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MENTOR - CAREER CLINIC

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Question...
Question

I have recently returned from maternity leave and am now working three days a week. I have been given a new job title and my job has changed. I used to manage a team of 10 in the finance department - now I manage no one and am working on 'special projects'. This means any old rubbish no one else wants to do. I am feeling increasingly isolated and sidelined. I am going to give it six months and see if things improve. How should I tackle my boss about this?

Answer

My assumption is that you requested to come back for three days a week and that your employer was unable to reinstate you in your old role which I guess was full time? If that is the case your organisation would appear to have acted lawfully, but check out the position with your HR department.

You are now faced with having to come to terms with some big changes, not only on the domestic front, but also at work. However 'doing any old rubbish' does not sound like a good use of your talent.

That is where I would suggest you start the conversation with your boss. How on earth can they afford not to use your experience and expertise to its maximum benefit? Write yourself a new CV, focus on what your skills are, think about your achievements, take a view about your development needs.

Harping on about what you had before will not help. Arm yourself with an irresistible proposition for your manager to consider.

When and if you want to go back to five days a week you should be able to at least resume the kind of role you had before, but equipped with new experiences.

In a nutshell tell your manager you want and can do better quality work, express your desire to get on with your career, ask for training if you need it and remind everyone that you are a fantastic asset. Check out the possibilities for job share and maybe even a secondment to another department. All managers need talented people with the right approach and mindset so present yourself as an opportunity and they will bite your hand off.

It will be different to what you were doing before but it does not mean it has to be worse.

Alan Warner

Director of people and property, Hertfordshire CC

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