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Disheartened due to lack of cooperation in new team


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Hi all,

Hope all is well.

I'm going through a bit of a difficult time at the moment between the lockdown, the isolation on my own and the stress of work and need to vent/get some perspective.

I joined my current job in June of last year. Prior to this job, I was working for a very dynamic global firm where networking and socializing (virtually in the COVDI era) were a big thing. The role was of little interest to me though, so I left and joined my current employer.

From the moment I joined, I sensed a disconnect with the team, but put in down on the remote onboarding. Then, I started seeing some patterns I never witnessed in my previous jobs. The team is always "too busy" to answer questions or provide training. Therefore, most times, the manager was the one helping. The manager was always available, but showed some favoritism towards another new joiner.

Fast forward, we got our respective portfolios assigned & I inherited from my manager's portfolio and another colleague's. We work on a project basis. The idea was that whenever your first project kicked off, any new joiner would be working hand in hand with whoever was managing the portfolio before them. Up until then, barely any training.

My first project kicked off about a month ago and is due to finish in April. My manager was very helpful in the beginning, then decided to leave for a period of time, thus dropping me halfway through. They assigned me a "buddy", but whenever she gives information, I don't understand a thing despite trying to have her explain it differently. Then, my second project kicked off a week ago and I had asked the person who was in charge of this segment before me whether I could go to them for questions if need be (I had specifically stated that I would operate autonomously as I'm getting the hang of the procedures through my first project, but just in case I had some questions). I was told "I'm really busy, so I don't think so".

OK, so on top of being dropped halfway through a project, I'm also not getting any guidance on the other one at all. It's not fair as guidance = training, which I haven't had much of. All the other new joiners availed of guidance from the previous portfolio owners, meanwhile, I'm facing this.

In every single company I worked for, I had mentors and great team members. I'm really disheartened, because it seems I'm set up for failure from the get-go. I live on my own, so nobody to vent to. I'm cognizant every one is busy, we all are, but this is the first work environment where nobody is willing to help. I have 6 years experience in other companies of the same nature, never seen this before.

We only have an interim manager at the moment, so I don't think it's even worth discussing with them.

What should I do?

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I find that if they are paying you a crap ton, and you are suppose to have a ton of autonomy, you need to just figure things out.  If you need a mentor, get one at another company.  Find memberships you can join.  Your mentor does not need to work with you in the same company.

I have no one here to help me do a lot of key things at my company - but that's cuz, I'm one of the owners.  Sometimes you get to a point in your career, that you should be accountable for your own work.  If you feel you need training wheels still, then I don't know what to tell you.

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What was said when you joined about training and mentorship and what did you ask?  In my current job even though I am overqualified in one way (which I chose since I needed a part time flexible schedule given my child) I was unfamiliar with the particular area in which they worked.  So I was up front about this during the interview process. Which was fine -they knew and said everyone was new in that area (for a specific reason) and since I am "junior" I've always felt comfortable asking questions. But over the years- 4, now, I've asked less and less and been more and more careful about asking given what I am sure is their expectations of my learning curve/knowledge base.  I do get mentoring and training but I do NOT feel entitled to it in the least.

Edited by Batya33
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Posted (edited)

I'm generally a very autonomous person, but every autonomous person needs to get some kind of training. I barely got any training as I was told I'd learn on the job when my two projects would kick-off.  All the other new joiners were assisted and provided hand in hand guidance during their projects.

It was written black on white in an email from the VP (global team lead) that any new joiner would be assisted by the previous portfolio owner during their projects. It's not something that suddenly came up with. 

My issue is not about being autonomous as my manager had noted how autonomous I am, but it's about the different treatment I'm getting. All the other new joiners availed from hand in hand guidance during their first projects as instructed by the VP. I haven't availed of that at all. It's simply not fair because if something goes wrong, I'll be the culprit despite trying to get answers. 

I'm not looking for mentors. I have plenty of mentors outside the company. I'm looking for assistance from a procedural standpoint in the same fashion the other new joiners benefited from. 

Edited by RuedeRivoli
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What does "assistance" mean in detail though? And I don't think you can know precisely how the others are interacting - I'm sure there are a lot of individual situations and variables.  I'd be careful about comparing too much.  Also is there reciprocity expected- meaning do you go the extra mile for your superiors? How was your interaction with your superiors when they did provide assistance?

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Posted (edited)

I think I can easily compare, simply because I did interact with other new joiners in this regard and they confirmed they received support throughout their first projects. It's a small team, so there isn't "a lot" of variable situations, unfortunately. It is very easy to see who is being supported. 

The assistance isn't to be provided by superiors, but by other team members at the same level or whoever was in charge of the portfolio before it was handed over to the new joiner. The team expanded a bit, so they shifted some segments of the portfolio to new joiners who are meant to be assisted by the previous portfolio owner. The reason why I mentioned my manager's assistance is because I inherited from his portfolio whilst other team members inherited from portfolios of other team members (for independence concerns, portfolios are shifted between team members).

As far as going the extra-mile - well, I always help out all members of the team. We work on a project basis, so all members of the team will require support on a specific task at some stage and I'm always available to help and certainly do help all the time. I've also absorbed some of my manager's responsibilities in his absence. It's not a case of me not being supportive or helpful, because on the very contrary, it's been noted in my performance review that they appreciate my willingness to help the rest of the team workload wise even if the tasks don't relate to my projects. 

I think you might not have a full understanding of the structure of the team & the work. I think we're discussing two different issues here.

Edited by RuedeRivoli
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6 hours ago, RuedeRivoli said:

In every single company I worked for, I had mentors and great team members. I'm really disheartened, because it seems I'm set up for failure from the get-go.

I don't know what your industry is, but I run into this problem a lot in mine. And it's a problem. Training is critical in some industries. 

At my last job, I was in a desert of training and mentorship, and I often felt like I was being set up to fail. A lot of people felt that way. In fact, I lost count of how many people came and went while I was there. It was definitely upwards of 20, and the company only had 60 people.

Around the same time, I was in the process of being treated for herniated discs in my back. The treatments required anesthesia. I remember sitting on the bed at the surgery center one day, watching one nurse carefully walk another nurse through the procedures of getting me ready for the treatment.

It made me feel so darned sane. Like, YES! You see?? Training is important! Even though they're both nurses and have the same general level of education, they don't just assume that every nurse is a carbon copy.

The other nurse was familiar with the procedures that she was being shown, but she needed to know them in the context of this particular surgery center, and the way that the people there did things, so that she would be part of a team, and the system would function properly.

I think you should at least attempt to discuss it with the interim manager. Is there any particular reason that you're hesitant to do so--besides the fact that she is just interim?

Edited by Jibralta
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Of course I don't have a full understanding of your workplace.  What I am sensing is a disconnect between your expectations and the reality of your work environment -do you feel comfortable having a concrete discussion with your manager where you discuss literally bullet point by bullet point what you should expect in terms of traning/mentorship - and be extremely careful not to draw comparisons to others in the conversation -stay in your lane so to speak.

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