Can I tell my employer that I don’t want a management position anymore without hurting my career? People are just too difficult, and I am tired of the drama and politics. I just want to do a job, go home and be happy.
Well, my friend, I know from many years of experience as the head of a human resources department that managing people and personalities can be one of the biggest challenges. Those who are good at it are worth their weight, because rarely does a day go by when you don’t scratch your head and say “Really? What were you thinking?” It’s why so many TV and film comedies revolve around the workplace. And, if you can keep your sense of humor, it also can be extremely rewarding helping people succeed. But it’s not for everyone. Whether it hurts your career depends on how you define “hurt.” You are limiting your prospects — and potentially income — but if that’s not what you’re concerned about, and if you’re highly regarded, many employers will try to make accommodations, provided you are willing to accept a likely pay cut with any reduction in responsibilities. But think about how many fun dinner party stories you won’t be able to tell before you make the change.
I am a successful sales executive with 25 years experience. I started a new job about a year ago and was awarded the most creative sales leader. Then we merged with our sister company and my new boss told me my position was eliminated. I was devastated but signed the paperwork saying I wouldn’t sue so that I could get my severance. I then discovered that my position wasn’t eliminated at all — the new boss hired his buddy into my position. Do I have any recourse?
Yes, you do! Public or private, if any company provides a false reason for your termination as a pretext to let you go, they could still be held liable for unlawful termination, even if you signed a waiver. A court would likely invalidate all or part of it if you can prove your claim. Get your facts in order and see a good employment lawyer. If they think you have a claim, they may take the case on contingency.
Gregory Giangrande is a chief human resources and communications officer in the media industry. E-mail your career questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. His Go to Greg podcast series is available on iTunes.