05/07/2010 04:05 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Keep Your New Boss From Ripping Your Job Apart

You've been plugging away doing a great job and getting terrific results which have been acknowledged by senior management. Out of the blue comes a new boss who wants to do a re-org. Your new boss wants to make an immediate impact and has told you your job may look very different. It hasn't been finalized yet, although it looks pretty much like a done deal. This change would essentially take away the things you like best about your job and substitute some "not so great" new stuff.

Since it's not official yet, there's still an opportunity to keep the job you love. So what should you do?


1. Help Them See It's Not Broken - Start off by acknowledging that you understand why from their perspective a change could be in order. If you can, toss them a bone for proposed changes that might not affect you. Then let your boss see why it is in their best interest, and that of the company, to keep you in your current position. You have been delivering impressive results and are working on a number of projects that will keep the positive momentum going. Changing horses in mid-stream could backfire and cause a loss of momentum.

2. Get Buy-in From Others - Talk to others who would be affected by this potential change. Those people could be your peers and even your boss's boss (if you have a good relationship with them). If you're sensing the same dissatisfaction in them that you're feeling, approach the boss together. There is strength in numbers. The key is not to gang up on your boss but to present a unified, compelling case for not making the change -- at least not at this point. If others can support your case for leaving things as they are, you stand a better chance of staying in the position you really love.

3. Negotiate - Give your new boss an incentive to leave things as they are. Offer to take on a new project. Or, create a hybrid of what your boss wants and what you would like. Let's say you're responsible for marketing, marketing services and advertising. Your new boss wants you to handle sales and advertising. Offer to take on the sales, keep the stuff you like (marketing and advertising) and give up marketing services. This is a good compromise between their plans and what would make you feel good about your new role.

4. Create The Next Best Thing - Depending on the type of company and management team, you may be able to create a completely new position focused on other things you really enjoy and are good at. Make a case for how this benefits the company.

5. Start Looking At Other Options - If all else fails and you can't make any headway with your new boss, see what other internal positions are open that would leverage what you love to do, even if it is not an exact match. At the same time, look outside the company. That will give you a greater sense of control, knowing that your new boss won't be your new boss for much longer.

Getting a new boss can be traumatic -- especially one who is planning a re-org. No matter how bad the new situation looks, realize that you have options. You've been successful in your current role and can build on that success in this company or a new one.

Fred & Gladys
Whelan Stone
Executive Search and Coaching
Authors of GOAL! Your 30 Day Career Plan for Business & Career Success