I am but 1 month in my new company. My position is Web Content Provider, so it would be managing web content, creating contents for the website, publishing, SEO and stuff. Then came a point that I had to handle social media (from another team), esp Facebook of our various clients and do weekly reports to client and to VPs of our company. Now I am faced with doing weekly presentations to Vice Presidents and create strategies and seemingly marketing our client's Facebook account.

I love my web content job but the other job i was asked to do gives me stress all the time as I now report to second degree bosses (btw, my boss is the web architect). Moreover, creating strategy is something which I am not really fond of. Any advice please.

  • This post does not pertain to the field of project management and is closed as part of our site scope changes. Please see the faq for guidance on what topics are covered. – jmort253 Sep 17 '12 at 6:17

Here is my advice:

Address this with your direct boss:

  • Have a one-on-one discussion with your direct boss. Don't make it too formal: for example you could have a chat about this around a coffee or lunch, so it gives you a comfortable, friendly environment to discuss in (no point going in with HR and a copy of your job description at this point).
  • Since you have been in your job for a month, this is a good time to simply say to your boss "I would like to catch up with you on how things are going and get your advice/thoughts".
  • Be honest: tell him how you see things, the fact that you love the web content work and that you are really keen to focus only on this. Ask him how all the other stuff fit in with your job (the one you were hired for). Be candid about what you want to do and your ability to do it.
  • Gauge his reaction and ask him for support : it's normal you don't feel able to say no to these other bosses, and it's your direct boss's job to assign your workload. The other thing is to look at how this may impact your ability to perform your official duties: is this other stuff taking too much time from you at the detriment of your web content work? If yes, then this is impacting your boss's performance too.

Before you talk to your boss, consider also the following:

  • It's actually a mark of recognition of your professional abilities and potential that you are already being asked to create strategies and present in front of senior execs. Are there tasks that you would actually enjoy doing if it was formally recognized as being part of your job and/of if you were getting support for it (like dedicated time assigned to it)?
  • Look at the company culture: in some organisations it's normal to ask people to work outside of their official duties; is this the case in your company and are other people in the same situation? If so, you will need to find a compromise between accepting enough "external" work to fit in this culture whilst not letting it affect your ability to do and enjoy your original job.
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I think most organizations want to be in some sort of growth mode, which means its people need to be in growth mode, too. Managers, when looking at their team, typically can only identify a small portion who exhibit those traits that make them candidates for growth. Most perform adequately and another small group are candidates for removal.

It sounds like you are in the first group, where your boss feels safe to delegate rather important tasks your way with reasonable risk.

If you let your boss know that you really just want to pull the levers and push the buttons that you were hired to do, I think you need to be prepared for some possible negative effects down the road. As requested, you will be pushed aside and not be asked to do other tasks outside of your job as typically expected but they will also recognize that you are sitting in the seat where someone else could sit who is eager and hungry to grow. At some point, you will get too expensive--even if just a inaccurate perception--for the value you bring to the table.

I would also advise that you reset your expectations of the score(s) you would receive at performance evaluation time. Top scores would not be in your future, I would suspect.

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