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My 3 colleagues are: Project Leader, Project Leader and Software Architect.

Jan de Boer
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2010
Posts: 309
First let me state that my situation is more ridiculous and irritating then actually a reason to look for another job. But having this said. I am working in a software department of 4 people. I am a software engineer. The other 3 people are…, don’t laugh, or do, project leader, project leader, and software architect and the latter is also temporary team leader. We are a company of about 30 people, including sales, hardware, support. I have a project. I do something, I have an idea. All the three R&D colleagues here are asking me about it, while I actually have a sort of internal client with which I discuss the situation weekly. Then all three go to a meeting with the CEO, and some other people, and then discuss my project. (And also other things.) So I am reporting the same thing to 4 people, consequently decisions are made in a meeting without me being present. Of those 3 colleagues, two are ‘trying to play manager’ in really an irritating manner. For the Dutch: they remind me of ‘wethouder Hekking from Juinen of van Kooten en de Bie’. It seems people are promoted to manager-like functions, while there is not really staff to manage. (Apart from me of course.)

Sometimes I think, I should go and look for another job. What do you think? On the other hand the experience is technically interesting and all people are satisfied with me. And I can pay the rent, and there is a crisis.
Jimmy Clark
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Posts: 2187
There is a lot of room for improvement in this scenario. I would suggest that you speak to each individual involved and share how you feel. Discuss possible modifications to communications and other related areas. Each conversation should be a one-on-one private conversation and, most importantly, you should focus on sharing your feelings and not attack the individual with your "opinions" about them or how "they"work.

Based on your interpretation, you seem to think that you are the only one working. If this is true, then you are in a very powerful position and should use this to your advantage. You just need to think about the situation from different perspectives. Keep in mind that if you are able to change employers, you will most likely again have to report to multiple managers. This is a very common scenario. The goal is to identify which one is in charge of your salary and development, and then develop a strong relationship with this individual.

Aside, make sure that you have thoroughly scanned your state of mind to rule out signs of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and self-induced hallucinations of grandeur.
Jan de Boer
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2010
Posts: 309
Jimmy Clark wrote:Based on your interpretation, you seem to think that you are the only one working.


No, I am not arrogant that I think I do all the work. And I know you should tell about what you are doing to the whole team. And also I know life is never perfect, even worse at your job. It is not really that important, and I will survive. But do not you think this is a strange situation where 4 people are trying to be my project leader? That there is no-one at level programmer, but me?
chris webster
Bartender

Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1478
    
  11

Well, I don't know, Jan... from what you say, it sounds to me like you need to ask yourself why the other 3 guys are so much more successful than you? I mean, you're the one doing all the work, right? Sounds like they're doing just fine...

Seriously though, Jimmy's right. If this is a problem for you, then you probably need to talk to somebody - diplomatically - to see if you can change things. Maybe pick whichever one you get on best with, and/or the one who writes your performance review, and gently ask them if something can be done to simplify the reporting structures, shorten the feedback loops and integrate you into the decision-making process better. If you phrase it right, you can make it sound like constructive suggestions for improvement, rather than criticism of what they're currently doing.

If they respond positively, great. If not, then you have another datum to consider when you decide whether to look for another job.

Good luck.


No more Blub for me, thank you, Vicar.
Jan de Boer
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2010
Posts: 309
Two of the three were contractors which were pulled in as employees with the promise to get a management-like role. But there is nothing to manage. I am happy with my job, the top boss says he is very satisfied with me. Nevertheless he places, two people above me that are looking for opportunities to show their management abilities.
Seetharaman Venkatasamy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2008
Posts: 5575

Jan de Boer wrote:do not you think this is a strange situation where 4 people are trying to be my project leader?

that's a typical situation
Tim Moores
Rancher

Joined: Sep 21, 2011
Posts: 2408
Seetharaman Venkatasamy wrote:that's a typical situation

Hardly typical. Not even common. But not unheard of.
Jimmy Clark
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Posts: 2187
Jan, do your three managers report to the same individual? If yes, then this is the individual that you should share your feelings with along with "possible" improvements.
Jan de Boer
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2010
Posts: 309
Jimmy Clark wrote:Jan, do your three managers report to the same individual?


Exactly! Actually all fóur do. Three colleagues of R&D and my internal user/client. Also: no I am not the only one programming. We all are. But there are 2 given partly a new management role, or better: a new role with a management kind of name in it, but in fact there hardly is management. It's ridiculous. Please do not get me wrong, I am not deeply unhappy with my job or anything. Nor am I demotivated to do my job. It's just a really strange situation.
Jimmy Clark
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Posts: 2187
Actually, for companies this size, organizational deficiencies such as the one you have described are common. Since you are the only programmer, you most likely are the one that can see it most clearly. Efficient software design using object-oriented technology should model real-world entities. As time goes by, being able to identify efficiencies or deficiencies becomes a sharp skill of the programmer. Whether you are looking at Class designs or people, the same human brain sections are used.

When you ponder on your situation, think about what I mention above. Yes, it is a waste of resources to have such a top-heavy structure. Their salaries most likely make any bonus that you may get much smaller. And their presence most likely will slow down your promotion process and reduce possible future salary increases. I'd strongly consider seeking a different employer. When considering employment offers, make sure that your salary increase is at least 20% of what you make today.
Jan de Boer
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2010
Posts: 309
Jimmy Clark wrote:And their presence most likely will slow down your promotion process and reduce possible future salary increases.


Exactly! That is my frustration. The present work is fine, nice people, good coffee, pretty girls, well one or two. The 'reporting to 4 people' is more a laughing thing then something that annoys me. But I never get any further like this. Thanks for the advice guys.
arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3216
Jan de Boer wrote:
Jimmy Clark wrote:And their presence most likely will slow down your promotion process and reduce possible future salary increases.


Exactly! That is my frustration. The present work is fine, nice people, good coffee, pretty girls, well one or two.




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