the work I do. I was able to be candid with my current manager about my issues at my former employer and we have been working together to help me develop strategies and skills to help me focus on my work and not stress about things that are out of my control, and I’m making major strides there! My new employer definitely has its issues, but they’re all things I distinctly listed as things I can tolerate.

When I gave my notice at my previous job, I was immediately validated that I made the right decision in leaving. My boss cornered me for an impromptu exit interview that afternoon and said some pretty unprofessional and wild things to me (“I did all these things for you, how are you still unhappy,” “Yes I make all final decisions but you can’t expect me to be available all the time,” “You know you’re going to be dealing with the same issues at your new job,” etc. etc. *EYEROLL*). I ended up having two exit interviews (one with my grandboss, one with HR) and I was professionally candid with my concerns and why I was leaving. They seemed receptive but I didn’t keep my hopes up.

Which is what brings me to why I’m writing in with my update … My counterpart at my old job just quit yesterday and he cited the exact same reasons I left as to why. He also told me they hadn’t hired a replacement for me yet, which was also a factor. Obviously this validates my correct observation that that job was not a good fit for me. I feel much more confident in my decision to leave! Thank you again for your advice, it really helped a ton!

{ 92 comments… read them below }


    It never ceases to amaze me that managers who pass over employees multiple times and refuse to have real conversations with them about why are then shocked shocked! that employee chose to leave. It’s like the operate in a different reality. How do they not see it coming?

    1. CupcakeCounter*

      Its Tom all over again – too valuable to lose but we aren’t going to do anything worthwhile to keep him

      1. Shocked Pikachu*

        And in the end blaming OP for not creating atmosphere “magnetic” enough or electric enough or whatever. I hope we get update from that OP later on saying they left and are working for better company with less bat sh*t crazy clueless leadership.

        1. Leela*

          I hope so too, and I hope that when the person who blamed her for Tom’s loss asks why she’s leaving, she goes “you should have created a culture that was magnetic to a person like me.”

    2. Autumnheart*

      “We want this employee to just be happy doing the job they’re already doing!”

      Sometimes it works that way, but people need variety and professional growth, even if they’re happy with the role.

      1. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

        I think you nailed it. Managers like this think they are “going to bat” for their employees when they make minor improvements even though they are brushing aside the big things that employees are actually asking for. So if someone wants a raise to be at market level, they instead upgrade the office Keurig and let them leave an hour early on Fridays and are shocked when the employee leaves for…guess what…a better paying job.

        1. SarcasticFringehead*

          “I don’t understand why my employees are still mad about their raises when we spent so much money on two full-day seminars about how the key to being happy is not complaining about work!”

        2. Green Goose*

          This is so true. I was given the puniest raise when I got a promotion and made it clear I was not happy with it. And now my boss will randomly gift me books, or other small things, and while that is all nice, I really just want a fair raise.

      2. Close Bracket*

        Basically. My last manager didn’t like that I wasn’t happy bc “unhappy people leave” (exact quote from her). Then I left, and she didn’t see it coming. There is a direct correlation between her management and my unhappiness, but the solution from multiple managers has been for me to show more enthusiasm. Um, ok. That doesn’t get at the root cause, tho’.

        1. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

          Right? And then have meetings with Boss and Grandboss to see if there is anything they can do to help their candidacy or find out what eliminated them. The OP was clearly demonstrating that moving specifically into a team lead position was a priority for them, and yet the bosses acted like they just needed to soothe her with assurances that she’s doing a great job and all will be well.

    3. k8isgreat*

      This exact thing happened to me. Had a convo about wanting to do more, was told no, got another job and my manager literally cried out “no, no, no, you can’t leave!” Like, what did you think was going to happen?

      1. Snow globe*

        Sometimes, sadly, the reason for not promoting someone is because they are thought to be so valuable in their current role. And it just doesn’t occur to managers that if someone is asking about a promotion they are ready to move on one way or another.

        1. I GOTS TO KNOW!*

          Right but they have a disconnect there too. “This person is so valuable that we need them to stay in this role! We won’t give them other perks to show them how valuable they are, or tell them the reason we aren’t moving them to a different “better” role is because they are so needed. The employee should just * know * how valuable they are in that role and be grateful for… something.”

          1. Some Windex for my Glass Ceiling please*

            That should also signal to the manager that they need to cross-train folks so that when Most Valued Employee leaves, they will have others who can do the job. Too much of a PITA to implement? Okay, then how much pain will there be when Most Valued Employee scrams?

            Course, why not let Most Valued Employee know they are valued by providing them with valuable stuff: pay raises, enrichment opportunities, perks, etc. And actually ask them what things they’d like to have to keep them happy. Find out what they value. Then provide same.

            1. NW Mossy*

              This is an issue that I’m working on with my fellow managers right now. We know we have a systemic risk around our high-level people being hard to replace, and that we’re going to be hurting badly if a couple of key dominoes topple in quick succession.

              What I’m concerned about, though, is that we’re not doing so well on a multi-pronged approach to manage this risk. My co-managers are sold on the knowledge-transfer/building bench strength part and agree at least in theory to the make-it-worth-it-to-stay thing (although our budgetary power is limited), but they’re missing one leg – don’t actively do stuff that key people hate. I heard a couple of comments today that made me realize that this step’s getting missed, and I’m worried.

              1. the_scientist*

                What we really struggle with in my field (and I suspect this happens in other fields as well) is that there often isn’t a well-defined advancement structure for technically skilled people who are incredibly good at what they do but have no interest in moving into a leadership role. When raises and promotions are generally tied to moving into management, it can be really hard to figure out ways to retain those people that aren’t interested in management — and you REALLY want to retain them because they are a) very skilled and b) often have many years of institutional knowledge.

                1. Artemesia*

                  yup there needs to be positions that pay well and have status that are professional and not managerial. I taught public high school in the dark ages and the only way someone could make decent money was to move into administration — so our most talented chemistry teacher became a vice principal (main job discipline issues) and left the classroom. A waste of brilliant teaching talent. If you wanted to do the actual job for which the institution exists you couldn’t make enough to support your family. Some tech industries are beginning to reward producers and not require management roles to compensate well, but lots of places you don’t get raises without shifting to management. (and then most places management is horrible anyway and doesn’t do its job — as in several letters these past few days, like the manager whose solution to admin staff that mistreats women is to ‘only hire men.’)

                2. Don’t get salty*

                  You also get the opposite: management filled with people who are ignorant and/or terrible at doing their jobs because none of the high-performing, skilled, technical people want to take those managerial positions.

                  My organization solved that problem by creating high-level, technical positions that allow those high-performing, highly-skilled, workers a chance to advance and to take on leadership roles that don’t involve/depend on managing other peoples’ workloads or performance. It involves more of a mentorship/training role for those newer in their careers, as well as serving as a bit of a consultant to management about how their policies/procedures affect their workers. It was the route I took to advance and it was a career lifesaver for me.

            2. Leela*

              This just happened to me! I took a new role because the person before me resigned before I started rather than staying on for a month after I started and then taking her maternity leave, then coming back after it was done as planned. No one had cross-trained anyone and this job was a smoking crater when I got here, literally no one was able to help me with anything or had any idea what my job functions even *were* let alone how I might do them or what processes I needed to be aware of. It has been…a very challenging few months. It’s getting better but I’m blown away that their retention policy was just “hope really hard that someone never leaves so we don’t have to plan for it”

            3. boop the first*


              Especially if the employee has been through this multiple times and at this point has been literally the harbinger of doom leading up to quitting time.
              “This schedule isn’t working for me..”
              “Why does coworker get to have two vacations and I can’t have one?”
              “BY THE WAY… what is your plan for if I get influenza, get hit by a car or um…. jump off a bridge?”
              (six months of this)
              “Yeah so sorry, but I have to leave bye”
              boss “WHAT? NO WHYYYYY”

            4. TardyTardis*

              Sounds like the library where I once worked–someone got hired after me for a dime an hour more, and preferred parking. Another worker got to sit and gossip for hours with the manager while I held down the front desk the time an entire high school class came in and they all needed cards (I snickered under my breath when she showed up at the next place I went to work, since I knew she wasn’t going to be able to pull that card any more, but I was nice and welcomed her, which all worked out for the best).

        2. HappySnoopy*

          This. Exactly this. I suspect that may be why updater’s mgmt got so upset about them leaving to another area. It screwed up their plans to keep updater in workhorse role.

        3. Door Guy*

          I’ve got something like that now. I’d LOVE to promote him, but I don’t have a position unless someone else quits/gets fired. Thankfully he’s talking future and not immediately (he wants to be out of the field by the time he’s 40 and he just turned 37) and hopefully our business will have expanded enough to justify having a 4th office employee if nothing opens up before then. We’re on the right path (the report I got today shows that YoY, we have more than doubled our sales) so fingers crossed the owners will go for it.

          My team has started talking about this and once it gets out of the busy season and we get our newest field workers up to scratch we’re going to see if we can’t get him some time in the office 1 day a week or whatever would work just to bring him in and train him on back end procedures, to show that we don’t want to lose him. I can’t do much about pay, sadly (only the owners can adjust that), but he’s a welcome and valuable part of my tech force.

          1. John B Public*

            You can’t “make the decision” on pay but that doesn’t mean you can’t prep the owners on getting him a raise. Having a discussion soon (like by January) can ensure that you get that in their heads when they consider financials and budgeting.

          2. TardyTardis*

            I bet he still walks when he sees he’s being trained on how to do more stuff for the same amount of pay.

    4. voyager1*

      I Gots To Know,
      I honestly think for some managers, they see someone in a role and that is all they will ever be. Then employee applies for promotion, gets rejected. Employee leaves for a better role. Manager takes it’s personally because “how dare someone see employee as more then what they see them as.”

      Managers should be happy for their employees moving on, but so many are to thin skinned and thick with ego that they can’t handle it.

      1. Be Gregor not Jeff*

        It really defies logic. I once worked for a department where I was responsible for one thing that I absolutely needed access to the payroll/benefits server program, but was told instead to ask a co-worker with access to give me the information I needed. (Company only paid/negotiated for 6 licenses and hired a new manager, so there went my license.) It was frustrating and I when I went to my boss about getting access to the server was told it would be 15K and would never happen. I was also told to work on my (!) teamwork and to not bother my coworker with so many requests. When I handed in my resignation after about 6 months of this nonsense, my boss said, “You gave up on us.”

          1. Angry with numbers*

            Some software don’t let you add individual licenses you have to go to the next level. I used one that sold them as 1 ,3, 5, 10 etc (you couldn’t buy two 1’s and use them together. So if you need 7 you had to buy 10.

            1. Nephron*

              And for this one buying the software might come with 6 free licenses and then you pay for the others which could come in packets and not individual.

          2. Pescadero*

            It really isn’t that exorbitant.

            I’ve seen COMSOL license quotes with a few modules come out in the $50,000-$75,000 range for a single license.

        1. WellRed*

          When I handed in my resignation after about 6 months of this nonsense, my boss said, “You gave up on us.”

          “No boss, you made it harder to do my job, created inefficiencies and made me feel as though my contributions are not as valuable as those of my coworkers.”

        2. Close Bracket*

          We need to eliminate the phrase “gave up on” when it comes to leaving situations, be it employment or personal. You didn’t “give up on” them. You made a cost-benefit analysis and unloaded an underperforming investment.

          1. Librarian1*

            Yeah, it goes along with all the attitude that quitting is awful. It’s not. It’s often necessary.

            1. AKchic*

              Yep. Quitting isn’t a bad thing. Quitting is life-saving. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be telling people to quit smoking, quit drinking, quit doing substances, give up fast food and sedentary lifestyles.

              Making changes in our lives are good things. If we have to drop something like the bad habit it is, it’s time to re-evaluate why a person thinks you / your company is a bad habit.

    5. RC Rascal*

      My call is LW #1 was passed over because they rely on her & didn’t want to replace her. They were too shortsighted to see they were going to lose her anyway. Now that she’s leaving they are unhappy at her because it’s now a blame game.

      1. Leela*

        Unfortunately this is very likely, happened at a company I used to work at. We had a guy who was *amaaaaazing* at his job, sales guy who just brought in loads of money. He’d made it clear that he wanted to be manager and was passed up twice, with the powers that be telling me (in HR) that it was because he brought in too much money and they didn’t want to lose what he brought in if he went into a non-sales role. Well surprise surprise he took a position somewhere else and we had neither the money from him nor the benefit of having him in a management position I believe he would have knocked out of the park. I’m happy that he got to move on; he took a fair amount of clients with him too. VERY shortsighted of the company.

      2. AMPG*

        One of the best things an early boss did for me was advocate for a promotion for me to his boss using the argument, “Listen, I’m going to lose her no matter what I do, because she’s good enough to move up and if we don’t do that, she’ll leave. But YOU don’t have to lose her.”

      3. Ess in Tee*

        This happened to a student of mine (I’m a business ESL instructor in a non-English speaking country) a few years ago. We were doing one-on-one course to help him with English communication, as he had several international colleagues. He seemed a little distant – until he confessed that he’d just been offered a job at a new company was actually planning on leaving soon. Turns out his team had been reduced from the required four people to just him, and he was being blocked for promotions because the work (of four people!) he was doing just so goshdarn important. Not important enough to hire even one more person to share the load, but it was apparently promotion-blocking levels of important. He watched people who were less qualified get promoted ahead of him, and finally decided it was time to go.

        I congratulated him. Honestly, he seemed really unhappy in his role, which included a really long commute on top of everything else. From there, we switched tracks and we worked on more generalized English communication that would be useful in the future. He also vented about his work frustrations*, which I think he kind of needed at the time. The phrase “don’t set yourself on fire to keep others warm” came up a lot.

        The day he put in his notice, I ended up with a sudden two hour window in what was supposed to be an all-day class as his boss and then grandboss pulled him into “pleasepleaseplease don’t leave us!” meetings. He came back wrung out, and MAD. He was necessary to the point that they were willing to take hours out of their schedules to guilt him into staying, but when he tried to get any support he was shot down? The nerve!

        My last day with him ended up being cut super short because, suddenly, several hours of “pleasepleaseplease don’t leave us!” meetings were added to his schedule. I reminded him that he didn’t owe them a thing, they had their chance to keep him, and to enjoy his new job.

        * his level was such that we did a lot of free communication in my class, as well as the usual structured stuff

    6. AKchic*

      “we like you where you are, so shut up, sit down, and do what we like you doing. Your opinions, wants, needs, and desires don’t matter as long as we’re getting what we want.”

      That’s generally how it goes in that kind of “relationship”. And they reacted exactly as expected when the abused person got fed up enough to leave.

      1. voyager1*

        That isn’t abuse though, it is just a workplace who doesn’t value a person for anything more then what rather do. Sometimes though a job is just a job. Employees aren’t indentured servants anymore.

        1. AKchic*

          Even work relationships can be toxic / abusive.

          They didn’t value LW enough to see that she wanted more than where she was at. They weren’t willing to be honest with her. They allowed her to feel like there was something wrong with her, rather than admit that they just didn’t want to train anyone else for her position.
          Then, when she left, she admits that she felt like they took it personally.

          These weren’t good managers. We can see the correlations between working relationships and interpersonal ones to highlight how toxic/abusive relationships work, and how an abuser acts only in their own best interest rather than anyone else’s.

    7. Miranda Priestly's Assistant*

      This happens so much in my company. They literally deny people raises and acuse them of “performance issues” due to factors outside their control, and when these people leave, get really salty about it.

    8. miss_chevious*

      It’s shocking, really, that managers are so ignorant. We have a dude here who is in a similar position; he’s been passed over three times for promotions. Although those passes were legitimate — he is a solid but not great performer, and hadn’t done the work to justify promotion — those of us in leadership are acutely aware that he’s a candidate to move on. I don’t understand why a manager would be surprised or shocked by that. If someone wants to be promoted and isn’t getting promoted (for whatever reason), they’re likely to start looking. That’s basic succession planning.

  2. Diahann Carroll*

    #1: Oh well, they should have promoted you. I love how managers think employees will stick around forever passing up opportunities to further their careers, especially those employees who explicitly tell you they want more responsibilities and advancement, out of some one-sided sense of loyalty and will take it in stride when management dumps on those plans. It’s laughable, and these people have zero self-awareness.

    #4: Your manager’s lack of self-awareness is also on the same level as OP #1’s manager, lol. You don’t want someone to quit so you corner them for a surprise exit interview where you spend the majority of the time calling their judgment into question and bemoaning everything you were obligated to do for them as the manager as if you were doing the employee some huge favor? LOL, yeah, that’s really going to make them want to stay.

    1. Drew*

      I also saw the parallels between letters 1 and 4 — managers who didn’t do anything to support their employees and then got whiny when those employees decided to make a move. If you want to retain staff, you have to put in the effort, people!

      See also: former boss who assumed that one department’s fierce loyalty to their supervisor would automatically transfer to him after he let that supervisor go. He was vocally upset that over the next three months, the entire department found new jobs and gave notice, and from I hear has been on a crusade to prove that the department was unnecessary and their tasks can be handled by himself and other staff. (Spoiler: it wasn’t and they can’t.)

      1. That Girl from Quinn's House*

        I worked somewhere where, if they sensed a department was loyal to their supervisor, they’d try to sabotage and undermine that supervisor, and harass their employees, because it meant the workers weren’t loyal to the company like they should be.

        This strategy did not increase loyalty to the company.

        1. Drew*

          On the other hand, in my current role I have a direct supervisor who seems to be confusing my loyalty to our company with loyalty to him specifically, which is emphatically NOT the case. It might have been, at one time, but not now, several years later.

    1. Drew*

      Hooray! I’d love to hear an update for the #1 letter on the hotel sabotage page, from the women whose peer was giving her grief about having visible tattoos in a job that was not at all customer-facing.

      1. Daughter of Ada and Grace*

        There was an update! It’s linked in the bottom of that list of questions, and I’ll reply to this with the link.

          1. Drew*

            Now that I read it, I do remember coming across it – I wouldn’t think I could have forgotten one this bonkers, but apparently I did.

            Thanks, everyone!

  3. pamplemousse*

    LW1, I’m so happy for you; it sounds like things worked out well. I’m sorry the move didn’t come with a salary increase — it sounds like it should have! (I’ve had the same thing happen with a role change/internal transfer that wasn’t a formal promotion; I was told that they wanted to evaluate my performance in my new role rather than just giving me a raise for it, but I did eventually get the raise.) You should make a strong case for a raise at your next evaluation, presuming your performance is good, since it sounds like it’s a position with more responsibility and working on a project that’s a high internal priority.

    1. AdAgencyChick*

      Yes, OP1, coming in late to say: You’re STILL in a prime position to be job hunting, unless you really, really like your company.

      Unless you negotiated otherwise, I strongly suspect that you’ve reset the clock on yourself for a raise by moving into the new role. This means that you are now in a role with more responsibilities…but being paid as if you’re still more junior! I bet there are other companies out there who’d be happy to offer you market rate for your CURRENT role, not your old one.

  4. rayray*

    #4 reminds me of a funny meme I have seen.

    managers: *treat employees like shit*
    employees: *leave*
    managers: [shocked Pikachu face goes here]

    1. Anon for this*

      That is my current company, they can’t figure out why the satisfaction has dropped like a stone between last year and this year and are trying to bribe us with perks when all we want is higher pay and to be treated not as cattle fodder…. *shrug emoji*

  5. AndersonDarling*

    #1 Sometimes you just have to start over in a new company/department. The previous managers may have seen something from the OP’s early days that they didn’t like but weren’t confident enough to talk about. Or they may have had some biases. And sometimes I think managers decide that they don’t want someone working with them as a peer so they refuse to promote them.
    Whatever it is, you just gotta go to a new environment. Glad to hear that it worked out for the OP!

    1. 1234*

      Isn’t there that saying, “you have to move out to move up?”

      I’m also glad OP is happy at their new job.

  6. Falling Diphthong*

    #1, Ouch on “We won’t let you move up and won’t tell you why… what, how could you leave us?!!!!” but leaving was absolutely the right call. Things were not going to change if you stayed put and were just really, really super RIGHT about what should happen.

    1. LKW*

      “You scratch my back…”
      “And you’ll scratch mine?”
      “Nah, you just scratch my back mmmkay?”

  7. CouldntPickAUsername*

    Dear managers of the world take a note from Beyonce, if you like it put a ring on it.
    If you like the employee give them a contract, give them a promotion, give them a raise. Screw them around and they’ll be gone.

  8. TootsNYC*

    Of course OP#1’s bosses took it personally!

    It’s their fault, and they know it.

    She called them on their bullshit, and that IS on them, and them alone. To them, that makes it personal.

  9. juudiii*

    Love to hear about managers that just can’t believe it when someone quits a stagnant job. Oh the audacity to want a good job and growth!

    1. MissDisplaced*

      Oh the audacity is right! Don’t you know we’re all just supposed to keep our mouths shut and be grateful for our jobs and accept things, even if they’re wrong.

  10. Artemesia*

    I can’t believe sabotage hotel guy wasn’t fired. ONCE– fake booking — is enough for firing someone. Hurting the business intentionally should be a zero tolerance event.

  11. MissDisplaced*

    #4 I am so happy for you!
    I often feel like you, and wonder why I cannot seem to “go along to get along” and be happy with my workplaces. I’m going to think about how you listed what you’re willing to tolerate and what you’re not and trying to gear my next search that way.

    1. Don’t get salty*

      #4: I’m very happy for you too. I think a lot of times we expect those in power to care about what makes us tick. Most times, they don’t; sometimes, they do.

      I learned a long time ago that I was not a good fit for the role that I was in at the time and I felt like I would be a failure at life. I learned this, ironically, after a lot of self-reflection with my boss, who hired me for this role. He cared about me being happy and was willing to do what I needed to have done, even though it led me to leaving that company and finding a new job. I’ve spent over a decade working (and passed through half as many bosses) and have only come across one other person that I could put in the same category as that former boss.

  12. Don’t get salty*

    #1: How many managers themselves are in a place where they want to grow their careers/income and are dissatisfied with where they currently are. I would expect it to cause them to generate some empathy, but often it does not.

    I’ve accepted the fact that not everyone is going to like me; not all managers are going to care about my career trajectory; and many are not going to do their jobs. Therefore, sometimes a lateral transfer (under different management, perhaps) is what’s needed for growth while working for the same company.

    I think what you have done is very strategic and very smart. The glass ceiling is not always along lines of established prejudice: race, gender, age, etc. Often times, there’s a glass ceiling that’s established for other reasons: jealousy, productivity, financials, etc.

  13. Amethystmoon*

    #1 does not surprise me. I once worked with a bully. I did not say anything until one particular day when most people were out of the office, she lost it at me in front of the few people who were there over something small, to the point where I started to cry. She then mocked me for crying, saying I was faking it, and I wasn’t because I had grown up with a verbally abusive mother who her tactics resembled. It was all I could do to not quit on the spot. I tried going to boss (he had been my boss for less than 6 months but I had been in that job taking crap for nearly 3 years). He gaslighted me. Turns out he went to HR and lied. Well, that was the last straw at that job. Had already been looking for a new job for over a year, and I took the offer to change departments when it came. About 3-4 months into my new role, I found out the bully had been fired. Not sure why, but I love it when karma actually works.

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