my replacement is destroying all the hard work I did in my old job

A reader writes:

I am beyond my wits’ end. I joined a company almost three years ago. I relocated across the country and was bound and determined that I was going to be the best at what I was hired to do. I can say that I achieved sales success above and beyond the company’s expectation. I went into a very challenging situation where there was very little structure to the role, and over a 2.5 year span, I built a model which could be used by others new to this same role.

Recently, I was offered and accepted a new sales role in this same company. My new and my old role work hand in hand in team sales.

Since I left this role, my success has gone down considerably. I have noticed that work and processes that I created are now not being used or supported by one of the team managers. He has torn apart the model I created. He has also created an unsupportive team environment which allows his ego to block the successful, supportive and nurturing work ethic using my model.

I am so upset about this situation that the stress is causing me to react in a negative manner and walk away with my tail between my legs.

I am in a situation where when people in my old role ask me for help and I make suggestions, I find myself going back to the manager and complaining that he hasn’t trained fully or properly and this situation perpetuates itself. The more I dig in, the more he ignores.

I have a new job in the same company that I want to be successful in, but I need him to adopt and teach the successful model that I created. How do I withstand his egotistical stubbornness and watch those around me not have the success, support and training they need?

You might not be able to. It’s not your job anymore; it’s his.

Believe me, I know how frustrating it is to pour your heart and soul into creating something and see it succeed — and then watch it handled differently than you think it should be after you leave. It feels like all your hard work is being undone, and that all that time and energy was for nothing. It can feel like someone is killing your baby, whether through neglect or active mishandling. It sucks.

But the reality is, that is no longer your job. It’s no longer your baby. And you don’t get to control how it’s done anymore.

So for you, that means:

* Stop trying to intervene with your replacement when you hear things you don’t like from the people on your old team.

* If you can’t emotionally detach when people on your old team come to you for help, find a way to pull back. Is it even appropriate for them to be coming to you with this stuff at all, or should they be going to your replacement? If the latter, then you need to direct them back to him. If you are expected to collaborate with them, then you can say, “What I would do in your shoes is XYZ” … but then stop there. Don’t get emotionally invested in whether they do or don’t implement your suggestions or whether they do or don’t have enough training or support to do so. Lend your expertise, but recognize that your role stops there.

* If your replacement’s actions mean that you’re not able to do your job as effectively as you otherwise could, then deal with that the same way you would if he were any other coworker in any other role: Start by talking to him about the problem, and if the problems don’t resolve that way, then talk to your own manager.

But what you can’t do is take on a new job and still maintain control over the old one. It doesn’t work, and it will wear you out emotionally if you try.

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