Job guidance 'AdWise': 'My boss ignores me and deals directly with young people'

Question: I am a deputy of my superior, who does not like to interact with me. Also, assign work directly to my subordinates, ignoring me. Often, I face an awkward situation when my juniors approach me to receive guidance on tasks that I have not been informed about. I am tolerating this unpleasant situation for the past five years. When I brought my complaint to my boss, he said he doesn't answer me. Management seems impotent. This is frustrating since my chances of ascending are being blocked. What should I do?

Rituparna Chakraborty replies:

This is really a difficult place to be, and even more so because he has been in this position for the past five years. I suppose that in these five years, neither you nor your superior have been promoted. Professionally, that is a big red flag. Before getting into problems that seem to indicate breeding insecurity, I would worry about working with someone who is not making progress in his career. Your acceptance of the situation for five years equals professional hara-kiri.

The approach should not focus on what your superior should or could do, since trying to change your behavior may not be too much. What is equally worrying is that the administration seems to have no teeth or lacks a transparent performance mechanism. Is your superior so indispensable that management has no choice but to look the other way? Since both seem to be trapped in the same role, it does not seem so.

The final problem is related to his inability to guide his subordinates, again, because of his superior.

You should try the following:

TO. Make an effort to discover the reason for your superior's insecurity. Obtain independent comments from your superior's colleagues and the human resources department about possible reasons. Use the performance management discussions to get information on why your boss is overlooking it.

YES. Be aware of yourself and honest about your performance. Document your achievements or gaps, which could have caused your superior to lose confidence in you. Working on these aspects proactively can help address the situation differently and you could get a response from your superiors.

C. Apply for internal jobs (if there is such an option or policy), or propose a new position under a different leader. Consider this only after options A and B have been exhausted. This will help you explore new opportunities within the same organization and give you the opportunity to grow.

If all options fail, it may be time to reconsider if you wish to continue working in that organization. Even more because it has given this problem more time than it deserves.

However, it would be good to address your inability to help subordinates or guide them, regardless of your superior's behavior toward you. You could continue to enforce your team's respect by successfully establishing yourself as a leader they can trust and learn. It would be good to reflect on this and work to repair ways for the future.

(Rituparna Chakraborty is executive vice president and co-founder of TeamLease Services)

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