My boss left under a cloud and now my future is unclear

Nine To Five: Special to The Globe and Mail, Published Sunday, August 4, 2013

THE QUESTION

I transferred into my current position from within the company and moved my family to a new community on the understanding that I was to be named in the succession plan for my department.

Three years later, the director who hired me and transferred me has not been in the office for months and appears to have left under an ethical cloud. The chief administrative officer who presided over the creation of the succession plan has also since been replaced.

While officially the status of my director is still up in the air, it does not appear that he will be returning. I am curious about how to proceed, with whom to discuss my future, and what obligations, if any, the company has toward me with respect to the succession plan.

THE ANSWER

It seems odd that three years have gone by and the succession plan has not progressed and that those who initiated it are no longer around. Is there still a succession plan? Did you sign any documentation with a guarantee of your succession?

If there is no signed documentation, this is not a legal issue and would most likely be dealt with through the human resources department or with an executive-level leader. As for who to discuss your situation with, it would probably be the new chief administrative officer or the highest-ranking person in the corporation.

Before meeting with the executive, ensure you have all your ducks in line. Start by asking where the company is with the succession plan and what stages of development are expected in the near and distant future.

Know exactly what you hope to achieve from the meeting and state your expectations. Be prepared for no answers and to play the waiting game. Be calm, patient, curious and professional.

Colleen Clarke
Career Specialist and Corporate Trainer

Author of Networking How To Build Relationships That Count and How To Get a Job and Keep It
http:///www.colleenclarke.com