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How transparent should I be with my manager?

I have a manager who I respect a TON. Great guy, most knowledgeable sales rep I know, and has crazy connections in pretty much every industry.

BUT

I currently am way underpaid, have no room for growth, and our company lost our two top sales reps to a competitor. They raked in most of the company's revenue for over 10 years.


I am currently onboarding the second SQR on the team, so want to get that done before making a move, but I have been looking elsewhere for a bit and in some pretty late stages with interviews. Should I give my manager a heads up in any way that I am looking to leave? I've spoken with trusted AEs and they all are super supportive and actually they offered to be references if needed as well.


More context: Been here for 7 months, while I get along very well with everyone, I feel like this is not a good culture fit for me at all. (They are very old-school)


Honestly, I have no idea what to do, any advice would be appreciated!

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9
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
No, you shouldn't say anything. It could take you months to find the right thing. The company might tell you to pack your shit and then you don't have a job.

If you had been there several years and were super close, it would be one thing. Keep your head down. And just keep in mind that you're basically restarting the promotion clock when you make a jump in your role.
Da
DaveFromCollege
Notorious Answer
+7
Account Executive
Thanks for your input! It's unfortunate with the promotion clock being reset, but trust me, I am 100% sure it's worth it for me to leave this company.ย 
Do you think it might make sense for me to speak to my manager about a possible title bump soon? I've done the work of a whole department or two for a while and tbh if you ask other sales reps they would say I deserved it. Maybe work under that new title for a few months then dip? I'm just throwing out some ideas here.
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
A Sr. SQR role might be worth asking for, yes. Any chance you can get a bump to AE?
Show 2 more replies
salesninja
Opinionated
+3
VP
Ask your manager if he's ever considered looking for a new job.ย  If he says yes, then you can take over his role or follow him to the new gig.ย  If he says no, I'd GTFO
Da
DaveFromCollege
Notorious Answer
+7
Account Executive
Oh damn, that's a new angle. I roll straight up to the EVP though, would you still suggest that? There's no way I would fill his place.ย 
Either way, this is a route I haven't thought of and will definitely keep this in the back of my mind in the future.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Needer of Life Alert
I wouldn't do anything unless you have another offer to fall back on.ย 
Da
DaveFromCollege
Notorious Answer
+7
Account Executive
That's what I've been told by others too! I will hang in tight until that offer comes up. Thank you for the advice.
wHaTyAgOtCoOkInG
Catalyst
+4
Account Executive
If you're going to leave, leave. If they are old school & you have everything from them, then you lose nothing. If your manager is that good and you can stay there 1-2 years to learn everything you can, this is an investment in yourself
Da
DaveFromCollege
Notorious Answer
+7
Account Executive
It's the only hesitation I have from leaving so quick, but my manager is EVP an I don't talk to him for days if not a week or two at a time even though we are in office. So I think the sooner the better for me. Appreciate you advice!
Smithy
Politicker
+4
Director of Sales
If you have been there for 7 months, then it may be worth asking for a bit of a sit down with your manager and addressing some of these issues you have.ย 

If you have an honest conversation about the salary, the lack of growth and feeling uneasy about the top reps leaving then Iโ€™m sure youโ€™d get some answers.ย 

however, on the flip side, youโ€™ve been there for 7 months and you knew the salary when you took the job. In terms of the growth potential, you have been there for 7 months and unless youโ€™re a total superstar, growth shouldnโ€™t be on your mind just yet as youโ€™re still getting to know the company etc. I know 7 months may feel like a lol time, but it just isnโ€™t.ย 

the culture bit is tricky as itโ€™s unlikely to change in the short to mid term and if you really donโ€™t like it, then Iโ€™d look elsewhere.ย 

I wouldnโ€™t tell your manager that your looking as it potentially could make life difficult for you.ย 
Da
DaveFromCollege
Notorious Answer
+7
Account Executive
Love it, appreciate the advice. The salary is okay, I was told there would be a huge upside, with all leads funneling through me as the SQR. That didn't happen, and we are having troubles closing any major business at all TBH. I learned a hard lesson on getting as much guaranteed income as possible with future moves.ย 

See that you are a Dir. of Sales, would you feel blindsided by me not mentioning a move ever then handing in my 2 weeks? We have spoken about some issues about comp/culture before.
Smithy
Politicker
+4
Director of Sales
To answer your question, I'd feel frustrated that I didn't know about your issues and didn't have a chance to fix them if I could. It sounds like your boss would be the same.ย 

If you aren't getting what you were promised in terms of leads coming through, raise it and perhaps offer to do a bit more or offer help to get them to come through if you can. I know that seems counterintuitive, but if you do more and make more money in the short term before you leave then it's actually a win win, and it will leave your boss with a high impression of you as a team player and he'll understand why he can't keep you.

Communication is so key in these kinds of situations, from both sides, and even if you have discussed it before, I'd bet he's a busy guy, so a little nudge may help and if you don't feel fulfilled from the chat, go full steam ahead with looking for somewhere else.ย 

Imagine the feeling the other way round, if you handed your notice in, and he turned around and said "I wish you'd told me as I couldn've done XYZ if I'd known and now you're leaving"

Go all in and if they don't meet you and keep their promises, then you have your answer without having to think about it.

Just how I see it, man
Show 1 more replies
Captain_Q
Arsonist
+8
Sr. Account Executive
In general, I would say that you should be upfront and let him know where your heads at.ย  However, if you don't like the culture, that is a big red flag.ย  ย Sounds like even if you were to get a "promotion" and more pay, you would still end up leaving if the right position came along with another company, which would then ruin the relationship you have with your current manager, who as you say knows a lot of people.ย ย 

I'd keep looking and grind it out for now.ย  No matter what, make sure you leave on good terms.ย  Don't blindside your manager when leaving and make sure you're open and honest with why you are leaving.ย  ย 

Remember you aren't alone in how you feel and all you can control is your own actions.ย ย 

Good luck!
Da
DaveFromCollege
Notorious Answer
+7
Account Executive
Thanks for the advice! You are spot on with the scenario that even if I get promoted, I would essentially be leveraging that to get that title at another company. The culture is 100% the reason I am leaving at the end of the day. I think I won't say anything at the moment, but definitely will not blindside him at all in the future.ย 
Captain_Q
Arsonist
+8
Sr. Account Executive
Good shit.ย  Stay hungry!!
Savagedoge
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
The bit about culture shouldnโ€™t be ignored. Iโ€™d say hold on, get a concrete offer and then let your manager know. If heโ€™s half as good, heโ€™d understand.

Similar stuff transpired with me and Iโ€™m still great friends with my ex-manager.
Da
DaveFromCollege
Notorious Answer
+7
Account Executive
It's weird, because the culture at the company is absolutely terrible, but my manager generally has been the most laid-back and understanding person. That's why I am in a rut in terms of how much I should let him know. Glad to see that you are still close though with your ex-manager, hope I can replicate that.
BlueJays2591
Politicker
+6
Business Development Manager
I would start looking elsewhere and not say anything to your manager until you have something lined up. If it's not a good culture fit and you feel like there is no room for growth, then it's not the right job for you. I wouldn't waste more time at a job like that.
Da
DaveFromCollege
Notorious Answer
+7
Account Executive
Thanks for the advice, I will hopefully be in that stage soon with an offer to fall back on in case the talk goes wrong.
BlueJays2591
Politicker
+6
Business Development Manager
Awesome glad to hear that!
SalesPharaoh
Politicker
+8
AM BDR
I agree here only say anything once you have an offer in place
SADNESSLieutenant
Arsonist
+8
SDR
Follow your heart, if it's not a good fit it's not, but count the cost ie. ramping, making a bad jump, tech stack of next place, industry growth, compensation vs attainment, etc

Salespreuner
Big Shot
+11
Regional Sales Director
Have an offer = move on. Else, stick is better
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