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Thread: How do I succeed in unstructured new role? I don't even know what I want to do..

  1. #1
    Platinum Member misssmithviii's Avatar
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    How do I succeed in unstructured new role? I don't even know what I want to do..

    It's been awhile since I've posted and while a ton has happened over the years, I'll stay on topic for this forum. This is two part.
    Thanks in advance!

    Part One
    I moved from Southern CA to Northern CA at the end of 2017 because the parent company of the hotel chain I work for, sold the hotel in Southern CA.
    They told all the employees a couple months before the transaction, and the new company offered us all our same jobs, same rate.
    I had the option of staying, working for the new company, at the same hotel, or, I could move to Northern CA and continue working for the same parent company, different hotel.

    I chose the latter after negotiating (very successfully) a hefty raise.
    Justifications for the raise included my tenure with the company, knowledge, as well as all the new needs/expenses on my end that would come with moving away from my support network in my hometown (in Southern CA).

    At the turn of this new year, I was promoted to a new role. Thing is, my boss said that there is no existing training structure or regimen, and other circumstances make it impossible for him to really hold my hand and teach me.
    He said "you'll learn over time just by running reports and listening in on meetings because you're smart" -- which is fantastic to hear from your boss but also a bit nerve wracking.
    He believes in me, and even got me another raise - for a job I don't even know how to do yet.

    Fast forward to nearly 2 months into the new role, I've been feeling lost.
    Nobody's training me, there is no schedule for me to adhere to, no deadlines, no real training materials, and nobody really even checks in to see what I'm doing.
    I'm just being given tasks and a brief crash-course to complete it.
    I'm mainly alone in my cube, googling stuff about my job, waiting for a "get this report now" command.

    I think it's important to note that conceptually, I understand what I'm doing. And so far, I've been completing things correctly...

    But I worry about how I or anybody else can measure my success in my role, even on a daily basis, when there's no standard set?
    I worry if I'm not making my value known (as was easily done in my previous role), conversations about why I'm getting paid this exorbitant amount will arise.

    That last part is what freaks me out. So I'm thinking... how does one prove they're worth their pay in this situation?
    If some higher up executive board member ever says, "why are we paying her so much, what does she even do?" - I wouldn't know how to even counter that.

    Thoughts? Help?

    TL;DR: I moved away from my hometown for a pay raise. I got a promotion into a role I'm not trained in, and my boss said I'll learn as time passes.
    There is no training structure, no materials, no standards set and nobody checks to see what I'm doing.
    There are little to no expectations of me, only to use me and my brain as needed for reporting and problem-solving.
    I'm getting paid way higher than average for an experienced person in this role, a role I have nothing to show for.
    How do I show my value? How do I succeed?




    Part Two
    Ideally, I want to work elsewhere. I like my work to the extent that it can be challenging to problem solve and exciting to learn new things.
    But as a career? Eh... Sure it's not terrible, but it doesn't provide fulfillment outside the obvious monetary one.
    Also, I'm not even really friends with my coworkers, because I have little to nothing in common with any of them. I've tried. They've tried. All budding friendships fizzled away this past year when both parties realized there isn't any common ground. We're friendly of course, but not associating outside of work.

    So the role I kept referring to in part one, is that of a Revenue Analyst for a hotel. Two hotels, actually. I got into it midway through college, when I needed to work full time to support my daughter and myself (single mom here). Got a job at the front desk, moved into managing group events' rooms, and now, I'm in revenue. I wanted the job, of course - because it uses my abilities more and I find it more interesting.
    I'm also not much of a stagnant person in any role.

    Question is, what else can a Revenue Analyst coming from hospitality do? Is there another industry that I could get into without starting at the bottom?
    Can't start from scratch given my circumstances of being a single mom, sole provider - I don't receive any benefits because I make too much money.
    Am I stuck in hospitality?

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    The beauty of your position and the main stress, is that get to make up what you are doing. Seriously!

    If I were you I would use this time to flesh out the job duties as you see them and create procedure-based training for accomplishing what you see as your role.

    Then present that to your manager for review as a draft, and see what the manager suggests.

    If they have no suggestions, then that is the sum of your job.

    If they have suggestions, or edits, then that is your job clarified.

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    Platinum Member misssmithviii's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jimthzz
    The beauty of your position and the main stress, is that get to make up what you are doing. Seriously!

    If I were you I would use this time to flesh out the job duties as you see them and create procedure-based training for accomplishing what you see as your role.

    Then present that to your manager for review as a draft, and see what the manager suggests.

    If they have no suggestions, then that is the sum of your job.

    If they have suggestions, or edits, then that is your job clarified.

    Thank you! I like that idea. I've been compiling daily portfolios of what I've done, complete with time-stamping at the start of a task, break and end - to kind of show what I do if ever asked.

    What about the Part Two? Do you think I could branch out into another industry? I've googled this, and find nothing.

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    Originally Posted by misssmithviii
    Thank you! I like that idea. I've been compiling daily portfolios of what I've done, complete with time-stamping at the start of a task, break and end - to kind of show what I do if ever asked.

    What about the Part Two? Do you think I could branch out into another industry? I've googled this, and find nothing.
    A Revenue Analyst seems like an accounting position or some kind of a banking industry thing. Many businesses have that kind of job. Just enter in "revenue analyst" in indeed.com and see what pops up.
    Last edited by jimthzz; 02-25-2019 at 06:10 PM.

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    Gold Member thisisrichey's Avatar
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    They say that i'ts important to talk to managers to force them to specify what you will be assessed on and how they will measure success vs failure to perform. So you will want to get your management to specify something (you're very smart to know you need this).
    Until then, you and I are in the exact same spot. As a former co-worker of mine told me, "sounds like you need to manage-upwards" - aka manage yourself goin upwards and train your managers on how to manage you. This can be good and bad.

    just like somebody else said - you can find ways you enjoy to make yourself useful and pick n choose your spots (that's what i've done). but yes i feel your pain - i have no defined role. But i'm getting paid well. So we'll see for me too.

    (for me.. i picked and choosed a good spot to volunteer for a higher level group and help out there - with somethign i really enjoy. Hopefulyl, and it sounds like, my mentor in that group is going to push to get me hired onto his team permanently which would promote me again and perhaps put me in a much better position overall - move to another manager and out from under my clueless current manager... and perhaps then become part of the national team rather than my local team... which HOPEFULLY and IDEALLY - would qualify me for WORK FROM HOME for my positino at which point i'm free to move anywhere in the country and keep my same pay). SO CROSSING MY FINERS BIG TIME HERE!!!

    lack of structure means - take advantage of your freedome to learn or advance yourself somehow in areas you'd like to see yourself in the next few years or ultimately :)

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    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Most companies have analyst positions in one form or another, but if you don't find it fulfilling, you can consider it an ability that augments your abilities. In other words, it's not wasted.

    You were in charge of event planning, which is also a role found in most companies. You could combine these two roles into a project manager role in almost any company. You have a planning and execution background along with the ability to measure, document and be accountable for any project a company would want managed.

    I agree that documenting your current tasks is beneficial, not only for accountability, but if you develop training steps for each task, you'll be providing your current company with a valuable asset that they don't already have in place.

    The good news is, you're already addressing your concerns about demonstrating how you've earned your salary, even while you're interested in moving on from this role. Your next review may be a good time to discuss whether you believe you're a good fit for this role and learn whether you qualify for any other roles within your current company before making the decision to seek outside work.

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    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    I see two separate issues here. One is that you feel insecure about your raise, which in your eyes is a lot and perhaps way more than you feel that you deserve. Drop that thinking because I can assure you that companies do not just hand out large paychecks because you wanted one and presented some rational arguments. What's huge in your eyes, might not be seen as such in the company's eyes.

    Second thing is that as you advance and go up the corporate ladder, YOUR thinking needs to change. You are absolutely correct that you will no longer have detailed tasks, structure, and supervision like you had in lower roles. Instead of busily documenting what tasks you are doing as asked, you need to start asking yourself a completely different question - what value can you add to your manager and your company through your position. Start looking at the bigger picture. Instead of just doing the report your boss asked for, you should also go to your boss with "hey boss, I did analysis of x division and here is what I found and how you can save $ or cut a cost, etc." Instead of seeking to change jobs, step up to your role....way up. This will also go to prove your value to anyone questioning your pay. Your answer will not be clerical level, here are the reports I do, but rather executive level, here are the savings I discovered for the company through x analysis of y.

    I also think that you need to give yourself more than two months to grow into your role. If 6 months to a year from now you still feel unsettled and like you are just drifting without a purpose, then consider that you got promoted above your core competency and would do better in a strictly structured environment, which means seek another job entirely or talk to your management about changing your role within the company to something more to your liking even if that means a pay cut. You wouldn't be the first person to do so and plenty of companies will actually accommodate a long term employee. They'd rather you stay and be happy and successful than quit because they put you in a position that wasn't a good fit.

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    Platinum Member misssmithviii's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by thisisrichey
    just like somebody else said - you can find ways you enjoy to make yourself useful and pick n choose your spots (that's what i've done). but yes i feel your pain - i have no defined role. But i'm getting paid well. So we'll see for me too.

    (for me.. i picked and choosed a good spot to volunteer for a higher level group and help out there - with somethign i really enjoy. Hopefulyl, and it sounds like, my mentor in that group is going to push to get me hired onto his team permanently which would promote me again and perhaps put me in a much better position overall - move to another manager and out from under my clueless current manager... and perhaps then become part of the national team rather than my local team... which HOPEFULLY and IDEALLY - would qualify me for WORK FROM HOME for my positino at which point i'm free to move anywhere in the country and keep my same pay). SO CROSSING MY FINERS BIG TIME HERE!!!

    lack of structure means - take advantage of your freedome to learn or advance yourself somehow in areas you'd like to see yourself in the next few years or ultimately :)

    Something that I'm thinking about too - where do I have extra time to develop other skills? I come from a background in compsci but I didn't major in it, I majored in physics instead. What I've seen is all my peers in compsci move on to amazing jobs - not just amazing in pay but amazing in work-life balance. Or even the golden ticket - working remotely. That's a dream of mine as well.

    I'm crossing my fingers for you too!

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    Platinum Member misssmithviii's Avatar
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    Thank you for your response catfeeder - I always secretly hope you respond on anything I post because I've been reading your advice for nearly a decade.

    To clarify, I used to manage group events' rooms alone, so the actual event planning side of it in terms of event spaces, food and beverage - the stuff that would make me marketable as an event planner - I have no experience in. For group rooms, that meant assisting with drafting contracts, negotiating rates, tracking contractual obligations like deadlines to reserve rooms at a discount etc. I worked very closely with the event planners of course, but was only one spoke in that wheel.

    It makes me think though, that over the years I'm sure I've gathered some usable knowledge. Could be something there to use.

    Thank you so much for your feedback and advice. I have a review in a few months so I'm already compiling talking points and this is perfect.

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    Platinum Member misssmithviii's Avatar
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    Hi DancingFool! You hit the nail on the head... definitely insecure. I struggle with that a lot though in every aspect of my life to be honest.
    I will try my best to steer clear of those thoughts especially in the workplace.

    I like your insight on this, I didn't think of that... as I rise up the ladder, I will need to learn to fill the role and not simply be ordered to do something. I'm going to knock that around in my head and try to see what I could do.


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