When Your Manager Brings in Someone Above You…

Finding out that your manager is bringing in someone else above you, a practice known as “layering,” can lead to feelings of self-doubt. But it’s typically due to changing business needs, not because of poor performance on your part.

To manage your complicated feelings—and move forward productively—you can first ask yourself how the situation could be beneficial for you. Could you receive more mentoring or guidance? Could your new manager bring a fresh perspective or teach you new skills? Approaching the situation with curiosity will help prevent catastrophic thinking and allow you to see the bigger picture.

If your new boss has yet to be selected, ask HR and/or your current manager if you can be part of the hiring process. This will demonstrate that you’re a team player and on board with the new direction. If this isn’t possible, request a meet-and-greet with the final candidate.

Be sure to invest early in the relationship with your new manager. Use your first meeting to welcome them and express your enthusiasm for working together. Give it at least six months before making a judgment on whether it’s working or not.

Finally, stay connected with your previous manager. You want them to remain a part of your professional life. Have a conversation early to determine a new cadence of your meetings (quarterly catch-ups, semi-annual reviews, or on an as-needed basis).

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