August 7, 2019

From “Sweet New Gig!” to “Get Me Out!”

Bryan thought he landed at the perfect gig.  Then, 5 months later:  re-org, new boss, different priorities, and a job he didn’t sign up for…

I wrote about Bryan’s move from the corporate world to a non-profit last Spring.

The main point from this earlier Case Study – intent plays a powerful role in an individual’s Engaged Pursuit.  Landing somewhere new (and completely different in Bryan’s case) takes guts, a well-thought-out plan, community, and focus.

I continued to work with Bryan throughout the first couple months in his new gig.  We met weekly to confirm everything continued to match his Professional Story & Dashboard, even after he started.

Awesome boss – check!

Interesting work – check!

Right state-of-the-business (he’s a “builder”) – check!

Easy commute – check!

Both Bryan and I felt great heading into the summer … then it happened.

A big re-org hit the organization (all your corporate folks are probably asking yourself, “Big re-orgs happen in other places??” And the answer, unfortunately in some cases, is “YES!”).

And this wasn’t your typical re-org (smaller team changes, etc).  This was a big one.  Like the “CEO is leaving and we’re completely changing direction” kind of re-org.

Bryan called me right away…

“I’m not sure what to think about this,” he said.  “My gut is telling me this isn’t going to be pretty.”

And it wasn’t.

Bryan got a new boss.  His business priorities also changed, and the vibe of the office went from “start-up” to “we’re-not-sure-what’s-happening-we-better-keep-our-heads-down.”

Here’s some specifics of what Bryan experienced:

  • His new boss didn’t understand (or want to understand) his work. Therefore, Bryan’s boss became a micro-manager and constantly needed updates – something Bryan knew he couldn’t tolerate for very long (based on pervious experiences).
  • His work became much more operational and less innovative. Bryan liked the pace of building stuff from scratch and the (new) business needed him in a more operational function.  Not the best fit.
  • The culture changed from fun to fear. Enough said.
  • He couldn’t see himself there in the future. This was the biggest red flag for me.  Bryan understood the new vision of the organization, but couldn’t see himself contributing in a meaningful way for several more years.

Bryan and I weighed several options:  (1) Suck it up (2) See if there were other groups/managers to explore (3) See how things go for the rest of the calendar year or (4) quit.

Bryan’s decision – quit. 

Even though Bryan went into this new opportunity with intent and tons of excitement, he knew this organizational change was too big to stick-around.  He knew he had to find that intent again and find another gig that matched his Professional Story & Dashboard – tools he’s grateful he can always use in the future.  Hopefully next time he won’t experience a quick (and massive) re-org.

Fingers crossed for Bryan!  Will keep you posted on his progress.

* Bryan isn’t his real name, but he’s sure glad he kept his Professional Story & Dashboard handy!

Here’s to your Engaged Pursuit!

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