Andrea asks: I’ve been working in my industry for about 18 years and have aspirations for advancement. I joined my current company 9 months ago in my position as a mid-level manager. I was excited to join and hit the ground running. Soon after I started, I learned that the CEO was stepping down. An interim CEO was named until a permanent replacement could be found. Eventually the company hired an external leader, and as it turns out, I know this person from a previous development program we were in together and am not impressed. I would prefer to work in a company with a CEO I can learn from. Our new leaders are young, untested, and in my opinion, unprepared for the realities of some of the systemic challenges among the staff. I have opportunities for a lateral move with other companies but am not sure if I should leave after just one year in position. I’m also concerned that my chances for advancement will be hindered with this new leader. What advice do you have for me?
Sue Bethanis, CEO, responds:
Thanks for your question, it’s a good one, and one we hear often. It is also a hard question to respond to without a little bit more context, because it is certainly not a black and white situation. There are many things to weigh before you would choose to leave. Here are some questions to think about:
- Are you set in your opinion about the CEO? For example, are there one or two things you could learn from him/her? What are some things you could possibly learn from each other?
- How long has the CEO been in the position, and could you give him/her 90 days to see if he/she hits the ground running in the positive way you didn’t expect?
- If you do want to leave, is the leaving after one year an issue for you because it will look like you’re jumping around? Instead of worrying too much about that, try focusing on doing everything you can to ensure you are supporting the current company in its efforts to succeed and the company is supporting you.
- As a mid-level manager, I am assuming you aren’t reporting directly to the new CEO, and instead reporting to someone else. If this is the case, and you have a good working relationship with your manager, this is golden, and I suggest putting more weight on that.
I hope the questions I have posed are helpful to you. Happy to discuss further offline. Good luck to you!