I have enjoyed working for nearly all the people that have hired me throughout my long career. Connecting with the boss is a big part of how we get job offers and decide whether to accept them. If I had retained one of my (better) original hiring bosses longer, my career at any point could have taken a totally different trajectory. Instead, I had to look outside for my next move. Because, as has been said before, employees don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses.
There was a time not that long ago, when people stayed in jobs longer, often until retirement. A new employee could work for the same boss for a very long time and decide to spend their career with that employer in a long term relationship that engendered loyalty to the company and often to their direct supervisor.
Then came the rise of middle management. As the baby boomers graduated college, the market was flooded with many new white collar workers with more education than previous generations. New companies were launched and big companies got bigger. These companies responded to this growth by adding new layers of management to effectively run their expanding enterprises. To fill these new positions, senior executives promoted first line managers, creating a career path for future executives.
This change meant that managers no longer expected to stay in place for more than a couple years. Too long in one job often meant that your career progression had stalled. So every ambitious manager was always looking for the next opportunity to move up.
There’s a strange paradox to the employee-manager relationship. The more successful the employee, the better their manager looks, making it likelier their manager will be promoted and the employee will get a new boss. That’s how I lost most of my hiring managers. Most of their replacements didn’t work out, at least for me.
There are lots of reasons why we don’t connect with our new bosses. If we are overly loyal to our former boss and his management style, the new boss sees us as a threat and marginalizes us. We may have been exactly what the hiring boss wanted, but nothing at all like the kind of person the new boss hires. The list goes on.
If you experience this personally and you and the new boss don’t click, either clear the air with her and see if you can work out your differences, see if you can get a job with your original boss, or call a recruiter and update your resume. Whatever you do, do it on your time frame, not your boss’s. Maintain control of your destiny and always think ahead to your future options.