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  • #2289278

    I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out


    by burningout ·

    I have been with the same company for a number of years. I am kind of like thier fire fighter. When others can’t fix I usually can. I have deep skills in networking, SA and programming as well as security. I guess you could call me an ubergeek. The problem is I am burning out and want to move to management. A management position in the same company has come open but they won’t let me move into it..I am too valuable to them where I am. What should I do? Should I move on to a new company or should I fight for what I feel I deserve. I have been here almost 10 years. I have proven myself time and time again yet they don’t seem to really care.

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    • #2702360

      May not be the job – maybe something else

      by jimhm ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      May not be the job you are doing – it could be a one of a number of things [i](None of these are flames – on you – or your skills – just things to for you to think about)[/i]

      1) You’re lacking management skill or training they believe is needed for that position, and they don’t communicate that well.

      2) They already have someone picked for the position.

      3) You made a few people made over your years their and this is their way of getting you back.

      4) There’s the “Good Old Boys” click and you are tring to change what they have. IE they don’t like women managers…

      If you believe it is a personality conflict – between you and someone else. It is probably time to depart and sell your skills to the next highest bidder.

      If its – your skills or education or ability to handle management issues – get thy to a school and get some Education…

      There more than what they are telling you – that is a nice way of saying you aren’t qualified for the position. You may think so – But they don’t –

      Like I said – these aren’t flames – just things to think about ..

      • #2702336

        Also serves as a convenience…

        by gralfus ·

        In reply to May not be the job – maybe something else

        I know someone in a similar position and she is worked like a dog because they know that she will pull the majority of the weight. They won’t let her advance or switch jobs, but this is done behind the scenes so no paper trail is left. This way they can milk her for all she is worth and then discard her when she burns out. Meanwhile the cronies go to their bar-hopping parties, golf games, and vacations, leaving her as the “backup” without telling her.

        So in some ways you hit it on the head about the Good ‘ol boys, but they can also see people with skills as a way to offload work so they can go play.

        • #3294854

          Get MGMT job offers from other co’s…

          by petersidman ·

          In reply to Also serves as a convenience…

          … and THEN go back to your management and give them the opportunity to make you a counter offer. It’s a stupid game but that’s how it works in the real world.

        • #3295447

          Don’t position for counter-offers

          by luckyleatherneck ·

          In reply to Get MGMT job offers from other co’s…

          Getting offers from other employers is a good idea, as long as your current employer doesn’t know.

          Presenting your offer from another employer as incentive for your current employer to do right by you is a BAD IDEA. It is extortion and that’s the way every employer (no matter what nice things they say to you) will feel about it. Even if it works out, you will be viewed with less honor and integrity than you had before. Or even worse, they will think that they REALLY own you now. There’s also a term “Golden Handcuffs” that you should be aware of.


        • #3295387


          by vltiii ·

          In reply to Don’t position for counter-offers

          I agree with this assessment. If you get an offer from another company the current employer shouldn’t know about it until you give notice that you’re quitting. If at that time they ask why you’re leaving, you may want to let them know how you feel. They will either let you go or sweeten the pot, but the decision to do so is theirs because they value your worth and not because you have essentially blackmailed them.

        • #3295356


          by wgp_enoch ·

          In reply to Don’t position for counter-offers

          You got to be kidding. Is it extortion if you shop around for a better deal on a car. You have no obligation not to look for other employeement just like they are under no obligation to promote you.

          It may be best to leave the company looking for greener pastures if the glass ceiling can’t be broken.

        • #3295716

          U really need to opem your ears more often and mouth much less.

          by johnjr56az ·

          In reply to Extortion?

          The Marine only cited a potential scenario. He never stated a fact. And I do have to agree w/him. Civilians (especially those in the upper suits) are very connieving bosses. I’ve never met one in the civilian world that cound be trusted as far as I could pick threm up and throw them. Even more so, the ones closest to me in the work environment. Your sarcasm and irresponcible outburst is exactly the type of barrier that she’s facing in her own dilemma. So take a chill pill and relax for a while before you air any more wisdom!

        • #3313162


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to U really need to opem your ears more often and mouth much less.

          You say that as if military supervisors can’t be just as petty and spiteful. Judging by what I saw while I was in, they can be. There are some great leaders in the military, but there are some real wastes of oxygen, too.

        • #3312114

          THANK YOU

          by bobfairchild ·

          In reply to Extortion?

          It is not extortion to take care of yourself! You must get an offer from antoher company then take the offer to your company and see what happens. 9 times out of 10 your company will match or beat the offer. I have done this 2 times with excellent results!! Sometime the company just needs you to stand up and say “WHAT ABOUT ME!!”

        • #3295418

          This works

          by it_techie_guy ·

          In reply to Get MGMT job offers from other co’s…

          Getting upper management to counter offer after another company offers you a job works very well, at least it did for me. I got a $25,000 per year pay increase, increase vacation, and now upper management understands better about what it takes to run an I.T. department. Shop yourself around then go back to your company and tell them what you have been offered.

        • #3295142

          Get other offers silently

          by darylcjohnson ·

          In reply to Get MGMT job offers from other co’s…

          Your best bet at this point is to submit your resume for other positions. When you get called for interviews you can easily find out if you’re management material by the amount of interviews and offers you get.

          If you don’t get many offers then it’s a good bet you’re not management material quite yet and you can use the feedback to determine what is needed to get you there.

          Another reason you should look around is now you’re too valuable to your job but I guarantee if you slack a little bit on your duties down the road your job will be unhappy and they will not hesitate to tell you. By being “too valuable” you set a pretty high bar of standards in their eyes and you’ll have to live up to those standards each and every time, even if the workload has been too much.

          I worked for a small company for two years and after the first year they moved me to managing a department. As soon as that happened, not only was I responsible for my workload but the workload of others and it didn’t matter if the others called out, failed to do their work, or anything – it was all put on me. Fortunately I was able to get all the workloads done on time and on budget but it was burning me out a bit and two months before my last date there I decided to delegate a bit of work to an employee. She suffered a minor slip that normally wouldn’t have been a problem but it was brought up in a meeting and I was questioned on why I didn’t do the work myself. I was even told “We don’t care about your past success…this is now. You took on the workload of others. Continue to do so.” and the next day they hired another manager who knew nothing about technology to take my position. I was placed back as an employee in the department and was even expected to train this new manager on systems, processes, everything.

          Needless to say I submitted my resume. What did I learn from this?

          I could manage, but I don’t want to. Managing goes beyond technology. You have to deal with people. People who sometimes don’t want to do their share of the workload. People wh aren’t interested in the business but just want to get their money and go home and will yell in a minute at you that they don’t get a raise and therefore won’t do anything beyond “their duties”. People who are your bosses who want to drop all their work on you and expect you to give up your weekends to do work in the office so they can enjoy the country club or weekend getaways.

        • #3295137

          I have been here also…

          by pdhutch ·

          In reply to Get other offers silently

          I was in the same place in the Air Force…I was lucky, my assignment as a manager was only 1 year. Being a ‘jack of all trades’ and helping people is very different than directing there work.

          You might want to write out a managers resume and make an assessment of your management skills. If you can’t file a page, on-line instruction could help. Thinking like a manager is VERY different from thinking like a techie.

          I found out early that I like ‘doing’ rather than ‘managing.’ I feel very lucky for the experience and finding out it was not for me.
          Good Luck…

        • #3295340

          Start Your Own Business!

          by cathel ·

          In reply to Also serves as a convenience…

          If you are as good as you say you are then work for yourself. I was in the same position in the company I worked for for 10 years. When the finaly reconised my abilities, so did I and I resigned. I worked last year as a manager of a small company setting up computer accounts and an ordering system. I left that job in July and set up my own company as an IT consaultant. I now find myself with as much income monthly but only working on average 2 days a week. I could earn more money but do I really need the hassel.

      • #3294919

        Probably not something else

        by netgenner ·

        In reply to May not be the job – maybe something else

        I’ve been in exactly the same position and so have many other friends I have in the IT industry. It is so hard to find competent productive techs in the trenches that management loathes having to promote people who are excellent out of their jobs. They start taking you for granted and relying on you to fix everything all the time.

        I resolved the situation by going out on my own – the company still retained my (outsourced) services for a while and soon realised my true value when I started invoicing them and they started comparing costs at market rates. I’ve started building up a succesful business, and although I work even harder, I’ve never been happier or more fulfilled.

        Another suggestion is that you find a company with two career tracks, technical and management. This way you still get recognition for your technical skills and experience even if you don’t choose to go the management route.

      • #3294844

        From a manager’s perspective…

        by justjoel99 ·

        In reply to May not be the job – maybe something else

        There is an unwritten idea that is pervasive throughout our collective psyche that says that the best workers (techies, cooks, copy machine operators, mechanics, etc.) make good managers. This notion is perpetuated by companies who promote their “best and brightest” into management.

        Sometimes this works simply because the person being promoted is a highly motivated individual and works hard to succeed at whatever he or she does. This explains why they were the best and brightest at their technical job-they worked to be the best and brightest.

        Other people are naturally good at their task-oriented jobs; it comes easy to them and they don’t have to work hard at it. When these people are promoted to management and out of their realm of ease, they struggle to maintain their previous level of success, and all too often, have little experience or desire to go above and beyond to be successful at their new role.

        I was in a similar situation, but on the other side of the story. I had a highly-skilled employee who was bucking for a promotion to project manager. The problem was, he had poor people skills. He was aware of this; it was brought up in his previous performance appraisal and his response was along the lines of “oh well, a leopard can’t change its spots”.

        When our managment team let him know he did not get the promotion, we did not tell him why we didn’t pick him, only that we felt that the other candidate was more qualified. I later overheard him telling a co-worker that we were keeping him back because no one else could do his job as well as he could. I took him aside and explained the actual reasons for our decision–something we should have done in the first place. He worked hard at improving his people skills, and when another project management spot opened up, he was promoted. Sadly, he felt that meant that he did not have to keep up his appearances and slipped back into his old ways of behaving, and was eventually let go.

        Managers (and other employees, sometimes) can tell who has the combination of skills, tact, personality, and confidence to lead others in a way to achieve the company/department’s objectives.

        Employees won’t follow someone who doesn’t have that combination, and managers hire supervisors and managers who are the best at motvating their employees to do their work, not those who are best at doing the employee’s work for them.

        • #3294812

          Another (agreeing) manager’s view

          by mgero ·

          In reply to From a manager’s perspective…

          Remeber that there are basic differences between management and staff roles. If you are really good (as I’m sure you are), you may not want to be a manager – you will not get perform the same tasks; gain the same satisfactions; or use the same skills as you currently do.

          Rather, you will be addressing the needs of the business (budgets, staff direction and motivation, resource allocations, schedule, priorities, competitive and product issues, etc.) as a means of helping others do what you do now for the benefit of the firm.

          Those take different skills and, more importantly, a different outlook. Too often I have seen highly effective technical staff get beguiled by the prospect of higher compensation or status. (Both of which are often not justified.)

          If you are really burned out, it is possible that some manager could be doing a better job. Perhaps you can offer to SUPERVISE another, additional person who is also doing what you are as a path to gaining managerial responsibility. In that way, you can begin to practise (learn?) new skills and begin to move in the direction you think you want to.

          You might find out you don’t like it; or you might find out that you do and now have a better resume to get the role you seek – either with your current firm or another.

          Just a thought.

        • #3294792

          Concur With Justjoel99

          by sturner6 ·

          In reply to From a manager’s perspective…

          He hits the nail on the head. As a former manager (now retired) of over 270 techies, I saw many attempt the transition to management only to discover they relate better to machines (and their code) than they do people. This is not a denegation of these people’s abilities, it is a recognition of their true talents.

          If you are truly burned out, you will only get yourself into a deeper hole. First, have a serious talk with your management about this. If they do not listen, you have a vote with your feet. (I also recognize this may be easier to say than do.) If money is not at the forefront, try something entirely new, but retain your current skills. Sit down and write out for yourself only some of the fun things you have done in your life and you may wind up in an entirely different career path – carpenter, real estate agent, bartender, whatever. Should you decide on this route, just know that you will be starting again at the bottom and will need the formal training associated with this new life. I did at age 59 and it was rather refreshing.

        • #3295464

          Have you asked?

          by mkmmuns ·

          In reply to From a manager’s perspective…

          Have you asked your manager why you are not being considered for the management positions? Go over your last perfromance review to see if there is anything that might indicate a skill that you would benefit from enhancing or developing. The skills and knowledge required to be a successful manager are different from those required to be a successful individual contributor.
          Do you have succession planning in your organization? If so, find out what it takes to get into that program. If not, point out the potential problems this lack of personnel strategy can present to your company. Look around for things you can do above and beyond your every day responsibilities, ask your manager how he/she made the tranisition. Express your desire to your HR department, ask them how this is accomplished in the organization. Do you really want it? Then eat it, breath it, talk to people who can make a difference, be inspired, determined and dedicated to your cause.
          If you keep hitting brick walls, you might want to consider putting your resume out and going with a company that shares the same ambitions for your career as you do.

        • #3295435

          Agree with JUSTJOEL99

          by luckyleatherneck ·

          In reply to From a manager’s perspective…

          I have to agree with JUSTJOEL99, as I have also seen the same scenario a number of times.

          When Management is good, as seems to be the case with JUSTJOEL99, the crop of potential first line managers is cultivated from the base of “worker bees”. And since the real work is done by those “worker bees”, managers must be good communicators as well as have other positive people skills. Effective Positive Managers will continually hone these people skills.

          Sometimes, the ubergeek can effectively move into management and can actually lead technical employees in successful productive projects that leave everyone with a sense of accomplishment. But like JUSTJOEL99 implied, the ubergeek must embrace and continually hone those people skills in order to effectively manage others.


        • #3295432

          couldn’t agree more

          by beverett ·

          In reply to From a manager’s perspective…

          From a management level and as one who has overseen HR divisions and such, someone can be very good at a particular skill yet and everyone is greatful they are where they are, but a manager not only should know how to do the job better than anyone else under them, they need to know people. Half your time as an exec is handling people one way or another. You have to have and demonstrate that you can get other people to get the job done…that’s what we are looking for…you may know more about widgets than me, but if I can get people to make those widgets better than you, I will have a better chance of being an exec.

        • #3295379

          Assuming you are qualified

          by hseidman ·

          In reply to From a manager’s perspective…

          There seems to be a theme in this message thread that assumes that you are not management material. I will begin from the assumption that you do have the talent set needed to move into management. Some of us geeks turn out to be good managers. If you want to move up it is important that there is not a significant hole left behind when you make the transition. The best way to insure this is to mentor one or more of your co-workers so they can solve the problem next time. I do not mean that they can solve the same problem next time but they learn how to analyze a problem and develop creative solutions. When you succeed at this you will have not only demonstrated you leadership and people skills but you will no longer be considered to valuable to promote. Good luck as you pursue you goals.

        • #3296417

          Very well said.

          by mckendrick ·

          In reply to From a manager’s perspective…

          I have seen the same thing, and I have no doubt that everyone else has to, if they think about it.

        • #3295738

          Manager’s point of view

          by rayanik ·

          In reply to From a manager’s perspective…

          We recently went thru’ a transition at work which created an opening. I have an employee on the team that is technical astute, analytical to a fault and understands the business. Unfortunately, for every issue he goes into great depth about why his position on it is the right one. The problem: Every $20 issue is given the same vigor as a $200 issue. Inability to look at a problem from someone else’s viewpoint. A bigger issue is a lack of people skills. The employee will sit and hear you out for 5 minutes without interrupting but fails to listen. We all know that you require different approaches to work with a diverse team. He says he understands, takes numerous courses but to no avail. He has had opportunities to direct others on projects but alas the same issues and team cocerns. Others have had to step in and put projects back on track. He was passed over for a promotion.

        • #3315214

          Tech Vs Management

          by eziots ·

          In reply to From a manager’s perspective…


          Very well written and looks like experience is the best teacher in many situations. Defintely a part of management is bussiness skills, and project management, but another intangible that alot of managers dont have is leadership skills, which are alot of what good managers need to be great managers.

          You are right about the people skills, nobody wants to work for a boss that doesnt have any clue on what there workers go through, or cant eat some humble pie from time to time when they are flat wrong and been called on the carpet by it.

          As for the gentleman, that has reached burn-out, as much as you like the company, and as well as you do in your job, there are forces here outside your sphere of influence, that you cannot control, which you feel are holding you back. You have basically two choices, move on to another job which will get you that opportunity you been looking to more into management, and utilize your “trench” skills there and develop your “interpersonal and management” skills in the new postion with a new set of colleages and different culture, priorites and focus. Or you can stay with the status quo and keep pounding your head against the wall trying to figure out the magic solution to your problems, when somebody else is holding all the keys you need to move up. The choice is your, its your career, make the most of it, and remember no regrets.


      • #3295411


        by mgritz ·

        In reply to May not be the job – maybe something else

        Time to move to a different department. It’s unfortunate, but many times, the only way for talent to move forward is to move to a different organization. I was in the same position.

        I would also suggest speaking to your management about your concern, read a good book about it before hand though.

        Good Luck!

      • #3296386

        Groom a Replacement…

        by mgoodspeed ·

        In reply to May not be the job – maybe something else

        Jim had some good items to consider in his post. Consider this, though — if the company lacks people with your skills, can you mentor others in what you do, so as to build their skills?

        It can be scary to share with others, as the fear exists you may be replaced, but I have had some personal success here, as training my colleagues to perform many of my “fire-fighting” tasks has liberated me from a lot of tedium, and I have been rewarded with a new position that uses my analytical abilities in ways that are very gratifying.

        Good luck!

      • #3296353

        Don’t agree

        by mexicanone ·

        In reply to May not be the job – maybe something else

        First – Everyone is born with no sense of management skill. You have the earn them so go to school.

        Second- If you think you can make it, go for it. A company likes to see options.

        Third – If someone is getting you back then let it be. Don’t waist your time playing detective.

        Fourth – I use to not like Ceasar Salads, now its my favorite.

        There is nothing wrong with what JimHM is saying, but it just sounds to negative. Peace out.

    • #2702342

      Start submitting resumes, but. . . .

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      ….Start with your own company.

      Be specific in your career objectives, and offer your services first to your present company.

      Of course, you have to weigh the pros and cons of staying versus leaving. And if the environment is such that they will “call your bluff”, so to speak, you have to be ready to play the cards you’ve dealt yourself.

      But if you approach it as a sincere desire to advance your career, and you first look in your own backyard, they just might see it from your perspective. If they disagree, however, and you find yourself looking for “greener pastures”, be prepared for it. If you do this, however, it’s best to present it as a “win-win” scenario. How can it be good for both you and your company?

      The grass may seem greener on the other side of the fence, but consider how many people are looking over the same fence at your grass?

    • #2702334

      Are YOU sure that you’re management material?

      by dc_guy ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Burnout at a lower level is not an automatic qualification for management. You haven’t mentioned the skills and other attributes that make you a good candidate for this promotion.

      Since the PC revolution flattened organizational pyramids and none of you young people ever had the benefit of reporting to a first-line supervisor, many of the skills needed to be a good manager aren’t being passed on.

      You’ve been a troubleshooter and that implies that you have good people skills — but those are often not the same people skills that will make you a good manager. A troubleshooter is accommodating; a manager is in charge. That’s a vast difference.

      If the people judging you are good managers themselves — and I admit that’s a big “if” these days — they probably have a good reading on the intangible parts of your profile. They can also smell anxiety and frustration, if you have any, and neither is something we look for in a manager.

      The corner you’ve built yourself into is a personality profile corner. You’ve spent years becoming a very good helper, problem solver, and investigator. Those aren’t the skills they want in a manager, at least not at your place.

      I’d suggest spending your own money and going to a seminar or two on the topic of moving up into management. That might help you figure out how to prepare yourself for the transition AND how to sell yourself.

      Last but not least, take it from the voice of experience, managerial jobs aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. They can be really frustrating and disappointing. You have responsibility for things you can’t control and you are often called upon to accomplish the impossible. You have to get along with other managers, many of whom are people you personally wouldn’t even have hired. And the politics can be stupefying. Go into management only because you WANT to, not because it’s an escape from a bad situation. No matter where you are and what you’re putting up with, life can easily be worse.

      Good luck.

      • #2711853

        Peter Principle

        by bucky kaufman (mcsd) ·

        In reply to Are YOU sure that you’re management material?

        I think it’s misguided to think that going into management is a “promotion” for a techie. Technical skills are about as relevent to management as automotive skills are to marketing.

        What you’re really talking about here is a change in careers – one you may not want. If you’re happy tracking down bugs and finding loose cables – you may not be as happy trying to figger out if a sick employee is scamming, or trying to translate unrealisitic management expectations into realistic operational procedures.

        Better to stay with the job you do well and enjoy – and ask for more money.

        • #3294857

          Good Advice but….hmmmm,,,,,,, Am not so sure

          by debon ·

          In reply to Peter Principle

          Bucky, I agree with you on one hand but am having a difficulty on the other, in that, if BURNINGOUT was being promoted into the management ranks against his wishes then I think he should stick with what he enjoys doing. However from his info I get the distinct impression that he really wants to be promoted and is being denied opportunities because he is too valuable as a ‘techie’.

          BURNINGOUT, am not sure what qualifications you have but as Bucky states it looks kinda like a shift in career. But I believe your experience as a techie can also be your greatest asset in that as a manager when you speak to your fellow executives they know that you speak with the benefit of technical experience. On the other hand, your techie experience and value to the company, can also be your “Achilles Heel” as it has turned out to be in your case. I think you need to define in very great details specifically what it is that you wish to achieve i.e. your goal position, as the notion of “moving into management” is far too vague. Having done so, research specifically what skills set is required for such a position. Following this, do a GAP analysis by looking honestly at your present skills set, compare it with that of your goal position and assess what it is that you need to do in order to bridge the gap. Bear in mind that this is not simply a matter of qualification but also experience, and, supervisory and management experience cannot be ‘rushed’. During this time begin to think not of the ‘leaf’ on which the next ‘fire’ may start, instead think of the risks that can affect the entire forest (i.e. ‘big picture perspective’). Someone suggested that you commence training a team to carry out your role. I advise a bit of caution here because you don’t really want to create other experts at doing your job before you are sure that the company will promote you, because this can in fact end up diminishing your value to the Company. You need also to convince your boss to send you on supervisory management and other personal development courses. You need also to broaden your knowledge to include the business side of your Company i.e. know not just IT but also what your Company does, how it does it and how it gets paid for doing it. Get to know your Company’s competitors, how your Company’s products and services are differentiated, what are the strengths and weaknesses of your Company, how they can be maximized and minimized respectively. Management is primarily about people so your people skills need to be developed e.g. team building, oral and written communication, assessing performance, goals setting etc.

          If you really want if bad enough, be prepared to work during the day and probably go to school during the nights. Also discuss your goals with you boss and try to get him/her to see how important this is to you. The bottom line is you really dont wanna leave right now as you are still to acquire the type of experience and exposure that will allow you to get a managerial position at another company. Its gonna be tough going but stick to it. GOOD LUCK and CHEERS!!!!!!

        • #3295427

          Good point to consider

          by luckyleatherneck ·

          In reply to Peter Principle

          Bucky makes a good point. Management is a big change, as referecenced by many of the other replies.

          Many Techs that work as an employee feel they are somehow used-and-abused by their employers because of their skills being taken for granted at what they beleive is low pay. Sometimes, going into consulting is the answer. Techs still do the grunt work they always did before, have even less to say about the direction of the work, their skills are still taken for granted, but they are usually compensated better for that work. Tasks will be about the same with some variations depending on hardware/software and the companies you’re assigned to perform those tasks. Some consulting firms have all the benefits (sometimes better) than the traditional employers. Some aren’t worth a phone call. Personal contracting of yourself to an organization is putting all your eggs in one basket, but can be very profitable and personally rewarding.


      • #3294842

        Most ubergeeks are NOT managers

        by drew.mcbee-tradesmeninternational ·

        In reply to Are YOU sure that you’re management material?

        I agree w/DC_GUY. You really need to ask yourself WHY you want to be a manager. I’ve had mgmnt jobs before and found I was better at technical things. Mgmnt is NOT the Holy Grail. What you excel at and enjoy is. Sounds like thats what you’ve got already….However now might be a good time to press for a raise…..

        • #3294820


          by mikefromco ·

          In reply to Most ubergeeks are NOT managers

          I have to agree with the thinking that tech skills don’t make you a manager.
          In addition, seems more so today, more managers come from management education or mixed IT/mgmt backgrounds. The old days of the manager having to know how to ‘do everything’ seem to have gone by the wayside.

        • #3295399

          Agree with drew

          by joe.canuck ·

          In reply to Most ubergeeks are NOT managers

          I think many grey beards are spoiled and don’t appreciate what they have. I survived the downturn of the last few years because my beard was long and grey enough, but many young hopefuls never even got a chance and are now telemarketing or pumping gas. Being the best @ what you do is most fullfilling. I would make a mediocre manager, but I’m an excellent senior technical resource. My employer(s) have enabled me to become indispensible and highly in demand by investing heavily in me. And I’m grateful to be exactly that in these uncertain times. If many people in other professions could read this thread they would be amazed to find a group of highly paid, respected and sought after techs complaining that their jobs are too secure. Keep the job and continue to be the best. Find fullfillment in other areas outside of the workplace. Be happy and grateful you are not a factory worker in Ohio who is facing either a cut in wages or the outright loss of his job to China.

        • #3296430

          Anyone can be trained to be managers, you should just focus

          by kyuso ·

          In reply to Most ubergeeks are NOT managers

          Just because someone is technically competent doesn’t mean one can’t be a manager.

          There is a technical manager who manages both technical and human aspects, and engineers are easier to manage compared to other fields, so managers do tend to focus more on managing technology.

          Also, people in technical field gain enough knowledge and skills that once they age, they tend to see bigger pictures, and cannot compete with younger geeks who are better at shallow but fast problem-solving, so the only way is to move to manager position. They would have become wiser and have already managed their family, etc.

          The author seems burnt out, which basically means one is no longer in the shallow/fast skill level, but already sees bigger pictures of where the problem lies. That itself is a great skill as a manager. Managing engineers is not too hard, you just need experience, unless you hire some employees who were not trained properly as an engineer.

          I strongly recommend that the author requests subordinates to help with the endeavor, and start writing timesheets reporting everything that goes in the work, even to the tiniest details, including the report writing itself. That’s a good start as a manager experience.

      • #3294793

        Are you REALLY sure?

        by bluegiant ·

        In reply to Are YOU sure that you’re management material?

        As the other posters mentioned, be sure this is what you want to do. As a manager, you probably will get little ‘hands on’ time. Most of your time will be spent with personnel issues, budgets, office politics and higher level strategy. The skills and abilities required to be successful at this are much different. Be sure you have them before making the leap. If you take the leap without being prepared, you may end up unemployed.

        I took the opposite road. I started out managing a production line in a manufacturing company. I found that I enjoyed the technical parts of the job and got very frustrated with the baby sitting, the politics, and being held responsible for things I had little control over. I took a lateral move into an IT staff position that opened up and have been much happier since. I’m involved in all areas of the company, I’m often seen as a hero when solving the problem of the day, I don’t take the heat for others mistakes, and most of all I enjoy my job.

        If you’re convinced that management is for you, there are a lot of great suggestions posted by others. I will add one that a former boss passed on to me.
        He told me that the 2 most important things to do to get promoted are:
        1. Make your boss look good.
        2. Train your replacement.

        Good luck

      • #3296369

        Pretty good Advise

        by mexicanone ·

        In reply to Are YOU sure that you’re management material?

        I just want to say that DC_GUY’s advise can be so far the best one I have read so far. Thanks DC_GUY

    • #2702313

      Start digging your way out

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Yes I have been there too. While I do not share your IT certifications I am quite the jack of all trades and get used to be USED as neede for everything from the network to fixing the fleet of service vans, although I prefer this as opposed to redundancy in a single position.

      When it got to be too much,I simply left, they then wanted me back so I convinced them to sign a contract and now I just remote admin for them and run my other business from home.

      I guess my point is that even though you have been there 10 years, it is NEVER too late to make a change for the better. MOST people that leave jobs, even when they are fired, move on to much bigger and better things as the energy and drive to do better is strong at that point.

      If you LIKE your company, then you may want to just express your disatifaction with being pigeon holed or type cast into that role and that you really want to be more progressive and move ahead.
      If they like you, they will work with you to reach an amicable solution.

      If they feel they don’t need you at that point (which I highly doubt) they will at least be honest and tell you they don’t want to promote you as you are needed elsewhere.

      Either way you can’t go wrong.

      As MAx said, start sending out resumes, but don’t just MAIL resumes it is proven to be VERY ineffetcive. Pick prospect companies, even if they aren’t advertising, call them find out WHO is in charge, not the HR dept. and explain your skills to the right person, say what you are looking for and ask for an opportunity to present yourself to him/her IN PERSON.

      Do this for two weeks and you’re pretty much guaranteed employment. I have yet to see it fail and have taught MANY people job hunting skills.

    • #2702723

      No Corner is Too Deep

      by sales ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      One thing that I have found over the years is that many people do not express their desires well. You should never be content with letting someone else dictate your career. You need to take responsibility and let your desire to be a manger known.

      As a defense for your management, they may not see your desire to become a manager. They may think you enjoy doing what you are doing. I have had several people that never wanted to be anything more than a tech.

      I will have to agree with some of the other comments here, if you are not happy in your position and you want to move into managment and your company is not willing to move you there, then get the resumes out there. There are several very good firms that will represent you with their clients (headhunters) as well as Dice and Monster Jobs .com. You may even have to be willing to relocate.

      Its your career and your managers are not going to always do what is in your best interest, unfortunately, but realistically the bottom line is the Bottom Line.

    • #2709578

      get in touch with me for help !

      by yashphd1 ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      relax! firstly do something that helps u relax, like some relaxation exercise or meditation.
      it seems that doing too much for people in the organization has led u to burnout.
      u need to learn to say no to excessive work, and know how to draw lines between how much is adequate and how much is too much.
      i m taliking about assertiveness skills and maintaing balance in ur job.

      i m intrested in helping u out u can call me on –
      91-0751-2368120. i am working on this line these days.

      warm regards,
      yashwardhini chauhan (
      consultant psychologist

      • #2711247

        Mankind’s oldest stress reliever

        by dc_guy ·

        In reply to get in touch with me for help !

        If you don’t already have one, get a dog. If you do, spend more time with him or her. There’s a reason we’ve had dogs in our homes for twelve thousand years, since before… well, since before we even HAD homes!

      • #3294917

        Fight for what you think u deserve

        by hazemiai ·

        In reply to get in touch with me for help !

        It is a common and wellknown criteria between techie’s….! Where to be headed to gain more and more prestigious positions and money..

        Just fight when it is the suitable time to fight and gain more points, otherwise relax and stay ironically in your job and try to establish your own business KINGDOM.

    • #2711463

      stay calm – search the landscape

      by deadly ernest ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Stay calm and don’t make big waves, yet. Look about for other jobs that you feel are better.

      re the management job, ask them why they don’t think you can do it and then see about getting some development to do it with the aim towards the next opening. If you cannot get them to tell you the exact reasons for not giving you the job you dont know where to start.

      You can also try pointing out to them that you are more than ready for a move up and that if they help you do it within the company then they retain your skills and knowledge for the very extreme cases, but if they are not prepared to help you advance you would be looking for opportunities elsewhere and they would then have no access to your skills and knowledge at all. The aim here is to get them to agree to you moving up and out whilst you agree to provide a higher level of back up to the person who takes over your current job. Downside is they may tell you to go before you are ready to go.

      • #2711347

        Whole heartedly agree!

        by synthetic ·

        In reply to stay calm – search the landscape

        Approach those who may be able to help you advance, let them know they your willing and more than ready for this next move in your career. Allow for the possibility of being passed up for this promotion, with the understanding that you will work, and the powers that be will help to identify the areas you need to work on, to develop your skills so your able to make the next position. Honestly, they may not want to advance you due to your value in your current position, but if they lose you altogether, they really lose. Any intelligent supervisor would find an honest way to make you happy and retain your knowledge. Good luck!

    • #2711084

      Been there!

      by sue’s comment ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      … and I did some soul searching and guess what?

      I needed to stay where I was because:-

      … the management job really sucked unless I was there to do the firefighting etc. So I came clean told them why I didn’t want the job – because I WAS too valuable where I was!

      If want a management job then you need to train for it. There are some very good books to read. Try and be pro-active so you don’t have to use your fire fighting skills, help your new manager all you can so he gets promoted (or moves on),leaving you in charge!

    • #3294924

      Deal it by your own

      by ahsan_khan ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out


      One of things which i have noticed in these situation is to organize your self. People like us when doing fire fighting often forget that there is a goal of every project in a company, we may be acting like a part of that project and fixing things on the fly.

      As a result we may be very valuable for all the projects in general but not for a particular project since we do not own it.

      If we can prove that as well as technical skills we also have skills to manager and think out of the box kind of approch chances are that people will let you manage.

      This is a problem which every Hands on person face but we have to define our own goals and make sure that we are going in right direction.

    • #3294923

      Same Sh*t different company.

      by kiero ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Trust me my friend I have been there, companies very seldom care about your career progression and only use you for the gain of the company, I have been passed up for different poistions outside of my technical skill set, simply because the Helpdesk team would have a rough time without me.

      Failing this I have just got a new job with a larger more professional company, with a very fast track technical skills ladder. ME = Happy now.

      Go for a different job, much easier and much better for you and your career.


      • #3294883

        How valuable are you?

        by rnackerman ·

        In reply to Same Sh*t different company.

        I have been in the same situation in the past and I learned a couple of things that helped me.

        1. Are you too valuable? What would happen to your present position or department if you moved up? If you want to move into management, and I assume from this thread it might not be IT Management, can you be replaced? Work on helping co-workers get up to speed to be able to fill the hole if you move. Companies have a hard time getting tech people that know their systems and they don’t want to let go of people who understand their systems. This is especially true if you have a mixed system like we have (Win 2K Server, Linux, Novell and AS/400).

        2. Do you have experience in the business of your company? Not the IT side, but the business side. For example, I work for a bank. I needed operations skill in Teller Operations, Bookkeeping, Check Processing, Loans and Customer Service to migrate from IT into other areas. I used the technique of “understanding the departments job to understand the IT needs” and trained in various departments for a week or so each. That experience helped me to better understand their computer needs and gave me valuable experience that help me along. Then work with each departments manager to better understand the big picture in each department.

        I am now an Asst VP of IT but I have been working more at the management level at the total bank operations. I still have my techie tasks (fixing computers, pulling cables, etc.) but I spend a lot of time with management and operations, which in itself was a promotion. Now, if I decide to look for greener pastures (I am not going any farther where I am in a small bank) I have some experience in bank management to make me more attractive.

        IT positions are basically the same from company to company but the business will change. Many IT professionals, at least in my experience, stay with the same business (retail, insurance, banking, factory, etc.) and their experience with that type of business helps them gain jobs within that business type. So, learn it.

    • #3294916

      Reply To: I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      by jefffrominception ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Sorry, but if you have been there 10 years and not been promoted then you need to move on. Either they think you will never make management, or they think you are too useful where you are. Either way, they will not promote you – ever! Move on, get a better job somewhere else.

      • #3294907

        Been there, Done that…

        by tigertim ·

        In reply to Reply To: I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

        I was in a similar position about 10 years ago. The management wanted to keep me in a position, noting my usefulness, but not promoting me or upgrading the position.
        I transferred to another section of the company -and to another state. On several occasions I was seconded back to help fix problems. My former manager lamenting his lack of foresight and wanting my return.
        Unfortunately, business politics being what it is, I was unable to return to that department and ultimately left the organisation. Today, I work for myself as a contractor to several businesses, including IBM.

      • #3294818

        I must agree

        by 69552901-69552901 ·

        In reply to Reply To: I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

        I’ve been with the same company for a couple of years now. I would not consider myself an ubergeek, but I’m good at my job and good with people. I have been in a management position before, but left for personal reasons. I was told at this job that I have been promoted as high up as I ever will be. So I let them know (politely, of course) that I would be searching for another job where I can advance. I won’t leave just for the sake of leaving, and I will train my replacement.

        Perhaps you should find out why you aren’t being promoted. You obviously need to know, or you wouldn’t be here discussing it. If you wind up being told that there is no hope of promotion in your future, it may be time to move on.

        Ten years with a company shows loyalty. If you add being good at your job into that, you should have no trouble finding another position. You may even want to run it the same way I am. Sure, it may take a little longer to find another job, but that will give you time to train a replacement. Plus, your current employer could reconsider your promotion, or at the very least they should be willing to give you a good reference. After all, it would look pretty bad for them if they didn’t, since you quit so considerably.

        You just need to decide what’s best for you and do it. Don’t jump in head first, and you should be fine.

    • #3294914

      Decide What YOU Want…

      by johnnyrich2002 ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Ask yourself what you really want out of life.

      Do you want a management position for the money, power(?), decision-making ability, lifestyle (golfing ‘jollies’) or do you actually LIKE what you’re doing now? If it’s the money that attracts you then try to get that over to your present company. There should, in all modern organisations, be a way for non-managerial staff to share the financial rewards. If it’s the decision-making you like then try to get yourself invited to some/some more meetings. If all else fails then be thankful for the last ten years of experience. Don’t forget that anyone can be a manager (hell, it even happened to me!)and also that they are usually the easiest to get rid of when a downturn happens!!! (didn’t happen to me fortunately).

      Above all, don’t take a managers position just for the sake of it – you could end up looking back on your days at the coal-face with more than a little nostalgia…

      Hope this helps

      John R

      • #3294878

        One step ahead

        by neillgarris 03 ·

        In reply to Decide What YOU Want…

        I managed a small R&D group for our countr’s division of a large international company. I advised the guys under me, and took my own advice: Always keep one step ahead of teh company. You tell them what you want to do before they tell you what you must or can do. This way you aren’t in for nasty surprises,and maintain a future ahead of you and make teh company aware of where you are going. This should be done nicely and suggestively, not demanding and laying down the law. If, over time, your time, the company doesn’t respond and move, then you move on. After all its your plan and your move. The company only has itselves to blame.

        • #3294789

          I agree with both of the above.

          by hmtattrie ·

          In reply to One step ahead

          JohnnyRich and n.harris are right on the money. You’ve got to figure out what you want and why you want it.

          There’s a great book called “Why Flip A Coin” that talks alot about making decisions, why we choose the things we do and how to make better decisions. You should read it and objectively figure out whether or not you want a management position for the money, the perks, the title on the business card or what, and then figure out if it’s there or not. If the job’s a ton more work, there are no perks and the money’s not significantly better – is the title worth the extra headache? I would think probably not. . .

          Also, if you objectively look at it figure out that it really is something you want, you should take n.harris’s approach. Be proactive in your movements. A company is in no hurry to loose someone with a skill-set such as yours (they are too hard to come by in the first place). Tell them that you want the job and that one of the options you are looking at is moving on to another company if things dont work out with this managment job. They are in no bigger hurry to loose you than you are to leave, but you have to do what you feel is best for you. They key here is to be objective. Is your skill-set everything you think it is. Could the company replace you with another person and be just as efective next week? Somethimes we tend to think of our skills as being better and more valuable than other people see them as being. I’m not saying that your skills are not what you say they are, but you have to make sure the people who make these hiring decisions know it too. If they dont, you may end up trying to use a lever that doesn’t exist. . .

          Best o’ luck to you.

    • #3294912


      by walter.tower ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      >>>they don’t seem to really care<<< Who doesn't care? Have you spoken to someone? Have you made your feelings and aspirations known? One problem many people have is that they protect their job. I don't know you, and I'm not saying this applies to you. What can happen is that you are the only person able to perform these tasks for the company. This can be partly your own fault, by protecting your position which is only natural. A way round it is to train someone to take over your position. Obviously this has its dangers in that once a person has established themselves then you could be removed safely. But look at it another way round, if you have successfully trained and managed someone, then you are free to move into a management position, and you already have a track record showing your ability to handle people. You may train someone, and discover that is not your forte.

    • #3294910

      Find and train your replacement!!

      by pmwalk ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Sounds like you have worked hard with the intention of increasing your job security. DONE!

      Now you feel safe you want more out of your job, right?

      Well there’s only one thing to do if you want to stay at the same company. You need to pass on all your skills to someone else!!

      Now most IT pro’s I know loathe the idea of sharing more than a little of their hard earned knowledge but if you want to move into management than most of the hands on techie skills you have now, you wont be needing.

      Think about it and find your own successor. You could even make this person your first staff member. There are lots of ways to make this work for you, particularly if you are as invaluable as you say – start thinking about the big picture, not the details.

      • #3294847

        Beware of the “Train your replacement” ploy..

        by ex-military nut ·

        In reply to Find and train your replacement!!

        Sharing your expertise is always the best move when proving loyalty and teamwork. However, if you are asked to train your replacement, a red flag should go up! Training a your replacement is something that is done when you are LEAVING a position. If the move is internal, by all means, train the replacement – become a mentor for the new person (just don’t get pulled in to doing their work because you can do it faster). However, if the move is external, all bets are off! Your company let you down and as a result they will need to train the people that must fill your void.

        Last thought: If you find that your move is external, the learning curve at your new position will be seriously shortened.

        Just remember, every job has a learning curve; you determine its length.

        Again, good luck.

      • #3296226

        Managers are not geeks

        by mgordon ·

        In reply to Find and train your replacement!!

        By now you’ve seen some mention of heirarchies, maybe even the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI; google it). Most ubergeeks are INTP’s and are not well suited to management. Conversely, most managers could not program their way out of a paper bag, pay big money for the easy stuff and are stingy where they should put the real money.

        First and foremost, a manager is a *survivor*. He or she got that way by climbing the ladder, usually on the backs of geeks that are either happy to be a rung on the ladder or don’t even see it happening. I’ve been both; and after 15 years in the Navy I decided not to be a rung for someone else. Presto, in less than a year a very long postponed advancement arrived — but it did not “arrive” — I made it happen. It was work. I had to find the ladder and then climb it.

        But that was then. This is now; small and medium size businesses do not have a “ladder” what they have is social clubs. Do you go across the street to 7-11 every morning with the boss to get a Coca-Cola? Drop a few wise suggestions; not enough to step on anyone’s toes or seem boastful. After a while, your advice will be valued; after a while longer you’ll be invited into the boardroom and not just pow-wow at the soda fountain. Next thing you know, you are a manager.

        There’ll be plenty of sabotage along the way. People that are ambitious (geeks are seldom ambitious) will toss irresistable challenges in your path. You’ll be a victim of your own sense of duty; does it seem that everyone goes home suddenly at 4 or 5 p.m. leaving you to fix the email server?

        I have not looked at all the messages, but I’ll bet more than one tell you that you cannot be a manager AND a geek at the same time. Geek work is vital but not socially acceptable; it is sort of like picking up garbage. Someone must do it but the fact is, to most people, sitting at a computer is no different than sitting at a video game; they see you as doing something mysterious but not particularly important — if God had wanted us to understand computers we’d be born with the knowledge.

        A geek, of course, *is* born with the knowledge!

    • #3294908

      Present yourself as a Coach

      by denis.bicok ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      If you get the management skills as well you can probably present yourself as a good coach to teach your successor at the current position so the company gains a new manager that has in deep knowledge about thir IT infrastructure and even gain another person with similar skills been coached by you.

    • #3294905

      Are you sure you want to do management?!

      by mugwump ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I mean, really sure?! Being tired and burnout is not enough reason – you will end up being tired and burned in another position. Try to imagine how your day will look like – dealing with computers only to read your emails, sitting through endless meetings that seem to go nowhere, dealing with incompetent employees, while you’re sure, that you could do the job in half the time it takes you to explain to them what they have to do.
      I’ve seen numerous people with execellent IT-Skills moving on to management and getting miserable their, feeling lost and unsure, with no technical skills to base the pride in their work on. Desperately wanting to get back to the keyboard. If you did *real* IT in the last 10 years, imagine how your life would be withouit it. If you’re sure you want it, the rest will be relatively easy, most of the time there is noone else but yourself standing in the way.

    • #3294903

      On The Road Again

      by larry.barnhill ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Move on. You’ll never get what you want out of that company. At the best, you’ll wind up in a junior management position where your replacement will continually be calling you to solve his problems. And you’ll never be accepted as “Management”.

      I was in the same position after 22 years with a company, moved to another for 10 years, and am now with a third company. Moving gives you a new perspective on your relationship with a company and new opportunities to develope yourself.

      Think about it.

      • #3295393

        On the road

        by luckyleatherneck ·

        In reply to On The Road Again

        Larry’s point is good advise as long as you make darn sure of the move before jumping from one ship to another.


    • #3294896

      Firefighting is failure

      by willh ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      If you want to get into management then start “managing” now. A good IT department will avoid the need for specialist firefighting by organising, planning and administering. We all face the risk of occasional crises but the problem with institutional firefighting is that nothing gets any better and everyone starts to believe that running from crisis to crisis is the only way.
      Start building plans and creating monitoring systems and adnministrative routines to reduce the need for firefighting.
      Start using a helpdesk system to identify the problem areas
      Devise hardware replacement plans that get the old unreliable and troublesome kit replaced.
      Create self help notes for the users so they can resolve more of their own problems.
      Do the same for the lower level techies
      IT management is a technical discipline and if your users have never seen it done well they won’t know that they need to promote you to get it.

      • #3294886


        by bfilmfan ·

        In reply to Firefighting is failure

        Excellent suggestions in your notes. I suggest that in addition, he take a look at Six Sigma, ITIL and ISO methodologies. While in most businesses these are buzz words, there are some useful concepts in those philosophies.

        And with the poor IT market, I’d build my own practice of expertise rather than seek it elsewhere. Obviously the employer considers him valuable and he should use that as an asset.

    • #3294893

      Just a thought — Re Burning out

      by mmm123 ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      If I were you I would do the following:

      1. Take management training courses on your own to beef up your soft skill set (not knowing you personally you may not be strong here)

      2. Start creating the management role perfect for you find a posting on the internet that you like and see if it exists in your company, plan out how you could implement it who’s buy in you would need and start building that personal relationship

      3. Start teaching others how to put out fires. Instead of doing it yourself (always much faster) work with 3-4 people to teach them how to fish so to speak so you do not have to do it for them

      4. Propose a transition plan for the management role described and outline item 3 as your action plan over 3 months and see what they say

      5. take a vacation … NO CONTACT WITH WORK FOR 2 Weeks (depending on how much vacation you have) Take one day and spend it just doing what ever you like, no family, friends etc.

      6. Start looking at other companies that you would like to work for, speak with a recruiting firm tell them what you would like to do (why you want to be in managment) go over your current responsibilities and resume and see where they think you should improve

      7. Start evaluating root causes of fires and proposing ways of solving them … Over the last 6 months we have experienced the following major Issues/Fires … pick the top 3 that occur most often … the following are the top 3 issues and I believe they can be prevented by …. The plan should include how long it will take, implementation time and follow up and adjustment as well as tracking and reporting results …

      8. Find a mentor in the company that will help you develop your managment skill set

      9. see if there are free management courses available to you to take (e.g. CBT)

      10. If there are meetings (Quarterly earnings etc.) if you can attend in person try to do so and sit in the front, be prepared to ask a question

      Good Luck

    • #3294888

      Better change now!

      by jfduhamel ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      The better way is to bring your talents and negociate your position accordingly to another company, but do not tell to the former one anything, let them be shaked by your departure.
      In the case they offer you a better position at the time you leave, do not make any concession and leave them to their fate, else it would put you in a position of weakness towards your actual company and they could adopt a “waiting wolf” attitude towards you in the future for any reason, even the less important one.
      Whatever you decide, one thing is sure, never look backwards and keep in mind that what is important for you is your future, not their. You work and make your career for yourself and your family, your boss makes twice more money only from the product of your work, so let him cry alone.
      In my country of origin (France), the best way to raise one’s position is to consider working in the same company between 5 and 7 years and then seek another position according to one’s expectations. As I am completely expat, I do the same abroad and it seems to be also a successful philosophy out of my tiny country.
      Best regard and good luck to you.
      Jeff from Kuwait

    • #3294887


      by dahc521 ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I would certainly meet with management. As an executive IT member, I know that this can be overcome. What management may not realize is that it is extrememly beneficial to a company to have a ‘geek’ on their side. IT members make costly decisions for a company daily. It makes sense to have a member of management who understands these decisions. Ask management if they ever get nervous butterflies in their stomachs when they sign a PO. They leave decisions in the hands of every day IT guys that are a dime a dozen. Even if you don’t run the IT department, it’s still helpful to have your insight at a managerial level.

    • #3294884

      One Way Out………………..

      by colsha0419 ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Many companies realise the value of Ubergeeks and will reward them appropriately. You didn’t mention whether remuneration was one of your considerations for the move to management.

      Bottom line is that management DON’T wish to hear problems, but they are more than happy to listen, adopt and “own” solutions which provide the company with real, easily achievable and painless (read cheap) benefits.

      Firstly, whatever you decide to do, stay calm and keep emotion out of your decisions and actions.

      You need to work out what value you can add to the company in a management position (not necessarily the current vacant one), develop a workable strategy which allows you to move from operational to management functions, develops staff (i.e. you and your replacement/s), and present this “solution” to management, ensuring that a suitable and appropriate timeline is incorporated.

      Finally, as many of the others correspondents have suggested, be prepared to let the management know that you are prepared to move on if you believe your career goals are not being met by your current employer.

      (Any of the “solution provision” work you do will also be a benefit if you need to find outside employment).

    • #3294873

      Tech-niche all too common

      by ol’ ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Been there, done that, 16 yrs with the same firm.
      I’m highly skilled in networking and management recognizes my big shoes are too hard to fill and hence has prevented me from moving upward & laterally. Here’s a twist, my most recent manager (a former technician) actually expressed dissapointment that I haven’t moved up.
      I would suggest hanging in there until a former manager needs you in another department, so quietly build your skill set so your resume is not quite so narrow. Good Luck

    • #3294867

      Techies, lets diversify, remember discussion?

      by rapell ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      This is one thing I have noticed for soo long! while people engagaed in the arts will be well on their way to administrative or managerial positions within the first two years of employment, ubergeeks will not even have started thinking about it. You are comfortable playing with your toys and gadgets. This reminds me of one of the recent discussions that encouraged techies to get extra qualifications in some other field, say accounting, so that you can be safe incase they decide you are not needed…or when they need a management position to be filled. The other way to be promoted, of course, is what most techies who have been long in the field like yourself do….Start your own company, maybe a consultancy, and be da BOSS!!

    • #3294862

      Ask yourself these questions……..

      by tnwilliams53 ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Do you teach people to help themselves rather call you? Do you share the credit for resolution, even if you did it? If you answered the first one yes and the second one NO, then you have dug the hole yourself. The other problem you have is that in todays companies, if you have stayed 10 years, you must not be very good or you would have left. Who do you hang with, the geeks or the managers? Lets face it, if you can’t hang with the bosses, they don’t know you. Humble yourself and play some politics. I speak from 39 years of experiance and having been where you are. I was a “geek” and I got put to pasture with a management change, they wanted dynamic staff, not stale geeks (their vision).

    • #3294856

      Time for a change

      by pbrockhaus ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Been there and done that. In my experience, it’s time to spruce up that resume and move on. The problem is that the company you are working for will never see you in another position because you are a permanent fixture and they cannot believe that “old reliable” will ever leave.

    • #3294853

      How About Managing What You Do?

      by phelms ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Instead of looking for a pre-existing management position in your company, why not manage your own troubleshooting section?

      Apparently your employer relies on you to a great extent to keep the wheels turning. If you’re the main person who does this, they’re in a precarious position, since you have no backup. Backup can be in the form of a section of a few people whom you mentor and manage. This gets you into management and gives you the opportunity to prove yourself capable of managing.

      Do it well, and your employer will see you as not just a tech resource, but also as a management resource, and you’ll have management experience under your belt as well.

      • #3294805

        Something a little different

        by johns ·

        In reply to How About Managing What You Do?

        I found myself in the same boat. Too valuable to the company for promotion.

        So I made a deal with the owner… I became my own manager. I report directly to the owner, have the same responsibilities as before, plus some extra items that have made me more respected in the company and a real part of the management team. I even got a raise out of the deal.

        I’m happier now at my job than I had been in years.

        Our company is a small company with those nasty growing pains as we have expanded into a larger market. This approach may not work if your company is one of those larger corporations, but it may be worth a try.

    • #3294852

      Loyalty goes both ways!

      by ex-military nut ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      You have evidently proven your loyalty to the company by staying where you are as their “cookie retriever”. When things get hot, you go to the rescue to pull them out of the fire. My impression is that you have a tremendous work ethic that management seems to be taking for granted. So much for your company’s loyalty to you! So, some of the other replies may have your answer…

      1. Let you immediate supervisors (two or three levels) know how you feel. Tell them what you want and why. If they give you the same old “not enough experience” crap, ask what they feel you need to do to improve that situation. Personally, if they do not give you constructive input to the situation (i.e.- they just blow smoke), you may have a legal grievance.

      2. Market yourself to your company’s competitors. Make contingency plans and be ready to act. If you really want to stay loyal to your present company, hope they come through with the well deserved position in management (even if they make you head of yourself. You are the comodity; not the company.

      3. Whatever the case, insist on a pay increase commensurate to your skills. You will definitely determine how valuable an employer considers your skills.

      Good luck in your quest. If nothing else, you will finally see where your present company’s loyalties lie.

    • #3294840

      Give them an Ultimatum…And Back It Up

      by fgarvin ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Tell the company that you want that management position and if you don’t get it, you WILL move on. And be prepared to go if they don’t give it to you. If they go ahead and give it to someone from outside, or worse someone from inside who is less deserving, you will be seen as someone who is all talk no action when it comes to your position. No matter how excellent you are technically, if Management thinks it can walk on you, they will. I know from experience.

    • #3294835

      Map out your plan for promotion

      by wgaskin ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I am in a similar situation. I have been with my company for 17 years and been able to move through the ranks. This last position, I have been in for 5 years. I have been up for promotion 3 times and was not being picked up.
      I went to management, explained that I felt that I was being passed over, and asked for a career path to be mapped out.
      What do I need to do for the company to get the position I want. We sat down and mapped out a plan for the next fiscal year for my promotion.

    • #3294833

      No one is Irreplaceable

      by tat man ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Being in a management position, I can tell you that no manager should tell anyone that they are too valuable in their current position. To me that is saying that you are irreplaceable. One fact that everyone needs to remember is that no one is irreplaceable. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow and then what would the company do without you? I can assure you that they would get by, perhaps with some inconveniences, but they would survive. The truth is that every manager needs to be prepared to lose the people they have working for them, for whatever reason. That’s one of the things a manager has to do to be successful.
      You should probably give some thought as to what you could do to make it easier for the company to put you in a different position… document the problems you work on and the steps you took to correct it. This puts your knowledge on paper instead of in your head which makes it easier for someone else to pick up what you do. It also lets you accumulate data on problems that may point to underlining issues that could be addressed to minimize the problems in the first place.
      I say all this assuming you want to stay with the company. If you do, you should take a hard look as to why you want a management position. Running away from burnout is not a good reason. You can suffer burnout in management just as easily. You need to define your career objectives and be able to explain them to your manager. Between the two of you, you should formulate both a training plan for you and a knowledge transfer plan for your designated backups. If the company isn’t willing to do this, then move on.
      I think you need to answer a couple of things before answer a couple of questiondon’t think your manager is giving you all of the information or he just doesn’t want to

    • #3294831

      You will train or hire a replacement

      by mikefromco ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      If you are going to move into management, then it would be part of your job to train or hire someone to replace you.
      You need to make this very clear to them and that you will help out with the transition. If they don’t buy into that, I’d say it’s time to start looking elsewhere.

    • #3294829

      Management is a completely different job

      by ed’s burger bar ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Management is very different from a technical role and you may excel in your current role, but you may find you hate management. You may find that skills you need as a manager you don’t have or are weak in and you may regret not being so hand on.
      Doing a good techie job doesn’t qualify you for a management job, management shouldn’t be seen as the only promotion route.
      You have clearly built up an great knowledge and must have a liking for what you do now, you may want to look for higher level technical roles perhaps in a different company.

    • #3294828

      There are other ways to advance

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      First, I would get my resume out and find someone that will embrace me and value what I have to offer.

      Second, look at management training. Many managers spent a lot of time in school so to validate themselves they have an over rated opinion of degrees.

      Third. My bud did this in a non-tech job. He works in a printing plant. You work your way up from janitor to stock to running a press. He did such a good job on stock which improved the performace of all the presses they didn’t want him to “advance” to the presses. The reason of wanting the press job was the higher pay. The management ended up changing the pay scale for the stock job to equal the press jobs to keep him happy in a job he does well.

      Advancement doesn’t have to mean moving out of a job you do well into a different job that you may or may not do well.

      Take a vacation and decide what move will make you happy and best of luck to you.

    • #3294827

      Working Manager

      by ristau5741 ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      can you say working manager or
      hands on manager?

      alot of companies don’t like things this way
      but this is the way it used to be. A manager could
      do the job of all the employees below him.

    • #3294825

      Be careful what you wish for

      by tllvp ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Not sure why many technical people think that management is a wonderful place to be other than they have the opportunity to make more money (maybe). If you’re burning out in a technical role, not sure why you would think it would be any easier as a manager. Stress is higher because you’re responsible for things that you don’t have complete control over. You’re caught between the demands of the people that work for you and the demands of Sr. Mgmt. Given your extensive skill set you’ll probably end up getting pulled into situations where you would be expected to do your management job plus assist with all of the old stuff you did (at least until some other ubergeek comes along).

      Take a long hard look at what management means for you from a career perspective. If you decide you still want to pursue it, I would suggest finding someone else in your department that is highly competent in the technical arena and begin to mentor them to take over your existing tasks. It shows leadership skills and frees you up to take on greater responsibilities. If you’re truly as valuable to your company as you indicate, I seriously doubt you would be mentoring yourself out of the company. The management in your company would be idiots to let someone with a stong skill set get away. And if they did, it’s probably better that you weren’t still working there anyway.

    • #3294822

      Why “Promotion”??

      by gsquared ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Unless what you’re looking to do is manage an IT team, a move to “management” is probably not what you might think it is.

      If you’re getting burned out, try taking a walk around the block (or some comparable distance). It should be outside. The point is to focus your eyes at a distance significantly greater than the distance to your computer monitor, while also slightly elevating blood circulation and muscular oxygen consumption. Don’t just stare out a window, though that can help a bit, actually walk around. Do this when you’re feeling exhausted and burned out. It may take a few days to start having any significant effect, but it does help.

      It can also help in “burned out” situations to get a bit more organized. Incomplete actions and projects, even minor ones, continue to hold attention once they’ve been started/discussed. It can often help to take a bunch of minor issues that have been raised and just complete them and get them out of the way.

      On the other hand, if you really want into management and not just out of IT, ask what they are looking for in a manager. Do they want a degree, experience, gluteal kissing of the right flavor? Do you have to have gone to the same schools or do you need to play golf with the right people? Few, if any, companies will promote to management “because you want to try it out and see if it works for you”. Even less will promote based on “I’ve never managed before, but I bet it’s easier than what I’m doing now.”

      If you have management experience, at least at a team-leader level, and have done well at it, and like it, then that’s when you should look at a promotion.

      Otherwise, if they just tell you you’re too valuable to promote, just make darn sure they put that in writing so you can bring it with you the next time you want a raise.

    • #3294821


      by dobbinsm ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I am in the same situation and have been wondering what I should do next.Does anyone have a solution? Sujestions?

    • #3294819

      Burn-Out or Burn-Up

      by timleffler ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I lived a similar situation in my company, it took me 2-years to be allowed to move into what I thought was my dream management opportunity. Because I fought so hard, I actually burned my support system in the company. When I ran into my first major challenge as an operations manager I found I was all alone.

      I eventually left the company, it was too mind numbing to be in a no win situation. Before I left I was offered my old position back, they felt I was in a position of weakness so to add insult to injury beforew I left they said if I wanted my old position I would have to also relocate to TN or TX.

      My response was thank you but, good bye.

      My advice, if it is really what you want and you feel qualified to get it done then go elsewhere to prove it. If it doesn’t work boomerang back and feel lucky your in the position your in.


      Take a Hiatus, do a walkabout, get some perspective and come back to fight those fires and enjoy your omnipotence.

      Just try to pick all the right battles before you go to war for something you believe in. Management is where the money is, but the money is like blood in a tank full of sharks.

      I hope this helps..

    • #3294811

      What Do You Want?

      by melekali ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      The most important thing, in my opinion, is not if ubergeeks make good or bad managers or anything else. The most important thing is to answer the title’s question, What do you want? Would you like to become a manager and do a lot of paperwork and let the people who work for you do most of the technical stuff? I did and while I miss the technical activity, I enjoy affecting the organization in a different way. I do a lot of translating of geekspeak into lay language and advise those who run the organizations I work for the direction to go. I find it quite rewarding and have some really great geeks working for me who are simply amazing. Know yourself and what you want and then go from there.

    • #3294810

      There are a few things you can do

      by michont ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      1-do nothing

      2-Change the way others see you in your current position. You seem to have control of how your area is run so start implementing ideas you have and start considering yourself a manager of your domain. Don’t just be a reacting person to a fire, but set groundrules on how things should be handled in your department. Work to eliminate the fires and create ways to make your workplace more stable and so you can start managing performance. When you start seeing yourself differently and acting that way, others will follow. You can be a manager if you take the initiative to handle things your way. You don’t have to be upper management to be fulfilled but by making a change of pace in your current position, you’ve added a new layer to your responsibilities. Your firefighting skills will not be needed as much but people will then see you as somebody needed to handle other areas instead.

      3-Talk to your company’s HR manager and see what is required to get into the management tract at the company. This might take you away from the skills you like to use and you may not be happy doing this type of work. A manager may not necessarily be one who has the in depth skills of the department workers but one who recognizes them and utilizes them correctly. You may want something that’s an inbetween of this type and what you’re doing, leading back to #2’s suggestion.

    • #3294808

      Exit stage right

      by sherman.beale ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I have been in your shoes. I stayed with the company. I reached ‘management’ when my boss retired two years ago. Now the dept is closing, so I am soon to be unemployed. Loyalty is a thing of the past. Had I moved on earlier I would have made career and financial gains. Do not lock yourself into a dead-end job. It will not gain you anything and will not be appreciated.

    • #3294807

      HR Perspective

      by jbach ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Is the mgmnt position in your field? Do you have the skills & qualifications for the open position?
      Have you tried mentoring someone else as a back-up/replacement for yourself?
      Look for new opportunites by getting involved in special projects that may arise to show you are a team member and have additional value.
      It is a difficult to give up a 10 year tenure however, if you are at the burnout stage and you recognize it I’m sure others do too. Perhaps it is time for a 2 week vacation or networking to see what other opportunites you can explore in a new environment.

    • #3294803


      by todd ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      If the only options you are allowing yourself are to move to a new company or fight for the promotion. Then fight for the promotion.
      If you don?t get it, you can always move.
      Just keep in mind, do not go giving an ?or else? ultimatum, or they may ask/allow you to leave on principle.


    • #3294802

      Move on to another company

      by sandra_kale ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Unfortunately, I have experienced the same reaction and now after 16 years, the company is closing down. The opportunity to gain that management exposure is no longer available and now opportunities for another job/company will be limited.

    • #3294801

      Are you sure?

      by knot_mine ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      From your original post, you did not express a solid drive to change careers. Moving from being a senior level technologist to being a manager IS a career change, whether or not you stay with your current employer. Your post suggested to me that your underlying motivations may have to do with burn out, recognition and the attendant rewards.
      Would you be just as happy or even happier if your employer created a position like Technology Fellow? Such a position would recognize and compensate you, while allowing you to stay in touch and employ your gifts.
      Moving to a manager position means that your days are taken up with activities that have absolutely nothing with the problem solving, coding and modeling that excited you for a decade.
      Make sure you have answered this question at a very deep level because your decision will impact the rest of your career.

    • #3294800

      Same boat, different pond

      by mahgnimarf ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I’ve been doing the same stuff (business analyst) for 4 years and feel just as trapped as you. My solution, after surveying the situation, will be to find a new job.

      All too often one is stereotyped as a certain employee and will not be considered a chance at something else, even if they are capable at it.

      10 years is too long, start your search is my advise.

    • #3294797

      Am There, Doing That

      by shtick ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Go for it. Just assist the migration as much as possible. My department will not allow me the opportunity to move up for the same reason. If you’ve got the chance then take it. You’re lucky!

    • #3294796

      been there done ythat whith more devastating results

      by bobcande ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      You still have a job, that’s a plus. I was recently downsized from a top teir manufacturer of super mini-man=inframes because I was too flexible and as such working swing shift ( in addition to 24/7 on call duties),didn’t have the volume or work to substanciate my existenst any longer despite 27 years of dedicated service.
      Here is how I see it; Being on the inside you still have the unique ability to delegate your authority
      to peers and / or subordinates proving to management you have what it takes to not only motivate a staff but also are able to mentor them into the kind of organization any CIO would be out of touch not to want to keep with you at the helm. Good luck. Let me know how it goes.

    • #3294790

      try this!

      by the great gonzo ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I have been noticing a lot of spelling and grammatical errors in the posts and replies. Carry yourself in a professional manner. All of the reports and documentation that you create need to look and read just like they would if your were wanting an ?A+? grade in school. Take time to make the simple stuff look great, stuff that normally gets forgotten or overlooked. Smile. Treat all users equal and respect them as if you were working in retail and paid on a commission basis. Often IT has an attitude that does just the opposite. An attitude that ?I?ll get to it when I can? is not productive and hinders performance. This will help your department to look not like a bunch of ?know it alls? but like a respectful, organized group of team players. Good luck and go team!

    • #3294787

      It is tough when you made yourself so valuable to them

      by johanna1000 ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Like any job, most of us want to do the best we can and get recognize for the job we do. But there are times when employees get taken advantage of. From what I have read you have done a great job and they don’t want to lose you, that is a compliment, but at what cost to your health?

      If it was me and I am not you, so I am giving advice for my life not yours. After being with a company for 10 years I would sit down with your boss and explain the situation straightup. If he/she is not capable of either bringing someone else in to train and alleviate some of the pressure and will not give you the promotion you so rightfully have attained for yourself, then maybe they just don’t care about you and it is time to find a company who treats their employess better.

      With that said, the unfortunate thing is that you might be starting with a new company at the same place and it is possible to be stuck in the same situation over again for another 10 years.

      If this company won’t promote you to management because you are so valuable where you are, try and negotiate more money and an assistant to alleviate some of the pressures or you will walk.

      I guess you will need to brush up on your negotiation skills and play hardball with them, which might mean you could lose your job either way.

      Sometimes we think people see how pressured we are at work and they don’t unless we speak up for ourselves. Sometimes big companies don’t see anything but the bottom line which is the dollar.

      At the end of the day, the only person who can take care of ourselves is ourselves. You have to weight the pros and cons. Do you homework and be assertive.

      Merely my opinion, which is not fact but an opinion.

    • #3294785


      by usdoj ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Instead of complaining about being too valauable to be promoted, try training others around you to be just as knowledgable and valuable so that you can leave your position and move upwards without leaving an unattended mess behind you.

    • #3294783

      How managers are selected – Stand up and fight

      by register-techrepublic ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      There had been some cute hints, what considerations may apply to be selected for the mangerial role.
      But there is also an absurd variation of the Peter principle (also known as Dilbert principle in its exageration):

      If there is a project, at first the positions are filled where responsibilities are clear. And this means the area experts. See what this means? Those guys are alrady out of the game for project management!

      After several triages there is only a few people left, who have NOT any indispensible skill, which could not be filled by anyone else. From those remaining group of average skills the PM is selected. I presume you have been sorted out in the quarter final already.

      So what to do? Show management qualities and this means first of all know the politics. Stand up right to your boss and tell him in calm and polite manner, but unmisunderstandably what your amibitions are – and that he will loose you when this will not happen.


      • #3295409

        Be Assertive – Not Combative

        by luckyleatherneck ·

        In reply to How managers are selected – Stand up and fight

        I agree is Axel in being assertive with your ambitions as well as clearly confronting management. But leave the “or else” out of it — unless you want fighting to be your job and you want management to be your enemy.


    • #3294780

      Same thing happened to me

      by hhh123 ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Dear Burningout,

      I found myself in the same situation, except (I think) worse! My company was not allowing me to leave administrative duties in order to advance to the tech department. Having excellent skills in grammar, MS graphs and spelling, I was considered too valuable to be given up.

      Despite several years of trying to be flexible and expressing my career wishes, nothing dramatically changed until I delivered my resignation. I expressed that I felt the worst case scenario I would face was finding an equivalent job with at least more opportunity (than the present “none”) to get where I wanted. Now I am happier in my job than I have ever been.

      My one advisory would be that if you do resign, you must be fully mentally prepared that you are going to going to leave. If the company responds with a counter-offer to retain you, consider that a bonus.

      If you are as valuable to the company as they say you are, they will almost certainly make some sort of move to work with you!

    • #3294777

      Are sure thats what you want?

      by juju bear ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      First of all I would really wonder why you want a management position. If it’s the only way up the latter and that is your goal then maybe you should look for another company. On the otherhand, management to me is more of a headache than what it is worth. If it’s just salary your looking at then ask for a equivalent salary to the managers. That way you get the benefits without the extra stress.

      • #3295434

        Management is not necessarily what you think it is

        by oldmainframer ·

        In reply to Are sure thats what you want?

        I concur with juju – is this what you really want to do? Management is not necessarily what you think it is.

        I used to work for a company that had a defined track into upper (pay) level tech work. There were also management positions – that paid the same rate.

        The problem with management is that it’s almost all people issues, budget issues, etc. It’s like a friend of mine said – as a programmer, EVERYTHING is black and white. The bit is ON or it’s OFF. The program works or doesn’t. Etc…

        With management EVERYTHING is a shade of grey.

        • #3295388

          I agree

          by conquistador ·

          In reply to Management is not necessarily what you think it is

          I’ve been where you are, and I ended up in a high-level management position. Big mistake. I agree with OldMainframer. Management is not what a lot of people think it is, and it’s not worth any additional compensation you may get from it. First of all, management doesn’t require many skills. It’s the most over-rated, over-compensated job there is. Contrary to what I was taught in graduate school, competence and hard work are not only not appreciated in management ranks, they will prevent you from receiving future promotions. Stay where you are and establish firm boundaries as to what you will and will not do. Don’t allow yourself to be overworked.

    • #3294774

      Don’t burn the boat

      by luckyleatherneck ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      So, you’re stuck in a one-person boat, which you can handle adeptly, bored out of your gourd, and yearn for the “greener pastures”. Stay calm, keep up the good work, and don’t set any fires. It is true that if you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted. But it is also true that if you can’t be replaced, your probablility of being downsized or replaced with a less expensive model is lower.
      First — absolutely first — before you do anything else, learn what is of highest priority to YOU. Take time to list on separate sticky-notes all your wants and needs. I mean ALL of them, not just job but personal, spriritual, intellectual, physical, emotional … you get the picture. Your job is simply what you do to trade your time for money. Now look through all those sticky-notes and assume that your job has gone away, through no fault of your own, and you have zero income, zero options, zero future, no one wants to hire you, probably going bankrupt, no bills, no home, NADA. Pretend you’re an Air Traffic Controller and you were just fired by the Prsident of the United States. NOW YOU CAN ONLY KEEP THREE OF YOUR STICKY-NOTES to survive; so, go over and over them until you’ve given up all but the three. You have to do this to learn what is most important to you and you will be surprised and reassured at the same time. These three define you as what motivates you in your life. Everything else in your life is now and always has been affected by these three and without just one of the three you will not be happy.
      Second, look at your current job in light of your three motivators. If just one is totally missing, you won’t be happy. Now, look at your target job in light of your three motivators and judge whether you’d be happy there or not. But keep in mind that you may not know everything about your target job. Even if a job description is available, you’ll have to interrogate someone in that job and close to that job to get the truth and that’s not always possible. You may find that the perfect job for you is a Forest Ranger, Tibetan Monk, Batallion Commander of a Marine Expeditionary Force, or whatever. I’ve seen where some have found their perfect job is a Receptionist, School Custodial Engineer (Janitor), Amway Distributer, Librarian, and they are living very happy fullfilled lives. I’ve also found some that have only one or two of their most important “three” at their job and the rest is satisfied outside the job.
      Third, keeping your three sticky-notes in front of you, take in a big picture view of your life, how your job fits into your past, and how you job looks to fit in with your future. Now, make a long range plan — like twenty years — then make a five year plan that moves your toward your long range plan. As the Chessie Cat said to Alice; “If you don’t know where you’re going, it doesn’t matter which road you take.”
      Jobs and careers in IT, IT was called DP (Data Processing) back then, used to be like trading stocks and bonds. All markets were profitable and you could negotiate with multiple employers, including your current one, in confidence to achieve your goals. NOT ANY MORE. There are literally thousands of IT Professionals looking for jobs just like yours to open up — and that’s just the domestic US job seekers. A friend of mine is convinced of a secret plot where chimpanzees are being trained to be programmers. Management these days is not much fun either, unless one of your three happens to be getting off on: mentally abusing underlings, firing good employees to keep the more devious, lying effectively about productivity, successfully perform lie-cheat-steal-extort tactics to win your next years budget, mental and physical abuse (you’re management now so they can get away with it) from your higher-ups. Management can be very rewarding until you’re fired or downsized, which these days can happen anywhere, anytime, for any reason. I know many IT Professionals that made it up to having titles like CIO and are now happy just being programmers again. I also know many IT professionals who are no longer gainfully employed, through no fault of their own, and are living a bleak scenario because the IT jobs are just not there in quantity any more.
      As a long-in-the-tooth IT professional, I know how valueable you and others like you are — because of your experience, your knowledge, and your track record of getting things accomplished even when you’ve had to fix it yourself. When I was an IT recruiter, I saw many with your talents left on the bench for less experienced, less savvy, yet “more current” younger candidates.
      If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted; yet, it’s harder to replace you with cheaper labor — but not impossible. If the work you’re doing involves enough tasks to keep more than just you busy, then perhaps you can use your analyst skills to cost justify some limited outsourcing (local domestic only) and experience-knowledge justify yourself as the manager.
      Lastly, put wealth somewhere in your long term goals with a heavy concentration on your five year plan. I’m not an old man, but I’ve buried many family and friends who lived their golden years destitute, broke, and couldn’t afford to do anything else but sit around waiting to die. Social Security is a joke — a bad joke — and ALL the political parties have slowly contributed to it’s current belly-up state.
      A quote from Peter Drucker: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
      Let me know what you think.


    • #3295465

      You need to move up to disposable manager…

      by boomslang ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      So you can be free on the next job cut. Seen it happen just often enough to realize some promotions are not such.

    • #3295457

      Time to move??

      by jjlov ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Possible Solutions (from best to worst):

      1. First find another position. Then confront management, explain your position, and deliver an ultimatum.

      2. Stop pushing yourself into destruction. When the inevitable disaster occurs, as opposed to diving in head first, sit back, take stock, form a requisition’s list (of personnel who should take care of the problem as opposed to yourself), inform management that you will require their services and then guide them through the solution while tracking the cause and its solution- taking more time, but improving the training and knowledge of the participants, and preparing for the next time the problem occurs. If they refuse, then, of course, solve the problem, but do it in a relaxed fashion. If it starts to run into over-time hours, then go home, get a good night’s sleep and pick it up in the morning. If they complain, then explain that if they expect you to do a department’s work then they should give you a department’s staff and that it is impossible to compress time, and if they keep badgering you, it will never get done. This demonstrates several things: That they can no longer stampede you into doing things their way, that you are thinking longer term then the immediate problem, and that you are capable of dealing as a manager. Document everything, the cause, the resolution, and a way to avoid the problem in the future. Spare no feelings, but be fair.

      3. Keep doing the same thing, and get your life insurance in order.

      Been there and done that.

    • #3295455

      I feel for you

      by technicalmumbojumbo ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I am in the same position. Although, my company has promoted me to the highest possible level in my area because they understand the situation and want to keep me. It gives you a certain ammount of power in negotiating raises. Whenever I mention that I interviewed somewhere, or heard about a possition that sounds interesting, or even needing a raise, I get it.

      I’ve started trying to train others to do what I do so I’ll be less irreplacable, but you can’t teach people your analytical thought process. If they don’t have it, they never will; And therefore will never be able to completely fill your shoes, which isn’t completely a bad thing. I plan on making money off this place doing consulting work for them long after I’ve left their employ. It would take some real good detective work to figure out the job security I’ve built into the systems here, over the last 12 years.

      In your case try discussing the situation with your superior, CIO, CEO or HR office, whoever will ultimately be making the decission. See if their opinion of you is actually what you think it is. Are you too valuable where you are? Or do they think you couldn’t hack a management possition because you’re too geeky to interface successfully with other people in the new role?
      Can’t hurt to find out. Either way, keep your eyes open for new jobs that may pay more, but more importantly will give you piece of mind and get you out of the corner you’ve built yourself into.

    • #3295453

      I know the feeling

      by cmeisner1 ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Let them know you will be moving on if they’re not interested in moving you up. If they’re smart, they’ll realize that having you there to train a new person with what you know and then having TWO employees with those capabilities is a better solution. But you must be prepared to follow thru with seeking other employment! Their getting an inquiry from another prospective employer shows you mean business!

    • #3295449

      Look to Hollywood

      by ddissent ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Go rent the movie Office Space – That’ll show you how to become a manager

      sad part is – It really does work

      4 more years baby 🙂

    • #3295446


      by realist ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      There is a management rule: If you have an irreplaceable employee, get rid of them as soon as possible.

      My collary: If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are an irreplaceable employee, leave as soon as possible.

    • #3295436

      Move to a new position

      by automec ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I had the same trouble. Its best to secretly and discreetly find a new job in the management position with a new firm. There is a saying. Familiarity breed contempt. You been there a long time and they just plain don?t like you. That?s the bottom line. People are complex creatures- they form these groups and have social intercourse (not sex-deep philosophical discussions) and your not in. Its just a matter of chemistry. They like certain types of music, you like certain types. Certain foods, certain hobbies. A certain level of arrogance or submissiveness must be balanced. Or you won?t fit with them. I worked at one place and the bosses always wanted their asses kissed! Every day 24/7 they wanted me to worship them like they were Greek deities. I had enough and moved on. Don?t even tell your co-workers your feelings! Some of them might be confidential employees. A confidential employee(s) keep the bosses informed on you every conversation and word like a tape recorder.
      Go see an image consultant-its worth the $400 per hour. They will give valuable insight on how to dress professionally for success. Get a copy of Emily posts etiquette, study it.
      Its all like Hollywood acting. If your not happy and they are not respecting you, then piss on em and leave don?t be kind enough to leave them notice either, they will bad mouth you no matter what you do. There are a lot of people out their that would love to have you working with them, you just have to find it.

    • #3295421

      Think about this…..

      by tim berg ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I am in agreement with JIMH about skills etc. However, when you’re dealing with technical issues, it doesn’t make sense to keep you in the same position after that long of a period of time. It makes more sense to allow you to move up and mentor someone new than to give you no option but to leave. From the perspective of the company, that’s just a bad decision. The company is better served not having all their eggs in one basket. Good luck!

    • #3295371

      Reply To: I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      by tekonsult ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      People who can really make the change have the least motivation to do so because they benefit from the existing structure, while those who wish for reform have few supporters because human nature tends to wait for success on the part of the reformer before throwing their support in. Just do your job well and look for better opportunities at the same time. The best time to look for a job is when you don’t need it…when you have a serious job offer then you will find out how much your company really values you. Best option if I were in your case is to keep up the good work while developing your own consultancy business…

    • #3295348

      Good Managers Are Hard To Come By

      by pmadiga ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Wanting to be a manager and having the skills to be one are two different things. A good manager achieves the corporate goals while fostering individual professional growth. Not knowing all the details, there may be other reasons management doesn’t see you as a good fit. In the last 20 years, in 7 different organizations, I can count the number of focused professional managers I’ve seen on one hand (this include two Fortune 100 companies.) I would say line-up some other potential positions, have a heart to heart about your goals and where you’d like to persue them. Don’t make threats, but leave no doubt that keeping your expertise available to in-house staff as a manager would be your preference, as opposed to taking your career path to outside sources. Be prepared to call their bluff, if pressured. It could mean actually taking one of those outside opportunities. By the way, most uber-techies initially make horrible managers. Any respect you command as a tech doesn’t immediately transfer to your role as a manager. Also keep in mind that lower or middle managers are highly expendible in troubled budgetary times. Over time, you’ll also lose your marketability as a tech, should you decide to go back, so make sure you’re not casually testing the waters. Also remember that your staff’s failings as a manager are your failings, but their successes are their own (if you’re a good manager.)

      • #3295261

        Easy Way to Get Back On Track

        by rehorst ·

        In reply to Good Managers Are Hard To Come By

        Want to get back in gear? The easy way is to ask for a big pay raise. This works every time, if you use the right technique. For details, contact me.

    • #3295339

      move on!

      by lynnv ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      It sounds as if you are confident enough to stand up for yourself. Go out and get what you want – look around at other things first – then tell your bosses that you want a change. If they don’t respond, then go elsewhere.
      Good luck.

    • #3295331

      Management of tasks is a measurement

      by dadavis5th ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      If you are burning out it means you have not leveraged other resources, people, others time, to offset some of your workload. If you are working to many hours consistently then you are not estimating workload properly. Management may think you own everything you do rather than are a team builder, by investing in others around you and organizing documentation related to your backlog if any, you will start to learn the skills needed to manage others and manage schedules. If you cannot manage your own schedule, it will be hard to manage others.

      I know this from experience being very task oriented, rather than resource oriented. Start documenting all of your time, if not done already and see what tasks can be shifted to others. If there are no others available, get management on board to either deprioritize or eliminate tasks or to bring in outside help on a per issue basis. By doing this you will manage the tasks with others and not let all the load fall on yourself.

      This will eliminate your burnout and help you to focus on developing management skills.

      Alston Davis

    • #3295311

      Same Situation

      by justame@work ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      When I first saw this post, I though to myself “Hmmm. . . SELF? I didn’t post this . . what’s going on?”

      I was recently overlooked (our organization went outside to hire), for a promotion into the Information Security arena. This is an area in which I have focused for the organization for a number of years, carried out many of the tasks and responsibilities, and have spent just nearly as many ours outside of the organization learning, much on my own dime. Yes, I had my regular responsibilities to tend to, etc and have received high reviews and personal recommendation for my work.

      Considering I just went through this, what do I have planned? What was my reaction? How did I handle it?

      This event made me realize a few very important things about myself:

      1-This relationship much like other that I have had in the past . . is one way. Someone is giving more than the other. Relationships like this never work out, well . . unless one party is a door mat, which I am not 🙂

      2-Some people?s personalities do not fit the organization from a management position. An example is, I call a rose a rose, not a “pretty flower with prickly thorns”. I tell people how it is. Some people want a sugar coated version, which I refuse to do. I tend to speak with razor blades at time. I admit when I am wrong, and if something is wrong, I say it is wrong, not ?Oh, well this has room for improvement?.

      3-There are to many things in life and to focus all your time on learning/working/playing in one area of life (in this case technology) . . . .is a waste . . a waste of you as a human, waste of time for you, and a waste of time for your friends and family! One day, you and everyone else will die and unless you have made some HUGE monumental contribution to technology, you will be forgotten almost before you body is cold, if not my the organizations, then the industry as a whole.

      There are many other issues to touch on but the short of it is;

      -If you feel slighted, ask the powers that be “what would it take to get to point B”-
      -If you feel disrespected, kick the company to the curb-

      Life is filled with choices, but as adults, we need to make decisions and live with then, no matter what we decide.

      you might be thinking . . .”well he never answered what HE intends on doing?”. I’d have to say your right, I have not decided yet . . . but I can tell you, looking somewhere else is high on my list of “to-dos”.

    • #3295294

      Try some greener (or different) pastures

      by gaston nusimovich ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      You don’t have to stick to just one choice: keep your options open and try a career move on some other company.

      Let the market see what you are worth and go for the best.

    • #3295293

      Perfect time for a new job

      by dcperich ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Often, a person’s skill set and experiences have more value to them on their resume than on their current pay check. Your’s is a perfect case.

    • #3295292

      Start Your Job Search

      by it & telecom guy ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      If you have already requested the move and they know you’re burned out. Start Your Job Search “Openly” and they’ll get the hint. If they don’t offer a “change” and pay raise, then be prepared to leave, when you finally give them the two weeks notice. It’s been my exprience they’ll cave when the see that your serious.
      good luck

    • #3295278

      There are ways out

      by a_dangerous_mind ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I’ve been there several times before, and did make the choice to move to other companies. I would advise to assess the political climate in your company, and decide whether you would want to manage in that company. Management does involve a number of tasks that many techies might find that they could not stand for long, such as conducting interviews, formulating job descriptions, writing evaluations, managing budgets, attending meeting after meeting and having to deal with problem employees. Some companies do provide a ‘team lead’ position as a place where a techie can make a transition from a technical to a managerial position. You might want to see if your current position could be upgraded to this kind of position, where you could develop and prove your managerial skills as well as pass on your knowledge to others.

      Technical presentations and training can also hone your public speaking and presentation skills, and give you the chance to demonstrate that you can communicate and sell your knowledge and ideas throughout the organization.

      Being a firefighter can also put you into a position where you can formulate and advise organizational and process improvements. It sounds like you might have the skills and perspective to be able to come up with the ways to avoid many of the problems that you’ve solved over the years. This would also be a valuable managerial skill to develop.

      Some of these things can be pursued on your own initiative, within the amount of discretionary direction that we can give in the way we do our jobs from day to day. But developing in these ways would give you more opportunity to demonstrate that you have the potential to be an excellent manager as well as an excellent technician.

      • #3295258

        maybe they have already told you what they think!

        by onthego ·

        In reply to There are ways out

        I’ve been there. Been the “team lead”. What they are kindly telling you is that they don’t think you are management material. You’d be best to move on. If this is your aspiration and passion, other companies might think differently.

        • #3296397

          Diversify skills, diversify opportunities

          by a_dangerous_mind ·

          In reply to maybe they have already told you what they think!

          Whether the team lead becomes a manager really depends on the company. If ‘team leads’ don’t become managers in your company eventually, that’s a good sign that it is a dead end in your company. If they do, it would probably be a good idea to get some information on how to make the transition from your position to team lead and from there to management. But even if your company only gives lip service to promoting team leads to managers, being a team lead could mean a transition directly to management in another company, if you demonstrate through that position that you are management material despite the myopia in your current company.

    • #3295241


      by mollybigd ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I feel that you deserve the chance to move to another position because it is well deserving. You’re good at what you do, but if you’re burning out, it isn’t good for you to stay in a position to where you can become very unhappy, and maybe begin to hate your job. Your uppers need to let you move on, maybe a good way to compromise is, if upper man. lets you move, you will be willing to train someone to take your old position over.
      Uppers problem is, they have become to dependent on you therefore they’re afraid to give someone else a try at your position. In my opinion, its either let you move to the position that you desire, or see a decline in your job performance because you’re unhappy. Change is always hard for those that can’t accept change, but change has to happen to make something better. Good luck

    • #3295180

      they will use you 4ever!

      by lesterlearn ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I dont think anybody is indispensable. not 2 say u are without value, but those people will use you till you die, and soon after will find a replacement, and get used to the fact that you are not around anymore. I think you should move on- they will realise your value after you say goodbye!

    • #3295175

      Been There As Well

      by latwine2000 ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I have been in the same situation and i just went up and explained my feelings to my boss. However, they felt they could increase my salary and benefits rather than let me get promoted to a management position.

      After a few months, I was called by a rival company accross the street and offered the same job at twice the salary. I took it up and now I am much better off.

    • #3295158

      Leave a job advert on show

      by alanrphipps ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      If you feel you are being passed over, try leaving copies of Job Adverts in Trade Magazines and Papers open on your desk. Circle the odd one or two which are roughly in your career path zone and let your Management see them. They will then have the corridor and coffee room discussions which may lead to them taking you more seriously if they really want to keep you. If nothing happens within a month, trawl the Job adverts for something aspirational and go for it. If you are successful, you can then take the job offer back to your old company and argue for a promotion from a position of strength, knowing you have something else which is exciting, challenging and rewarding already lined up.

    • #3295138

      I know the feelings!

      by seema11909 ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I am with you buddy, we really need good advice.

      I am in same position as you are, 7 years and same job, it’s not challenging enough any more. I feel like I have become a robot.

      • #3296496

        Move on

        by zaltech ·

        In reply to I know the feelings!

        I can relate to this. I have found myself having to leave to prove my true value. It is unfortunate, but it happens to many of us who just happen to be really good at several different things.

        I had to take a 10% pay cut when I got on with my current company 3.5 years ago. Since that time I have increased my salary 44%. In my company I support (along with just one other person) over 80% of the applications (200+) running in our 6000+ user, time critical environment. This is not to mention that we have a fairly large IT dept with over 60 people. The balance of work is extremely uneven with some like myself doing a vast number of different tasks while others do extremely few tasks.

        Last year I wanted an actual promotion – instead of just a raise. I was told that yes I operate on that level, providing not just application support, but also assistance and guidance to my peers – and not even with just work stuff, but I was denied due to some question about the wording in the duties of the title I wanted.

        I felt that I was doing the job, and was told that it would be reevaulated soon. When I was coming up I was taught that you can’t go anywhere until you can teach what you know, and have found it to be a very satisfying experience to see the light come on when I am able to export my knowledge and see it click in the minds of others.

        Shortly after being denied myself I watched as others – all no more skilled than I, and most with lesser responsibilities and many who come to me for answers – get promoted to the title that I had been denied. I was performing the duties of the title more than they, but they were getting promoted.

        I reevealuated myself, then argued the point as it was not fair. Finally after about 8 months of arguing I did get the title change, but it has left a bad taste in my mouth since I felt I was being held to a different standard than others. The title change should mean more money also, but that is not the point. I feel that I am seen as too valuable in my current position, and will be held here indefinitely, partly because I am a critical thinker, and partly due to my varied past experiences that allow me to see things that often do not appear to others – even though I constantly impart my knowledge I have found no one wants to do my job. We have repeatedly asked for an extra body (FTE) since it is becoming extremely hard to keep up with the workload, but most recently were told we “needed to work smarter”. I have written many automation processes since there is no way one (or two) people can reasonably be expected to perfrom all the tasks that we do.

        It is unfortunate, but I believe I will have to look for work again since although my title has changed, the mindset of my organization will not. It is their loss though since there are many so many details that, although documented will still be unclear because they do not really have any disemination of knowledge, walk out the door with me.

    • #3296503

      Been there-done that-and don’t want the T-Shirt either.

      by j-max ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      All things being equal, and if you have management capability, there is no time to get out like now.

      I spent ten years in a position exactly like yours and found that, in the end, I had been there so long people didn’t even know what I was doing. When I left management was not so remorseful over it. After six months they replaced me with two people both making twice my salary, then they knew.

      Now, after seven years at another company I find myse3lf being streamed into management with little problem. In fact, I now know when they hired me, they did so because they realized my potential.

      If you feel like you have become part of the furniture in the office, you probably are.

      Polish your resume and look for a more open environment.

      • #3296486


        by zaltech ·

        In reply to Been there-done that-and don’t want the T-Shirt either.

        My position is the same as yours was – management has no idea of what I do – hence the comment that I need to “work smarter” (see Move on for details).

        It really sucks that I am in this position again. In a previous one I left they had to hire someone at almost twice what they paid me and he only had 1/4 of my skill set.

        I am sure it will be the same here exept it will more likely be 2 people they hire to replace me, and they will together not have my skill set.

    • #3296465

      Nothing Ventured… Nothing Gained

      by go4gold ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Option 1 (starting point): Ask senior management why you were not considered for the management post(s), and what you can do to improve your chances of gaining that ‘spot’.
      Option 2 (last resort): If senior management has not provided you with a plausible answer as to why you were left out of the ‘running’, then it is time to reconsider your role with the company.

      Frankly… getting into the ‘management spot’ is not all ‘gravy train’. Remember… once you are there… it is difficult to turn back.

    • #3296435

      management training

      by pbobrow ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I used to be in the same situation or so it seemed. When something had to be done by a certain time or when no one else could handle it they gave it to me. When It was time to move up or so I thought, I was left behind because I was too valuable at my current spot. When I took this up with my superiors as well as my colleagues I found out the reason was not just my value at that position but my ability to lead and organize more than myself. Social skills and leadership that I thought I had I was informed I didn’t have. So I formed a training plan with my boss that had me taking management training classes and other similar classes as well. I used the some weekend seminars as well as taking a few online classes. This proactive approach eventually led me to be the Director of that company. Trying getting some honest feedback without poutting the defense on the field when the repsponses aren’t what you are looking for.

    • #3296420

      share the wealth

      by mckendrick ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      The best managers out there are constantly looking for and training their replacements, thus allowing for upward movement. Provided management at your company is reasonable and intelligent, perhaps you could demonstrate your value as part of their team, while at the same time offering your skills as a trainer for the IT department. As a Vice President, I know I am always impressed by that type of initiative. Good luck to you.

    • #3296385

      Been there, done that

      by jsalaz ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I really can’t offer any real suggestions, but perhaps my similar experience can help your perspective. I did many of the same things for a company that manufactures hardware and software. I helped with their network, but I started with the company as tech support. I only took the job because they said there was room for advancement. There was room alright, they just would not let me off the phones, which I hated. They just gave me more responsibilities, but did not take any away. The burden became too much, so I left. Now, I still work for them from home. They are a client and not my employer. I do technical writing for them because they can’t find anyone else that knows their products well enough to do the job. So I may have a suggestion. Find something else, maybe do contract work. With your skill set, that shouldn’t be hard. Unless you need them for medical benefits. In that case, you may be stuck. But I’ll tell you one thing. They sound just like the people I worked for. They’ll never move you up, IMHO.
      Good luck.

    • #3296294

      let’s assume you have people skills

      by lexva ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I’ve been managing a technical team for four years now. I was the classic geek who performed well who got promoted through the ranks. Fortunately for me, it wasn’t a case of them picking the tech performer because they didn’t know better: my director has more management skill than anybody else in the company. But he wasn’t that technical (though he’s gotten up to speed); he was used to relating to leadership types, so he simply trained his technical escalation team to become team leaders and then managers, so that he could relate to us better.

      In some ways it’s a very different skill set; I had to learn a lot. But if your version of problem-solving involves recognizing patterns and dealing with behaviors (a necessary skill in object oriented programming), it’s possible to transfer some of that to managing people. It’s like tech support in that people bring problems to you and you solve them. If you’re good at helping customers and users understand an issue, you may be good at coaching employees and solving organizational problems.

      So let’s assume the reason you’re not being promoted is that they need someone in your current role and you’re the only candidate for that. Here is the test for that premise: do you get good feedback and good raises? If so, this could be the case.

      But there is a way out: if you understand a technical issue, you can explain it. If you can explain it, you can document it. If you can document it, you can train it. If you can train it, you can let someone else do it.

      In fact, quite a bit of my job involves capturing information that is in my head, or in other people’s heads, and putting it on paper. I’ve developed processes and standards which now make it easy for other people to document what they know.

      Management is hard, though, if you’re doing it right. One of the problems about having signing authority is that you have to bloody sign everything; there’s so much paperwork. And making decisions that involve tens of thousands of dollars and/or the careers of other people is a real challenge; it’s like walking into a very high-stakes poker game. If you screw up, the people above you, who play for even higher stakes, really don’t give you the slack that one might give staff. At a minimum, the manager has to add more value to the organization than their own salary. Since you won’t have time to do much actual work, the only way to add value is to make correct decisions, i.e. to make winning bets.

      But to get out of your current job, create a document that lists all your current tasks, when you do them, and how you do them. Do that, and you’re free to move up, or out. Taking the effort to think strategically about how you do things will also make a positive impression on higher levels of management.

    • #3295775

      management vs technical positions

      by dperna ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      maybe its best you don’t take a management position.

      i have the same situation, i work for a mobil telephone operator, i am probably the senior most field engineer, and also being working at the company from the very begining they started.

      i was offered a manager position, but i turned it down, knowing that even though it was a manager position, and more money, i knew it wouldn’t be a job i was comfortable with.

      the electronic equipment has such a nicer personality than those managers…

      truely we are needed in those positions to help our fellow engineers/technicians. we can relate to the real job not count pennies and try to make unrealistic goals and forcasts…
      but if we did get those positions, we would have a rough life since the things we care about are not what the managers care about.
      being more frustrated and maybe lose your job
      since you are not following the rest of the managements ways for goals or forcasts.
      eventually you would wish you never changed the position.

      • #3313130

        Managing people can be great!!

        by nuke57 ·

        In reply to management vs technical positions

        While I admit that there are a lot of poor managers out there, done correctly it is personally very rewarding, to the manager and to his/her subordinates. The key is to unleash each person’s full potential for creativtiy, innovation, productivity, motivation and commitment. I have helped a lot of managers learn what to do and say in order to make this come true and it is a real turn-on for all concerned. But you should be aware of the tools and have confidence that they will work before you jump into management.

        Happy managing, Ben

    • #3295727

      Move On!!!

      by jeremydel2002 ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I say, “Move on somewhere else.” It sounds though they may be taking you for granted. If you were to move up into management, then they wouldn’t have anyone else to take the fires. If you?re not in a management position after ten years at the same company, then there is defiantly something wrong. Move on and find a management position somewhere else. You will probably make much more money anyhow. Senses states that you can make more money by moving to another job after three years.

    • #3295689

      Been there left that!

      by it24 ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I too have been at a company and was passed over twice for a position in which I was qualified. Bottom line… move on. Since I left I have been with a company that really appreciates the job I do. I averaged 3% raises at the old company and after only 9 months with this company I received a 6.6% raise! The Grass is sometimes greener you just need the guts to do it. Once you do you will wonder why you stayed as long as you did. Good Luck!

    • #3312287

      Go For The Management Position, But……..

      by aspowell20 ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      The Tech. Member can go for the management position but should first make a critical and fair assessment of the situation for as a manager, he will not only manage machines and the entire systems of the organisation, but people who of course are more difficult to manage than tweaking and fixing machines.
      Again, if the Tech. Member is convinced that he can sucessfully hold sway in managerial position and bring about growth in the overall transactions of the corporation, then he/she should go ahead otherwise the member can push for a pay rise and stay where he/she is.

    • #3313346

      Train Your Replacement

      by marvinsmallwood ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      Until you have someone who can take your place you are likely stuck.

      Changing jobs is a very serious step since you will likely use your proven skills to end up in the same situation.

      When you are the only one great in an area you trap yourself.

    • #3312169

      Be careful of your “wishes”, they may come true.

      by bbbc_e ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I understand that you may feel yourself to be hard done by, but look at this as an oppourtunity to further yourself. If you are THAT VALUABLE in your present position, ask yourself “What do I want?”, if you want more pay , better conditions, more staff, ASK. If you think you want to be in management, ask yourself “Why”. Are you happy doing your job, after 10 years, I’d say yes! Therefore “What do you really want?” It seems to me that you must have been happy dong what you do for tha last 10 years, and are recognised for it, That puts you in a good bargaining position. I think that as a manager the “loss” of hands on control may make you roll up your sleeves and get stuck in to solve a problem is youe company’s biggest fear and a loss of a manager while you do so. I am in the same type of position and have realised that what I want is to be happy doing what I do, and I am not prepared to give it up, and tha illusion that you will be happy as a manager is pure “marsh gas”. Be careful of what you wish for, you may just get it, and spend the rest of your ;ife regretting it.

      Your choice

    • #3311858

      been there… done that…

      by specops ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I know exactly what you are going through. I have been in that position before and gone through the same promotional let down. The only difference was I was not going for management. I can tell you though you should think carefully of a couple of points;
      1) As others have mentioned you could play the EXTORTION game. If you choose this path be sure to be ready for the consiquences as it can always back fire. Make sure you really have a worh while option.
      2) Reconsider your quest for management. Do you really want that role? Are you truly qualified and ready for the transistion?
      3)Are you ready to throw away ten years of tenure with your current company? Have you exhausted all possible avenues from within?
      and finally remember the old adage…
      the grass is always greener on the other side.
      Sometimes there is something to be said for comfort. If you have a good job, they treat you well and you are are doing well, relax a little. Get rid of the stress, don’t work yourself to death. You’ll live longer and enjoy life more. Contrary to popular belief, money isn’t everything…..

    • #3293194

      same scene around the world

      by rao_pj ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I am from India. So far I have been thinking that only in India there is no recognition for hardwork. other places around the world, I thought one’s potential is well considered. ofcourse oflate I realised the situation and accordingly I have changed my mind set.

      I too have undergone the same situation and was very deppressed for a long time. Now there is no change in the situation, but I have completely changed.

      Management every where believes in Indian karma siddhantha (philosophy). They feel that you are working because you are happy doing all that. If you are not happy why are you doing?. grumbling starts when one expects recognition. for certain things logic does not work. such as love, affection ..etc. one can not define. unfortunately in management lot of western thinking has creeped-in. no emotions. no bonding to the organisation. they think that you are working in that organisation either because that is what is your highest ability or you dont have any other option. I realised it hard way. In fact after reading Indian philosophy, I understood that what Management is doing is right. bondage is the main source of all worries. one should not get too attached to anything.
      coming to your problem there are solutions. but what solution one adopts depends on individuals. one solution is to quit or work with detachment. this is because people do not understand (or atleast appear not to understand) words. they understand only deeds.

      all the best.

    • #3314372

      Ya gotta go!

      by ariel ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I was in the same position. I even doing junior executive work, but when it came to officialy moving me to the management suite, it didn’t happen. It’s like a virtual promotion sort of speak. When you’re needed at certain capacity they pump you up with promises, and they tell you how good you are and appreciate you. But when push comes to shove, oh, “This is our computer guy”, they won’t even dignify you with a worthy title. Sounds familiar? You’ve got to move buddy! The sooner the better. You’ll burn out and nobody will even care…

      • #3315158

        There is no place to go

        by lombroso2 ·

        In reply to Ya gotta go!

        Management is management in all different corporations in America. One becomes a manager because (1)he/she wants more money (2)he/she do not have enough scientific knowledge to do the real IT work. The only way to change this situation is to reverse the Pyramid of injustice by force. Get your friends (or unionize) and just halt the work. Once done in many corporation you will see how fast facts are changing. I think the fact you have the ‘know how’ should compensate you higher then the manager who just end up deligating the work. Unfortunately managers know that very well and they will hold to their position to death. The manager will promote someone to management only (as programmers say only if) if that one will keep the manager safe. It is like I am the manger and I promoted you, so you owe, keep me in your mind when you talk about me. Managers at corporations are slaves to the pyramid hierarchy that goes all the way to the top. That involves corruptions, injustice, and favouritism. Get the hell out of your job and look for different institution (teach, or be a contractor).

    • #3314339

      Reply To: I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      by trebel ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      nothing new

    • #3314336

      Follow your heart…………

      by phstacker ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      I realize this will not provide you with the assistance you are requesting but yeah, follow your heart!
      We use to call this situation the “golden gloves” as you have quite a few years in one company and most likely are making pretty good money.
      Consider that starting over with a new company means working off that first 5 years to enter into a retirement plan. It may also mean the lost of hard won three week vacations each year. And the list goes on.
      But what I finally realized is that it is far more important to satisfy my self than to “whore” my wears to a company who will not or refuses to advance based on the scenario you mentioned.

      And, as to how to make the decision, here is the advice I give all who ask: Line up several options. Secure placement withing these options (could be jobs or private business). And then, *drum roll* Pick One! That’s right, just pick one and see where life pulls ya. Just make sure you align with the first rule – Follow Your Heart –


    • #3323102

      burned out or bummed out

      by fgray ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      From having worked with you in the past i recognize your talents and abilities. The environment that you’re working in will never allow you the luxury of climbing the ladder. The place is dying under it’s own complacency–time to move on while you’re still able.

    • #3242086

      management training

      by pbobrow ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      One thing that I learned along my climb is that communication and continued development of skills especially management skills are necessary. When you are in the trenches if your technical skills are lacking then you will get run over. However in management it is knowing how to find the person with the right skills and getting the most out of people for them to accomplish the task. It is not you stepping in to do the task because you are the only one who can it is gathering the resources to do the job and then completing the jobs by delegating and communicating. While I have plenty of UBERgeeks who work for me and nowadays certainly know more than me I am the person that everyone relies upon.
      Basically go out and get some management training and show them you know how to lead people and take on responsibilities not just that you yourself can do a task.

    • #3257191


      by monstersound ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      There is a lost of waste (euphemism) on this post about “R U management material” and “oh management is different/difficult”. Com’on, read the original post. He/she knows this. The question is fight or flight? The answer is both. There are numerous and varied types of management bosses and many of them are politically oriented rather than by merit. A good manger / company would have already noticed your abilities and designed a future course for your development. Which leads me to think that your mangers suck. Most intelligent motivated people can and should be groomed for advancement so they can carry their knowledge forward and disseminate it within the company. Shortsighted mangers often play politics for selfish and paranoid reasons, unaware that by not developing the best around them, they weaken the company and their ultimate standing. So, as the saying goes “The aggressive enthusiastic bird gets the worm.” Tell them in no uncertain terms that you “Want the job/opportunity”, email and CC all concerned. (Be professional but aggressive) and get your resume going, because it’s your life and they don’t sound like the guiding light. my2c

      • #3068127

        This is the best damn reply yet!!!!

        by ariel ·

        In reply to fight

        Wow! You hit it on the nail sooooo deep, that sucker isn’t comming out. Your response to this dilema is the best bar-non…

    • #3056184

      Create Your Replacement

      by wayne m. ·

      In reply to I’ve built myself into a corner and can’t get out

      The best way out of your situation is to teach others how to replace you. The next time you get a fire fighting request, take the person who started the fire and show them how to put it out. Make sure the person is doing the work hands on while you explain, do not do the work while the person looks over your shoulder.

      This approach addresses two things. It teaches other people how to resolve issues and it shows the powers that be that you have some leadership qualities.

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