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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations. In 2005, Scot started sharing these hard lessons at CubeRules.com, a site devoted to Career Advice for knowledge workers, whom he calls Cubicle Warriors.