The Endangered Middle Manager Series – Recognizing the morass


Endangered Middle Manager


If you read the first blog in this series and are still reading this one, you already know there may be something not quite right with where you are right now. If you are watching out for a friend’s interest instead, more power to your elbow.

To make sure it’s not just a summer’s day ennui that brought it on, it’s important to evaluate this further. Look for signs that this is a sustained problem and not just one of the off days that we all have when everything seems to be conspiring against us – a fracas with a co-worker, a run-in with the boss, an unhappy client or a difficult to manage subordinate.

Some of these maybe:

• No change in job role over the last couple of years, even if with a new title or higher compensation
• Far younger peers in parallel positions in the organization and perhaps even in bigger roles
• Most of your job seems to be only expedition of tasks and communicating between senior managers and subordinates
• You don’t feel empowered or confident of taking independent decisions which impact the organization in its new initiatives or in re-engineering its existing ones
• Your organization is not changing the status quo in its industry as a thought leader, even if it has a higher market share due to its size and legacy
• All jobs you see advertised within and outside your organization call for specialist skills that you don’t access to on your job

There may more such signs that you can figure out and this is not a temporary situation but has persisted over a year or two. Then you know you are in a full blown mid career crisis. Talking to friends, well wishers or mentors within, and especially outside the organization, is recommended to confirm that your current situation is indeed something which needs changing.

The solution may lie within the organization or outside but its worth giving it a try within first without holding a gun to your boss’s head. Before even attempting that, one must be clear on what is it that one wants to do next and how this is aligned with demonstrated skills on your past jobs. However, it doesn’t have to be a similar job. Knowing the transferable skills and experience is the key here. After all, the iconic Steve Jobs picked John Sculley of Pepsi to head Apple and not someone from the IT hardware industry!






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