Justifying My Own Job

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an incompetent boss:

I have been with my company for one year as a senior manager – global audit and compliance manager. My boss is incompetent, and I am very competent. As I have gone about my work, I have identified many flaws in workplace systems and processes that have, frankly, demonstrated my boss’s inadequacies. BUT, he reports directly to the board. I have yet to meet anyone above my boss, and now out of the blue, he tells me that my role is likely to be cut from the business and I should put together a paper that justifies my job! I am the only qualified person he has in his entire business.What approach should I take? The man is obviously threatened by me (I’m female), and he’s trying to move me out using budget concerns as an excuse to get rid of me.What should I do? How should I structure my paper?

Signed, Senior Manager

Dear Senior Manager:

You see this “job justification” assignment as a move to get rid of you. It might be, it might it be an opportunity for you to make yourself and your value better known. How? Compose that paper with care: · List the projects you have completed. · Note the flaws you have spotted and helped you boss correct. · The evaluation of your work. · Ways you can add value in the next year. · Describe your qualification and previous experience, like in a resume’ ·

It should contain the job description and you were given at your time of employment. Who is your boss’s boss? By now even though you have not met anyone above your boss, get the names of those on the board. Your next step is to decide to whom you will address this paper justifying your existence.

Consider to whom this justification paper should be addressed. Surely if your company has a Manager of Personnel and/or Human Resources, and you can solicit advice from them of who will be involved in evaluation of your justification paper.

From what you say, you can’t see much if anything good about your boss. Just for the heck of it, you might try. Doing that might temper the little respect you have for him. Ask yourself if is it not time to confront him and ask why your position is at risk and who has made this request? Tell him that you are addressing this paper both to him and others who will evaluate it. Also weigh the value of using more than one channel of communication; both the written paper and face-to-face with your boss and others in authority.

This confrontation with your boss and others in Personnel and Human Resources should inform you of how to structure your paper and also it should grease the skids for what you will send. Those who will receive it will then not see it as impersonal, but with a face. This is a stressful time for you, and it will test your fighting spirit. Keep your head high. I can tell that you have a sense of your worth; as you say you are “very competent.” You will not want to let this “justify your existence” assignment sour you or cause you to obsess and lament endlessly with coworkers, friends and family. It is normal to vent and we all need to do that, but they are there for support, not for catharsis.

The challenge for you is to see this as just one hurdle on your career path, and whatever happens, even if a hurdle causes you to trip, you will learn all you can about organization politics and see beyond this. What you really want is work that is meaningful, and if not in this place, you will find it elsewhere. Can you think of interdependently? If not please excuse my signature; Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

William Gorden