Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being depressed because of a boss who degrades: I applied to another department and I have been selected offered a job there. I want my boss to release me; how do I pursue that?

I am a graduate from the top university of my country and right now I’m working at a multinational bank as relationship Manager in consumer banking. My branch manager (my immediate boss) has always degraded me and put extraordinary pressure on me. He’s always unprofessional in handling his subordinates, except for one or two favorites. This has very badly affected my personality and I’ve become depressed. Recently I applied to another department and I have been selected offered a job there. I want my boss to release me; how do I pursue that?

Signed, Want To Transfer

Dear Want To Transfer:

I’ve slightly reworded parts of your question in order to make it read more fluently in English. I trust that I have maintained what you mean to say. You mention two concerns: 1.Depression that you attribute to a boss’ degrading behavior toward you and 2. You request advice on how to resign from one position within your bank and transfer to another.

First, a word about depression. Depression is a term that is sometimes used to describe one’s unhappiness with a relationship, but it also is a psychological term that describes a serious mental/physical condition that prevents an individual to function normally. In your case, you should seek counseling if you are indeed so down that you can’t go to work or break down in tears over being criticized by your manager. Since you have applied for a position in another department, I assume that you are using the word “depression” to describe how discouraged you feel due to your manager’s disrespectful treatment.

Second, transfer. To move from one department to another should not be difficult. I expect that your bank has a Human Resources or Personnel Department that can provide advice as to how this is done. Or you can speak with the manager of the other department that has offered you a position and ask how this is accomplished. It would be good for you to learn if this offer is solid. Do you have more than an oral offer? Such a move might be difficult if you current manager doesn’t want to lose you, and therefore you will need to be consult with HR or Personnel about your desire to work in a different setting. You might say, “I learned of this opening in a sister department and they have offered it to me if I can move. I think such a move would make me more valuable to our organization because it provides a wider experience. I would like your help to make this move smooth and as soon as it is most suitable to my current department and this other one.”

Talk of it as a positive career move. Don’t badmouth your current manager. At least at first you want him to be supportive rather than to feel he must defend himself because you criticize his managing. HR or Personnel should advise you on the protocol; they should tell you if you should request permission to transfer or simply to state that you have learned of this opportunity in another department. Perhaps they will advise that the two managers should confer about this or some other procedure. For now, it would be wise not to converse with coworkers about this offer to transfer. Seek and follow the advice of HR and/or Personnel and the Manager of this department that has said it can use you. Moves within should be seen as constructive and if a transfer is blocked don’t give up. Think of your Manager as one who is there to enable you to grow in value to your bank.

You use the words “always degraded” and “always unprofessional” when describing your Manager. You obviously think of him in extremely negative terms. He might be this bad; I can’t know from this distance. But I challenge you to do all you can to see him in a more positive light. Surely he does some things well. Surely if you try, you can your work in ways that are meant to make him look good, rather than as the bad guy. Even “bad” bosses can help employees if those employees are seen as giving respect rather than as simply doing assignments for a manager they hate.

Do any of these thought help? If not, I hope they prompt you to shape your career in a constructive way; a way that enables you to find a way out from your current unhappy job situation. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. By that I mean for you to focus on the way you might add value to your current and future job, not on how your boss depresses you.

William Gorden