Dear Dan, I Was Enticed by Another Company and They Let Me Down
I read your blog My Boss Didn’t Keep His Promises. I would like your advice on that issue. I was at a good company and making good money, however, management opportunities were slim.
I was enticed by another company. The manager promised me that I would be making in a year what I was making with my prior company as well as being a senior employee after a year, as I was at the top of the food chain at my prior employer and in line to be a manager.
With my prior employer, once you leave they will not take you back.
Sooo, the promises were not upheld by my current employer that got me to come over, even though trust, respect, honesty, and fairness are their core values. My manager’s boss, told him, “No,” to the increased salary and a senior employee position.
I feel like I was lied to in order to get me and my skill-set to come to this company. Now I am stuck as I can’t go back to my former employer.
What are your thoughts?
Can’t Go Back
Your email is a sad illustration of making decisions based on promises about the future. But I don’t understand why you want to go back to your previous company.
You wrote that you were at the top of the food chain and management opportunities were slim.
Stop longing for a past that was dissatisfying.
You made a decision to take a new job that had opportunities. Those opportunities didn’t work out. Who’s to say they won’t work out in the future?
Assume the best about your immediate manager. Perhaps he intentionally deceived you, but I doubt it. Where’s the win in disappointing you?
Have a conversation about your disappointment.
- Clarify how past expectations were disappointed.
- Explain your hope for advancement.
- Describe your commitment to serve well. This is no time to be a half-hearted employee, even though you’re frustrated.
- Show compassion toward your current supervisor based on the assumption that the original offer was sincere.
- How do you feel about not being able to give me advancement?
- Did this situation put you in a difficult situation?
- How can we best move forward from here?
- What can I do to move the agenda forward?
- Keep looking for the position you hope to achieve. It may be good to buckle in for two or three years. That depends on your age and opportunities that come along.
I wrote in My Boss Didn’t Keep His Promises that, “Some bosses make foolish promises. The promise of a promotion, for example, is a foolish promise. The future is uncertain.”
Don’t make future decisions based on promises.
Stay in your current position until a new position comes along, either inside or outside your company.
The next time an opportunity like this comes along, say, “I’d love to come to work for you. When the position opens up, please give me a call. Until then, I’m all-in where I currently work.”
Entrepreneurial opportunities are another story. If you’re entrepreneurial and you’re offered ownership in a company that isn’t worth much, you might take that promise.
In this case, if you can afford the loss, you might want to make a decision based on promises, as long as they’re in writing.
Thanks for your email.
You have my best for the future,
What suggestions do you have for Can’t Go Back?
When is it OK for leaders to make promises about promotions to employees?
*I suspend my 300 word limit on weekends.
Dan I had this happen to me when I was enticed by the CEO to move to head office.Nothing what I was promised came true. My solution – was to leave. Their values and mine were no longer aligned. My recommendation is to “can’t take it back” is, if they can’t keep their word, why do you want to continue to work for them. Be smart, do whatever you need to secure a new job with a company where your values are aligned. Trust is everything!
Surely their is something you “can do”.
Never go backwards on dead end streets, market you capabilities if your not satisfied in your present job.
Remember ” it’s not always greener on the other side of the pasture” so perhaps stay were you are till things develop? Determine what you have to lose and what will you gain by staying or leaving?
How happy are you doing what you do?
Perhaps change your priorities is more money the answer?
You need to find were you comfortable and how you for in?
Promises are only a gamble is there are no guarantees as you have found out!
Turn your “can’ts into ” cans”. Control hour destiny!
Don’t go back. Go forward. Ask yourself, “how will whatever happens next help me reach my goals”. That includes how you respond to this situation.
You made a conscious choice to leave. That’s on you. Not on anyone else. Did they mislead you or did you mislead yourself? Be honest. Did you hear what you wanted to hear when you decided to go to this new company?
You’re only stuck if you want to be. I’m sure there are more than two companies that would value your services if you offer value.
This is just a step in your journey. Look inside first. And last. Take ownership. Move forward.
They wanted to take the company to the next level. They wanted new managers with fresh ideas and skills to change the culture. It looked like a great challenge at a family owned and operated company and I bought it all, hook, line and sinker. My first clue it would not go well was on my first day. No office, no desk, no computer. I had to share a computer on a shelf in the shipping office that I had to share with the staff. After a few weeks
I sat down and spoke with the people that hired me and basically covered the points you made. Finally got a desk and computer but there were to many other broken promises and finally found a new position elsewhere and left, they closed their doors a few months later. Surprise, they were never even really upfront about how bad a financial shape they were in.
I think when you leave don’t look back. People will respect you for that. Mistakes are part of learning process some mistakes are easy to rectify some are more challenging.
I agree with many people posting – when you leave, don’t look back.
If you are considering going back, make sure that you remember that you left for a reason. If there is no concrete evidence that things have changed, then you’re going backward and having a “grass was greener” moment.
Having said that, it’s a challenging situation. All you can really do is move forward and look for opportunities where you are now.
Perhaps have an open and honest conversation with your over-promising boss and discuss how even if you cant have the increased pay, perhaps you can take on some of the increased responsibility so you can develop your skills and have something to add to your CV.
While all of the other comments had valid points:
Your suggestion to attempt to gain new and more respondibility experience absolutely is the best for a career my!
I tend to follow the Edith Piaf thinking on this one ‘Je ne regretted rien’. I think that you make decisions on what is presented to you at the time. You do all the homework, research and due diligence but ultimately you make what you believe is the correct decision based on the facts in front of you. Few people (if any) set out to make a bad decision. And then you face the consequences of the decision you’ve made. Regretting your decision is destructive, mind numbing & futile. If you are unhappy where you are then you have two choices either make it better or go somewhere else. People will let you down for a range of reasons, they are fallible, that’s what makes them human and the cold, hard truth is that in the end you have to do what is right for you.
Focus on doing the best you can in your current role, identifying what you like and what you do not like in your present situation. Then, spend some time envisioning a future role, what are you doing? Really get detailed with your vision. Then keep an eye open for a future opportunity-that could be where you previously worked, where you are working currently or somewhere else. Again until the next thing comes along, try to do the very best you can with your current role. It is OK to make another change.
There is something missing in this conversation … whatever happened to getting it in writing? As in, employment contract?
The very process of negotiating details ferrets out the credibility of the dialogue … trust is not only built, but leveraged. And the “unwritten” rules and politics/culture of the prospective parties is demonstrated more fully. Expectations are verbalized and dealt with upfront … far fewer opportunities for interpretive misunderstandings.
In times of chaos and pervasive confusion, TJefferson was fond of quoting, “Nil repente!” [the more Republican and lessPrince Machiavelli] … “Nothing suddenly” = no regrets. You did your best.
You can’t go back (reconciliation can’t happen if you are to move forward), but you do need to look back and not repeat the pattern that could not be resolved.
Oh, and the perennial, “You DON’T get what you don’t [explicitly] negotiate [and document].”
I like Dan’s response. It’s crafted well to respectfully put accountability back into “Can’t go back”. It’s a soft way of saying take charge of your life and don’t see yourself as a victim.
Opportunities are always available. It’s how we preserve and move forward.
Dan was spot-on in his response. You left the former company for a reason – you were unhappy. You may want to go back, because it’s “comfortable”, but again, you were not happy then, what makes you think “future Can’t” will be happy if you go back . If you were happy, you would not have left in the first place. Lesson learned. My unsolicited advice is next time you are offered a position that has promises attached, get those promises in writing. Ask your future employer to give you an offer letter detailing your salary and any promises offered. That makes them accountable to honor the promises made.