I’d like to ask for your advice. I have a review with my manager and a project manager. The PM habitually doesn’t give me credit and likes to emphasize my mistakes. I think part of the issue is that we share the same skill set, and I’m a lot younger and female, so he doesn’t like it when I come to a conclusion before he does or knows something he doesn’t know (sometimes I fix errors that I know are his). I’m pretty afraid of what he’s going to say. What can I do without going negative?

First off: UGH. I’m sorry you’re in this position. 

Secondly: I don’t know if this is specific to your being female, or younger, or just that he’s a shitty manager (this is actually a lot more common than people think), or some combination of all of it, but the really frustrating underlying truth is this: there is nothing you can do to call this guy out on it.

What you can do, and what I hope you have been doing all along, is documenting your performance. The trick that I suggest to people all the time is just to keep a text or word document open on their computer and spend maybe 5-10 minutes at the end of every day marking down your daily accomplishments, because they’ll still be fresh in your mind at that point, and at year end or mid-year for reviews, you can reference it to write your own review as well as to shut down any management narratives about lack of accomplishment. If you haven’t been doing this all along, take some time before your meeting to look through your emails and calendar for the past few months as they will usually prove instructive in terms of what you did. Most women I know tend to complete major tasks and just get on with it, and that mentality feeds into forgetting what our accomplishments were

I think the best way to get through this without going negative is to present him a list of what you have done, let your work speak for you. And if necessary, and if there is any system in place for it, collect coworker feedback. My office has a 360 FB system where you can ask people to send feedback for you. More informally, you can go through in your inbox and find complements and thanks that you have received for your work and bring it into your review as well to doubly underline your stellar work product.

And look, there’s always going to assholes like this in the world, where even if you show up with a goose actively shitting out golden eggs he will still be a dick and claim you’re not up to par. In cases like these? It gets stickier. You have to think about whether or not you have advocates at higher levels than him that can help you, that can move you from under his management, or who can speak with him on your behalf. HR is never, never, never, under any fucking circumstance your friend. In every case, HR is your enemy. So with that in mind, all the politicking has to be done within the normal workplace, and this is fucking exhausting even just to write, much less to accomplish.

So my other question, Anon, is if all of the above doesn’t work, and he still undermines you? Maybe you should take it as an indicator that this is not a workplace that values or is willing to cultivate your career progress, and find somewhere that does. Employee hiring (in the U.S. at least) is rapidly increasing, and now is one of the best times to jump ship elsewhere. Network with your other lady friends, because I bet you cold hard cash that there’s an underlying knowledge out there of good and bad situations. If someone I knew came knocking on my LinkedIn account for advice, I would know exactly who and where to send them. 

Best of luck, Anon. Don’t let the assholes get you down. You need to defeat this level of the game so that when you move up, you can bring members of the sisterhood with you, too. Sending you zen, digital hugs, and a fabulously mixed sidecar to get you through it!

Advertisements

0 Responses to “I’d like to ask for your advice. I have a review with my manager and a project manager. The PM habitually doesn’t give me credit and likes to emphasize my mistakes. I think part of the issue is that we share the same skill set, and I’m a lot younger and female, so he doesn’t like it when I come to a conclusion before he does or knows something he doesn’t know (sometimes I fix errors that I know are his). I’m pretty afraid of what he’s going to say. What can I do without going negative?”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




abstract

East Coast Gazette has a terrible editorial focus and tends to use a lot of ALL CAPS but TOTALLY NOT BECAUSE OF HARRY POTTER. Stories in progress as well as snapshots will be listed in the "box full of snapshots" below, website archive for stories and assorted tomfoolery is glitterati.

recs (on del.icio.us)


%d bloggers like this: