Career Advice Tuesday – When You’re Truly Stuck

June 16, 2009

There are a lot of questions out there about career stuff. Lee and I get them often, and it’s amazing the overlap. So, we got talking that we’d start answering the questions online. And that we’d start taking the questions online.

Without further ado, this is the first post in our new series that we’re calling “Career Advice Tuesday”.

Mike & Lee,

I’ve got a unique challenge. I’m currently working for a large security company in a very visible position, and I’ve done a great job (if I do say so myself).

Here’s the problem: my boss is stagnating my career. He blocks my initiatives, he won’t promote me to senior management, and he takes credit for anything that I do. He does everything he can to undermine me to others in the company and is generally hurting my growth and career advancement.

I’m also suffering from a bit of the “Golden Handcuff” syndrome, as my current compensation is about 20% higher than I have managed to find in any of the other offers I’ve had.

What should I do? How do I get out of this one?


Stuck in Silicon Valley

Dear Stuck,

Nothing like starting Career Advice Tuesday with a genuinely tough question. Being at a company with an unsupportive boss during a recession while you’re being paid more than market rate is certainly one of the most difficult situations that you can find yourself in.

That said, there is reason for hope. As you said, you’re doing a great job and have been spending the time building your personal brand (we assume, since you said “very visible”). That is going to work for you in the long-run.

And, in this situation, that’s what you should focus on. This is a good time to work on your career rather than in your career. Now is the time to learn some new skills, work on your personal brand, and do everything that you can to prepare yourself for the next opportunity. Because you want to be ready when that next opportunity arises.

This is also an opportunity to learn how to deal with the kind of boss that we all will have at some point in our career. Your boss clearly sees you as a threat, and it’s your job to help him to understand that your success will make him more successful as well. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it is definitely worth the effort – if you can pull it off, you have an ally for life.

We know that this is a tough spot, but there are always opportunities in adversity.

Mike & Lee

Posted by mmurray | Filed Under Career Advice Tuesday 


One Response to “Career Advice Tuesday – When You’re Truly Stuck”

  1. Win a Free Defcon Pass! | Information Security Leaders on July 9th, 2009 7:30 pm

    [...] and I recently announced our Career Advice Tuesday series and the ability for us to take questions online. We’ve had some good questions, but we [...]