Bad Fit in Organization

Hello everyone!  I started a new job about 7 months ago, and I love everything about the job except for the people.  I work for a small company, and everyone is really "clicky", including all of management which is composed of all males. I'm supposed to be a part of management, however, I recently found out that all of management, except for myself and my manager (CFO) go to lunch or for dinner after work.  My manager is invited but I'm never invited. While my manager is a part of the Executive Management team, other members of management who are on the same level as myself, are invited to lunch and/or dinner.  I'm also the "solo" person in the HR department, and hence don't really have anyone else except for management to go to lunch with.

We are moving into a new building, and all of the managers have been invited on a tour by the President of the Company except for me.  When I asked about seeing the new building, I was told that we might plan a tour for all employees to see it before we move in.  Mabye this sounds really "petty" but to me it's a little more.  When I voiced my concern to my manager, he pretty much shrugged it off.

 I guess I'm used to a different type of work "culture" where management is management, and I don't think this place is a good fit for me.  While I love my job, I also think its important for a work place to be a good fit.  Since I've only been with the company for 7months, I don't want to seem like a job hopper, and if I apply for another position, I wonder how other companies will view my short tenure. I'm really struggling with the decision to try and stick it out or move on but I'm really miserable.  Any advice?




  • 5 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I would definitely stick it out for a while longer because a tenure of less than one year is a red flag to anyone in a recruiting function.

     You are a female, I guess (you don't state your gender) trying to fit in with a bunch of male managers, correct?  Was there someone in your position prior to your being there?  Was it a female?  Perhaps they're just not used to someone, let alone a woman, being in that position.

     I wouldn't worry about lunches, dinners, etc, and don't get all hung up this early on about being regarded as a manager.  I would just be friendly to all the other managers and do my very best work.  If you start to act resentful or defensive or unengaged, you will never be accepted.  Volunteer to help these guys on things they're working on, and ask for their help too.  People are very flattered when you turn to them for their expertise.  Seek opportunities to be on projects with them.  Nothing cements a work relationship like joint participation in a project.  Be very, very nice to other employees, and not just the managers.  Make friends with the administrative staff.  They have great power to make or break a newcomer.  Their influence cannot be underestimated.  Imagine the difference in the impression you'll make if the receptionist tells the president, "That Nissa is a sweetheart," versus "That Nissa is insecure," or worse "That Nissa is a snot."

     I am sure this is salvagable since you like the work, and you should make it your goal to work productively with these people.

  • Alternatively, despite your title, they don't think of you as management because they view HR as a support role (even if a highly empowered one), but not a business role.  Small companies often have HR because they "should," and not because business leadership actually respects or values the position or the people in it.  That's a battle that simply has to be fought and won over time.

    People have fickle ideas about what HR is and how it fits into their organization.  Also, keep in mind, that if you are performing employee relations functions, then there is going to be some hesitation to establish relations with you that are not strictly business.  Likewise, you should be careful about becoming too chummy with people you may later have to investigate.  If you got into HR to make lots of work friends, you may find yourself sadly disappointed.  The loneliest role of all is when you are HR for HR, because then there's really nobody you can be friends with except your own boss.

  • It does take time for people to get to know you and appreciate what you do. I am also the HR department for my company. I absolutely love my job although I didn't in the beginning. Be friendly towards all the people and they will warm up to you; especially when they see your hard work and willingness to help out. Plus when they hire someone new, you will be able to help that person adjust.
  • I can definitely see your discomfort but at the same time, you are there to perform a function.  And that function, as TXHR stated, is often a lonely one.  I perform in the same capacity and it took me the better part of a year to establish myself within my organization.  Now, as I type this, I feel as though I have a strong role in the decision making process at the Exec level.  As you well know, respect is earned - if your passion for the profession remains strong and you remain unphased by this, they will take notice.  Show your worth via your contributions and ideas - you are still "young" within the organization. Keep working at it. 
  • I would like to add this to what everyone else has advised. Starting new is one thing. You have to build rapport, trust and value with your company before being taken into the inner circle. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

    I was a 30-year veteran with my department when I accepted the HR position. 30 years, the second most senior member. There was not one soul of the senior staff that did not know me inside and out. I was on a first name basis with the Mayor, City Manager and senior HR staff at City Hall. Community groups bartered for my attention. I am well known, deeply rooted in the community and just as rooted in this department.

    I don’t say this to brag but rather, demonstrate the reality of what the others are saying to you. It was as if I was a brand new employee. I had to start over and re-earn the trust, re-prove my worth. After 30 years I had to show that I was the person that could partner with the staff and provide the HR functions at a strategic level. Persistence paid off. Don’t push it. Your value is in your successes and your work. Let that speak for you.

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