Your boss quits; how quickly do you throw your hat in the ring to replace him?

I’ve been at my job for 6 months, and my boss told us this morning he’s giving his notice. I’m interested in stepping into his position, and I’m wondering if I should wait till he’s gone, wait till it’s posted, or just request a lunch meeting his his boss some time in the next week or two and tell her I’d like his job.

I have short tenure with the company, but I’m well-qualified for the position. It’s a hybrid manager/engineering role with 4 or 5 direct reports, so more or less entry-level management. In my last position I was a Director with two departments and 9 directs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and almost 20 years experience in IT. I leveled down into an individual contributor role here because it’s a great company, and also because I worked with my boss years ago (I was his boss back then) and he wanted me on his team when he found out I was on the market.

Anyways. What do you think? Should I make my interest known as soon as the dust settles, wait for them to come to me (they might or might not) or should I get in there right away and let them know I want the position?

For you I say go for it. And start the process now.

But as for me its more like NEVER! The company I work for is actually pretty good to its basic employees but for managers and above it becomes a real snake pit. You do 4 10 hour days, you have no say in your schedule, your schedule changes every 3 months and you are salary rather than wage and may have to do 60+ hour weeks at times. Plus stupid reports no one reads. Plus being called to task for things that don’t involve you at all. And they don’t make all that much more than we do. If I’m ever promoted my plan is to quit.

You should have started before he quit. There’s no time to waste, go for it now.

I have. I came into this job under the assumption that my boss would eventually leave and I might have a chance to move up. I come in early, work hard, and have established myself as a leader.

I think one of the reasons he hired me was to leave the department in good hands when he left, and I’ve done my best to step up and fill that expectation. The feedback I’ve had from the guys I work with is that I’d be the obvious choice to step up.

Definitely go for it now. Also, if he is leaving on good terms with his boss(es), you should recruit his help in ensuring that you do move into his spot. If that was his original plan, as you suggest, I’d be surprised if he didn’t already have this conversation with you.

Came in to basically say this.

I would agree with the other posters and say “immediately.” If you want, you can send your current boss a courtesy heads up that you’re submitting a resume.

I was in a similar situation a few years ago (boss quit, no obvious replacement in house), and someone from upper management mentioned that upper management as a whole thought it was a knock on me that I didn’t submit my resume. Even though I wasn’t completely qualified, they thought I should have demonstrated more ambition by spiffing up a resume and putting myself forward. Caught me off guard and I’ve never forgot the advice.

I just stepped into my boss’s role when she retired last month, so I feel confident in agreeing with the posters above me. Talk with your boss first, get him on board with your plan, and have him be your advocate.

With my boss, once she knew I wanted the job, she treated it as a fait accompli and gave her boss the training plan we would be following to allow me to move into her role. I didn;t have to to anything other than confirm that I was interested in the job.

If you don’t go for it upper management will wonder what’s wrong with you. Why wouldn’t you want it?

Agreed…and agreed!

When my old boss quit, one of the others in the department got bumped up to be the boss…and was terrible at it. Much too cruel and callous. (I would also have been terrible, for being too soft and accommodating. I don’t have the harshness necessary to discipline a team.)

I’m really good in a support role, but you don’t want me in command.

ETA: But, yes, really, to the OP: if you want it, go for it! Don’t wait for them to think of you; make your views known, openly and unmistakably. “Hey, there’s an opening: I’d like to apply for it.” Faint heart ne’er won anything!

Previous Boss: Looks like I’m transitioning to another project, and you guys are going to be without a manager for a while.
Me: So, your job’s open?
PB: Hah hah, no contractors, you have to be a USPS Employee.
Me: … and?

As others have said - go for it!

As for me - never in a bazillion years! I was a boss when I was in the Navy. I sucked at it. I knew I sucked at it.

When I arrived at my last pre-retirement job, I met with the military guy who was in charge of my group. He asked if I was more interested in a technical track or a management track. I told him I wanted to stay technical. He spent the rest of our meeting telling me why I was wrong. He was an ass and I was so glad when we had a reorganization and I wasn’t one of his minions. I’m a good engineer. I suck as a boss. I don’t think that’s something to be ashamed of.

When they cock the gun that they are holding to my head.

I have never, ever wanted my boss’ job – a lot of the time I barely wanted my own job.

But a couple of times after my boss left I did go to the big boss right away and offer to do anything I could, short of actually wanting the job.

Always make your intentions clear up front!

Hell, when my boss died at one job, I threw my hat in the ring within a week, and got the job. Then I talked my next boss up the line into retiring and took her job.

Ditto to go to your skip. It’s a balancing act. “Can I get your advice, I know I’m only 6 months in here, but I’d like to throw my hat in the ring. What do you think? I think I’m ready, but more importantly do *you *think I’m ready? And more importantly, would you support me? And if you don’t think I’m ready, what do I need to do while being a 100% team player supporting the whomever takes over?”…

In other words, be aggressive but don’t make an ultimatum and give the impression at least that you are a team player that wants to be ready for the next qualified open slot.

Yes, if you want it, never too soon to start (well, unless your former boss shuffled off this mortal coil unexpectedly then. If that case, wait until the remains cool off. :slight_smile: )

We recently had a change and the the boss I’ve had for a long time moved on. I got called in to a meeting with his boss. Lasted about 5 minutes while I quickly talked myself out of even being considered for the position, to my relief.

I’m surprised everyone’s saying “Go for it”, TBH. Not that the OP shouldn’t go for it (I hope he does, actually). Maybe it’s the industry, but my experience has been that you can’t just leapfrog into management without following steps up the ladder first.

For example, I could do my boss’s job without issue because I’ve been there for XX years BUT I could never apply to take his place unless I’ve been an assistant first.

I always make it a point to let my boss’ boss know I’m interested in my boss’ job … like from the day I’m hired … I usually wait a few weeks to talk to the ownership.

If you want it, go for it.

To answer your question for myself: No way would I have wanted to deal with all the bullshit a Blockbuster store manager had to put up with. I once told one of my boss’s bosses that they couldn’t pay me enough to become a store manager.

(I’m more a follower than a leader, anyway.)