What to Do Next - Career Wise

Another rant - a little frustrated at the moment and would like to see if fellow OzB community has any good idea for me to apply.

  • Worked in a team for 5yrs+ and determined I needed something fresh.
  • Moved out of my old team and went into a new team (but still under the same snr management). Note I have expressed interest in another team under different management but my boss didn't [want to?] let me go so made me move under the same umbrella.
  • New person took over my old team. Pointed out alot of "mistakes" I made. For example, new person did a forecast of the FY24 financials, showed a massive loss and implied I did a bad job. It was never a mistake. The person just sticked to what he knows from previous job which is irrelevant for our team.
  • Snr management never quite understood what I did when I was leading because they are "sales" type of people whereas my background was engineering. Work is in finance but very technical in nature. When I pointed out it wasn't an error, they chose to believe the new person
  • Fast forward now, the new person got promoted while I wasnt. Can't say I totally disagreed with what the new person did but most of them to me were redundant. Also back to the example above, I pulled up the latest financials and actually turned out to be a massive profit. No changes were made since my time.

Obviously abit sour because I've been made the sacrificial goat in order for the person to achieve promotion.

To make things worse, I am also working on a new initiative that (if successful) will bring ~$50m savings per annum. Everyone who understood what it is liked it very much, but when I had my career chat recently with my manager about a promotion, he said he wasn't convinced that my solution would work, and even if it did he can't guarantee my promotion.

With where I am, it is pointless to burn any bridges so I am already looking if there are other opportunities. But am keen to know if people have any ideas how I can turn this aorund.


  • +11

    Change jobs. Clearly they don’t have you on the fast track. You might get there over time when the weight of experience puts you ahead of the higher flyers, but it won’t be soon (especially if you did make an error -I don’t really understand that part if it, not that it matters)

    Or shoot everyone more senior to you.

    • +2

      It was never a mistake. The new guys just blindly applied concepts from his previous job which isnt relevant for us. Hence when the final results came out recently, turned out I was right. But it took 1yr for the whole thing to play out but the damage to me was already done 1yr+ ago.

    • This, sounds like your gig isn’t too bad that you need to quit but definitely ramp up your external search.

    • Yep
      OP is being sidelined for whatever reason.
      Time to get out and move elsewhere where Op's contribution will be valued

    • It doesnt matter if there was a mistake. The perception that there was a mistake or that OP didn't communicate correctly is enough to be considered a set back by Senior Management which is now demonstrated in promoting the other guy even though his forecast was clearly off.

      Promotions, especially into senior positions are a mix of consistency, being well liked, trust, competence and luck. You could be kicking goals on all criteria under your control but if the time isnt right or the business weather changes, its all wasted effort.

      Look at the average tenure in your role, and move on if you've already burnt the runway.

  • +2

    Look for a better job and make the switch.

    You will not be happy there regardless of a promotion down the track or not.

    They evidently don’t value you, find an employer that does (or at least feigns it haha)

    • That is very true.

  • -4

    Straight white male? While the other team leader that was promoted was not?!?

    DEI baby, DEI …

    Change companies or start a new one based on your initiative project ;)

    • I would have taken the new company suggestion seriously if it was a common problem in the industry
      Unfortunately, the wastage is due to our own inefficiency so I dont expect everyone to run into the same problem

    • Straight white male? While the other team leader that was promoted was not?!?

      DEI baby, DEI …

      Can you point out the part of OPs narrative that says the other team leader guy was a DEI hire/this is a straight white male thing?

      • -2

        Can you point out the part of the OPs narrative that says the other team leader is not a DEI hire/promotion?

        • Things that asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. All we know about the other person is that they are a guy. We don't even know the ethnicity of background of OP, while we are on the subject.

          Nice attempt at shoehorning the culture wars into this discussion however?

          • @CrowReally: You didn't notice the question marks?!? Or you just that inept at reading?

            So by English language parameters, there was no assertion, just a question …

            • +1

              @7ekn00: I love how you think asking a question lets you step up to the lecturn with a bunch of assumptions and editorialise.

              7ekn00: says they ate a sandwich, no further details
              Crow: "Human body parts? Choosing cannibalism over conventional food?!?

              So called "morals" of conspiracy theorists, sigh"

              • @CrowReally: Yes, because I was the one that can not interpret the difference between a question and an assertion ;)

                You assumed, you asserted, I simply questioned the situation, to which we will never know …

                • @7ekn00: I can't imagine even in the twisted, tortured brain of a conspiracy theorist saying the phrase "DEI baby, DEI…" is part of the questioning process and doesn't require assumptions to be made.

                  • @CrowReally: LOL, yes, because ESG/DEI is such a conspiracy, Australian companies are required to report it:


                    • @7ekn00: If you want to discuss whether or not you're a conspiracy theorist we can commence that (new) discussion.

                      I'll just need you to admit to being wrong about the "hey I never assumed or asserted anything, Just Asking Questions man" trainwreck above.

                      It would be a shame for us to change topics without resolving that, right?

                      • -1

                        @CrowReally: Whatever, just because I see large companies through new scoring systems endorsed by all stock exchanges, you can call me anything you want …

                        It just means you lack the knowledge, so "Conspiracy Theorist" is your go-to typical insult for stuff you are clueless on ;)

                        It's just part of the typical keyboard warrior know-it-all personality!

                        • +1


                          describes seeing connections and patterns in things in the absence of evidence, describes it as knowledge

                          Yeah you uh.. you really showed me

                          • @CrowReally: Not here to show you anything!

                            I know full well that know-it-all's will fight till their last breath and always want the last post and desperately want to be right …

                            So I am just playing with you to kill 10 mins while I wait at an airport ;)

                            • +1

                              @7ekn00: Safe trip, hold your breath if you pass through any chemtrails.

  • Sounds like it's time to get out. Flashy sales people running things and not technically minded people is a common problem, but it's not everywhere.

    Stick all the work you've done in your resume and go to market.

  • +1

    So now that the person you are now enemies with is above you, is the company big enough that they will not be able to further sabotage you?
    Because they will absolutely try to if they hear you reasserting your own opinion and threatening theirs. Something like not a team player, doesn’t communicate well with others etc.
    If you do want to go ahead in the same company you will have to simplify and make clear why your idea saves millions of dollars and why his opinion was “misguided”.
    You could be stuck there for years if you don’t get your point or plan through and afterwards it will be a boss who says something inane like give it a rest OP the company has decided to do something else moving forward

    • +2

      To be clear, I don't hate the new person and not my enemy. It is humans nature to try to blame the pervious person in order to get ahead. Even when he was whinging about my mistakes, I only attempted to make it clear to my manager rather than to have pointless debate with the new guy.
      The problem as I see it is, my managers not being technically minded and choosing the easy way out. They like easy stuff despite it being wrong. Maybe it makes them feel less silly when they should have acknowledged they are responsible for sales (which they are very good at) while they find a nerd to clean up the mess in the background.

      Fortunately, my manager's manager is a nerd too. He understands my initiative and is super supportive.
      But with nerds (like me), we tend to focus on the technical work and tend to ignore things like promotion so it is hard to expect something to be initiatied by him

      They pay reasonably well though, which makes it hard to find something equivalent, but I am looking….

      • +4

        Sounds like you like it there.
        However reframing it from his perspective means he needs you to keep quiet to keep his elevated position. He has financial incentives to keep you from laying blame etc

        An idea would be to ease off on revealing his incompetence for now since you enjoy your current work environment, but still reinforce the idea that the numbers show you aren’t incompetent to the other less informed higher ups.

        But it does sound like he got his position from being able to Bullsh*t an idea better than you were able to tell the truth. You may need to be able to grow in this area to get ahead else this may happen to you again. Ie, Managing people instead of problems

  • You need a new job to move upwards, if your bosses aren't smart enough to recognise that you're a high performer then you won't be rewarded for it. Good luck in the job search.

  • -1

    Tow a caravan behind your Camry!
    Your savings will be taken from you anyway!

  • -1

    Does the business have an Employee Assistance provider? A competent one can help with turnaround strategies.

    • 0.o
      Let me try

  • +1

    I've been made the sacrificial goat

    @jv - next week's BBQ?

  • Do as little as possible while getting as much as you can before getting the hell out of there.

  • Tell us more about this $50m initiative?

    • Sorry cant share much but i can say, I am not earning $50m externally for the company, just identified that we've been managing something wrongly and the program identified a different strategy that could save $50m.

      How do I know its right? We presented the outcome and people realised they've been thinking about it wrong. No one could dispute the outcome

      • +1

        How do I know its right? We presented the outcome and people realised they've been thinking about it wrong. No one could dispute the outcome

        No-one has disputed the outcome to "YET". I'm sure there's been a few conversations in the background. $50m isn't exactly pocket change, even to a larger company. So a claim to be able to save that much each year will at least generate some conversation.

        Normally, you'd expect everyone to be happy to hear that you can save them $50m/year year right?
        But that's not always the case, especially in the office where there's lots of politics. What I mean is, if you look at this from a senior management perspective (or whoever normally makes the decisions), it means that you're telling everyone that they've been wasting an extra $50m each year for the last.. who knows how many years. That doesn't make them look good. So you have to be very mindful on how it's presented to everyone. Otherwis, you may get people who will be against your idea/plan for what might seem like no apparent reason.

        Ah, office politics.. don't we all love it? It gets worse as you go higher up the chain. They're the ones with the power so things can get messy.

        • Yep exactly. If just being likeable is Politics 101, then this is Politics 102 - you can't expect to be able to expose things that will embarrass the management or undermine the narratives they've been presenting, and be accepted by them.
          You need to be people smart.

  • +6

    Hey, coming from another corporate slave, you need to re think how you show up at work and the #1 development area I see for you is comms. Haven't read the whole thread but just reading between the lines a little bit.

    When I pointed out it wasn't an error, they chose to believe the new person

    Even when he was whinging about my mistakes, I only attempted to make it clear to my manager rather than to have pointless debate with the new guy.

    This is why they are promoted and you are not. Corporate and the ladder is primarily around communication. It sounds like, you're not able to explain what you do in layman terms, ie. to Sales, hence why they dont understand what you're doing and if you dont understand what someone is saying, whats the next course of action?

    You dont listen to them, instead you'd listen to the person who sounds like they know what they're doing.

    The other person is promoted, not necessarily because you are a sacrificial goat nor is it because of their technical ability, but its their ability to communicate what they do.

    Sorry to break it to you man, you could be the most technical expert but without the right communication skills, it just ain't enough.

    Edit: on that note, lets just say you are given that promotion, are you ready for it? Will you show up suddenly at that new promoted level? Theres an obvious development gap that needs to be worked on, so you shouldn't feel too salty about the whole thing but maybe consider you're not ready for it yet?

    • +4

      You sound like the guy who got promoted 🤣

    • Yeah - its frustrating that when there is a comms breakdown that the expectation is for techies to adapt. I am not saying its wrong but no one ever question whether the non-tech person is capable of understanding basic concepts. Eg if I was explaining quantitative finance stuff to an outsider, I can't go simpler than daily price movements and co-movements with other asset prices.

      RE sacrificial goat, I was just saying that the new guy said i made a mistake. You're absolutely right that he's been telling the bosses what they understand. But my point is, they are all wrong. Why do people like to listen to simple but wrong stuff? He claimed I messed up and should expect a loss for the year. My old team made a gain. There was no change made (confirmed by my ex-teammates), just that the forecast was revised 3-4 times last year with unexpected gains.

      • Senior managers listen to the simple stuff because they probably don’t have the technical expertise that you do. You need to stop worrying about the other staff members and focus instead on what you actually want to achieve. If your $50M idea is worthwhile then you need to find a way to test it. Management might not understand what you’re doing but they understand confidence and focus. Keep trying to focus on yourself and building your own skills - leave the rest to worry about their own jobs!

    • +1

      This is what I was thinking when reading it too, as someone with a long history as a software developer, I had to learn this too, and am still learning as I progress up the hierarchy, so don't feel bad, take it as a challenge.

  • these issues you have seem to having stem from you not selling your value very well to management/ELT.
    If a new person can come in external and pick up the promotion you wanted and you've had a 5+ year head start, id suggest you need to seek some feedback from those above you to work out what you are lacking.
    If you're as strong at your job as you say and you've got these $50m ideas why aren't you higher up in the business?

    • Thanks - the $50m idea is a long story by itself.
      But long story short, I cant seem to convince my boss, but was successful with him boss!
      Was given the go ahead by big boss to develop it further, when my own boss said he isn't convinced.
      I am not sure its a norm, but we have varying levels of capabilities in senior management.
      Before you say it, yes I change my presentation level/depth according to my audience.

      Also interested in your view in "selling my value". Dont get me wrong, I agree with what you say.
      For me, I don't go around talking about our successes everyday. If there were issues that I can resolve myself, my boss will never hear about them
      And I still think that's right, I don't need to say more because he's got other things to focus on.
      But I do observe people going around talking about every single thing. Its a different tact but I can never be that.

      • +1

        Sounds like it's not necessarily a high performance culture and more about relationships.
        In terms of selling your value or demonstrating your importance. If what you are doing isn't valued by your boss or what you're doing isn't making their life better. It's going to be difficult to make yourself indespensible.
        You'd usually pick up a promotion by showing you can already execute in the role you want
        Maybe something to think about if your stranded at this level.

  • +1

    new person did a forecast of the FY24 financials, showed a massive loss and implied I did a bad job.
    I pulled up the latest financials and actually turned out to be a massive profit. No changes were made since my time.

    You could point it out if you really wanted to :)

    I am also working on a new initiative that (if successful) will bring ~$50m savings per annum

    Why bother making it successful? They don't appear to appreciate you. Tank the project.

    • But again, whats the point of bring it up, damage done and feels like a sore loser (even though virtually I am!)

      • No real point, the damage is done. So tank the $50m saving project and move on.

  • -1

    AI's thoughts…

    It sounds like a frustrating situation where you feel undervalued and that your contributions are not being properly recognized. Here are some potential ideas to consider:

    • Document your achievements: Create a detailed record of your successful projects, initiatives, and the measurable impact you've had (like the potential $50m in savings). Hard data can be very compelling.
    • Get support from others: Discreetly speak to respected colleagues, including former team members if appropriate, who can vouch for your skills and provide testimonials about your good work.
    • Identify allies: Are there any senior leaders outside your immediate management chain who understand the technical nature of your role and can advocate for you?
    • Suggest metrics: Propose clear, objective metrics by which the success of your $50m initiative can be measured ahead of time. This removes subjective evaluations.
    • Seek mentorship: Find a trusted mentor, possibly outside the company, who can provide an outside perspective and advice on navigating this situation.
    • Make your case: Schedule a meeting with your manager to calmly present your achievements, data, testimonials, and restate your case for promotion/recognition.
    • Check culture fit: Reflect on whether this is an environment that truly values your skills and contributions. A poor culture fit can lead to situations like this.

    The high road of maintaining professionalism and using facts/data to substantiate your worth is usually the best path. But also be prepared to potentially seek out a role better suited to your expertise. The right opportunity will recognize your talents.

  • …but my boss didn't [want to?] let me go so made me move under the same umbrella

    This is when I would've left already.

    Are you in one of the companies where if you want to apply for an internal role, you have to let your manager know that you're applying and he has the final say (even if you get the job after the interview, etc) on whether or no your can transfer teams?

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