The ultimate introduction to your new manager

Empty Boardroom

New managers are assigned to teams all the time. A long time ago, I called it the "2.5% unemployment, 75% corporate churn" phenomenon. If course, now unemployment is at 10% or so, but the corporate churn lives on. Corporate churn is this: in larger companies, a reorganization ends up happening every 2-3 months.

You need to prove yourself all over again

Now, all of a sudden, instead of working with that great boss who you really clicked with, you now have a new manager to you. Newly promoted or with thirty years of experience, it doesn't matter: it is your new boss and you need to prove yourself all over again.

And how do you do that? Well, you know your old manager has already told your new manager all the things they perceive about you. Good, bad, or indifferent. Right off the bat, then, you walk in the door with preconceived notions about your work.

Thanks for that. Now you have that much more to live up to -- or overcome.

You could ask for a meeting and describe what you are working on or ask what expectations are for you now -- neither of which your new manager will understand because he or she is too new to the position to understand all of the nuances. Babbling is just as effective at this point.

You might get some insight into direction from the first team meeting or even a one-on-one discussion with your new boss. But there is rarely an agenda ("Really glad to be here with this great team; really looking forward to working with all of you...) and nothing much gets accomplished.

Be unconventional: show your new manager your resume

You know what? Someone hired you after reviewing your resume and determined you were a good enough fit to get the interview which led to your first job in this company. And since then, you've continually updated your resume with your accomplishments even from the job you are in. (You do have current accomplishments on your resume, right? Right?).

Consequently, you can now give your new manager your great working history while showing the accomplishments you've already made in the job you are in. It is the ultimate introduction to your new manager who just hired you by default. Might as well work backwards a bit and start with your resume.

The resume becomes a career discussion with your new manager

You see, when you cover your resume in your one-on-one meeting, you give great context to your new boss on what you bring to the job. Moreover, you can quickly outline the strengths you bring to your work, what you like working on and how you do your best work. All in a non-confrontational, no "what are your expectations" work environment.

You need work that builds on your strengths

What happens when new management takes over a team is they assign work in a vacuum. Or a pretty oxygen-starved environment. New managers will often unknowingly assign you tasks that are the weakest part of your job skills -- and then wonder why your old manager raved about your work when you do so poorly on the first assigned task.

Or the manager comes in trying to move the department in a different direction. All while missing that in your previous work you used the exact job skills necessary to help the manager move the department in the new direction.

Your resume is more than trying to find a new job

Look, everyone thinks that resumes are only used when you are looking for a job. What a mistake. Most of our career work is both trying to adjust to new management and to continually find work that builds our strengths on the job.

The resume -- and the resulting discussion about it with your manager -- is the perfect introduction tool to use with your new manager.

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Comments

  1. P.G. says

    What great advice, Scot! I just found myself in almost this exact situation – my awesome, world-rocking boss was just promoted and is transferring, and I will report back to the manager I was under for a little over a year. That manager and I never clicked because she never saw my resume, which I will definitely knock into shape and present when the handover happens. Thank you for the direction I so desperately needed this week. :)

  2. says

    Let me know how it works out. It isn't every day that a person comes in with their resume to show their background as a career discussion – especially with a manager you have worked with before. Good to nail those incorrect assumptions she has about your work.

  3. P.G. says

    Hi Scot – were that I could – wow – apparently this one has resigned, but I will DEFINITELY rock the resume with the replacement. :)

  4. says

    You should actually have an advantage. The “here's your team” stuff done in a knowledge transfer won't carry as much weight (unless it is with your cool manager which will help you) because the link isn't as close. So the resume piece will really give your new manager a clearer picture of what you bring to the job. Still let me know how it goes…

  5. P.G. says

    Scot – deal x 150%. The job post is up. I attempted to get in on the interviews but was turned down, so resume it is. I shall update soon. I will also ask the departing world-rocker do an official intro prior to the resume presentation. Wish me luck!!! :)

  6. P.G. says

    Hi Scot,

    The resume is done and the presentation to the new manager has been cleared by he who is leaving. When I proposed it, he said “good idea, your resume is in your file”, to which I replied, “not my current one!”. Next week it is. I told my boss that she’s heard the strengths and weaknesses already (P.G. has an abundance of both), and that I want to approach her as if I were walking in for an interview. I will let you know how it goes. :)

    Thanks again for the awesome blog.

    P.G.

  7. says

    P.G. – Wow, that interval between old and new managers was a lot longer than I thought. But, very good on your persistence with this. I’m seriously curious how presenting your resume as a basis for getting the right types of work goes. Let us know, either in the comments or direct.

    Nice going!

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