This is the second, maybe third time I’ve been in this situation. I was looking for a job a few months ago, and the prospective boss at this small company saw that I’m a pretty intelligent guy with strong credentials (experience in his industry + an advanced degree).
So he hires me, saying he wants me to be a “project manager” for something he’s been trying to get off the ground.
So I relocate with the family, start work two months ago, and have hardly ever heard anything about the ostensible “project”. The big boss I had interviewed with only flies in once a month, and in the meantime I’ve been working with a senior VP on site who has put me on some relatively low-level stuff for half the day, and for the other half I’m . . . well, I’m not doing much, but I try to keep busy. The VP seems kind of at a loss of what to do with me.
The big boss flew in for a monthly departmental meeting today, and afterward I had my first real chance to talk with him since coming on board
Not a word about the original “project” but now I find out that the big boss wants me to “create my own role” after I get to “understand [his] company more.” His attitude was kind of dour, like I had let him down in some way even though this was the first time I had spoken with him. He wants to talk with me again next week after I get myself up to speed (on what, I’m not quite sure).
I asked the big boss whether I should be taking my cue from the senior VP I’ve been working with. He kind of sniffed and said “not necessarily”. Great, so while he’s out of town, I’m “creating my own role” while reporting to nobody and doing nothing substantial?
Big alarms are going off in my mind about this, obviously. Does the guy regret hiring me? Is he looking for me to aggressively shoulder my way past the VP or disregard what the VP is asking me to do? In getting to “understand” his business, am I supposed to come up with some grand strategic vision to justify my role?
Any thoughts? Ever been in this situation? What did you do?