Question: After our new CEO reorganized the company, one of my peers became my boss. Before this change, "Barry" and I collaborated on several successful projects and worked well together.
Unfortunately, I have recently determined that Barry is not the person I thought he was. Although he tells me I'm doing a great job, he apparently never shares that opinion with higher-level executives. Some friends have shown me emails in which he takes credit for my work by presenting the facts in a misleading way.
Now I'm concerned about my career, because I don't see how I can advance with Barry as my manager. I can't speak directly to upper management, because our company is very strict about the chain of command.
I like my job and my co-workers, but I'm beginning to think that leaving is my only option. What do you think?
Answer: A change in power dynamics often triggers a change in relationships. Now that Barry is your boss, you are understandably scrutinizing his actions more closely. However, you need to be careful about jumping to conclusions.
Since you aren't privy to Barry's conversations with executives, you really don't know what he's saying about your job performance. And based on your description, it's hard to tell whether his emails deliberately downplay your contributions or simply fail to highlight your accomplishments.
If you are concerned about your career, remember that the first key to success is getting along with your boss. So stop listening to your meddling "friends" and start resurrecting your previously positive relationship.
To further increase your chances of advancement, concentrate on expanding your network of supporters. Seek out opportunities to collaborate with influential colleagues or participate in high-visibility projects.
The more people who think well of you, the greater the odds that word will reach top management.
Marie G. McIntyre is a workplace coach and the author of "Secrets to Winning at Office Politics." Send in questions and get free coaching tips at www.yourofficecoach.com.