Author Topic: Think I made a mistake at work, need advice.  (Read 3661 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Think I made a mistake at work, need advice.
« on: August 05, 2016, 05:18:20 PM »
Recently at work the person who works above me retired. My boss announced that he was opening up the job next week for applications, and announced where he was putting notices. I was a bit confused because our policy states that the position must be posted open internally for a period of ten days, and if no qualified applicants are found internally it may be advertised to the public. I didn't say anything at the staff meeting and went back to my desk and checked the policy manual,  I was correct, accept that there is a sentence at the end that says under some circumstances the position may be opened internally and externally first, but all internal candidates will still be given first preference.

I was just coming back from several days off and thought that maybe I had missed the internal opening so I asked my boss if he was accepting internal applications now, he said that was next week, and I was confused so I said oh well I thought it said in the policy manual that it was supposed to open internally first and he said he was going to do them both next week, and walked away. Later he came back and said that I should read the rest of the policy that it says he can open to both at the same time and he was going to do it that way.

I really couldn't tell if he was mad at me for asking about the policy or if he was just joking around. I really just wanted to make sure I hadn't missed the internal opening somehow.  Now I'm worried it appeared that I was questioning my boss, and I might have blown my chance to promote. I am more then qualified with 18 years on the job, I  was just given a 20% pay bump this year for performance...I'm not sure if I should just let things go with my boss or try and reassure him I wasn't trying to question his authority?


  • Bristles
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Re: Think I made a mistake at work, need advice.
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2016, 06:08:54 PM »
I have a boss who is often difficult to read, we often can't tell when he's angry or joking, so I know where you're coming from.

With that being said, I'm just going to come right out with my opinion, it might be blunt, sorry.  I think that if your boss intended to give you the job he wouldn't be opening it up to external candidates.  If that is the case then I figure you didn't cause any damage to your opportunity, because he wasn't going to give it to you anyway.  So now you have nothing to lose.  I would apply and show him you are the best person for the job.  I wouldn't give the exchange you had with him a second thought.  I think no harm no foul. 

Even if I'm totally off base with my opinion of his intentions I still wouldn't bring it up.  I think that would be making a bigger deal out of something than it is. JMHO.  Good luck!

purple monkey

  • Bristles
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Re: Think I made a mistake at work, need advice.
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2016, 07:18:26 PM »
The way the boss responded makes me think that he has someone  hand picked  for the job, since he is doing it the way he has the option.

Depending on how badly you want the job, this could make it hard for you when the new boss comes, if you did not get the job.

Maybe I am wrong.


  • Bristles
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Re: Think I made a mistake at work, need advice.
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2016, 08:01:56 PM »
I do hiring for my workplace; it does sound like he has someone else in mind, or isn't satisfied with the potential internal applicants. I say if you want it, apply anyway, we may be misreading this wrong; it's not going to hurt you to apply in any case. You seem a little overworried and unconfident; you need to be self assured, but not cocky, in the interview, if you apply.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Think I made a mistake at work, need advice.
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2016, 08:06:09 PM »
Agree with all that has been said. Prepare the case for yourself and present with confidence. Dress as if you are an outside interviewee. When you are done, summarize your qualifications and ASK FOR THE JOB. An astonishing number of people do not do this.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Think I made a mistake at work, need advice.
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2016, 01:59:57 AM »
Apply away, and don't worry about the exchange with the boss.

I've applied for an internal job, that was then advertised externally a month later. Two months later they tell me I've got the job, six months later they finally have a contract ready for me.

In the end I declined the role (salary wasn't at the market rate, and they wouldn't negotiate). Fucking morons had wasted 9 months and we're back at square one. A few months later I left for another company and a 30% pay rise.

Not sure what they point of the story was.  Hmmmm maybe it's that even if you aren't a favourite at the start, you may well be the best option they have.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2016, 02:35:09 AM by gooki »


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Think I made a mistake at work, need advice.
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2016, 04:24:12 AM »
I manage a small team of just over 15 split into two with other managers. I get questioned on policies all the time, I like to think that I respond politely even to team members who can be real pushy. At one point I may have to say that "there is nothing more to say". I do my best not to take it personally and usually forget aboug it a while later, for those that are polite and honestly curious I find it engaging.

It really doesn't sound like you were being pushy here at all and if this boss is actually upset over your "questioning", I wonder what kind of boss they would be like to work for directly. Apply and see what happens.

I see way to many qualified people let opportunities pas by because the think they don't have a chance or they couldn't bothered at that specific time to apply.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Think I made a mistake at work, need advice.
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2016, 07:21:44 AM »
Do you have an HR department you can talk to about this?  Perhaps he was supposed to do an internal job offer first and didn't and he's miffed because someone called him on it. 


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Think I made a mistake at work, need advice.
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2016, 07:54:29 AM »
I had a similar thing happen, and the boss's boss basically told me pretty straight that external applicants would have an advantage over me in the hiring process. Unfortunately I had been internally "typecast" into the role I had then, not this new job. I remained relentlessly pleasant, applied anyway, assured everyone who pried that I would be mature & professional if I didn't get it, but that I wanted to "throw my hat into the ring" because it never hurts to try and move up.

In the end I got the job and a big salary bump. The external applicant the boss had in mind (and he did have someone hand picked prior to even posting it) didn't want it and took a job somewhere else. Everyone was impressed with my relentlessly positive attitude during the whole process.

Try going this route, and no more nitpicking (EVER!) about what's in the fucking company policy manual. The policy manual is a last resort when you are suing the company for wrongful dismissal or harassment . . . it's not for anything else.

Chin up, move forward, pretend you never even asked about it.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Think I made a mistake at work, need advice.
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2016, 05:22:14 PM »
Well done Zamboni. Fantastic for you.

I've done some hiring in my time... what we do is open positions up to internal and external candidates. We would like to prefer internals, but we use externals as a "benchmarking" type exercise.

It pays to look outside the internal bubble, because it is my job to source the best person for the role. That can either be internal or external.

To the OP - your boss told you about the role and when to apply... that should be enough.