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Time For a Promotion

Time For a Promotion

By Roberta Chinsky Matuson, Monster Contributing Writer

A Monster member writes: If one more person assumes I’m in charge, I’ll scream. My boss spends a lot of time at our manufacturing plants, so he’s not very visible around the corporate office. Whenever he’s gone, people assume I’m in charge, even though we have an HR manager in our office. I wouldn’t mind this so much, but my title is HR assistant.

I’m comfortable answering people’s questions in my boss’s absence, but I’m getting quite frustrated. I’m a nonexempt employee with a job title that does not reflect my current role. I don’t feel like I’m truly being recognized for my contributions, and of course, my pay doesn’t reflect this additional responsibility either. The job market has tightened up a bit where I am, so I’m not really in a position to walk out the door. What can I do to turn this situation around?

What the Expert says: Take a deep breath and exhale. The last thing you want to do is charge into your boss’s office and explode. A number of issues appear to be involved here, so let’s take them one at a time.

Location, Location, Location

Many companies have made their work environments egalitarian. This makes it more difficult for employees to figure out where people are in the pecking order. If your office is the first one they encounter when they enter HR, they may not even realize there is more to your department.

If this is the case, ask your boss if it would be possible to reconfigure the HR group’s layout. The solution might be as simple as switching offices or cubicles with the HR manager.

Overly Helpful

Is it possible that you are a bit too helpful when people come to you with their questions? It may be time to direct them to the proper person, the HR manager. If you do this when appropriate, the employees will soon come to understand she is in charge when your boss is gone.

Approaching the HR Manager

You might want to discuss the issue with the HR manager, who may not even realize the problem is occurring. Tactfully suggest she increase her visibility, particularly when your boss is gone. This way, people will know who the “go to” person is in his absence.