I’m Unofficial Supervisor With No Perks!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about unofficially supervising yet notĀ  rewarded: How do I tell management, I want the promotion or re-assign some tasks?

I have a problem within my entire organization. I have become the unofficial supervisor of my department. I do everything a manager does plus my job as a regular colleague. I have all the responsibility and none of the perks.I took the department under my wing to prove to management I had what it takes to be supervisor. A couple months later they decided that the department didn’t need a supervisor because we were running well. How do I tell management, I want the promotion or re-assign some tasks?

Signed, Taken Advantage Of

DearĀ Taken Advantage Of:

Your two emails tell us that you have done so well that your four-member work group doesn’t need a supervisor. That may be the case. Flat organization is superior to too many levels. Also, you say your co-workers don’t like you. You have problems and are unhappy. By the way since you want to move up, take a careful look at your writing. It’s easy to make mistakes in writing, and it appears you may not realize that you have. Sometimes all it takes are a couple of spelling errors or misuse of grammar to cause those above to question your capability for promotion. I don’t know the kind of work you do, but writing well is usually expected.

Now what might you do to cope with or by-pass your problem? Have you considered asking your boss to help you on a career path? Might that not be better than simply saying that you deserve to be supervisor of your work group. Think about what you really would like to do and search out the training and steps that might lead to that or related positions. Then discuss your ideas and invite his. He/she may suggest you get experience in other departments. Volunteer to work in committees and to cross train.

Also, what would you do in your work group if you owned the company? Thinking that way may spur ideas about ways to cut costs, wasted supplies, and time. Then presentation of such ideas should get you visibility that could lead to what you would find truly gratifying. It sounds from what you say that there is little or no fun in what you and your co-workers do. What if you pretended that your work were fun? What if you went about work and your life as though they were a joy–that you sincerely cheered on your co-workers, that you checked to see if talked down to them, that your enthusiasm as well as professional demeanor was visible, and that you worked for their promotion as much as your own.

Thinking WEGO often in not the mindset that those of us have who want to move up in the organization. What if your work group learned to share leadership roles and worked together as a team? Taking a backseat role may be difficult for you now, but wouldn’t treating your co-workers as valued be on the road to transforming an antagonistic and dreadful climate working with them?

Reverse role-playing sometimes help us to see and feel the other person’s pain and see her/his hopes.You are closer to the situation and these thoughts may not apply. When we ask for advice, it is not always what we want. So feel free to reject these thoughts and simply use them to prompt you to brainstorm on what will work better.Think WEGO and see what happens. You can make where you are a delight or a pain in the backside. I predict that you will seek more light than heat.

William Gorden