Finding Confidence and Value

There are some things I think I’m pretty good at. Work wise. The issue is, I’m not consistent. I’m not able to put the final polish on anything. I’m a starter. A connector. I can understand complex ideas and opinions and simplify them so they make sense, whether that be streamlining messaging or a complex process. I see the big picture and follow all the pipes through their knots and see where we can move the fewest pieces to fix what’s broken. I enjoy solving problems like this. Building systems.

I do not enjoy executing on said systems or taking projects across the finish line. I get things going. I step in and see what can be optimized. Lack of logic, failure to appreciate efficiencies, and the worst–internal politics and recognition for perception over performance–are what gut me the most. Reward for following broken processes vs a culture hungry to always do better. To solve real problems versus do what it takes to look like you’ve got things in order. Fixing the foundation instead of swimming in quicksand and dragging everyone in with you.

It really hurts that I was not put on the new leadership team in my group. I’m not surprised. I sometimes talk even more than I think. But I’m not valued for what I do best. I’ve been demoted to a role where I primarily am a project manager, which is just about my weakest skill. I’m trying to see this as a positive — a year of getting better where I can really use time to improve. It’s ok. I like being able to focus on this and figure out how to be a better communicator and get super organized with project plans and such. It’s painful for me, but necessary to learn how to do this better.

I try not to think about how I’m not in the leadership group that is clearly focused on strategy and direction. I’ve gone from trusted advisor to my group’s VP to someone she would rather never talk to. Yes, it’s that bad. No, I’m not imagining things. I don’t think she hates me, per se, but she doesn’t see me as supporting her own goals right now outside of maybe a few projects I’ve put out that have gotten enough recognition for the team. But does she value my ideas and strategic vision for anything? Clearly not.

In exploring some ideas this morning, I thought for a moment if there might be anyway I could regain her trust and move back up the ladder. But… it’s impossible. The only way to move up in this organization would be to leave my department entirely. I’m stuck. I can do amazing work the whole next year and it will get me nowhere (though worth doing to keep my stock at the moment and focus on this project management and communication skillset I so desperately need to improve on.) But it hurts. It’s not like we’re a giant team and only a few people are in this leadership group. It’s pretty clear I’m not in it when I should be in it, if I hadn’t screwed up so badly. If I hadn’t gotten myself into a situation where my boss probably has had multiple meetings with HR on the best and safest timing to fire me.


I’m trying to just focus on reminding myself that I am good at some things. I think this is just the wrong job for me, and probably the wrong department. I have no idea how to chang ecareers right now but in a year… if somehow miraculously we can get close to the 3M networth mark, well, then maybe I can really explore this. Go back to school. Try something new. Take a risk. Take some time. Stop feeling like the scapegoat of my organization which just makes me perform worse.

Since I can’t compete with the polished professionals who thrive in corporate culture and manage to put off the impression they never make mistakes (and get really mad at you when you do), I need to find a career and environment that encourages people to collaborate and fail forward and be themselves. That isn’t here. I know that will never be here.  I thought, for a while, my unique viewpoint was valued. I felt happiest when my boss asked me to review something she was working on and provide input. Then that stopped. I’ve been banned. Blacklisted. Relegated to the bottom of a very short totem pole that is top heavy. And I’m trying to avoid jealously because it’s useless and really I know I did this to myself. If only I hit deadlines this year… even if my work wasn’t as good… I’d probably still be clinging on to my previous role vs, well, whatever this is. This limbo of title-less existence. Being forgotten and either purposefully forced out or given the “we hope you leave” treatment so eventually I do. Well, I’m sad about it. It is what it is. But either I am good at what I do and I’m undervalued or I suck at what I do and I desperately need to find something else TO do as I’ve got 30 some-odd years left of work to go and while this is definitely work it sure isn’t working.

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2 thoughts on “Finding Confidence and Value”

  1. Aww
    How r u feeling today? Less likely to leave? Still mixed between love hate euphoria of home ownership n endless fixes? I think it’s understandable. Just like a job, marriage, partnership, home ownership is no utopia n everyday will b up n down especially in a pandemic.

    My current boss actually sat next to me on the same team n in the same role not too long ago.

    3 yrs ago our boss at the time said if she had to promote on the team it would b me n
    my current boss today.

    Fast forward in time, I’m still sitting in the same spot n role after almost 10 yrs. On one hand it’s embarrassing to have made no progression. Overall it’s not too bad most days.

    My current boss however works 12 hour days managing n executing. On top of all that I watch everyday on Zoom how the role has taken a severe toll on her health. It really shows… Horizontally. Because I see her everyday, I know with certainty it likely from the job while receiving emails after 7pm.

    Meanwhile she still has to be appear enthusiastic n energetic to lift the team while sandwiched in the food chain n isolated at home in the pandemic.

    Our personal lives r quite similar: mid 30s single women living alone, in the same area, n working in the same co. n ultimately the same bosses.

    I am really glad I did not get promoted now.

    The TC difference is only about $15-30k which in your mind is of course ????.
    From a cost benefit standpoint it really is not worth the extra $ after tax.

    But I live mortgage free while she is trying to save up to buy a home. That’s probably the biggest difference as minimal housing cost is an invisible $50k annual raise entirely due to parental circumstances.

    I’ve been working for a long time already n have seen enough times when leadership basically picks a few potential performers, run them thru a few projects as challenges, but with only the best performer winning the promotion. The unsuccessful candidates r ultimately left in the same position silently stewing in salt. In these cases, the “losers” will either feel resentful enough to go to a competitor or just keep working quietly in the corner licking their wounds in silence while still collecting a paycheck n bonus.

    I guess that is how competition works, or meritocracy as competitive firms like to put it vs seniority roles like unionized positions say teachers or nurses that get annual increases on a payscale n don’t get bonuses.

    Don’t be down. Your TC is still above the rest of the nation n right of the curve.
    Financial Orchid recently posted..Descanso Gardens Enchanted: Forest of Light in La Canada Flintridge vs LA County Arboretum Moonlight Festival in Arcadia – which is better value?

    1. I’m doing ok, thanks for asking! Sometimes promotions suck, you’re right. A promotion at my company would defiantly be worth more than $30k (not salary wise, but the stock bump would be substantial.) I actually don’t want a promotion, my bigger concern is having a role where if I lose this job I can go to another company and make the same pay. I’m probably overpaid for my current level, which is nice now but makes it hard to ever leave. Right now I need management experience, and since my company doesn’t see me as a people manager, I’m pretty much stuck. Every job I’ve interviewed for and haven’t gotten requires X years of management experience. These are the jobs that pay enough to pay my mortgage. So I’m either stuck in this role forever (which would be ok except the actual pay goes down substantially once I’ve vested my initial grant) or I need to get another job and it will be very hard to get one that pays decently as an individual contributor. So this is the biggest concern. Right now, I’m stuck.

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