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open thread – February 9-10, 2024 — Ask a Supervisor


Does anybody have concepts for the best way to work beneath a supervisor that’s operating their division like they’re a four-star normal and I’m an enlisted aide?

For background, this can be a medium-size start-up, I’m the second particular person on the staff, and I’m mid-career (15 years of expertise) and was (at the least, was advised) I used to be employed for my massive community, deep subject material experience, and demonstrated capacity to guide cross-functional initiatives. My supervisor is extra senior, experience-wise, by a number of years.

However we’re not a staff. My supervisor insists that every part vital run by them. I can’t converse on panels (even when the invite went on to me). I can’t take conferences above a sure degree on my own; even when I’m then level if contact, I typically get taken out of the loop. I can’t discuss to press. I can’t discuss to folks above a sure seniority degree at different corporations. I can’t chat with anybody within the C-suite with out the supervisor attending. I can’t say no to assembly requests, however since I can’t take them alone and so they don’t have an admin, I’ve to deal with all scheduling and logistics. I’m anticipated to sit down silently and take notes in conferences, I’ve to offer weekly digests summarizing intimately every assembly I attend in the course of the week with out her, and any try to offer enter on something of a strategic or tactical nature is ignored. I’m generally uninvited to issues arbitrarily, and in the event that they ping me about something in any respect, I’m anticipated to drop every part and do it straight away or I’ll get bombarded with messages and telephone calls. (Additionally, as you could have guessed, they’re obsessive about conferences. It’s a part of my job, however it was not imagined to be all of it.)

I’ve tried numerous issues. Direct communication doesn’t work; they get visibly agitated at upward administration. I can attempt to cover… umm, delay offering … data so I can get issues finished with out having to spend complete days as a scheduler, however that’s uncomfortable and doesn’t remedy the elemental drawback that I’ve no approach to do sustainable good work or a path to recognition or profession improvement. And worse, they don’t have any reservations about burning my relationships with outdoors folks by saying issues like, “X doesn’t converse for the division,” “solely I can determine these issues,” and so forth., so attempting to construct my very own relationships or engaged on initiatives autonomously can also be not sustainable.

I assume this can be a polish-my-resume and get out scenario?

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