Career Woman

You’ve got this: My boss reneged on my offer

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Dr Froswa’ Booker-Drew answers your questions, putting her years of experience and practice into the goal of solving those knotty problems that beset us, and assuring us: ‘you’ve got this’. If you’d like Froswa’ to look at your particular problem, email it to [email protected].

Question:  I joined up with a fledgling start-up that sought my expertise in the field, and they discussed me ending up in the leadership position. But now they’ve just told me they are going to bring somebody in to be CEO. A man, of course. I’m shattered.

Leona

Leona,

I am so sorry that you’ve had this experience.  It isn’t fair.  I want to give you two perspectives on this topic.  I often recommend this book and I think it will be a great read for you (and even your boss).  The book is entitled, Giving Notice: Why the Best and Brightest are Leaving the Workplace and How You Can Help them Stay by Freada Kapor Klien.

Speaking of books (warning for subtle shameless plug), I just finished writing a book for my daughter.  It is a book of lessons that I wanted to share with her as she was transitioning to college.  One of the lessons is entitled, “Ask For What You Want Because A Man In A Suit And Tie Just Did”. I wanted my daughter to understand that she should go for what she wants. I remember one of my former bosses telling me that he would apply for jobs that he met at least 30% of the qualifications listed.  I, on the other hand, would convince myself that I needed to meet at least 70% or more of the qualifications to even consider the opportunity. For many women, we back down because of our fears, doubts and experiences that reaffirm that we are not ready, qualified or will not be accepted. I have stepped back many times in my career and allowed my voice to be muffled because I didn’t want to ‘rock the boat’ or appear to be ‘difficult’.  I allowed my insecurities to impede causing me to question my abilities and skills.    I did not want my daughter to avoid tables that were dominated by those who did not look like her.  I share with her the following, “…understand that you belong in any room you choose to walk in. Also it doesn’t matter if the occupants in the room are ready for your presence or not. If an open door is presented to you, you are ready!” You, Leona, were ready.

I had a similar experience early in my career.  Twice.  I was promised opportunities that I was skilled for and when the position came open, my supervisors (both women in each situation) hired their friends.  The mistake I made was I quit without telling my truth.  Instead of sharing how unfair the decision was and the promises that were made, I left.  Reflecting back on the matter, I wish I had shared in a letter both the facts and my frustration.  As I’ve moved into leadership, I have learned that there are often variables that others may not be aware of in decisions that are made.  It doesn’t make things better when your boss reneges, but maybe if I had initiated the conversation to understand those unknowns, I could have made the choice to negotiate based on those decisions for something different or to still leave.  Even if I decided to leave, it would have been with more information.  If you have not confronted your boss about this situation, you should.  It is important for both clarity and peace of mind.

As I’ve gotten older, I am becoming more aware that things also happen for a reason.  There are doors that have closed in my life, and at the time, I was livid, disappointed and even confused.  Several doors have closed that in retrospect were blessings in disguise.  There are some situations that look as if they are opportunities but the reality is that they bring more headaches than you may be aware of.  Could it be that this door closed so that you can pursue other possibilities?  I would say to consider that if the leader did not make you aware of the upcoming change and impact to you, is this a place that you would want to give your time, treasure and talent to?  Quite frankly, it appears to be a character issue and would you want to deal with potential leaders that are not forthcoming and indecisive?

Again, I am bothered that you’ve endured this experience.  I do hope that you will make sure you have a conversation and a follow up letter with the leadership to address this. Although I didn’t offer a concrete solution, I hope that these perspectives can shed light on this difficult situation. No matter what you decide, please know that you must be a boss chick to be considered for such an important role and I’m sure that if they don’t appreciate what you can provide, some other company will.  You. Got. This.

About Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew

Dr. Froswa' Booker-Drew is a Partnership Broker. Relational Leadership Junkie. Connector. Author/Speaker/Trainer. Co-Founder, HERitage Giving Circle. She been quoted and profiled in Forbes, Ozy, Bustle, Huffington Post and other media outlets around the world. In addition, she has been asked to speak on a variety of topics such as social capital and networking, leadership, diversity, and community development to national and international audiences. This included serving as a workshop presenter at the United Nations in 2013 on the Access to Power. One of the most impactful life events for her was being a part of the documentary, Friendly Captivity, a film that followed a cast of 7 women from Dallas to India. Honors for her work include: Semi-finalist for the SMU TEDx in 2012, 2012 Outstanding African American Alumni Award from the University of Texas at Arlington, 2009 Woman of the Year Award by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and Diversity Ambassador for the American Red Cross. Graduating with a PhD from Antioch University in Leadership and Change, she also attended the Jean Baker Miller Institute at Wellesley for training in Relational Cultural Theory and completed facilitator training on Immunity to Change. She has also completed training through UNICEF on Equity Based Evaluations, and is the author of 2 workbooks for women, Ready for a Revolution: 30 Days to Jolt Your Life and Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last as well as a writer for several publications around the globe.

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