(Closed) I'm the new boss – I'm underqualified and my team resents me – should I quit?

posted 5 years ago in Career
Post # 2
154 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Every job takes an adjusting period where you need to learn. I don’t think giving up and quitting is the right thing to do.  you will make mistakes but you will also gain knowledge and experience.  But it takes a while.  It took me months to learn my job but now I am the office manager.  It just takes hard work and dedication. That 20k more salary shows you need to work harder! 🙂

Post # 3
11381 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

View original reply
zippy85:  not sure what you should do, but you aren’t looking at this from the correct perspective. You keep saying Monica is more qualified for this job, but Monica just shown you why that’s not true. She undermined your authority easily and without a moment of hesitation, so I’m pretty sure this is her MO. As a boss, I would not have promoted her either. She doesn’t respect authority or teams. She has knowledge, but anyone can get knowledge. 

They hired you because they felt you were more professional. That is the asset you bring that justifies your position.

now, whether or not you want to deal with how they’ve let Monica poison the environment there, that is up to you. But stop thinking she’s more qualified than you. She’s not. She’s an office cancer and believe me, theyd  get rid of her in a heartbeat if they could. She was insubordinate to you, I can just imagine what a pleasure she has been for the bosses. 

Post # 4
756 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015 - Backyard

It sounds like you’re doing all the right things. I would just give it time, to prove to them that you’re “on their side” but that your management style, unlike the previous manager, is not to just let things slide. I would just own it, like a boss.

I was in a similar situation as an interim manager and was the youngest person on my floor (hospital) and I can’t tell you the number of times people said “why did they choose YOu, you have no experience / you’ve only been a nurse x years” etc. and while I hated the job (for other reasons) and have vowed to never do it again, I did a damn fine job for supposedly being so “young and unexperienced.” And by the end of it, the naysayers (well most of them) have been pretty outspoken about how much they appreciated me being the boss.

Unfortunately part of management means there will be times when no one likes you. Gotta be able to compartmentalize your life. Id give it a year, and if you still can’t “win” anyone over I’d call it quits. And try your best not to take it personally! (I highly recommend reading “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz)

Post # 5
2170 posts
Buzzing bee

I am in a similar situation, not exactly the same but similar. 

Don’t quit if you overall like it there. 

From what you have said, you are handling everything exactly right. 

Keep doing what you are doing. Its not going to get better instantly. It may not get better unless Monica quits, is fired or decides to change her attitude toward you. Keep records of what happens on a daily basis, any conversations with her and write her up as necessary, like you did. She is not used to anyone calling her out on innappropriate behavior, so of course she is upset that she can’t simply do whatever she wants. What you did is correct. You are her boss, if she wanted to send that email she at least should have told you about it and copied you on it. She didn’t, so her actions have consequences. 

You can’t treat her differently because she is the unofficial leader. So what she has expertise that might be needed? Someone else might have that as well AND not be such a pain in the side. You can’t let her exhibit behavior that will continue to cause employees to undermine you just because she has skills. She either will follow the company policies or will be written up and eventually let go. Don’t single her out and write her up everyday, just do it when its appropriate. Start developing the skills needed for the upcoming project if possible. This way if she is let go before or during that time, the company has someone who has the skills it needs. 

Make sure you have the support you need through all of this. It sounds like you do. 

Honestly, only you know whether or not staying in this job is the best choice for you. Good luck, bee.

Post # 6
11528 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Oh my. Just reading this brought back some memories for me, although my own situations were never this bad.

It sounds as if you’ve done a really good job in a very challenging environment. My biggest question is, do you have an executive level boss, and, if so, where is he or she regarding all of this? Can he or she lend any overarching support?

Post # 7
1296 posts
Bumble bee

Fire her. The rest of the team will jump in line, believe me.

Post # 10
7397 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

View original reply
zippy85:  I wouldn’t bow out yet, I would see it as a challenge. But I definitely think you got delt a shit hand of cards in the job. That being said, how much power do you have in this position? First of all, those above you should 100% be supporting you – and the blatent disrepect and disregard to follow their boss (aka YOU) should be not tolorated. Are you in a positing of hiring/firing? I think it’s one thing for your employees to show some resistance, it’s completely another to flat out ignore you. I’m normally against being a tyrant who “cleans house” but I think you’ve tried very hard to make it an easy transition for them. I’d make it pretty clear they can either get on board with you, or changes will be made.

It’s not a fun spot to be in but it will only get better over time. My DH works in an industry where (when he first started) he was one of the youngest at that level and had what is considered pretty high-profile jobs within his industry. He made considerably more than a lot of guys who’d been doing it twice as long with FAR more experience than he had.  That being said, he worked very hard and had a super solid reputation which got him those jobs over people with more experience. There were definitely a few years where others made comments or implied he hadn’t paid his dues. Over time he’s proven he deserves it and now is very respected. My point it, he didn’t let the doubters get him down – he just kept doing his job to the best of his ability.

Post # 11
716 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I would start managing Monica out the door. I realize she has special skills and knowledge but I can’t imagine she is the only person in the world who knows what she knows. You can train skills but I don’t believe you can do a lot to change someone’s attitude if they don’t want to improve themselves. I’ve been in a similar situation and a part of a new management team who overtime was able to get many negative, snipers (and Monica is just that) out the door. We did it by holding people accountable and outlining the exact procedure for resolving conflict and building trust. Once that was in place and employees had been trained on it and signed the document, we then had a tool to get people out for more than just technical job performance. Your company is really at fault here for allowing your predecesor to give Monica so much authority while also not ensuring others have a knowledge of her job at the level needed to take over in case she gets fired or leave. I supervise three staff positions that are very different and it’s expected that I am able to do each one and train others fully when they come into the role. Stick it out and try your best but at some point you may be too unhappy. I’be been there too. One job I left after four months and my current job I’ve been at for almost eight years. Each had Very similar challenges but in my current role I knew we could change things. 

Post # 12
153 posts
Blushing bee

Someone thought you could do the job and knew she wouldn’t be a good fit! Don’t doubt yourself, you are more qualified than you believe. I’m sure that you are perfectly capable of handling this.

If you can, fire her, you can get through the project without her. You really can, in fact not having her there will force you to be more involved and really get to know the work.

I can’t believe they all declined to have lunch with you! I think I would find out where they do lunch and sit with them. Keep at it and eventually you will make progress!  

Post # 13
524 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Do they not have SOPs for tasks? I’d have them update or make SOPs, test them out for correctness, and then fire the ringleader. 

Post # 15
514 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

If you quit, you’ll be playing everything exactly as Monica wants. Technically, she’s bullying you – excluding you from emails and conversations, ignoring your greetings and undermining your authority. She’s acting like this because she wants you to leave.

I would speak to HR about giving her a written warning. Stop being nice to her and start making her life difficult (within the rules, of course). If she doesn’t respect you when you were being decent toward her, she doesn’t deserve anything other than strict management.

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